Communication (MA)

Application for Admission

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

  • Graduate School Application
    • Applicants to graduate school at the University of Louisville must submit a Graduate Application for Admission. It can be accessed at this link.
  • Previous Degrees
    • Applicants need an undergraduate degree in Communication or a related discipline.
  • 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 from outside of the department or the university must have earned a B or better in a course related to quantitative and/or qualitative research methods.
  • Transcripts indicating a Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or Higher
    • Applicants must submit an official transcript from each college attended. All University of Louisville transcripts will automatically be submitted with the completion of an application. Transcripts must be sent directly from the school to Graduate Admissions, in order to be considered official.
    • Undergraduate students applying to the accelerated master's degree program must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 after earning 45 credit hours.
  • Writing Sample
    • A writing sample that demonstrates academic writing skill. There is no page limit, but usually a sample with 3 to 10 pages will be acceptable. Writing samples should show English language proficiency, meaningful research questions (process), theoretical and methodological awareness, thoroughness in research (evidence, data collection), and craft.
  • Recommendations
    • Three letters of recommendation from faculty familiar with the applicant's academic work. Of special interest are the applicant's research potential and qualitative and quantative reasoning skills.
  • Personal Statement
    • A personal introduction that includes the reasons for applying to this program, personal goals during and after completing the program, interest in obtaining an assistantship, and any other pertinent particulars.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
    • The GRE is not required unless a student applies for an Assistantship. GRE scores are used as a metric for determining eligibility for departmental funding and are not a requirement for admission into the program.


Application Materials include:

  • Official university transcripts
  • Writing samples
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Graduate admissions application

Program Requirements

COMM 506Ethical Problems in Communication - CUE, WR3
COMM 605Communication Theory & Practice3
COMM 615Foundations of Communication Research Design3
COMM 616Qualitative Communication Research3
COMM 617Quantitative Methods in Communication3
Electives (4 Courses)12
COMM 505Perspectives on Religion and Media - WR, CUE3
COMM 510Special Topics in Communication Studies3
COMM 520Computer-Mediated Communication - WR3
COMM 530Science Communication3
COMM 532Intercultural Communication3
COMM 538Intimate Communication - WR3
COMM 540Public Communication Campaigns3
COMM 555Persuasive Movements3
COMM 565Special Topics in Communication Service Learning - CUE3
COMM 580Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 590Health Communication3
COMM 603Communication Pedagogy3
COMM 610Problems of Public Discourse3
COMM 620Organizational Communication3
COMM 625Personality and Communication3
COMM 640Communication in Social Service3
COMM 650Corporate Communication3
COMM 651Conflict Management3
COMM 652Health Communication: Theory and Practice3
COMM 653Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns3
COMM 654Strategic Communication and Crisis Management3
COMM 660Selected Topics in Mass Media3
COMM 670Directed Readings in Communication3
COMM 675Risk Communication3
COMM 690Special Topics3
COMM 698Thesis3
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option3
Select thesis or non-thesis option
COMM 698Thesis3
Non-Thesis Option
COMM 600Practicum3

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 30 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.

Thesis option: Students electing a thesis option will complete the 30 credit hours specified above, with one difference. Students who select the thesis option will complete a total six (6) credit hours of COMM 698 Thesis course in two semesters (three (3) credit hours of COMM 698 in each semester). The thesis option also will include an oral defense administered by thesis committee and Department Faculty in attendance.

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.