Communication (MA)

Master of Arts in Communication 
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department: Communications
Program Website 
Academic Plan Code(s): COMMMA

Program Information

The Master of Arts in Communication is a 37-hour program. It includes 22 credit hours of foundation and core courses, nine (9) credit hours of electives, and a six (6) credit hour thesis or non-thesis option. The non-thesis option includes a three (3) credit hour practicum and an additional three (3) credit hour elective course.

Degree Summary

Core Coursework22
Thesis/Non-thesis Option6
Minimum Total Hours37

At least 19 of the 37 credit hours must be in courses at the 600 level.

Upon admission to the program, the student will work with the Director of Graduate Studies to establish a plan of study. After the second semester, students choosing the thesis option will select a mentor who will provide guidance for the thesis and selecting two additional faculty to serve on the thesis committee, one of whom must be outside the Department of Communication. Students choosing the non-thesis option will select a mentor who will provide guidance concerning the practicum and course selection. Students choosing the non-thesis option will take a written comprehensive exam administered by the Communication Department faculty.

Admission Requirements

Applicants need an undergraduate degree in Communication or a related discipline, a 3.0 GPA on a four-point scale, and official GRE scores. Conditional admission is possible for students with lower GRE scores and/or undergraduate GPA.

Application materials include: 

  • An official copy of university transcripts
  • A writing sample
  • A personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An application
  • Application fee

Program Requirements

COMM 506Ethical Problems in Communication - CUE, WR3
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 - WR
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.