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Program Requirements

What requirements must all graduate students fulfill?

CAS 602: Supervised Experience in College Teaching

We require that all teaching assistants participate in our teaching assistant training program and enroll in CAS 602 during their first year.  This course provides guidance and support to students who are teaching our public speaking course for the first time, while also imparting important knowledge about pedagogy and best practices for teaching communication.


CAS 590: Colloquium

We require that all first year students enroll in CAS 590.  Members of the department community gather once a week for lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers, or for discussions of topics related to students’ professional development.  The colloquium is intended for all faculty and graduate students in the Department.  Enrollment in CAS 590 in the first year supports new graduate students’ socialization into our intellectual community.


Research Methods

Each student must complete an acceptable research methods course within the Department and develop appropriate competencies in cognate disciplines relevant to his or her research.


Penn State’s Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training

All graduate students at Penn State are required to complete an instructional sequence relating to scholarship and research integrity. In the fall semester following matriculation, M.A. and Ph.D. students are required to complete two non-credit on-line courses offered by the Graduate School, one on human subjects research and the other on the responsible conduct of research.  Students receive information concerning enrollment and the content of the two courses, and the required date of completion, before the beginning of the Fall semester.

Ph.D. students also take part in five additional hours of instruction concerning the responsible conduct of research and research integrity, at least two hours of which are completed outside the Department.  The Department facilitates completion of this requirement through colloquia focused on topics related to scholarship and research integrity.  The Graduate School also hosts sessions that graduate students can attend to satisfy this requirement.  M.A. students who advance to the Ph.D. Program are required to complete this portion of the requirement as doctoral students, but will not have to retake the online courses.