M.A. 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.


Total Credits

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

Graduate School Requirements

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

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.)