Communication Studies M.A.


A minimum of 30 credits is required for both thesis and non-thesis options

Required core courses:

  • COM 501: Communication Theory
  • COM 502: Research Methods in Communication

One topic seminar in each of the four focus areas is also required. (Because the topics change each semester, topical seminars may be repeated in your area of specialization.)


Topical Seminars:

  • COM 510: Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 520: Media Studies
  • COM 530: Organizational Communication
  • COM 540: Public Discourse

Beyond selecting a program of emphasis from one of the above identified content areas, students may choose an additional focus in the area of pedagogy. Students must apply to the pedagogy focus and those selected are required to take three semesters (3 credits total) of COM 503 (Graduate Practicum: Teaching Communication Seminar) and have concurrent teaching experience of at least one section in COM 100, with up to two sections per semester through the Communication Studies Department.

You 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: COM 501 and COM 510
  • Semester 2: COM 502, COM 530, and COM 540
  • Summer 1: Elective
  • Semester 3: COM 520, Elective, and Thesis
  • Semester 4: Thesis