Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the MA program can select one of two options to complete their degree requirements: the Thesis option or the Professional Paper option. The thesis option requires fewer courses and a more in-depth scholarly project; the professional paper option requires more courses and a shorter final project. Below is a condensed version of the program requirements.

1. Total Credits

  1. Thesis: 24 credits of coursework + 9 credits of Thesis (COMX 599).
  2. Professional Paper: 30 credits of coursework + 6 credits of Pro-Paper (COMX 593).

2. Graduate School Requirements

  1. A full 50% or more of the student's required course work (excluding research and thesis credits)">must be at the 500-600 level
  2. To maintain continuous registration, students must be enrolled in at least 3 credits per semester.
  3. To be considered full time, graduate students must enroll in 9 credits per semester.
  4. At least 20 semester credits (including thesis or professional paper credits) must be taken in Communication Studies.
  5. Students must maintain a B average in courses take for graduate credit. No grade below a C will be accepted toward any degree requirement.

3. Department Requirements

Core Courses

Complete at least two of the following courses:

  • COMX 460/461: Communication Research Methods/Lab
  • COMX 561: Qualitative Methods
  • COMX 555: Rhetorical Criticism and Theory

(We encourage students to take all three methods courses.)

Additional COMX Coursework

  • Complete at least 12 credit hours of other COMX courses at the 400 or 500 level.
  • Students who did not earn an undergraduate major in communication may be required to take additional COMX coursework (not including thesis or pro-paper) to ensure sufficient knowledge of the discipline.


  • Students who did not complete a statistics course during their undergraduate career are required to take one during their first year in the program, preferably prior to or concurrently with COMX 460/461. The credits for any undergraduate statistics course do not count toward the credit requirements for the MA.


  • Graduate students are expected to attend Proseminar meetings, usually held Mondays 3:30-5:00 pm. The Proseminar supports scholarly and professional development through discussion and workshops (e.g., history of the discipline; CV preparation; submitting papers to conferences and journals; thesis and pro-paper preparation; applying for jobs and Ph.D programs.)