Degrees & Programs
Content specific to the degree, provided by faculty.
For students looking to double major, these partner programs can help build your skills.
Joint Undergraduate & Master’s Program (JUMP) in Communication
The Department of Communication offers a Joint Undergraduate-Master's Degree Program (JUMP) into the Master of Arts in Organizational Communication. The JUMP program provides a unique opportunity for academically outstanding students to complete and advanced degree in five academic years.
Qualified students who have been admitted to a JUMP program may begin taking graduate courses as early as their junior year. Contingent on satisfactory academic progress, students will then be admitted into the graduate program upon completion of the undergraduate degree at which point they will be fully classified as graduate students.
The B.A. degree must be awarded prior to or concurrently with the M.A. in Organizational Communication. The M.A. degree will be awarded on completion of all requirements for that degree and must be awarded concurrently with or after the B.A. degree..
Special circumstances involving personal hardships may arise affecting a student’s ability to complete the JUMP program. JUMP students who have reached 120 credit hours and the total credit hour requirements for the B.A. degree in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication (including joint credit) may appeal to the Department of Communication who may recommend to Potter College of Arts and Letters that coursework taken in the JUMP program for graduate credit be counted toward satisfaction of the undergraduate degree requirements, thereby allowing a B.A. degree to be awarded. Graduate credit used toward completion of the baccalaureate degree must adhere to WKU’s policy for Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses. Students must document these hardships in their appeal. Poor class performance is not considered a hardship.
JUMP Admission Requirements
To be eligible for the program, students must meet the following criteria:
Enrollment in the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication
Cumulative GPA of 3.50
Recommendation of a faculty member/advisor
Completion of at least 60 hours and no more than 96 hours
Submission of an academic writing sample
Students interested in the JUMP program should first meet with their advisor and complete a Communication JUMP program application ideally before the completion of 75 hours of undergraduate credit. Applications are reviewed and approved by the Communication Department Graduate Committee. Students will be notified of acceptance into the program and will meet with their advisor to develop a specific program of study and sign a Statement of Intent with the Department of Communication.
Students participating in the JUMP program will be classified as undergraduates until they are admitted into the Master of Arts in Organizational Communication (Ref. 0012) and shall retain the same rights and privileges granted all Western Kentucky University undergraduate students, including classification as an undergraduate student for purposes of receiving financial aid.
Students who have completed a minimum of 120 hours (including joint undergraduate/graduate hours) along with other requirements for either the B.A. in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication as listed in the university catalogue are eligible to apply for their undergraduate degree. The M.A. degree must be awarded only after the BA degree.
Students participating in the Communication JUMP program must be admitted to the Graduate School for the M.A. in Organizational Communication at the beginning of the semester following the semester in which they complete the total number of credit hours required for the undergraduate degree in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication (no less than 120 hours of total coursework). The GRE requirement is waived for JUMP students.
On admission to the Graduate School, the student is classified as a graduate student and granted all rights and privileges of WKU graduate students; the student no longer qualifies for undergraduate classification for any purpose after admission to the Graduate School.
Students may count a maximum of 18 hours of graduate coursework prior to admission to the Graduate School; however, only 12 hours may count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree. If the student has questions, they should contact their academic advisor.
After acceptance into the JUMP program in Communication, students may take undergraduate coursework to be applied to an undergraduate degree and during the same semester take graduate coursework to be applied to a graduate degree. Until the total undergraduate and graduate hours equals the number of hours required for an undergraduate degree, the student will remain an undergraduate and will not be admitted to the Graduate School.
In order to gain admittance to the graduate program, students must maintain a 3.0 in all graduate coursework. Additionally, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA in their undergraduate Communication coursework to remain in good standing. Students who fail to maintain the GPA requirement may be denied graduate standing.
Students must complete their master’s degree within 3 (non-summer) academic semesters from the awarding of the bachelor’s degree for a non-thesis program and within 4 (non-summer) academic semesters for a thesis program. Failure to complete the master’s degree will result in a loss of credit toward the graduate degree (for double-counted courses).
Students may apply the following courses to both their undergraduate and graduate degrees with no more than 12 hours counting toward both:
COMM 523: Health Communication
COMM 526: Family Communication
COMM 544: Persuasive Communication
COMM 546: Processes of Group Communication
COMM 547: Organizational Communication Theory
COMM 571: Computer Mediated Communication in Organizations
COMM 578: Seminar in Interpersonal Communication
COMM 587: Communication in Intercultural Negotiation and Mediation
For complete course descriptions see the WKU Undergraduate Catalog.