Master of Arts in Communication

Major: COMM
Degree Awarded: MA
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

The Master of Arts in Communication is a 37-hour program. It includes 22 hours of foundation and core courses, nine hours of electives, and a six-hour thesis or non-thesis option. The non-thesis option includes a three-hour practicum, with a limit of six hours of practicum credit. At least 19 of the 37 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 exam administered by the Communication Department faculty.

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. Other application materials include a copy of university transcripts, a writing sample, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, an application, and the application fee.


Course #    Course Description

Credit Hours

Foundations: (Required of all students - 13 Credit Hours)

COMM 506 Ethical Problems in Communication3
COMM 601 Communication Pro-Seminar (1 hour)1
COMM 605 Communication Theory & Practice3
COMM 616 Qualitative Communication Research3

COMM 617 Quantitative Methods in Communication


Area 1: Interactional Communication (3 Credit Hours)

COMM 580 Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 590 Health Communication3
COMM 603 Communication Pedagogy3
COMM 620 Organizational Communication3
COMM 625 Personality and Communication3
COMM 650 Corporate Communication3
COMM 675 Risk Communication3

COMM 690 Crisis Management


Area 2: Integrated Communication (3 Credit Hours)

COMM 520 Computer-Mediated Communication3
COMM 530 Science Communication3
COMM 652 Computer-Mediated Communication in Organizations3
COMM 653 Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns3
COMM 654 Public Relations and Crisis Management3
COMM 660 Selected Topics in Mass Media3

COMM 690 Health Comm Campaign


Area 3: Social Advocacy (3 Credit Hours)

COMM 510 International Communication3
COMM 540 Public Communication Campaigns3
COMM 555 Persuasive Movements3
COMM 565 International Service Learning3
COMM 610 Problems of Public Discourse3
COMM 630 Communication and Multiculturalism3
COMM 640 Communication in Social Service3

COMM 651 Conflict Management


Electives: Students may concentrate in an area by taking additional area courses as electives. Other elective courses may include other Special Topics courses in Communication (510, 660 or 690). Three hours of Practicum or Directed Reading may be taken beyond the courses taken for a non-thesis option. Three 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 Graduate Director.

Thesis (includes oral defense)

COMM 698 Thesis

Non-Thesis Option
COMM 600 Practicum3

COMM 5xx or 6xx elective




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

Non-thesis option: Students electing a non-thesis option will complete the 37 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 thesis hours. 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.


Mary Ashlock

Assistant Professor

Michael Cunningham


Lindsay Della

Associate Professor

Margaret D'Silva


Stuart Esrock

Associate Professor

John Ferré

Karen Freberg

Assistant Professor

Allan Futrell
Associate Professor

Department Chair

Joy Hart


Greg Leichty


Nick Paliewicz
Assistant Professor

Selene Phillips

Assistant Professor

Scott Sanders

Assistant Professor

Remington Smith
Assistant Professor

Siobhan Smith

Assistant Professor

Steve Sohn
Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Kandi Walker


Jasmine Wang
Assistant Professor

Charles Willard

Professor Emeritus