Degree Requirements

The MA in Communication requires 33 credit hours (11 courses) and an exam (or other project). At least 30 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 6000-level Seminars in Communication (6 credit hours)

Students must take two 6000-level seminars (6 credit hours) from the Communication Department. Graduate seminars are 6000-level courses in which there are no undergraduate students. COMM 6013, thesis, or project credits do not count towards the two graduate seminars.

Courses that count as graduate seminars include:

  • COMM 6711 Topics in Communication (can be repeated with different topics)
  • COMM 6700 Writing Practicum

The topic for COMM 6711 changes each semester and is typically chosen based on faculty areas of expertise. The department typically offers only one 6000-level seminar each Fall and Spring semester. If the available 6711 seminar is outside the student’s primary interests, students are still strongly encouraged to take that seminar to broaden their education.

    4. Seven Electives (21 credit hours)

    Courses that count as electives include:

    • Additional 6000-level seminars from the Communication department
    • 5000-level Communication courses (“bridge” courses that include both graduate students and advanced undergraduates)
    • Communication Internships (max 6 credit hours)
    • Communication Independent Studies (max 6 credit hours)
    • Courses from outside the Communication department (seminars or bridge courses; max 6 credit hours total). One course (3 credits) from outside the Communication department may be at the 4000-level. Electives from outside the Communication Department should be chosen in consultation with the DGS and/or the student’s advisor. The DGS may grant permission to take more than 2 courses outside the Communication Department.
    • Thesis or project credit, if applicable

    5. Exam OR Project

    To complete the program, students choose one of the following options:

    1. Complete the take-home exam essays followed by a 1-hour defense, in the last semester (no credits are needed for this option) OR 
    2. Complete and defend a project (3-6 credits, which count as elective credits)

    The exam is two take-home essays that are completed in the student's final semester. It does not require any additional credits. The exam option is the default option and is strongly recommended for most students.

    Projects typically take 8-12 months to complete, as they are often the equivalent of 2 graduate seminars of work. Students may only choose the thesis or project options with the full support and participation of their advisor and committee members. Students who complete a project option work closely with an advisor beginning (at the latest) in their second-last semester, and register for 3-6 credits of COMM 6950: Master's Thesis or COMM 6960: Master's Project in their final and/or second-last semester. Those credits count towards the 21 credits of electives.