Feb 26, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication (Communication Studies) MA

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The Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in Communication Studies offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of theory and research through the rhetorical and social science traditions.  The master’s degree enables students to pursue careers in business, health, and educational institutions. The program also prepares students to teach in post-secondary institutions, and graduates with the master’s degree are employed in community colleges throughout Mississippi.

Students may choose between two tracks of study. The thesis option requires a scholarly thesis and a defense of the thesis. The applied communication track requires a major project that culminates in a portfolio demonstration of the effects, application of theory, or concepts. Students are required to defend the portfolio.

Admission Requirements

  1. For Regular Admission, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA and 3.0 GPA in their major. Meeting this minimal requirement, however, does not guarantee acceptance. The admissions process takes into account the GPA, the GRE, and the letters of recommendation. Students whose record suggests a strong likelihood of success in advanced study will be admitted.
  2. Graduate Record Examination scores.
    • Scores in verbal and quantitative sections should be near or above the average of about 150 on the quantitative portion and 150 on the verbal portion.
    • Admission decisions are not solely based on test scores. Exceptional undergraduate work and/or professional experience are also taken into consideration.
  3. Additionally, applicants must send three current letters of recommendation that refer to the student’s academic ability and preparation to pursue graduate study. These must be written by faculty members who have taught and/or supervised the student. The letters must be uploaded to the application website.
  4. A statement of purpose, indicating why the candidate wishes to pursue a master’s degree at USM.
  5. A current resume/curriculum vitae.
  6. A writing sample.
    • Writing samples should include academic research papers.  
  7. International students must submit scores of at least 79 on the TOEFL exam or 6.5 on the IELTS exam.

See Admission Requirements and Procedures  for other requirements.

Program Requirements and Academic Policies

  • A minimum of thirty (30) semester hours must be completed, including thesis/project credit.
  • A 3.0 GPA and no grade below a “C” are required for graduation.
    • Students may re-take 1 course to remove grades below “C” or to improve the GPA.
  • A total of no more than 6 hours of work earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward a master’s degree.
  • A total sum of no more than 6 semester hours of transfer work and non-degree work may be applied toward a master’s degree.

See General Degree Requirements  and General Academic Information  for other requirements and procedures.

Course Requirements (30 hours)

Core Courses (6 hours)

Research Methods (9 hours)

Students may choose from any of the following:

Communication Studies Electives (9 hours)

Students may choose from any COM electives. 

Thesis or major project (6 hours)

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