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 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). Requirements include:

Introduction to MA Studies in Communication
Select a minimum of six courses, including one Methods Course preferably all from any of the following four tracks:18
Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
Communication, Culture, and Conflict
Theory of Argument
Classical Rhetorical Theory
Rhetoric of Visual Culture
Rhetorical Criticism
Feminist Rhetorical Criticism
Rhetoric of Citizenship and National Identity
Advanced Study in Rhetorical Criticism
Interpersonal Communication and Social Influence
Principles of Health Communication
New Media Theory
Communication, Culture, and Conflict
Theories of Interpersonal Communication
Health Communication
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Interviewing
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
Ethnographic Methods for Communication Research
Communication Theory
Content Analysis
Seminar in Interpersonal Communication
Roots of Social Conflict
Concepts and Processes of Dispute Resolution I: Negotiation Theory and Practice
Small Group and Organizational Communication
Principles of Health Communication
Theories of Small Group Processes
Organizational Communication
Public Relations Campaigns and Issues Management
Micro-Level Organizational Communication
Crisis Communication
Communication and Issue Management
Health Communication
Communication Consulting and Training
Communication Theory
Concepts and Processes of Dispute Resolution I: Negotiation Theory and Practice
Poltical and Public Communication
Speech Writing
Communication, Culture, and Conflict
Language and Power
Contemporary Political Campaigns
Research in Social Movements
Rhetorical Criticism
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Mass Media and Political Communication
Human Diversity and Human Conflict
Roots of Social Conflict
Concepts and Processes of Dispute Resolution I: Negotiation Theory and Practice
Plan Options (select one of the following):
Plan A
Master's Thesis Research and Direction (eight credits required)
Additional elective courses to total a minimum of 32 credits
Plan C
Additional elective courses to total 35-48 credits
 

Journalism

The Journalism Concentration is intended for careers in news organizations, academic teaching and media management. The program is individually tailored and includes courses in print and broadcast management skills, organizational communication, Internet-based reporting, and communication and cultural diversity issues. Requirements include:

COM 5080History and Law of American Journalism3
COM 6280Reporting on Diversity3
COM 7000Introduction to MA Studies in Communication3
Select one of the following Research Methods Courses:3
Audience Measurement and Survey Techniques
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Ethnographic Methods for Communication Research
Content Analysis
Select one of the following Theory Courses:3
Communication Theory
Theories of Media Effects
Mass Media and Political Communication
Select five of the following, as may be appropriate for the concentration, selected in consultation with the advisor:13-15
Professional Issues in News Media Management
Layout and Design
Investigative Reporting
TV News Reporting and Digital Editing
Director's Workshop
Magazine Writing
Journalism and New Media
Political and Governmental Reporting
Internship
Advanced Layout and Design
Master's Essay Direction
Select one elective from another department (e.g. Political Science, Anthropology, History, Sociology, Business or others), as may be appropriate for the concentration, selected in consultation with the advisor
Select one of the following plan options:33
Plan B
Select 33 credits (minimum) including 3 credits in COM 7999 with an approved essay
Plan C
Select 33 credits (minimum) of coursework from the requirements listed above approved by the advisor and listed on the plan of work.

Media Arts

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. Requirements include:

COM 5270(WI) Screenwriting4
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

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. 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
1

Option 1: Traditional Internship 
Work for a specified number of hours at an approved internship site where students can acquire and build upon skills that will serve their career goals. Students are required to have a site supervisor.

Option 2: Service Learning Internship Project
Complete a service-learning project in conjunction with the graduate internship coordinator. Students are required to have a site supervisor at the hosting organization.

Option 3: Worksite Internship Project
Students take on a project at their current organization, provided that it significantly extends the scope of their current responsibilities or introduces them to a new domain of practice within the organization. The graduate internship coordinator must approve the project. Students are required to have a designated site supervisor other than their current supervisor.

2

 Capstone course.