MA Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The MA in Communication requires 30 credit hours (10 courses) and a symposium presentation. At least 27 credit hours must be at the 5000 or 6000 level. Classes may not be taken pass/fail to count towards the degree.

The introductory course, the methods course, and the seminars are usually offered on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) evening, 5pm-7:50pm. Most of the electives courses are offered in-person during the day or online asynchronous. 

1. COMM 6013 Introduction to Graduate Work in Communication (3 credit hours)

Students must take COMM 6013 in the first semester it is available; it is typically offered only in the Fall semester.

2. COMM 5221 Research Methods: Qualitative (3 credit hours)

Students must take COMM 5221 in the first semester it is available; it is typically offered only in the Spring semester.

3. Two COMM 6711 Topics in Communication (6 credit hours)

Students must take COMM 6711 Topics in Communication twice with different topics (3 credits each, total 6 credit hours). This is an advanced graduate seminar that students can repeat as many times as desired as long as the topic is different.

The department typically offers only one COMM 6711 seminar each Fall and one each Spring semester. The topic for COMM 6711 changes each semester and is typically chosen based on faculty areas of expertise.

    4. One exit course: Projects or Internships (3 credit hours)

    Students take one of the following courses in their second-last semester or before:

    • COMM 6700 Projects OR
    • COMM 5939 Internships

    If you want to take both of these, one can count as an elective.

    5. Five Electives (15 credit hours)

    Courses that count as electives include:

    • Additional COMM 6711 seminars beyond the two that are required
    • 5000-level Communication courses: These are typically “bridge” courses, which combine advanced undergraduate students and MA students, who complete additional or more advanced assignments. Graduate students should always register for the 5000-level section; the 4000-level section is only for undergraduate students.
      • Note: If you took any 4000-level COMM courses at CU Denver as an undergraduate student, you cannot count those towards your MA nor can you re-take the same class at the 5000 level. For example, if you took COMM 4051 during your BA, you can't take COMM 5051 for your MA. One exception is the special topics course (COMM 4710/5710) -- you can take that one multiple times as long as it's a different topic each time.
    • COMM 5939 Internships (max 6 credit hours) or COMM 6700 if you aren't using it to fulfill the exit course requirement
    • Communication Independent Studies (max 6 credit hours)
    • Global study courses (typically in Winter, Maymester, or Summer semesters)
    • Courses from outside the Communication department (seminars or bridge courses; max 3 credit hours total, or more with permission of DGS and/or advisor). Electives from outside the Communication Department should be chosen in consultation with the DGS and/or the student’s advisor.
    • One elective course (3 credits) may be at the 4000-level with prior approval from the DGS and the student's advisor.

    6. A presentation at the MA Symposium (0 credit hours)

    All graduating students complete an 8-minute presentation at a department-wide symposium at the end of their final semester. During the question and answer period, students' committee members and advisors will ask them questions about their work.

    In Fall, the MA Symposium will typically be the 2nd-last Friday afternoon (mid-November) before Fall break; in Spring, it will typically be the 2nd-last Friday afternoon (mid/late April) before finals week. All current MA students and graduate faculty are expected to attend every semester.

    Students will present either on the project they completed in COMM 6700 or their internship experience in COMM 5939. Students who choose the project option are encouraged to develop the work in multiple courses and to revise the project in their final semester with guidance from their advisor and committee members.