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Graduate Study in Communication

Graduate students: Kandice Harris, Jennifer Urbach, & Amanda Cline presenting at the 2012 Texas Speech Communication Association Convention in San Antonio

Program Overview

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in communication program is designed to prepare students who want to advance their careers and/or continue their education into a Ph.D. program. We are dedicated to providing a high-quality experience for our students that will help them grow as communication scholars, professionals, and citizens.  Our comprehensive program features course work in communication theory and research, interpersonal and organizational communication consulting and research, advocacy and advertising programming and studies, and film and new media production and studies. 

Program Requirements

Application Information
Applications are processed on a continual basis. To avoid delays in processing your application, all required materials (i.e., $40 application fee, official transcripts, essay and GRE test scores) should be submitted at least six weeks before the first day of the semester in which you plan to enroll. You may electronically submit the graduate application at the College of Graduate Studies and Research website.

Admission Requirements

General Degree Requirements

  • The total number of hours required for the program leading to the Master of Arts in communication is 36 for both the thesis and non-thesis options. Students in the program may take only 6000-level course work for their degree plans.

    All degree candidates must take a prescribed core requirement of 12 graduate hours in communication consisting of:

    • COMM 6302 Quantitative Research Methods
    • COMM 6303 Communication Theory
    • COMM 6312 Qualitative Research Methods
    • COMM 6313 Rhetorical Analysis 

    All students enter the program with a non-thesis degree plan. After completing nine semester credit hours (SCH) of communication graduate coursework, students who wish to do so may petition the communication graduate faculty through the graduate advisor to change to a thesis degree plan.

    Thesis students are required to enroll in six hours of thesis work (COMM 6399 Thesis twice, or COMM 6699 Thesis).

    All non-thesis degree candidates are required to pass a comprehensive examination. The exam will include all the communication core courses required on the student’s degree plan (COMM 6302, 6303, 6312 and 6313) in addition to any graduate communication electives completed prior to the semester in which the comprehensive examination is administered. The exam should be administered when the student is in the last semester of his/her program.

    Thesis option students will complete an oral thesis defense that may include questions regarding their course work.

    9-Hour Review: Students will complete a review with department graduate faculty after completing 9 hours of graduate course work.

Finishing the Degree

There are two options to consider for finishing the M.A. in communication depending on your goals and interests. Students either take a comprehensive examination, or, if approved by Graduate Faculty, a research intensive thesis project. 


Contact program advisor to discuss comprehensive examinations.

Thesis Option

Students must complete a minimum of 36 semester credit hours of graduate work, including:

Non-Thesis Option

Students must complete a minimum of 36 semester credit hours of graduate work, including:

Graduate Program

Degree Plan

Bring this graduate degree plan with you when you meet with an academic advisor.

Graduate Student Advising

  • For more information about the M.A. program in communication, contact:

    Dr. Flor Madero

    Assistant Professor of Communication and Mass Media
    Graduate Program Advisor

    Office: Porter Henderson Library, 306F
    Phone: 325-486-6077