Communication (MA)

Admission Requirements

Students seeking general admission to the program (accelerated or otherwise) will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

1. Demonstrated competency in quantitative and qualitative-based courses.

  • Applicants who have completed, or are in the process of completing, a BA or BS in Communication at the University of Louisville must have taken Communication Research Methods or Communication Statistics and earned a grade of B or better. 
  • Applicants applying for admission from outside of the department and/or UofL must have earned a B or better in a course related to quantitative and/or qualitative research methods.

2. Demonstrated competency in quantitative and qualitative reasoning via an interview with the graduate committee. 

3. Three positive letters of recommendation, preferably from relevant faculty who can comment on the applicant's research potential, especially the applicant's qualitative and quantitative reasoning. 

  • Applicants who have completed, or are in the process of completing, a BA or BS in Communication at the University of Louisville must include a letter of recommendation from a professor who has taught Communication Research Methods or Communication Statistics. This letter should focus on the applicant's quantitative and/or qualitative abilities. 
  • Applicants applying for admission from outside of our department must include a letter of recommendation from a professor who taught the applicant in a course commensurate to Communication Research Methods that emphasizes quantitative and/or qualitative research methods. 

4. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. 

  • Students applying to the accelerated master's degree program must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 after earning 45 credit hours. 

5. At least two writing samples that demonstrate competency in the formulation and execution of communication-related research using quantitative, qualitative, and/or rhetorical reasoning. Writing samples should show English language proficiency, meaningful research question (process), theoretical and methodological awareness, thoroughness in research (evidence, data collection), and craft. 

Students seeking a teaching or research assistantship will be required to submit official GRE scores. GRE scores will be used exclusively as a metric for determining whether applicants should receive departmental funding and will not necessarily be use as an admission condition.

Applicants need an undergraduate degree in Communication or a related discipline. Conditional admission is possible for students with lower GRE scores and/or undergraduate GPA.

Application materials include: 


Program Requirements

COMM 506Ethical Problems in Communication 3
COMM 601Professional Seminar in Communication1
COMM 605Communication Theory & Practice3
COMM 616Qualitative Communication Research3
COMM 617Quantitative Methods in Communication3
Area 1: Interactional Communication
Select ONE of the following:3
Interpersonal Communication
Health Communication
Communication Pedagogy
Organizational Communication
Personality and Communication
Corporate Communication
Risk Communication
Special Topics
Area 2: Integrated Comunication
Select ONE of the following:3
Computer-Mediated Communication
Science Communication
Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns
Public Relations and Crisis Management
Selected Topics in Mass Media
Special Topics (Health Comm Campaign)
Area 3: Social Advocacy
Select ONE of the following:3
Special Topics in Communication Studies
Public Communication Campaigns
Persuasive Movements
Problems of Public Discourse
Communication and Multiculturalism
Communication in Social Service
Conflict Management
Students may concentrate in an area by taking additional area courses as electives. 19
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option
Select thesis or non-thesis option6
Thesis (includes oral defense)
Non-Thesis Option
5XX or 6XX elective
Minimum Total Hours37

Pending approval of the department program coordinator, and approval by the Graduate School, a student may transfer up to six (6) credit hours of graduate credit from another institution.

Non-thesis option: Students electing a non-thesis option will complete the 37 credit hours specified above, with two differences. Students who select the non-thesis option will substitute one 600-level practicum and one elective for the six (6) credit hours of thesis. The non-thesis option also will include a Comprehensive Examination administered by Department Faculty.

Experiential Component

The Master of Arts does not require an experiential component. However, students may choose to do a practicum in a private business, community organization, or government agency that deals with communication. Students may complete the practicum in two ways. A student may turn current work or volunteer experience into a research project, or a student not previously affiliated with the practicum site may develop a project useful to the organization. In both cases, the student will work with a Communication Department faculty member to shape the project and will write a formal paper dealing with the project. Students who choose the practicum will be applying knowledge acquired in Communication coursework directly to area needs, thus serving the community and helping to build stronger university/community ties.


Electives include COMM 510; COMM 660; COMM 690. Three (3) credit hours of Practicum or Directed Reading may be taken beyond the courses taken for a non-thesis option. Three (3) credit hours may be taken outside of the Communication Department with the consent of the Faculty Mentor. Additional electives may be outside of Communication with consent of the Director of Graduate Studies.