Life in the Program

The program requirements translate into a challenging but manageable program of study for students in the program. The typical student completes the program in two years (four semesters). During each semester of the first year, graduate students with a TA normally take three courses and teach one or two sections of Public Speaking. By the end of the first year, students determine their thesis or professional paper project and select a faculty advisor who will guide that project.

During the third semester, students continue with coursework, defend their project proposal, and initiate their research, concluding with a public presentation and defense during their final semester. The Mansfield Library archivesstudent theses and professional papers.

Throughout their career in the program, students have latitude to explore different areas of Communication Studies and engage in research projects with other students and faculty members. Our students regularly present their research at scholarly conferences of the National Communication Association (NCA), Western States Communication Association (WSCA), and Northwest Communication Association (NWCA). The department makes every effort to provide financial and travel support for students to attend these conferences.

UM also offers several graduate certificate programs that pair well with our MA degree. Several of our students have pursued programs in Natural Resources Conflict Resolution and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Our department also embraces a work hard, play hard philosophy and is committed to maintaining work-life balance. Graduate students regularly organize department potlucks and picnics, bowling nights, and rafting and hiking adventures.