Department of Communication Studies

Quick Reference

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Fall classes begin – Monday, August 24
  • Last day to add class without dept. approval – September 1
  • Last day to drop a class without a W – September 4
  • Labor Day Holiday (no classes) – Monday, September 7
  • Comprehensive Exam form due to Office Coordinator – September 11
  • Last day to drop a class without an F – October 30
  • Comprehensive Exams --  November 2-13
  • Thesis due to Graduate College – November 6
  • Spring registration begins – November 2 – Make 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.
  • Application for Graduation via MyUNIverse Student Center due – November 10
  • Thanksgiving vacation –  November 23-27
  • Finals Week December 14-18
  • Notification of completion of research paper/comprehensive exams due from department to the Graduate College and Registrar’s Office December 18
  • Semester Ends – December 18
  • Commencement – December 19
  • Spring classes begin – Monday, January 11
  • Holiday (no classes) – Monday, January 18
  • Last day to add class without dept. approval – January 20
  • Last day to drop a class without a W – January 22
  • Assistantship/Tuition Scholarship forms due to dept. February 1
  • Comprehensive Exam form (for both spring and summer semesters) due to Office Coordinator – February 1
  • Fall 2016 registration begins – February 29 (Exact day TBA
  • Spring break – March 14-18
  • Last day to drop a class without an F – March 21
  • Comprehensive Exams – March 21 - April 3
  • Application for Graduation via MyUNIverse due – April 1
  • Thesis due to Graduate College – March 25
  • Finals week – May 2-6
  • Notification of completion of research paper/comprehensive exams due from department to the Graduate College and Registrar’s Office – May 6
  • Semester Ends – May 6
  • Commencement – May 7
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 4 hours of examination in at least 2 subject areas and are taken between the 11th and 13th weeks of the semester;
  • Fall Semester--between November 2-13, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Spring Semester – between March 21-April  3, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (no comps during spring break)
  • Summer Semester --between May 16-27, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • 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 11 (fall semester) and by February 1 (spring & summer semester).
Fall/Spring Assistantship and Tuition Scholarships Applications: 
  • Due to Dept Office Coordinator by February 1
  • Current Graduate Assistants 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 in the AD-ITS domain. These accounts share your email login name and 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.
  • 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.