Graduate Program Requirements


What do we want our M.A. graduates to know and do after they have successfully completed their program of study?

  • Students will be able to identify, explain, and critique the major paradigms, theories, and conceptual frameworks for understanding communication, and demonstrate an appreciation of the significance of ethics and social responsibility as they engage in communication. (Conceptual Foundations)
  • Students will be able to analyze and evaluate published research, and design and conduct communication research studies using quantitative social scientific, interpretive, critical, rhetorical, and/or performative methods. (Inquiry and Research)
  • Students will be able to demonstrate advanced competency in scholarly writing, oral communication, and the application of conceptual foundations and research methods in professional contexts by designing and conducting applied communication activities. (Professional Practice)

All graduate curriculum offerings (outlined below) are designed to integrate and provide meaningful connections between three areas: (1) Conceptual Foundations (paradigmatic, theoretical, and ethical underpinnings of the discipline), (2) Inquiry and Research (methodologies used in the study of communication), and (3) Professional Practice (advanced application of communication foundations and methods in professionally applied contexts). 

M.A. in Communication Studies


Graduate study in communication (theories and foundations): COMM 200R - 4 units

Introduction to communication research methods (inquiry and research): COMM 201 -  3 units 

Advanced Writing Workshop: COMM 297 - 4 units

Subtotal - 11 units


8 units from among the following core course seminars: COMM 210R, COMM 231R, COMM 232R, COMM 244R, COMM, 245R, COMM 249R, COMM 250R, COMM 255R, COMM 260R, COMM 269R, COMM 274R 

Subtotal - 8 units

                                                                                  ELECTIVE CLASSES

All other graduate seminars in the department

Teaching practicum (COMM 285A and B) - 2 units each (must be enrolled in the Graduate Teaching Associate program)

Completion of a thesis (COMM 299) - 6 units (see program website for information about the thesis process and requirements)

Completion of a project (COMM 298) - 6 units (see program website for information about the project process and requirements)

Independent study (COMM 280) - up to 3 units (reserved for research that cannot be undertaken in a class and that is separate from work on a thesis or project)

Up to 9 C/NC units can be counted toward your degree. Additional C/NC units must be approved by the graduate coordinator.

Up to 6 units of graduate courses outside the department that relate to the study of communication and to your area of interest  can also count toward your degree. As of fall 2013, no undergraduate courses will count toward the M.A. degree, except those units taken in the context of a Study Abroad program, in which case, up to 6 units may count, at the approval of the Graduate Coordinator.

Subtotal - 16 units

All students must participate in a culminating experience. The three options for this are:
- Comprehensive Exams
- MA Thesis
- MA Project

Subtotal - 6 units for Thesis or Project; 0 units for Exams