Degree Requirements

The MA in Communication requires 33 credit hours (11 courses) and a comprehensive exam (or other project). At least 30 credit hours must be at the 5000 or 6000 level.

Note: Students who enrolled prior to Spring 2019 may choose to graduate by fulfilling the requirements that were in place at the time they began the program. Consult with an advisor.

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

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 Graduate Seminars in Communication (6 credit hours)

Students must take two graduate 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.

The topic for COMM 6710 changes each semester and is typically chosen based on faculty areas of expertise. Students should take that additional seminar whenever possible in order to fill the seminar requirements. If the available seminar is outside the student’s primary interests, students are still strongly encouraged to take that seminar to broaden their education. The department typically offers only one COMM 6710 seminar each Fall and Spring semester.

Courses that count as graduate seminars include:

  • COMM 6710 Topics in Communication (can be repeated with different topics)
  • COMM 6700 Writing Practicum

4. Seven Electives (21 credit hours)

Courses that count as electives include:

  • Additional graduate seminars from the Communication department
  • 4000/5000 level Communication courses (“bridge” courses that include both graduate students and advanced undergraduates); enroll at the 5000 level
  • 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. A Comprehensive Exam (or thesis or other project)

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

  1. Pass a comprehensive exam (a take home exam followed by a 1-hour defense) in the last semester (no credits are needed for this option) OR 
  2. Complete and defend a thesis OR
  3. Complete and defend a project

The comprehensive exam option is the default option and is strongly recommended for most students. Theses and 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.

For students interested in taking MA-level courses using the non-degree option, please visit the non-degree admissions page.