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M.A. in Communication

The Master of Arts 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.

Program Areas

Our program centers on three areas:

Media & Health Promotion

Media and 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

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 & Environmental Communication

Science and Environmental 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.

Apply to the Program

Visit the WSU Graduate School website to apply to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program

Apply at the WSU Graduate School

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.

Questions?

General questions about applications should be directed to Christine Curtis.

Christine Curtis
Graduate Coordinator, Student Services
509-335-5608

Student Learning Outcomes

The College of Communication has established the following learning objectives.

  • 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.
  • Scientific reasoning and research process. Conduct independent research to identify research questions and hypotheses and design, execute, analyze, report on original research.
  • Communication. Communicate complex problems and research effectively to diverse audiences using appropriate media and communication tools.
  • Original scholarly contribution. Make original contributions to the discipline through presentations at academic conferences and publication in peer-reviewed academic outlets.
  • Teaching proficiency. Nurture and train graduate students to become effective teachers in the field of communication.

Students in television production studio

Program Requirements

Thesis Option Requirements

Minimum of 27 graded credits

Core 9 credits
COM 570Communication Theory3
COM 509Quantitative Research3
Methods CourseFrom inside or outside – approved by advisor 3
Major Area of Concentration
18 credits
Credits from inside the College of Communication12-15
Credits from outside the College of Communication3-6
COM 700Thesis9
COM 500Colloquium (4 x 1 credit)4
TOTAL:40 CREDITS
Note: 3 credits of independent study (S/F) may be substituted for three credits of graded coursework

Non-Thesis Option Requirements

Minimum of 33 graded credits

Core 9 credits
COM 570Communication Theory3
COM 509Quantitative Research3
Methods CourseFrom inside or outside – approved by advisor 3
Major Area of Concentration
24 credits
Credits from inside the College of Communication15-18
Credits from outside the College of Communication6-9
COM 702Exam4
COM 500Colloquium (3 x 1 credit)3
TOTAL:40 CREDITS
Note: 3 credits of independent study (S/F) may be substituted for three credits of graded coursework

Application Process

The application for admission is completed through the Washington State University Graduate School. All required test scores, forms, and transcripts must be submitted directly to the Graduate School. Supplemental materials indicated below should be sent to the Murrow College of Communication (address below).

Students are admitted to the MA program for the Fall semester only. The program does not admit for Spring semester. The priority deadline for applications to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program is December 31 for admission the following fall.

Degree

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Communication or related field. If your degree(s) is not in a related field, additional undergraduate coursework may be required. (Note: Prospective international students must have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an approved institution.)Official transcripts from each institution you have previously attended must be sent to the Graduate School. Current WSU students do not need to forward transcripts from WSU.

GPA

A minimum 3.25 GPA in the last two years of undergraduate coursework.

GRE

Competitive Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing GRE scores obtained within the last three years of the date of application. As a point of reference, the average GRE scores of successful MA program applications in the past year were: verbal 155, quantitative 153, and analytical writing 3.8. WSU GRE code is 4705. (Note: Please allow six weeks from the date that your test was taken for the scores to arrive at WSU.)

TOEFL

For international students, a minimum *TOEFL score of:

  • Paper-based minimum score: 600
  • Computer-based minimum score: 250
  • Internet-based minimum score: 93

* waived if applicant has received a U.S. degree within the last two years

Resume

A resume or curriculum vitae

Recommendations

Submission of three letters of recommendation. The letters may be submitted by anyone, but we are primarily interested in references that can comment on your academic ability. Please have these individuals send both a letter and the WSU reference form accessed through the WSU Application web page.

Personal Statement

A 500-word statement of purpose explaining your reasons for pursuing a masters degree, your area(s) of interest, and why the Murrow College graduate program is particularly well-suited to your scholarly goals and objectives.

Supplemental

Submit any additional material you feel might enhance your application. Writing samples are particularly encouraged. Send supplemental materials directly to the Murrow College of Communication.

Graduate School
Washington State University
French Administration Building
PO Box 641030
Pullman, WA 99164-1030
The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Washington State University
226 Murrow Hall East
PO Box 642520
Pullman, WA 99164-2520

Apply to the Program

Visit the WSU Graduate School website to apply to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program

Apply at the WSU Graduate School
 

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.