Communication (M.A.)

The Department offers a master's degree in Communication with concentrations in the following areas:

  • Communication Studies
  • Journalism
  • Media Arts
  • Media Studies
  • Public Relations & Organizational Communication

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Admission to the M.A. program is competitive and is based on an applicant’s entire academic record; the following requirements are minimum standards for consideration and do not guarantee admission. The Department requires that the applicant have a B.A. or B.S. in communication or a related field with a minimum 3.2 (‘B’=3.0) grade point average for the upper-division (the last sixty semester credits)  of coursework and  a minimum  of fifteen semester credits in communication. Applicants with a grade point average. below 3.2 for the last sixty semester credits of coursework may submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores as additional evidence of academic ability. In some instances students not meeting the grade point average requirement may be admitted as a post-baccalaureate student until such time as sufficient background for graduate study is demonstrated. To be considered, applicants must also submit a statement of academic interest and professional goals (reasons for interest in pursuing the degree), and a sample of written work (such as a research paper or a professional/creative project).

Applicants should complete the online Application for Graduate Admission and submit official transcripts from each college and university previously attended. Questions regarding these should be addressed to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Wayne State University, Detroit MI 48202. International students are also required to submit scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (minimum 100 on Internet-based Test required) or equivalent tests.

M.A. applicants are admitted for the fall and the winter semesters. Deadline for application materials for fall semester admission is June 1; and for the winter semester it is November 1.

 
 

The Master of Arts degree is offered by the Department of Communication. Please see the concentrations for specific degree requirements.

Students must plan a program of study as early as possible in consultation with the assigned advisor. Candidacy must be established by filing an approved Plan of Work by the time twelve credits have been earned. COM 7000 must be included in the Plan of Work and must be taken during the first semester of coursework. All students must complete COM 7000 with a grade of B or better in order to continue in the program. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts.

Essays or theses may be chosen when allowed as an option in the concentration, after consultation with the advisor. A final oral examination will be held for those writing theses.

Courses that relate to a student’s particular area of interest are selected in consultation with the advisor and are formalized by filing the Plan of Work. The Plan of Work must be approved by the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Communication Studies

The Master of Arts in Communication with a Concentration in Communication Studies program is designed for students with a general interest in the study of human communication. It is intended primarily for students preparing for doctoral study in communication, or desiring in-depth study of research and analytical skills (a highly desired skill set by employers). The degree requires minimum 30 credits.

Two required courses: 6
Introduction to MA Studies in Communication
Communication Theory
Three research methods courses:9
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
And select one of the following:
Audience Measurement and Survey Techniques
Rhetorical Criticism
Interviewing
Ethnographic Methods for Communication Research
Content Analysis
Select one of the following capstone plan options:15
Plan A: Thesis
Master's Thesis Research and Direction (6 credits required, distributed across two or three semesters)
Any three courses from the department as electives, totaling 9 credits.
Plan B: Essay
Master's Essay Direction (3 credits required, distributed across two or three semesters)
Any four courses from the department as electives, totaling 12 credits.
Plan C: Coursework
Any five courses from the department as electives, totaling 15 credits.
Total Credits30

Journalism

The Master of Arts in Communication with a Concentration in Journalism program prepares students for careers in news organizations and related areas in mass media. The program includes courses in print and broadcast management skills, organizational communication, Internet-based reporting, and communication and cultural diversity issues. The degree requires a minimum 30 credits.

Three required courses:9
History and Law of American Journalism
Reporting on Diversity
Introduction to MA Studies in Communication
Two additional content courses:6
Documentary and Non-Fiction Film and Television
Professional Issues in News Media Management
Investigative Reporting
TV News Reporting and Digital Editing
Producer's Workshop
Journalism and New Media
Advanced TV Production
Political and Governmental Reporting
Internship
Advanced Layout and Design
One theory course:3
Communication Theory
Theories of Media Effects
Mass Media and Political Communication
One research methods course:3
Audience Measurement and Survey Techniques
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
Ethnographic Methods for Communication Research
Content Analysis
Select one of the following capstone plan options:9
Plan A: Thesis
Master's Thesis Research and Direction (6 credits required, distributed across two or three semesters)
Any one course from the department as elective, minimum 3 credits
Plan B: Essay
Master's Essay Direction (elected for 3 credits)
Any two courses from the department as electives, totaling 6 credits
Plan C: Coursework
Any three courses from the department as electives, totaling 9 credits
Total Credits30

Media Arts

Beginning Winter 2019, an admissions moratorium will be in effect for this concentration.

The Media Arts concentration is a professionally-oriented program that emphasizes production and other creative activity, with exposure to theory and research. The concentration is designed for those currently working in mass media and those who wish to pursue a career in that industry. This degree requires a minimum of 35 credits. Requirements include:

COM 5270Screenwriting4
COM 5380Video Field Production and Editing3
COM 5400Techniques of Film and Video Production4
COM 7000Introduction to MA Studies in Communication3
Select one of the following Theory Courses:3
Theories of Media Effects
Critical Mass Communication Theory
Select one of the following Research Methods Courses:3
Audience Measurement and Survey Techniques
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
Seminar in Research Methods
Content Analysis
Feminist Media Theory and Criticism
Two additional COM courses numbered 5000 or higher (appropriate to Media Arts concentration, selected in consultation with the advisor)
Additional elective courses selected in consultation with the advisor to total a minimum of 35 credits
Select one of the following options:
Plan B
Three credits in COM 7999 with an approved esssay, in consultation with the advisor
Plan C
Appropriate course work as approved by the advisor and listed on the plan of work.

Media Studies

Beginning Winter 2019, an admissions moratorium will be in effect for this concentration.

The Media Studies concentration is an academically-oriented program for students interested in radio, television, film, or other mass communication or related phenomena. This concentration is appropriate for students interested in areas such as media research, media effects, theory and criticism, film criticism, and writing about radio, television, or film. It is an appropriate preparatory degree for doctoral work. This degree requires a minimum of 35 credits. Requirements include:

COM 7000Introduction to MA Studies in Communication3
Select one of the following Theory Courses:3
Theories of Media Effects
Critical Mass Communication Theory
Select one of the following Research Methods Courses:3
Audience Measurement and Survey Techniques
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
Seminar in Research Methods
Content Analysis
Feminist Media Theory and Criticism
Four additional COM courses numbered 5000 or higher (appropriate to Media Studies concentration)
One additional course numbered 7001 or higher
Additional elective courses selected in consultation with the advisor to total a minimum of 35 credits
Select one of the following plan options:
Plan B
Three credits in COM 7999 with an approved essayt, in consultation with the advisor
Plan C
Appropriate coursework as approved by the advisor and listed on the plan of work

Public Relations and Organizational Communication

The Public Relations and Organizational Communication concentration emphasizes the theory and application of communication in a variety of contexts. These include working in public relations, employee relations, media relations, public affairs, issue and crisis management, technical and employee communication, and related activities in business, industry, non-profit, and governmental settings. The degree requires a minimum of 30 credits.

Required courses:18
Introduction to MA Studies in Communication
Organizational Communication
Public Relations Theory
Public Relations Campaigns and Issues Management
Internship 1
Professional Issues in Applied Communication 2
At least one of the following Research Methods courses:3
Rhetorical Criticism
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
At least two of the following Public Relations & Organizational Communication content area elective courses:6
Speech Writing
Micro-Level Organizational Communication
Crisis Communication
New Media and Strategic Communication
Communication Consulting and Training
Communication Theory
One additional course chosen in consultation with advisor3
Total Credits30