Degree Requirements

Learning Outcomes

The curriculum of the MA in Communication program aims for the following learning outcomes for students:

  1. Provide theoretical knowledge about the social science of communication that students can use on the job to produce more effective messages and strategic communication programs.
  2. Provide real-world job skills and training for students to move into the field of communication or move-up to jobs that require more responsibility and greater knowledge.
  3. Improve students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and writing skills.
  4. Help students develop into communication professionals who understand how to conduct, read, evaluate, and use research to further their professional objectives.

Electives meet the second learning outcome, while required and core courses address the remaining learning outcomes. All courses help students develop strong portfolios that they can present to their current or prospective employers.


Students enrolled prior to summer 2010 may follow either the former curriculum or the current one. Students may not combine old and new requirements.

Students must take a total of 10 courses. Each semester, courses are offered onsite and online, but due to popular demand, more courses are online than onsite. For this reason, students who prefer being onsite may have to take some courses online. At the same time, we cannot guarantee that a particular course will be offered online in any given semester (i.e., it may be offered onsite only).

Students have the option of following a strategic planning or research track. Note that the orders of the courses in the lists below do not necessarily reflect the order in which students take their courses; students work with their advisors to determine the best coursework plan. The strategic planning track does not require a thesis.

Strategic Planning Track
Research Track


Following is a more detailed description of the coursework.

Required Courses
Core Courses
Elective Courses


Students are not required to specify a concentration. But those who choose to may identify one, or occasionally two, of the fields listed below. A single course cannot count toward two concentrations. Although it is possible for online students to earn a concentration, we cannot guarantee enough courses will be available online for all concentrations.

Concentration in Applied Research in Communication
Concentration in Public and Media Relations
Concentration in Health Communication
Concentration in Digital Communication
Concentration in Corporate and Non-Profit Communication

Additional Information

  • Current students can check which courses that are no longer offered count for which concentration here.
  • For a complete listing of courses see the Course Descriptions page.
  • For a current list of courses offered this semester see the current Course Schedule. For a list of courses offered during subsequent semesters, see the preliminary Multi-Year Schedule.
  • For a list of our faculty see the Faculty page.