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M.A. Alumn Julie Wight at the White House

M.A. in Communication, Media and Theatre

The Master of Arts graduate program in Communication, Media, and Theatre (CMT) at Northeastern Illinois University links three creative and demanding disciplines, all of which focus on social interaction, technology, and performance.

The coursework in this program is largely historical and theoretical in nature and is designed to provide advanced study in these disciplines. Students will further their understanding of interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational relationships; confront complex social problems; think critically about new media technologies; and understand the role of film, television, and the dramatic arts in contemporary social life. The program is designed for students interested in advanced corporate, non-profit, or public service positions; teachers at the elementary or secondary level; and those preparing for positions in higher education or further graduate study. 

The CMT Graduate Program only admits students for the fall semester; we do not admit in the spring semester. For more information about the CMT Graduate Program contact Dr. Seung-Hwan Mun, Director of Graduate Studies ( or the CMT main office by email ( or phone (773-442-5950).

Graduate Program Overview Flyer (2019)

To be considered for the incoming Fall 2019 cohort, applications must be received by July 15, 2019.

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CMT Graduate Program (30 Credits)

Students are admitted each fall semester. All students are required to enroll in CMTC 401: Introduction to Graduate Study during the first fall semester.

Required Courses (15 credits)

  • CMTC 401: Introduction to Graduate Study
  • CMTC 402: Seminar in Research Methods
  • CMTC 404: Communication Theory
  • CMTM 465: Mass Communication Theory
  • CMTT 430: Dramatic Theory

Five Elective Courses (15 credits) chosen from the following:

  • Communication:

    • CMTC 400: Special Topics in Communication (rotating topics course)
    • CMTC 414: Seminar in Organizational Communication
    • CMTC 416: Seminar in Interpersonal Communication
    • CMTC 434: Independent Study in Communication
  • Media:
    • CMTM 410: Independent Study in Media
    • CMTM 466: Media and Cultural Studies
    • CMTM 467: Special Topics in Film and Television (rotating topics course)
    • CMTM 478: Seminar in New Media
  • Theatre:
    • CMTT 423: Independent Study in Theatre
    • CMTT 431: Comparative Performing Arts
    • CMTT 446: Theatre Management
    • CMTT 473: Special Topics in Theatre (rotating topics course)
  • Education:
    • CMTE 490: Instructional Communication
    • CMTE 492: Teaching College Speech

Students also have the option to take up to two graduate (400-level) courses in other departments or independent studies with individual faculty members. If you want to pursue the program on a full-time basis (9 credits per semester), please be aware that courses are offered on a rotational basis. Be prepared to adjust your schedule to accommodate the rotation of courses.

Comprehensive Exams or Thesis:

In addition to coursework, students must either pass Comprehensive Exams or complete a Thesis. Students choosing the thesis option will work with the Director of Graduate Studies to form a Thesis Committee made up of three graduate faculty members. Students should note that thesis proposals must be approved by a primary advisor before forming a thesis committee and writing a thesis counts for 6 elective credit hours toward graduation.

Graduate Program Timeline:

Incoming student cohorts begin in the fall semester, and most students complete the degree in two years depending upon the number of courses the students take per semester.

Admission Requirements:

Before entering the CMT Graduate Program specifically, you must meet the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. If you meet these requirements, the College of Graduate Studies and Research will then forward your application to the CMT Graduate Committee. Currently, the following requirements are specific to the College of Graduate Studies and Research:

  • Application Form (available on the College of Graduate Studies and Research website)
  • Statement of Goals and Objectives. Make sure you describe your reasons for pursing graduate study and also why you find the CMT Graduate Program of interest.
  • Application Fee. A $30 application fee is required.
  • Transcripts. The applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. As an applicant, you are responsible to request from each college or university of previous or current attendance (other than Northeastern Illinois University) to send you an official transcript, together with a key to grading.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation. These letters must substantially address your ability to excel in graduate school and, specifically, in CMT. (If you graduated from NEIU, one letter must be from a CMT tenure-track faculty member.) If necessary, the CMT Director of Graduate Studies reserves the right to request one additional letter of recommendation. Such a request will be made after all of your materials have been received and evaluated by the department.

The Department of Communication, Media and Theatre also has two additional requirements:

  • A sample of written work must be included in your application file (e.g., a research paper, honors thesis, a substantial report for an organization, or a creative essay). Submit the writing sample with your application to the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
  • Applicants must have completed 15 undergraduate credit hours (with a minimum of 9 upper division credit hours) in Communication, Media, OR Theatre coursework (or a closely related discipline). Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average for these courses. Upper division courses are defined as 300 or 400-level, junior/senior courses.

Admission to the program will be deferred until all requirements are satisfied. Students at large will only be authorized to enroll in graduate-level courses with approval of the CMT Director of Graduate Studies. Final admission decisions rest solely with the CMT Graduate Committee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why might I want a master’s degree in CMT?  

Our program tends to attract people who want to teach Communication, Media, and/or Theatre courses at area community colleges and universities; pursue a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Communication, Media, and/or Theatre; learn more about the areas of Communication, Media and Theatre; and continue their education beyond a bachelor’s degree or be more qualified for positions that require a Master’s degree. If any or all of these reasons sound appealing, then a master’s degree in CMT might be a good decision for you.

What can I expect if I apply to write a thesis?

A thesis typically takes one year to write and requires significant discipline and commitment. A student must form a thesis committee composed of one primary advisor and two committee members/readers. A student will then write and defend a proposal before being allowed to register for CMTC 5903: Thesis Seminar (6 credits total). The student will then write and defend the thesis. See the CMT Graduate Handbook for a detailed explanation of the thesis process.

Communication, Media and Theatre

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