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Speech Communication

Applied Communication Studies and Public Health Combined Degree Program

MA in Applied Communication Studies and Public Health
Combined Degree Program

UALR Department of Speech Communication and UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health

Little Rock is the medical hub of Arkansas. In this setting, professionals with strong communication abilities as well as a working knowledge of public health are critical. This combined program merges two master’s level programs to prepare students as communication/public health professionals.

The combined degree program offers a potential savings of credit hours in the total credit hours otherwise required for both degrees (72 hours total). A student in the combined degree program must complete the following 60 hours of requirements:

• 36 credit hours of core courses, 18 core credit hours from each program
• 12 credit hours of required specialty courses
• 6 credit hours of electives approved by both programs
• 3 credit hours of preceptorship approved by both programs
• 3 credit hours of a final applied project approved by both programs

Student Application, Admission and Enrollment Polices

• A student must obtain admission separately to the MACS program and the MPH program. Once admitted to both programs, a student enters the combined degree program by filing the attached Declaration of Intent to Pursue Combined Degrees and developed an approved set of courses.
See the MPH link for guides: Apply to UAMS MPH

• A student currently enrolled in one program may enter the combined degree program by obtaining admission to the other program and filing the Declaration of Intent to Pursue Combined Degrees.

• A student is not enrolled in the combined program until copies of the Declaration of Intent to Pursue Combined Degrees are filed with the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at UALR and with the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the COPH.

• A student who has completed one degree may not enter the combined degree program to complete the other degree.

• After filing the Declaration of Intent to Pursue Combined Degrees, the student shall schedule a joint meeting with the COPH Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at UALR. Times of enrollment in each program, preliminary course selection, and potential conflicts shall be discussed.

• A student who enters the combined degree program must file their degree plan with both programs so program administrators will be able to insure they stay on track with required and elective courses.

• Concurrent enrollment in classes in both programs is normally permitted. Concurrent enrollment requires the written permission of the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at UALR and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the COPH.

• The total credit hour load in both programs for concurrently enrolled students shall not exceed the normal maximum load in either program without the approval of the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at UALR and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the COPH. Check with the coordinator in each Department to gain information on course load guidelines. Grade point averages and class standings in each program are determined without consideration of the credit hours accepted from the other programs.

• The UALR Department of Speech Communication and the COPH each has a requirement that all degree requirements be completed not more than six (6) years after enrollment in the degree program; students enrolled in this combined degree program will be permitted a maximum of 8 years from the date of their first registration in either program to complete the combined program.

Administrative Policies

• A student enrolled in the combined degree program is subject to all administrative policies and procedures of each program during the period of enrollment in the combined degree program.

• The COPH Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at UALR shall meet biannually, or more often as needed, to evaluate the combined degree program. They shall consider matters such as current course offerings and coordination of course sequences, and make recommendations for amendments of the program to their respective faculties.

• The above persons may approve a course or courses not on this list between biannual meetings if they are in agreement regarding the course approval, and if the course or courses are compatible with the goals of the Combined Degree program. Any courses approved in this manner must be considered for permanent inclusion in the program at the next biannual meeting.

Degree Plan

Core Courses (18 credit hours from each program; 36 credit hours total – all of these are required for all students in the combined degree program)

Masters in Applied Communication Studies (MACS) Core Courses
1. SPCH 7301 Human Communication Theory 3
2. SPCH 7321 Organizational Communication Theory 3
3. SPCH 7322 Organizational Culture & Communication Analysis 3
4. SPCH 7330 Communicating Change and Information Diffusion 3
5. SPCH 7302 Interpersonal Communication: Theory and Context 3
6.SPCH 7350 Effective Crisis Communication 3

Masters of Public Health (MPH) Core Courses
1. PBHL 5003 Introduction to Public Health 3
2. PBHL 5133 Introduction to Health Behavior and Health Education 3
3. PBHL 5123 The Health Care System 3
4. PBHL 5113 Environmental and Occupational Health 3
5. PBHL 5013 Biostatistics I 3
6. PBHL 5073 Epidemiology I 3

Specialty Required Courses (students must select 6 credit hours from the MACS program (SPCH prefix) and 6 credit hours from the MPH program (PBHL prefix)
1. SPCH 7352 Organizational Communication Training 3
2. SPCH 7323 Conflict Analysis and Intervention 3
3. PBHL 5143 Management of Health Care Organizations 3
4. PBHL 5783 Health Communication 3
5. PBHL 5813 Technology for e-health 3

Electives (6 credit hours from the MACS and MPH program in any combination)
Electives outside of either program may be identified, but must be accepted for approval by both program coordinators.

MACS Courses Eligible for Elective Credit
SPCH 5312 Intercultural Communication
SPCH 7320: Topics in Organizational Communication
SPCH 7310: Topics in Interpersonal Communication
SPCH 7311 Small Group Communication
SPCH 7312 Intercultural Communication
SPCH 7352 Organizational Communication Training

MPH Courses Eligible for Elective Credit
PBHL 5683 Social Epidemiology
PBHL 5213 Health Promotion in the Worksite
PBHL 5643 Health Promotion in Schools
PBHL 5543 Advanced Concepts in Human Sexuality
PBHL 5623 Program Planning and Evaluation
PBHL 5773 Survey Research Methods
PBHL 5653 Theories of Health Behavior and Health Education
PBHL 5283 Public Health Law and Ethics
PBHL 5713 Evaluation of Public Health Programs
PBHL 5163 Introduction to Health System Financial Management
PBHL 5343 Decision Analysis
PBHL 5143 Management of Healthcare Organizations
PBHL 5843 Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities
PBHL 5243 Health System Strategic Planning
PBHL 5273 Health Economics
PBHL 5363 Introduction to Health Policy & Politics

Preceptorship (PBHL 5983; 3 credit hours)
The student must complete all documentation required by both programs prior to registering for this course, and the preceptorship plan must be approved by both the COPH Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at UALR. This project will involve an internship experience and include a reflective paper demonstrating the students ability to reflect on and apply combined program concepts and theories.

Applied Integration Project (SPCH8301; 3 credit hours)
The student must complete all documentation required by both programs prior to registering for this course, and the integration project plan must be approved by both the COPH Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at UALR. Will involve an applied public health and communication case analysis proposal and final paper approved by a committee from both programs.

Updated 10.11.2013