Students enrolled in the CMST 280 (Investigative Research Methods) undergraduate course in the School of Communication and Media participate as C+MRC research associates. CMST 280 provides SCM majors with an overview of common communication and media research methods. As part of the C+MRC students work with faculty and community stakeholders while learning a variety of humanistic and social-scientific research methodologies. These include qualitative methods (i.e., textual analyses, interviewing, focus groups) as well as quantitative methods that lend themselves to statistical manipulations (i.e., content analysis, surveys, experiments). Students select a timely topic at the intersection of communication and media and investigate it using a variety of research modes and methods over the course of the semester. In doing so, they gain knowledge of ethical, moral and social issues in applications of communication and media research and the ability to ask critical questions about the application of research to inform professional practice. The course is foundational for SCM majors or minors who want to learn how to conduct media research and critically use research data and findings.

You can download a [course syllabus for Investigative Research Methods here]

Examples of past research proposals include:

  • Instagram Fitness Influencers and Hidden Disclosure [listen to podcast]
  • Audience Interpretations of the Times Up Movement
  • Magazine Depictions of Transgendered Identity
  • Examination of Why Male Audiences Watch The Bachelor
  • Appeal of the Super Bowl Among MSU Students
  • A Study of Social Media, Feminism and Power
  • Mobile Connections and the Impact of Tinder on Liquid Love
  • Relationship Between Body Image and Audience Understanding of Netflix’s To the Bone
  • User Motivations for Engaging with YouTube Click-Bait
  • The Relationship Between Social Media Influencers and User Consumption of Fast Fashion
  • The Political Power of Celebrities’ Use of Hashtags

Students who successfully complete Investigative Research Methods are eligible in their senior year to be C+MRC Research Interns for an academic semester (for 3 course credits) [View Application]