The M. A. in Communication at Washington State University is designed for individuals seeking higher-level and focused understanding of communication theory, processes and phenomena, whether their intent is to prepare for doctoral-level study in pursuit of an academic career or a communication-related career in business, government, education, research, or the communications industry. Successful completion of the program normally requires two academic years of full time study and results in the granting of the Master of Arts in Communication.
Our program centers on:
- Media & Health Promotion focuses on media messages and health behavior. This includes social level analysis of mainstream and alternative media as products of and influences on the health of individuals and society; individual level analysis of psychological processes through which health related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors are shaped; and the creation of messages related to health and social well being, as well as how strategic message campaigns can influence decision making and social development.
- Media, Society and Politics focuses on the role that communication plays in political institutions and in creating robust civic engagement. We examine political communication from multiple perspectives and examine the interplay of emerging technology, media, and communication with information seeking, processing, and decision making. Our research focuses on both individual-and societal-level outcomes. Faculty and graduate students work in teams to test and develop theory related to political communication.
- Science Communication focuses on enhancing the relevance and accessibility of scientific information and local context needed for collaborative and sustainable resource management, especially among local populations most at-risk. The program focuses on environmental communication, natural or technological hazards and the use or communication of public policy. Faculty and students specialize in science education, communication campaigns, communicating risks, risk perception analysis, spatial modeling of vulnerability and adaptive capacity of human populations, audience segmentation, media analysis and public engagement.
Individuals with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the humanities or social sciences may be qualified for admission to the program. However, undergraduate work in mass communication or communication studies provides especially valuable preparation for successful graduate work in communication. Persons without previous training in one or more of these general areas may be required to complete supplemental undergraduate coursework.
All students in the program, regardless of their emphases, share a common core of courses and choose either to write a thesis or complete an additional nine hours of coursework and a comprehensive examination.Student Learning Outcomes
The College of Communication has established the following learning objectives.
1) Knowledge of the field. Understand the breadth and depth of knowledge within the discipline, including current theories and methods and demonstrate competency in identifying and interpreting research on topics in communication.
2) Scientific reasoning and research process. Conduct independent research to identify research questions and hypotheses and design, execute, analyze, report on original research.
3) Communication. Communicate complex problems and research effectively to diverse audiences using appropriate media and communication tools.
4) Original scholarly contribution. Make original contributions to the discipline through presentation at academic conferences and publication in peer-reviewed academic outlets.
5) Teaching proficiency. Nurture and train graduate students to become effective teachers in the field of communication.
M.A. Application Deadlines
Students are admitted to the M. A. program for fall semester. Completed applications must be submitted to the Graduate School by January 10 for fall admission. The priority deadline is December 31. Access the WSU online application, here.