Department of Communication Studies

Quick Reference

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Fall classes begin – Monday, August 20
  • Last day to add class without dept. approval – August 28
  • Labor Day Holiday (no classes) – Monday, September 3
  • Last day to drop a class without a W – August 31
  • Comprehensive Exam form due to Office Coordinator – September 14
  • Application for Graduation via MyUNIverse Student Center due – November 10
  • Last day to drop a class without an F – October 26
  • Comprehensive Exams --  October 29 -- November 16
  • Thesis due to Graduate College – November 2
  • Spring registration begins – November 6Make an appointment with your advisor to discuss your spring schedule at least a week prior to registration. If you have not decided on an advisor, do so now. If you are a new graduate student, Dr. Tom Hall will serve as your advisor until you decide this semester who you will have as your advisor.
  • Thanksgiving vacation –  November 16-25
  • Finals Week December 10-14
  • Notification of completion of research paper/comprehensive exams due from department to the Graduate College and Registrar’s Office December 14
  • Semester Ends – December 14
  • Commencement – December 15
  • Spring classes begin – Monday, January 14
  • Holiday (no classes) – Monday, January 21
  • Last day to add class without dept. approval – January 22
  • Last day to drop a class without a W – January 25
  • Assistantship/Tuition Scholarship forms due to dept. February 1
  • Comprehensive Exam form (for both spring and summer semesters) due to Office Coordinator – February 1
  • Last day to drop a class without an F – March 15
  • Application for Graduation via MyUNIverse (form repository) due – April 1
  • Spring break – March 18-22
  • Comprehensive Exams April 1-19
  • Thesis due to Graduate College – March 29
  • Fall 2012 registration begins – April 1
  • Finals week – May 6-10
  • Notification of completion of research paper/comprehensive exams due from department to the Graduate College and Registrar’s Office – May 10
  • Semester Ends – May 10
  • Commencement – May 11
Course load:

 Maximum Academic Load. The maximum graduate student load during each semester of the academic year is fifteen (15) hours. The maximum graduate student load during the eight-week summer session is nine (9) semester hours - a maximum of six (6) semester hours during one four-week period and three (3) semester hours during the other four-week period; or three (3), 3-semester-hour courses during an eight-week period. The maximum load during a two-week post-session is two (2) semester hours. Exceptions to these load restrictions may be granted only by the Dean of the Graduate College.

Level of Courses 

  Graduate students normally take courses in the 5000 series and 6000 series. A graduate student may take courses in the 4000 (formerly 100 series (without 'g')) or below for undergraduate credit, but such courses do not carry graduate credit. However, all courses graduate or undergraduate, taken as a graduate student, count in determining grade point average, except approved non-graded graduate course work

Comprehensive Exams:
  • Current guidelines require a total of 6 hours of examination in at least 3 subject areas and are taken between the 11th and 13th weeks of the semester;
  • Fall Semester--between October 29 - November 16, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Spring Semester – between April  1-19, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (no comps during spring break)
  • Results will be given to the student two weeks after each exam. For summer comprehensive exams, the results will be given within the first two weeks of the fall semester, at the latest.
  • Complete and return form to the main office of Communication Studies, Lang 326, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0139 by September 14 (fall semester) and by February 1 (spring & summer semester).
Fall 2012/Spring 2013 Assistantship and Tuition Scholarships Applications: 
  • Due to Dept Office Coordinator by February 1
  • Current GTAs/RAs must reapply for the upcoming academic year.  
  • Forms are available in the main office or online at
Who to Call:
  • Communication Studies Main Office – 319-273-2217
  • Office Coordinator – Donna Uhlenhopp – 319-273-6118
  • Dept. Head – Christopher Martin  – 319-273-6118
  • Graduate Director -- Tom Hall -- 319-273-7159
  • Computer problems – CHAS Tech – 319-273-7349
  • Reference Desk, Rod Library –  319-273-2838
  • Email problems – ITS help line – 319-273-5555
  • Parking permits --  Public Safety – 319-273-2712
  • Thesis formatting questions – Janet Witt – 319-273-2748
  • Graduation requirements met – Pam MacKay – 319-273-2255
Graduate Courses:
  • Online course listing at  Also listed in UNI catalog
  • Studies in “_____” COMMGRAD 6286(48C/P/E:286), Readings in “______” COMMGRAD 6285 (48C/E/P:285) and Research COMMGRAD 6299 (48C/P/E:299) – to add these courses, complete an add/drop slip and the form for Independent study or studies in “____”. Obtain appropriate signatures and give to Office Coordinator in the Comm. Studies Main Office. She will complete the “pink slip” for Schedule Change to add the section in the registrar’s office. 
Office Procedures: 
  • Log-on for computers:  email user name with initial password as noted below. You will be prompted immediately to change your password (remember it). ITS has created student accounts for all students enrolled for fall 2008 in the AD-ITS domain. These accounts share your email login name, but have a separate password. Students will need to login to the AD-ITS domain with a default password and then choose a new password of at least eight characters in length.
  • The initial password for students is of the pattern mmdd$xxxxxx where mm - is the lower-case first two letters of the users' birth month dd - is the day of the month the user was born xxxxxx - is their six digit student ID number.
  • Main office is open 8 am – 4:30 p.m. for questions/assistance.
  • Thesis Committee and Research Paper Readers– Before beginning thesis or research paper, complete and return committee/readers form to the main office. You may email Donna (Office Coordinator) and ask her to email you the blank form for completion or obtain the form from our website.