Dec 09, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2021-22 
Graduate Catalog 2021-22 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Communication (COMM)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Programs

Advisor and Director, Graduate Program: Julie Apker
Room 217, Sprau Tower

The Master of Arts in Communication consists of courses and capstone experiences that integrate communication theory and application, aligning with expectations for doctoral education as well as communication professions. Thirty semester hours of graduate credit and completion of a capstone experience are required for graduation.

Program Goals

  • Understand the theories central to the broad discipline of communication and be able to apply to academic and professional contexts.
  • Understand research methods and their application in academic and professional contexts.
  • Understand the basic ethical and philosophical principles that guide communication practice.
  • Demonstrate competence in seeking, analyzing, and using data/information in decision making processes.
  • Communicate effectively using the language of the communication discipline for research, theory, and practice.

Admission Requirements

Students must complete the University application and must satisfy the general admission requirements of the Graduate College. Students applying to the Communication master’s degree program must have completed undergraduate work in communication, speech, or allied disciplines and have achieved at least a 3.0 grade point average in their last two years of course work. Additional course work may be required at the time of admission into the program, as deemed necessary by the director of graduate studies. Undergraduate transcripts, graduate transcripts where applicable, three letters of recommendation, evidence of academic interest (a personal statement) and a writing sample (academic or professional) are required.

Program Requirements (9 hours)

Communication Foundations (3 hours)

Communication Research Tools (6 hours)

Communication Electives (15-21 hours)

Students will develop an individualized program of study reflecting a focused area of concentration - academic advancement pathway or professional advancement pathway - in consultation with a faculty advisor. A program of study may incorporate up to 6 hours of course work outside the department with the written approval of the graduate student’s advisor and graduate director.

Capstone Experience

Master’s degree students must complete a capstone experience in partial fulfillment of their requirements for graduation. The capstone experience shall consist of the completion of one of the following: a master’s thesis, a comprehensive examination, or a professional project.


The thesis project is a research paper in which the student proposes and tests new ideas, replicates an existing study, or advances theoretical understanding of an issue. The thesis must demonstrate scholarly abilities, including solid conceptualization, analysis, and writing. The thesis must clearly define the problem to be investigated, demonstrate mastery of relevant academic literature, and show competence in the relevant methodology and analysis techniques. The thesis shall consist of six credit hours and shall be considered part of the communication electives.

Comprehensive Examination:

The comprehensive examination option requires the student to demonstrate knowledge of a substantive area within communication and to demonstrate a capacity to integrate theory, research, and practice in response to comprehensive questions developed by the faculty of the School of Communication.

Professional Project:

The professional project option requires the student to demonstrate his/her knowledge of the theory and methods of communication through an applied communication project. The professional project may involve workshops, case studies, training, websites, communication assessments, or other options within the context of the student’s chosen area of study. The professional project shall consist of three credit hours and shall be considered part of the communication electives.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments and Programs