Every student earning the MPC degree must complete a field project. The field project requires you to focus your interests on a specific project that incorporates the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout your studies. This is a great opportunity to concentrate on a communication field that is particularly interesting to you and to add a major component to your professional portfolio.
You may propose a project after you have completed 29 credits. Once your project proposal is approved, you may register for MPC 690; your project should have a scope equivalent to that of your most challenging three-credit MPC class. Field projects are as diverse as our students and their interests. The following is a sample of past projects:
Because MPC 690 serves as the culmination of the MPC program, students are expected to select a project that challenges them to apply a wide variety of theories and skills learned in the program. Although the field project can be fulfilled by a variety of projects, in general field projects should adhere to these guidelines:
Possible field projects include but are not limited to
Students may undertake a field project after completing 29 hours of course work. The nature and extent of the project should be developed with a communication faculty member. Initial consultation with a faculty member is advised before drafting a field project proposal.
Students who wish to begin the project immediately after completing 29 hours of course work should plan their projects early. Ideally, students develop projects in two phases:
Your proposal must be approved by the MPC faculty (and you must have a signed add card to that effect) before you can register for MPC 690. The following deadlines have been established for final approval of field project proposals:
Although all members of the department must approve the field project proposal, a faculty member of your choice will serve as your field project advisor. The ideal advisor will have expertise in the area of your field project. This faculty member will provide guidance and feedback on your project, evaluate your final project and determine your grade, and make site visits and/or consult with your field supervisor as necessary. You may also ask your faculty advisor to help you generate ideas and make decisions as you plan your project.
You will also need to identify a field supervisor who should be an expert in at least some aspects of your field project. This individual must be willing to provide you and your faculty advisor with guidance and feedback on your progress towards completion of the project.
Completing a field project proposal serves several purposes:
In general, you should expect the proposal process (i.e., drafting, revising, reviewing, revising, finalizing) to take one-half to one semester. To ensure that you meet the deadline, you should plan to present your first draft to the communication faculty at least a month before the deadline for approval.
The faculty does not expect a specific proposal format. However, successful field project proposals will meet the requirements of any proposal and will include answers to the following questions:
Your proposal should be logically organized, detailed, and persuasive.
Once your field project has been approved, you will be responsible for keeping your advisors informed about the progress of your project; scheduling site visits, consultations, or meetings between your field supervisor and faculty advisor (if appropriate); writing status reports (if appropriate); and completing the project on time.
If you do not complete your field project during the semester you are registered for MPC 690, you must register for MPC 699. Continuing registration is required each subsequent semester until the field project is complete, and a fee of $250 is assessed each semester.
After you complete the project, you must submit three copies of any documents written, edited, or produced as part of the project. Two copies will be kept on file in the library, and the other will be housed in Helen Hodgson's office. Your grade will be based on your advisor's assessment of the project as a whole, as measured by the deliverables you submit and interviews (as needed) with your field supervisor.