The J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems offers the Master of Communication Technology and Policy, a professional or research interdisciplinary degree focusing on the technical, policy, and strategic issues related to telecommunication and information technologies, systems and services. Principal focus is on voice and data networks, with special emphasis on the interaction of technology and policy issues in the successful design, deployment, and operation of complex networks and information systems.
Technology topics includes network theory and infrastructure, quality of service, network assurance and security, network services and IT integration, broadband, and wireless communications. Policy topics include government regulation, competition and market structure, international telecommunications, telecommunications and economic development, and social/ethical issues.
Perspectives include those of network system and service providers, consumers, policy makers, and managers. Industry perspectives include telecommunication carriers, communication system equipment vendors, and enterprise voice and data network providers. The program is geared towards completion within one year of residence at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio for the highly motivated and qualified student, and up to two years for the thesis research student or the less experience professional student.
Core courses provide a background in both technology and policy. By the end of the first quarter of enrollment, students select one of two telecommunication and networking system tracks (technology or policy) and design with their advisor specialty and cognate coursework to meet the students’ educational and career objectives.
Decisions regarding admission to the MCTP program will be made by the McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems Graduate Admission Committee. Full admission to the MCTP program will be based on the following criteria:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with sufficient undergraduate course work to constitute at least a minor in Information and Telecommunication Systems, Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Engineering, Economics, Public Administration, Political Science, or related areas deemed relevant by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Undergraduate coursework should include at least one statistics course.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) earned for all undergraduate or graduate course work.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Section; or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).
- A completed application form, including the applicant’s Personal Goal Statement.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation.
- Further information as necessary; the Graduate Admission Committee may request a personal interview if additional information about the applicant is required.
It is possible for applicants to substitute professional experience for completion of course work in the relevant areas listed above. Applicants who meet the above requirements, except for course work in Information and Telecommunication Systems, Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Engineering, Economics, Public Administration, Political Science, or other relevant area, can demonstrate preparation for study in this field by having completed at least three years of professional experience in which the applicant performed tasks or duties covered by the MCTP curriculum. Applicants demonstrate this experience by submitting a job description that will be reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee to determine Information and Telecommunication Systems relevance and adequacy.
Conditional admission to the MCTP program is possible for applicants who have neither relevant course work nor professional experience, and for applicants lacking a 3.0 GPA. Those applicants who cannot demonstrate preparation for this field of study through relevant course work or professional experience, but who meet the other admission criteria, may be granted conditional admission to the program, if one of the following two criteria is met:
- Applicants must agree to complete 12 undergraduate hours of Information and Telecommunication Systems course work, from the following: COM 214 (Introduction to Communication Systems Management), ITS 220 (Systems and Applications I), ITS 222 (Systems and Applications II), and ITS 302 (Fundamentals of Common Carrier Regulation). Upon completion of these 12 hours of course work, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, the applicant will attain full admission status.
- Applicants with substantial relevant industry experience who do not meet the 3.0 coursework requirement, but meet the other admission criteria may be granted conditional admission to the program. Upon completion of the first three courses in the core curriculum (ITS 600, ITS 602, and ITS 625), with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, the applicant will attain full admission status.
The graduate director will screen applications to determine if the minimum requirements for admission to the program have been met. These requirements include: a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale for full admission, submitted scores for the GRE or GMAT, and if an international student, TOEFL scores. There is no minimum GRE/GMAT or TOEFL scores, however these scores will be considered as part of the entire application. To be considered for financial assistance, international students must have high TOEFL scores.
The final screening is done by the graduate committee which ranks qualified candidates based on academic record, professional experience, GRE/GMAT, recommendations, and in the case of international students, TOEFL scores. The graduate committee makes all applicant acceptance (full or conditional) and applicant rejection decisions. Decisions are made on a rolling basis; however for those desiring full consideration for financial assistance, applications should be received by December 15th (International students) or as late as February 1st (US citizens or permanent US residents) for a Fall Quarter entrance into the program. For those not seeking financial assistance, admissions are rolling—U.S. citizens should apply at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter; and international applicants should apply six months prior to the beginning of the quarter they wish to enter.
Students are awarded the degree after the successful completion of core, specialization, cognate, and culminating experience courses (10 courses total, 50 credit hours).
Core courses ensure the student is well versed in both the technology and policy aspects of communication network and information systems, telecommunication carriers, and enterprise voice and data networks. Specialization courses are geared towards establishing either communications technology or policy as the student’s principal area of expertise. Cognate courses are intended to enrich and focus further the student’s interests and expertise by pursuing related coursework outside the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems. Students may also use opposite track ITS courses to meet cognate requirements. It is expected that students electing the policy specialization will select cognate courses from such disciplines finance, management, marketing, economics, interpersonal communication, political science, and policy in other schools/departments. Students electing the technology specialization will select cognate courses from such disciplines as engineering, mathematics, computer science, and technology in other schools/departments.
The culminating experience course is one of the following: project, comprehensive examination, or thesis. Students selecting a professional project are expected to identify a specific project relevant to this field of study. Students are then expected to research relevant literature, identify specific problems or issues involved, identify and examine available alternatives, select the optimal alternative explaining why it is optimal, and produce a well written, coherent report detailing all aspects of the project. Those selecting the comprehensive exam will complete an additional course such as an advanced readings course, or an additional course in the student’s area of specialization. The questions for the comprehensive examination will be based upon subject matter covered in the MCTP core and elective courses. Students electing to write a thesis are expected to identify a significant technical or policy problem or question (depending upon the student’s specialization), to do a thorough literature review of material relevant to the topic, to formulate an appropriate research approach to the problem, to collect and analyze data, to draw pertinent and defensible conclusions, and produce a well written, coherent thesis. It is expected that the student will apply a theory or theories to specific questions or problems.