Master’s Degree Program

Goal

Our goal is to nurture researchers across disciplines of communication and healthcare 

Core skills

Our program is multidisciplinary, practical and innovative, and you are expected to gain:

  1. Contemplation and analytical skills on health-related texts.
  2. Capability for research methods application.
  3. Ability to conduct research on health-related communication issues. 

Graduate Study Coursework Plan

  1. The Master’s Degree Program requires a minimum of 28 units of credit be completed in a 2 to 4 year time period, plus 4 units for the Master’s degree thesis.
  2. Among the total minimum units, 16 of them must be in the required field.
  3. The “seminar” course is a one-unit required course for each semester in the first and second years.
  4. Courses taken in other departments must follow the departmental guideline for earning credits.
  5. If no statistics course was taken before entering our program, a two-unit course on that is required.
  6. The format of a Master’s degree thesis can be a thesis, an original creation, or a report on certain skills obtained.
  7. All students are required to attend off-campus conferences at least twice, and produce reports in each of the two academic years.
  8. A thesis plan with at least four revisions must be in place prior to its presentation.
Fundamental Courses

 Communication

 Health Awareness

Thesis/Graduation

  • Seminar Ⅰ~ Seminar Ⅳ
  • Seminar: Theories of Communication
  • Research Methods in Communication Studies
  • Introduction to Thesis Writing
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Selected Readings in English Communication Journals
  • Organizational Communication
  • Social Marketing on Health
  • Internship
  • Epidemiology
  • Seminar on Healthy Behavior
  • Health Message Design
  • Health and Culture
  • Health and Media
  • Advanced Studies in, Communication Studies, Journalism, Public Health and Health Communication
  • Career Path in Mass Media, Marketing or PR in a Healthcare  Institution

Fundamental Courses

Seminar I (1 credits)

This course has the following goals:

  1. Introduce all matters in communication studies (i.e., people, events and objects).
  2. Familiarize students with all resources available for their studies. 
  3. Nurture students’ ability in academic discussions.
  4. Foster academic events for students to participate in.

Seminar II (1 credits)

This is a two-year course for both first and second year students taken together, is taught by the Director of Graduate Studies in Communication. 

It has the following goals:

  1. Introduce all matters in communication studies (i.e., people, events and objects).
  2. Familiarize students with all resources available for their studies.
  3. Nurture students’ ability in academic discussions.
  4. Foster academic events for students to participate in.

Seminar III (1 credits)

This course introduces first year and second year graduate students to academic research ethics and practices. Students will participate in classroom discussions and off-campus conferences, as well.

This is a two-year course for both first and second year students taken together. It is taught by the Director of Graduate Studies in Communication. 

It has the following goals:

  1. Introduce all matters in communication studies (i.e., people, events and objects).
  2. Familiarize students with all resources available for their studies.
  3. Nurture students’ ability in academic discussions.
  4. Foster academic events for students to participate in.

Seminar IV (1 credits)

This is a two-year course for both first and second year students taken together, taught by the Director of Graduate Studies in Communication. 

It has the following goals:

  1. Introduce all matters in communication studies (i.e., people, events and objects).
  2. Familiarize students with all resources available for their studies.
  3. Nurture students’ ability in academic discussions.
  4. Foster academic events for students to participate in.

Seminar: Theories of Communication (3 credits)

Students are expected to be familiar with substantial theories and research paradigms for communication after taking this course.  The students will explore:

  1. The theories and their applications;
  2. Through readings, lectures, and classroom discussions, students will understand theories and research paradigms, and understand and interact effectively with regard to ongoing events. Furthermore, students will comprehend the development, evolution, and mainstream of the theories with respect to communication areas.  This course encourages students to apply their knowledge on health and community issues.

Research Methods in Communication Studies (3 credits)

This course is designed towards introducing methodology for communication studies. It targets enhancing students’ ability of contemplation and research skills as well as training of qualitative and quantitative research approaches. 

Complete research process, including determining of problems, sampling, survey, research design, data analysis (SPSS package use), and research report writing and presentation, are covered. 

Students will explore the philosophic aspect of research methods in regard to their legitimacy, accuracy, and moral concern. Possession of such basic research knowledge will facilitate students in future research of communication issues.

Introduction to Thesis Writing (1 credits)

The students will enhance their skills in writing theses. The course will discuss all elements in writing a thesis, including information collection, excerption, thesis format, composition, reference material, and presentation.

Core Courses

Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)

This course will introduce qualitative research methods, information collection technique, and data analysis strategies. The systematic approach will lead students to apply such skills to their research.  

Selected Readings in English Communication Journals (2 credits)

The objectives of this course are twofold: to train graduate students’ abilities both in literature reviewing and reading in English. This course introduces important journals as well as relevant articles. By writing annotated bibliographies, students are expected to improve their abilities in doing studies and writing theses independently.

This course will assist students to find the right literature and improve their English reading comprehension. By introducing leading periodicals and accredited articles, students will practice bibliographical annotation and prepare for future research papers.

Internship (1 credits)

The communities of diverse learners and experts will help you bridge theory and practice. These communities are led by faculty members—experts, artists, and researchers who by and large are as visible and experienced outside university gates as within them.  In addition, the institute provides internship opportunities for students to integrate theory with practice.

  1. This elective is designed for students to practice what they learned in the classroom at their workplaces. They may work at Tzu Chi Foundation and its affiliates, or other reputable institutions relevant to the communication profession.
  2. Such an internship is ideal for taking during summer break, and the minimum duration is one month.  A work log, signed by the instructor, must be turned in.
  3. An internship report is required at the end of the internship program. A good way to keep a complete record for your report is maintaining a diary, where your daily work detail is kept. This proves to be a very useful tool, along with any work accomplished, for writing your report.

In addition, the internship also serves, for students without a communication studies background, as a means of providing understanding of the communications industry. It is also hoped that students will be inspired by entering the industry-wide arena, where theory and practice meet.

Social Marketing on Health (3 credits)

  1. Students will learn about concepts of social marketing.
  2. Integrate communication studies and social marketing into practical knowledge that is applicable to the mass communication profession.
  3. Develop student’s ability to conduct social marketing research.    

Organizational Communication (3 credits)

This course will help students to understand and interact effectively with regard to the organizations they engage. 

It starts with the introduction of organizational communication from past to future, followed by exploration of major approaches (i.e., classical theory, behavior of people in groups, human resources, system-oriented approach, and culture-oriented approach). 

The course is designed with the most recent advances in organizational communication and technology in mind. To deal with multi-criteria decision-making problems, the technique of analytic network process (ANP) will be introduced, and students will have hands-on experience in using its software. Students will use ANP to study organizational communication of non-profit organizations and terrorist organizations. 

To bridge theory, the student’s midterm case report is to apply theoretical foundations learned in the classroom, to study an organization assigned by the instructor. 

Students will also learn from discussion of subjects found during organizational communication tasks (i.e., organization mergers, communication ranking protocols, seniors, use of media, and peer relationships), including two extremes which involve workplace romance and how to become alienated from coworkers. 

Practical work is helpful, and an experience of self-awareness within an organization can be obtained through playing a leadership role during discussions. Sharing Master’s theses by upperclassmen is also useful, and may be arranged.   

Health Communication

Epidemiology (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide the basic principles of Epidemiology for students who majored in Communication Studies. After completing the course, the students should be able to apply the principles in investigation of a disease outbreak and to report with scientific findings in mass media.

Seminar on Healthy Behavior (3 credits)

  1. Understanding of theory and practice of healthy behavior.
  2. Applying the theory to health communication studies.
  3. Developing health communication projects from such a theory. 

 

Health Message Design (3 credits)

  1. To understand the theory and basic principles in message design.
  2. To learn how to determine the effectiveness of a designed message.
  3. To operate media production tools and devices.

Health and Culture (3 credits)

Through viewpoints of anthropology and sociology, understand how health (or disease) came along social and cultural paths. Both theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge have equal weight in this course. Theoretical knowledge helps us understand the core issues of health (or disease) within the social and cultural surroundings, while practical knowledge can often lead to a deeper understanding of the concepts and pragmatic applications.

Health and Media (3 credits)

  1. Enabe the ability to comprehend issues from research literature on health and media.
  2. Enable the ability to contemplate and communicate important issues on health and media.
  3. Enable the ability to develop research projects on health and media.

Our graduate students have participated in nternship programs at:

  1. News Department, Da Ai TV
  2. Program Department, Da Ai TV
  3. Drama Department, Da Ai TV.
  4. The PR Department of the Office of Secretariat, Tzu Chi Humanitarian Center
  5. Tzu Chi Monthly 
  6. Media Information Center, Da Ai TV