College of Arts and Sciences

MA in Communication

The Master of Arts in Communication provides you with both a comprehensive overview of the field of communication and a specialization in areas such as media, integrated communication, and human communication. Our professors are respected experts in these areas and lead dynamic and exciting discussions about current issues and problems in communication.

About the Program

communication

You learn social scientific, humanistic and critical approaches to the study of communication applied to media, organizations, relationships, and society. For aspiring and practicing communication professionals, you will find courses in integrated corporate communication, multimedia and media production, and more. Our course offerings blend information and methods, theory and application to give you both knowledge and skills.

 

Degree Requirements  

To apply to our Master's program in communication, you must have a baccalaureate degree in Communication or a related discipline from an accredited institution, with a B average in your major and an overall average of at least a B-.

The Master of Arts in Communication requires 33 credit hours of approved graduate courses. You and your faculty advisor will design a  program of study based on your experiences and plans. 

Required Courses

 Completion of the following two courses:

  • Seminar in Communication (taken as early as possible in the degree program)  
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Completion of 9 credits in an emphasis area  
  • Media
  • Human Communication Studies
  • Integrated communication
  • You also may choose to design an individualized program in consultation with your advisor.

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Additional Requirements

You must complete 12 credits of electives, selected from regular courses or special topics courses offered by the School of Communication or other graduate program at the University.

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Select a Thesis or Non-Thesis Option

Requirements are based on the option selected.  

Thesis Option for a total of 6 credits
  • Thesis Preparation
  • Thesis  
  • The thesis is an independent academic project directed by a faculty member.
Non-Thesis Option for a total of 6 credits
  • Completion of two additional graduate courses (6 cr.)
  • Comprehensive examination

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Learning Outcomes  

Thesis Track

Master of Arts in Communication thesis track students will:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the subject matter pertaining to at least one area of expertise in communication.
  • Complete an original research project on a topic in the discipline of communication.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship of theory to research by articulating a theoretical approach in the study.
  • Implement an appropriate research methodology and analytical tools to examine the study topic.
  • Be able to report and describe the results of the study in a clear and organized manner in writing.
  • Be able to orally report and describe the results of the study in a clear and organized manner and answer questions about the project.

 

Non-Thesis Track

Master of Arts in Communication non-thesis track students will:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the subject matter pertaining to at least one area of expertise in communication.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a research methodology that is related to the student's area of specialization.
  • Be able to describe, analyze, and apply theories relevant to the area of expertise.
  • Be able to articulate the subject matter in the area of expertise clearly and in an organized manner both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to report and describe the results of a study in a clear and organized manner in writing.

Careers and Beyond

a-s-communication

Our program prepares you for further graduate study and also employment in government, nonprofit organizations, businesses and educational institutions. Many of our graduates are employed in human resources and corporate communications. Others are in a range of communication professions, including advertising, public relations, television, radio and web-design firms.

Research Opportunities

Making presentations on your research at academic conferences is a great way for you to develop as a professional. Employers and academics view conference presentations as a sign of accomplishment and demonstrate that you are doing more than merely completing courses in a program. Because of this, we encourage graduate students to present their research and projects at professional communication conferences and at two research colloquia here on campus that take place annually in the spring: the School of Communication Graduate Student Awards and Research Symposium and the University-wide Graduate Research/Creativity Symposium. These events provide special forums specifically for graduate student research.

Graduate student presentations at these events are drawn from research papers and special projects they have been working on in classes, theses or independent studies, providing them with a broader audience for their work and an opportunity to get useful feedback from others that attend these events.

Grant Opportunities for Conference Travel

The University provides some financial assistance to attend professional conferences for graduate students who have submissions accepted for presentation. The Dean of Graduate Studies has established a program for supporting graduate student travel to conferences through which students can apply for a grant of up to $500 for expenses. Expenses associated with the purchase of presentation materials, travel to the meeting, registration fees, and room charges may be reimbursed up to $500. There are no deadlines for this award. These grants are available throughout the year, but the application must be made at least one month before the conference.

Professional Organizations  

Graduate students are encouraged to submit their work for presentation to several major professional organizations in the field of communication, including:

Most of these professional organizations have annual conferences where participants present their work on topics in various fields within the discipline of communication, such as media, organizational communication, and public relations. These conferences welcome participation by graduate students who conduct research in these areas. Visit these websites for information about the process for submitting papers, panel proposals, poster presentations, or other forms of presentations. Each organization has regular deadlines for submissions to its annual conference.

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