Master of Arts In Communication

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For students, the Master of Arts program in communication provides a broad survey of several discrete areas within the discipline, as well as an in-depth concentration in a selected area. Upon completion of the program, students will be qualified (1) to embark upon or continue careers in the communication professions or (2) to enter a doctoral program in communication. It is anticipated that students will enter the program with diverse backgrounds and with equally diverse interests and needs. Thus, the program is constructed with the greatest possible flexibility. Graduate courses are offered in the areas of interpersonal communication, organizational communication, mass communication, and rhetorical theory and criticism. Because many communication graduate students are fully employed part-time students, all required seminars in the program are offered in the evening.

Admission to the Program

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Communication program must submit a completed application. Application materials are available online. The application includes:

  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and prior graduate work.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from persons in a position to assess the potential for significant academic achievement.

Normally, an undergraduate degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 "B" is required. For further information, contact The Center for Graduate Studies.

Program Requirements

Students must meet the College's standards for graduate study.

A minimum of 36 credits of graduate-level course work beyond the bachelor's degree is required, with at least 24 credits at the 600 level or higher.

After matriculation, a graduate student has five years to complete all degree requirements. With sufficient reason a student can request a leave of absence and/or extension of this time limit.

Research Core Courses (12 credits)

  • CMC600 Introduction to Research Methods in Communication
  • CMC601 Seminar in Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
  • CMC602 Seminar in Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
  • CMC797 Research Project in Communication

Seminar Core Courses (15 credits)

Seminar courses may not be completed by directed study, independent study or by transfer credit.

  • CMC692 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory
  • CMC693 Seminar in Organizational Communication
  • CMC694 Seminar in Mass Communication
  • CMC697 Seminar in Interpersonal Communication

Elective Graduate Courses (9 credits)

Students must complete at least three additional courses at the graduate level. These courses should be selected by advisement.


Independent study (CMC 699 Independent Study in Communication) permits graduate students to study areas or develop projects not available through regular course work. Students are ordinarily permitted to include a maximum of three credits of independent study as part of their Plan of Study. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the graduate faculty.

Students with strong undergraduate backgrounds in communication, by advisement and with approval by the graduate faculty, may elect to take one or two courses in disciplines other than communication. Students lacking strong undergraduate backgrounds in communication must take their entire Plan of Study in communication courses. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the graduate faculty.

Students who wish to study film and video production, desktop publishing and related media may do so at the Visual Studies Workshop, located at 31 Prince Street in Rochester. With their advisor's permission, students may take no more than six hours of elective credits there.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Synthesize and evaluate communication research, theories, principles, and practices.
  2. Create and execute a sound communication research plan.
  3. Present work effectively through an oral presentation (or another appropriate form) using the standards of the field.
  4. Write effectively for an audience of communication scholars.