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Master of Arts in Communication

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  • Objectives
    The goal of the M.A. program in communication is to produce well-educated graduates who are intellectually prepared to enter a wide variety of occupations.
    Because each individual's goals are unique, the graduate curriculum in communication is intentionally flexible to accommodate each student's particular plan of study.
    In addition to its ability to adapt to a broad spectrum of interests, another strength of the M.A. program at Texas A&M is accessibility of faculty and purposely small classes that allow for a great deal of student-faculty interaction. While we realize that our graduates follow many paths (see Graduate Alumni ), all students receive a thorough grounding in theory and preparation to conduct research and critical analysis. Some M.A. students have even published their own work and have been acknowledged for excellence in research or teaching (see Recent Awards and Recent Publications ).
  • Entry requirements
    To be considered for admission to the M.A. program in Communication, an applicant must have an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. In admitting graduate students, the Department of Communication gives preference to the most highly qualified applicants as evaluated by a combination of criteria, including grade point average, letters of recommendation, demonstrated writing ability, and objectives that are a suitable fit with our departmental resources (also, English language proficiency for international applicants).
  • Course description
    In completing their M.A. degrees in the Department of Communication, students may choose either a thesis option, or a non-thesis option. The former requires 30 credit hours, including a master's thesis. The latter requires 36 credit hours and a comprehensive examination.

    All M.A. candidates are required to take two foundational courses plus one research methods course. The foundational courses are designed to provide the student with an overview of the field of communication. Rhetorical Theory (COMM 640) reflects the humanities tradition in rhetorical studies and examines the nature, scope, and functions of rhetorical theory in both its historical and contemporary manifestations. Human Communication Theory (COMM 620) reflects the social science tradition in communication studies and focuses on the nature and role of theory in the understanding of human communication.

    Students are also required to take one research methods course from among three options. Although only one of these courses is required, students may elect to take more than one methods course if their plan of study would be strengthened. Social Science Methods in Communication Research (COMM 610) focuses on quantitative research methods, including issues of design, measurement, and analysis of data. Interpretive Methods in Communication Research (COMM 615) focuses on qualitative research methods, including participant observation, interviewing, and field research. Rhetorical and Textual Methods in Communication Research (COMM 645) focuses on the description, interpretation, and evaluation of public discourse and in mediated texts.

    Additionally, the thesis track includes 6-12 credits of departmental electives, up to 6 credits of non-departmental electives, and 6 credits of thesis research. The non-thesis track includes 15-18 credits of departmental electives, 6-9 credits of non-departmental electives. Students may use non-departmental credits to earn certificates in a complementary area of concentration such as business administration, international studies, or women’s studies.

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