What can you do with an MA in Communication?
Students who complete our program receive offers to PhD programs or accept positions related to communication management, marketing, health communication, and public relations, among others, in a variety of corporate and non-profit organizations. The National Communication Association offers profiles of alumni in a wide range of careers.
Our MA program is a 33-credit (11 courses) generalist degree designed to enhance students' intellectual and professional growth in communication research and practice. Students can focus exclusively on communication theory and research, or they can choose to also mix in applied skills (primarily in elective courses). The Communication department is a community of learners, scholars, and teachers who are committed to our shared mission: “cultivating the ability to use communication to create a more equitable and humane world.”
Four Required Courses
The two required introductory courses focus on communication theory (COMM 6013) and research methods (COMM 5221), respectively.
Students also take two 6000-level seminars that cover specific topics of communication research and theory in faculty areas of expertise (for example: Critical Media Studies; Communication, Culture, and Technology; Environmental Communication).
See MA Degree Requirements for more information.
The remaining 21 credits (7 courses) are electives, which can include a variety of courses, travel study, and/or internships.
Some students choose electives that enable them to complete certificates in Strategic Communication or Digital Studies. Some of the elective courses that have been offered recently related to strategic communication include: Advanced Strategic Communication; Organizational Communication; Intercultural Communication; Communication and Conflict; and Negotiations and Bargaining. It is also possible to just complete the Strategic Communication certificate on its own without earning the MA degree by enrolling as a "non-degree" student. CU Boulder, another campus in our CU system that is around 30 miles northwest of CU Denver, offers MAs in Corporate Communication and Strategic Communication Design. CU Denver students may be able to take some of the courses from those programs as electives.
Other students focus their electives in Health Communication. Some of the elective courses that have been offered recently in these areas include: Designing Health Messages; Rhetorics of Medicine & Health; and Health Communication.
Other elective courses that have been offered recently include: Food as Communication; Communication, China, & the US; Queer Media Studies; Dynamics of Global Communication; Communication, Prisons, and Social Justice; and Communication and Sport.
See What courses should I take? for more information.
We offer some courses online and others in-person, so the program cannot be completed solely online. Most seminars and required courses are offered in-person on weekday evenings (Mondays-Thursdays) 5:00 pm - 7:50pm, while electives are typically offered during weekdays or as asynchronous online courses.
MA program learning outcomes
At the conclusion of our program, students will be able to:
- Use Communication concepts and theories to solve problems in professional, personal, and community/civic life
- Select and use appropriate methods to collect, analyze, and interpret data to answer Communication research questions
- Communicate ethically and effectively; extemporaneously, in writing, and across digital platforms
- Identify, critique, and evaluate research from across major fields of Communication
Our faculty members have expertise in: Media and Cultural studies; Environmental Communication; Health Communication; International and Intercultural Communication; qualitative methods in Communication; Rhetoric; and Organizational Communication, and on a range of specific topics including China-US communication; sport; law and American culture; sexuality, queer, and gender studies; biopolitics; national security; globalization; social justice; conflict, mediation, and negotiation; food studies; prisons; Latina/o/x studies; Islam and religion; and more.
Learn more and apply
To get general information about being a graduate student at CU Denver, including living in Denver, academic programs, and student resources, fill out this form to request information from the Graduate School. The Graduate School handles all the bureaucratic and technical aspects of the admissions process and transfer credits. Student finances, including billing, financial aid, and scholarships is in a separate office. International admissions handles visas.
For specific Communication MA application instructions, deadlines, and requirements, click the button below:
To learn more about the COMM MA program, download a program flyer, and read this interview about the program with Dr. Hamilton Bean. For questions about anything specific to this program, contact Amy Hasinoff, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), by email or set up a 15-minute phone or Zoom meeting.
Learn more about the Graduate School at CU Denver