Get a graduate degree

Go beyond and stand out. Add to what matters most: your education.

Graduate programs

Master of Arts, Communication

Carrisa Hoelscher, Graduate Director
Craig Hall, Room 361, Phone 417-836-4423

Entrance requirements 

  1. The applicant must have received an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. The applicant must hold an undergraduate degree with an academic major in communication (speech or mass communication, journalism, rhetorical studies) or a related discipline (e.g., anthropology, English, history, psychology, or sociology), or have completed a minimum of 15 hours of undergraduate course work in communication to demonstrate an adequate background for graduate work in the field of communication.  Additional undergraduate courses may be required as prerequisites to the student's graduate program.  Prerequisites are determined by the Department of Communication and relayed to the Graduate College as conditions of admission.
  3. The applicant must submit scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as a requirement for admission to the program.  
  4. The applicant must have attained a GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 credit hours of academic work and a score of 153 or above on the verbal section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a score of 140 or above on the quantitative section of the GRE
  5. Applicants who do not meet the normal admission requirements, but who show an indication of high promise, will be considered for probationary admission.  Probationary conditions will be defined by the Graduate Director.  Probationary students will not be eligible for graduate and/or teaching assistantships.
  6. The applicant must submit a 500-700 word letter of application.  This letter should address the following questions:
  • Why are you interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Communication? 
  • Why did you choose to apply for graduate study in the Department of Communication at Missouri State University? 
  • How does your background (educational and otherwise) prepare you for graduate study?
  • What professional goals do you hope this degree will help you achieve? 
  1.  The applicant must submit at least two letters of reference of which one is from an assistant professor, associate professor, or professor who has had the student in class.  Applicants more than six years out of their bachelor's degree must submit a letter of recommendation from a supervisor or another person adequately qualified to evaluate the student's suitability for graduate study.
  2. Admission to the graduate program is competitive and acceptance decisions will begin in early February.  All application materials must be submitted by February 1.
  3. Meeting the above entrance requirements does not guarantee admission to the Master of Arts in Communication.  The decision to accept a graduate student is competitive and complex.  It is based on multiple factors, only one of which is meeting the entrance requirements listed above.
  4. All other University and Graduate College requirements for admission to a degree program will also apply.  Please refer to the requirements given in this catalog.

Enrollment requirements 

To enroll in graduate courses in the Department of Communication, a student must satisfy one of the following two conditions:

  1. Be admitted to a graduate program in Communication, or
  2. Have permission to enroll into the Communication course from the Instructor of Record.

Degree requirements (minimum of 33 hrs)

  1. Theory.  Must complete 9 hours in Theory as follows:
    Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
    COM 701 Introduction to Graduate Studies   3 hr
    COM 702 Theory and Research in Communication 3 hrs
    COM 706 Rhetorical Theory 3 hrs
  2. Methodology.  Must select two courses, 6 hours, in the Methodology of Inquiry: 
    Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
    COM 712 Quantitative Research Methods in Communication    3 hrs
    COM 714 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication 3 hrs
    COM 716 Rhetorical Research Methods in Communication  3 hrs
    COM 718 Applied Communication Research Methods 3 hrs
  3. Additional course work.  Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 additional hours selected by advisement and approved by the Graduate Director, consistent with their professional, educational, and/or personal objectives.  No more than 9 hours may be selected from departments other than Communication and Media, Journalism and Film.  It is possible to complete all 18 credits in the Department of Communication.
  4. Teaching Assistants.  In addition to the above listed requirements, anyone applying for a graduate assistantship in the Department of Communication must include a writing sample as part of the admission process.  All graduate teaching assistants (TAs) must enroll in COM 710 during the first semester of their assistantship.  See course description of COM 710 for additional information.
  5. Research.  Complete one of the following three research options. 
    Option I: Completion of a thesis that is approved by committee, the Graduate Director and the Graduate College.  The department further requires a public presentation of the thesis.  Thesis credit shall be no more than six semester hours of the minimum required for a master's degree. 
    Option II: Complete a seminar paper approved by a seminar paper advisor, a departmental committee on seminar papers, and the Graduate Director.  The department further requires a public presentation of the seminar paper.  A maximum of 3 credit hours of COM 796 may be used for the purpose of completing the seminar paper.
    Option III:  Complete a professional project approved by a professional project advisor, a departmental committee on professional projects, and the Graduate Director.  The department further requires a public presentation of the professional project.  A maximum of 3 credit hours of COM 796 may be used for the purpose of completing the professional project.
  6. Comprehensive Examination.  A comprehensive examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be granted.
  7. Non-class Instruction.  A maximum of eight credit hours of non-class instruction (COM 795 Communication Internship, COM 796 Independent Study and/or COM 799 Master's Thesis hours) may be counted toward the minimum 33 hours necessary for graduation.

Accelerated Master's Degree option

Eligible undergraduate majors in the School of Communication Studies may apply for early admission to the Master of Arts in Communication during the second semester of their junior year.  Once accepted for early admission, students will be able to take up to 12 credit hours at the 600-700 level that apply to both their undergraduate and graduate degree programs.  Students MUST enroll in COM 701 during the fall semester of their senior year as part of the accelerated program.  Before enrolling in courses to be counted for both undergraduate and graduate credit, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated master’s program AND receive prior approval from the Director of Graduate Studies, the Department Head, and the Dean of the Graduate College (on a Mixed Credit Form).

Admission requirements for the Accelerated Master’s option

  1. Junior standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.25.
  2. Major in the School of Communication Studies or the equivalent, having completed 15 hours in the major department, including at least six hours at the 300-level or above, with a GPA in the major of 3.50 or better.
  3. A letter of recommendation by a graduate faculty member in the School of Communication Studies or an equivalent department at another institution.
  4. A personal statement of no more than 2 pages addressing the applicant's qualifications for the Accelerated program and the role the program plays in the applicant's personal and professional goals.
  5. A sample of academic writing of no less than 3 pages.
  6. Admission by the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Communication. 
  7. Submission of GRE scores prior to the beginning of the second semester of course work.  For information on these tests, please see the "Admission to Graduate Study" section of the Missouri State University Graduate Catalog.

 Date for first consideration for applications: February 1.