Associate Professor Sobnosky, Graduate Program Director, (516) 463-7141,
The philosophy of the Department of Speech Communication, Rhetoric, and Performance
is based on the recognition that our society is enmeshed in an all-encompassing,
interdependent, and ever-expanding web of human and technological communication.
Students who major in or take courses in this department learn how the communication
process works in interpersonal and group settings, in formal organizations, and
in public communication situations. The primary goals of the curriculum are to
develop competencies in observing, analyzing, and evaluating communication practices;
to develop knowledge about human communication theory; and to develop communication
skills in a variety of settings.
The Department of Speech Communication, Rhetoric, and Performance Studies offers
a Master of Arts degree both for those students intending to pursue
doctoral work and for those for whom an M.A. will be the final degree. The program
provides a strong liberal arts background that can be applied to a variety of
professional fields such as business, education, and government. Examples of specific
career applications include communication training and development, conflict management
and resolution, law, corporate and public advocacy, and public performance.
Students receive a great deal of individual attention from faculty and have
considerable flexibility in tailoring a course of studies to fit their individual
needs. Part-time students are welcome and most classes are scheduled in the evening
to accommodate those with daytime employment.
Students may concentrate either in rhetorical studies
or in performance studies. In addition, students may, with the
permission of the program director, choose a cognate area outside the
School of Communication, such as political science, history, English or
comparative literature. Students may choose either a final project or a traditional thesis.
Prospective students must complete and return an application to the Dean of Graduate
Admissions, 126 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549. The application process
- Bachelor degree from an accredited institution.
- Transcripts from all previous institutions of higher education.
- Two letters of recommendations from faculty who can write in support of the applicant’s
scholarship and potential ability to complete graduate-level work.
- An on-campus interview (or as arranged).
- In order to be adequately prepared for graduate study, entering students should
have taken at least 15 semester hours in the following undergraduate communication
courses, earning at least a 3.0 GPA:
- 3 s.h. in basic oral communication (theory and practice)
- 3 s.h. in public speaking
- 3 s.h. in performance studies
- 3 s.h. in interpersonal communication
- 3 s.h. in rhetorical studies (in addition to public speaking)
A limited number of partial scholarships are awarded for qualified students.
Other student aid in the form of loans and work-study program may also be available.
Program Requirements - Semester Hours: 33
Required Courses - Semester Hours: 12
Departmental Electives - Semester Hours: 9 - 18
Elective Courses From Other Departments - Semester Hours: 0-6
To be chosen from:
Non-Thesis Option - Semester Hours: 3
Thesis Option - Semester Hours: 6
- Pass a written comprehensive examination.
- Pass an oral defense of the thesis or non-thesis project.
- Completion of all program requirements with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in overall graduate
Career paths open to students with graduate training in speech communication
are many and varied. These include communication training and development, conflict
management and resolution, law, corporate and public advocacy, industrial relations,
personnel and human resources, advertising, management, sales, government service,
community organization, education and public performance.
Employers consistently report that the number one quality they look for in new
hires is the ability to communicate effectively, and that skilled communicators
are very hard to find. Graduates of this program will be among the very best-trained
communicators entering the job market in any of a very broad range of careers.
Graduate students in the School of Communication should contact the Graduate
Program Director to have an adviser/mentor assigned as soon as they arrive on
campus. Students should meet with their adviser for scheduling of classes for
each semester. Adviser/mentors are available throughout each semester.