Capstone Experience

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A graduate student must complete a capstone experience in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University.

Video of Capstone Options MA in Communication
Check out a video from Dr. Leah Omilion-Hodges summarizing each capstone and how to select the one best suited for your career advancement goals.

Capstone experience

The capstone experience consists of the completion of one of the following options:


The thesis project consists of the completion of a research paper in which you propose and test new ideas, replicate an existing study or advance theoretical understanding of an issue. The thesis must demonstrate scholarly abilities, including:

  • Solid conceptualization
  • Analysis
  • Writing

The thesis must:

  • Clearly define the problem to be investigated.
  • Demonstrate mastery of relevant academic literature.
  • Show competence in the relevant methodology and analysis techniques.

The thesis consists of six credit hours and is considered part of the communication electives.

Comprehensive examination

The comprehensive examination option requires you to demonstrate your knowledge of a substantive area within communication and a capacity to integrate theory, research and practice in response to comprehensive questions developed by the faculty of the School of Communication.

Professional project

The professional project option is intended for graduate students who desire to extend their academic education by engaging in the development, enactment and assessment of an applied communication experience.

The project may involve workshops, case studies, training, creation of websites, communication assessments and completion of other projects within the context of your chosen area of study.

The project consists of three credit hours and is considered part of the communication electives.

View important Graduate College deadlines for the capstone experience here.