Communication MA

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a baccalaureate in communication or a related discipline by the end of the semester in which they apply. The minimum cumulative GPA required for regular admission to the graduate program in communication is 3.25 on a 4-point scale. In addition, three letters of recommendation, at least two of which address the applicant's potential to succeed in graduate studies in communication, are also required. Finally, international students who are non-native speakers of English must obtain a TOEFL iBT score of 100 to be considered for admission. Applicants with GPAs that do not meet the admission criterion may elect to submit other materials, such as scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), to offset these deficiencies. Contact the Graduate Program Director for more information.

Degree Requirements

The MA in Communication requires either 30 or 36 credit hours of coursework, depending on the exit project. Candidates approved for a thesis or internship will complete at least 30 semester hours of approved study, at least 21 of which must be taken in courses offered by the department. Candidates completing the non-thesis, non-internship option must complete 36 semester hours of approved study, 27 of which must be taken in courses offered by the department. However, students who choose this option may be eligible to waive up to 6 hours if justified by prior coursework or professional experience. Please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for additional details.

All students complete a 15 credit-hour core. This includes two required courses focusing on the fundamental theories and basic research methods within the field. To complete the core, students will select at least three of four "applications" courses dealing with communication processes within a particular context. 

Required Courses:
COMM 6500Seminar in Communication Theory3
COMM 6510Advanced Communication Research Methods I3
Choose three of the following four applications courses:9
Seminar in Strategic Communication in Organizations
Seminar in Interpersonal Communication
Seminar in Mass Communication
Seminar in Health Communication
Total Hours15

Students who choose the internship or thesis option must identify a prospective committee, including a chairperson and two additional committee members, who will consult in development of an appropriate exit project. The expectation for each internship varies by project and committee, but submission of an essay in which the coursework and internship experiences are integrated is typically required. Internship exit projects and theses must be approved by the student’s committee and assigned a grade by the advisor. Students who complete a thesis or internship must complete no less than a 3 hour internship or 6 credit hour thesis.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • Graduates will be able to interpret and evaluate academic and industry-oriented research reports and findings. 
  • Graduates will be able to evaluate and use scientific research and tested models of communication processes to identify, develop, and implement plans to achieve specific communication goals and apply them to real-world settings.
  • Graduates will be able to produce effective messages and select appropriate channels to achieve specific outcomes within complex work environments.
  • Graduates will be able to evaluate the implications of communication processes and develop messages and strategies that are consistent with ethical principles.