School of Graduate Studies
Dr. Andrew R. Smith
“The Master of Arts in Communication Studies (MACS) program offers students opportunities for advancing their careers in managerial and leadership communication, integrated marketing communication and intercultural/international and pubic communication, while honing skills in conflict management and dispute mediation. Graduates of the program work in managerial capacities in business and non-profit organizations (universities, hospitals, insurance companies, media) nationally and internationally, further develop their careers in teaching professions (elementary, secondary and community colleges) and enhance know-how in public relations, advertising and marketing. Some go on for doctoral studies at Research 1 institutions and launch careers as university professors and scholars. The MACS program is a great place to advance or launch your career.”
– Dr. Andrew R. Smith, Program Head
The study of communication is important to virtually every profession that involves working with people—education, advertising and public relations, management and marketing, health care and social services, politics and public services and other organizational and institutional contexts, public and private. In addition to building core competencies, the Master of Arts in Communication Studies program develops students’ specialized knowledge and skill in selected areas of emphasis. Students also have the option of obtaining the Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management concurrently with their program of study. A Master of Communication Studies develops capabilities to initiate and advance his or her professional career in one or more of these areas, to work with and serve others in diverse communities with dignity and respect, and to understand the complexities associated with learning and communicating ethical and cultural values.
Individuals seeking admission as degree students in this program must comply with the following specific admission requirements for this program:
Applicants without full-time professional work experience or at least one semester of full-time field experience at the undergraduate level at time of admission into the degree program may be required to enroll in the internship track and participate in a field experience of at least 6 credit hours. These credentials will be evaluated by the Departmental Admissions Committee, which will consider such factors as suitability of previous coursework, undergraduate scholarship, work experience and potential for growth as a professional in a communication management field. Any deficiencies in preparation will be cause for the prescription of prerequisite work. Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA or exam scores may be admitted on a conditional basis, but will be required to earn a B or better in all coursework within the first 12 credit hours to remain in the program.
Students select one of the two following options:
Non-internship track: Students must complete 36 hours of coursework according to the curriculum shown above.
Internship track (Concentration code 8008): Students complete 30-33 credit hours of coursework according to the curriculum shown above, and 3 to 6 credit hours of COMM 796 Internship in Communication. The internship provides graduate students in the Master of Arts in Communication Studies program with an opportunity to gain relevant, significant supervised work experience in a professional setting (business, non-profit, educational institution, government, etc.). The graduate internship track option is reserved for students who have no professional work experience and who have not completed an internship in their undergraduate program. In consultation with the Graduate Program Head, students submit an internship proposal to the Department Internship Coordinator for initial review and enrollment. Students keep and submit a journal/log daily, then submit a final paper that includes an analysis of some aspect of the internship to the Internship Supervisor and Graduate Program Head, who evaluate student internship activities.
Students select one of the following three options in the final hours of their programs:
Option A: Comprehensive Examination and Project/Portfolio. Students take 18 credits of electives, are required to take comprehensive examinations, and must submit a portfolio at the end of the program that illustrates their best applied work.
Option B: COMM 799 Thesis (3 credit hours). Students complete three credits of thesis research, which requires writing a prospectus, conducting systematic inquiry of a communication phenomenon, and applying pertinent communication theories and methodologies. Students then orally defend the thesis to a committee of three faculty.
Option C: COMM 798 Practicum (3 credit hours). Students who select this option must be working professionals. They take 15 credits of electives and 3 hours of practicum or independent study during which they complete an audit or analysis of communication policies and practices in their respective business, non-profit corporation, educational institution or governmental agency.
Cumulative Grade Point Average. A GPA of 3.0 or better is required for graduation.
For more information on this program, see our Fact Sheet.
Click here for information on The Certificate in Conflict Management offered under the auspices of the Master of Arts in Communication Studies program.