Master of Arts

Photo of 3 students accepting RMCA awards. They are each posed with their awards and smiling.

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.

  • Assistant Professor (PhD also required)
  • Career Coach
  • Communication Specialist
  • Communication Strategist
  • Communications & Brand Consultant
  • Communications Director
  • Communications Project Coordinator
  • Community Resource Coordinator
  • Company Owner
  • Consultant
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Education Training Consultant
  • Executive Coach
  • Freelance Copywriter
  • Manager of Cultural Affairs
  • Marketing and Communication Specialist
  • Marketing Manager
  • New Media Coordinator
  • Operations and Project Manager
  • Product Marketing Manager
  • Professional Development Associate
  • Project Manager
  • Public Affairs Officer
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Regional Spokesperson
  • Regional Vice President
  • Resource Coordinator for Diversity Engagement
  • Senior Account Manager
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Senior Director of Education Programs
  • Site Manager
  • Strategic Planning & Operations Manager
  • Student Success Advisor

Job Title Organization
Assistant Director of Operations University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus’s Center for Innovative Design and Analysis
Assistant Professor Oakland University
Assistant Professor Public Relations at University of Alabama
Assistant Professor Colorado Christian College
Associate District Manager ADP (HR)
Associate Product Manager Epsilon
Business Analyst City and County of Denver
Business Analyst Devetry
Career Coach Ama La Vida
Communication Specialist National Aeronautics and Space Industry
Communications and Engagement Director South Yuba River Citizens League
Communications Director Public Trust
Content Writer National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Deputy Chief Customer Officer Colorado Governor's Office of Information Technology
Director of Admissions and Marketing Genesis (Healthcare)
Director of Communications Abiding Hope Church
Director of Communications Blue Bench (non-profit)
Director of Marketing and Communications Western States Arts Federation
Equity and Inclusion Specialist University of Washington
ESOL Coordinator University of Colorado Denver
Instructor Communication and ESL Academy CU Denver
Instructor and Media Lab Coordinator International College Beijing
Instructor and Media Lab Manager Virginia Technical University
Learning Specialist Operational Readiness Implementation Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Manager Cultural Affairs for the City of Santa Monica (CA)
Manager of Corporate Communications Pinnacol: Colorado workers' compensation
Manager of Product Marketing Splunk
Marketing and Communications Manager Girl Scouts Louisiana East
Marketing and Communications Specialist Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Denver City and County
Marketing Manager Technology Response Team, LLC
Marketing Specialist Fullspeed Automotive
Owner Aspire Tours
Patient Experience Advisor Press Ganey
Project Analyst Davita
Project Manager Kettering Health Network (OH)
Public Relations and Communication Manager Boy Scouts of America, Pathway to Adventure Council
Regional Vice President Sales Force
Resource and Grants Coordinator Community Care Collective
Special Events Manager Junior Achievement
Strategic Communications Manager Alto-Shaam, Inc
Student Success Coach Purdue University School of Management
Vice President of Integration US Fertility
Writing Coach and Adjunct Professor Colorado School of Mines

Check out some profiles of our alumni and a flyer highlighting some of their accomplishments.

Program Overview

Our MA program is a 30-credit (10 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.” 

See MA Degree Requirements for more information.

Five Required Courses

The two required introductory courses focus on communication theory (COMM 6013) and research methods (COMM 5221), respectively. Students also choose one of: COMM 6700 Projects or COMM 5939 Internships in their second-last semester (or before), and present their work at a symposium in their final (Fall or Spring) semester. Students also take two 6000-level seminars (COMM 6711: Special Topics, repeatable with different topics) that cover specific areas of communication research and theory in faculty areas of expertise (for example: Communication and Healing; Critical Media Studies; Communication, Culture, and Technology; Environmental Communication). 

Five Electives

The remaining 15 credits (5 courses) are electives, which can include a variety of courses, travel study, and/or internships. 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. 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.

Program Format

The program combines both in-person and online components. We offer some courses online and others in-person, so the program cannot be completed solely online nor can it be completed entirely with in-person only coursework. In general, typically more of the program is online than in-person, but the format of the required courses can vary by semester and it also depends which electives a student selects.

Many courses are offered in a hybrid format, meaning that there are some in-person meetings, and/or some zoom meetings, and/or some asynchonous online work. Some COMM 6711 seminars and required courses are offered in-person on weekday evenings (Mondays-Thursdays) 5:00 pm - 7:50pm to accomodate students who work weekdays, while others meet on Zoom during this time and/or have asynchonrous components. Electives are typically offered during weekdays or, more commonly, as asynchronous online courses.


Some students choose electives that enable them to complete certificates in Health CommunicationStrategic Communication or Digital Studies

It is also possible to just complete certificates on their own without earning the MA degree by enrolling as a "non-degree" student.

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:

    Communication MA application instructions

    To learn more about the COMM MA program, read this interview about the program with Dr. Hamilton Bean (note that some program requirements have since changed).

    For questions about anything specific to this program, contact Amy Hasinoff, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), by email or set up a phone or Zoom meeting.

    Learn more about the Graduate School at CU Denver: