Graduate students working on the M.A. in Communication Studies must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours and will be expected to take a broad-based set of courses in communication and begin to specialize in one of four general areas.

Graduate students are required to complete two core requirements—COM501 Communication Theory and COM502 Research Methods in Communication.

Students must also complete one topic seminar in each of the four focus areas. Because the topics change each semester, topical seminars may be repeated in your area of specialization.

Topical Seminars

  • COM510 Interpersonal Communication
  • COM520 Media Studies
  • COM530 Organizational Communication
  • COM540 Public Discourse

Students may choose a thesis or non-thesis option within the four areas of concentration. The thesis option requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of course work, 6 thesis credits, and an oral defense.

The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work, a substantial research paper that is reflective of selected course work, and a comprehensive written examination, and oral defense.

Up to twelve credits of free electives, including a maximum of six credits of independent study (COM591/592), are permitted subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Graduate students in Communication Studies can complete the program in two years by taking two to three classes per semester including two courses during the intervening summer. Some students will move through the program a bit faster, some a bit slower.

A thesis option program, for example, might look like this:

  • Semester 1 COM501 & COM510
  • Semester 2 COM502 & COM530 & Com540
  • Summer 1 Elective
  • Semester 3 COM520 & Elective & Thesis
  • Semester 4 Thesis