Sep 29, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication MA


The Master of Science degree in communication offers two primary tracks, mass communication and communication studies. The curriculum integrates research and theory into a broad-based experience designed to prepare recent graduates and experienced professionals for professional advancement, doctoral studies, and personal enrichment. The graduate faculty combine applied knowledge with theory and work to engage students while challenging them to think critically as they address communication practices and issues. Courses examine how communication creates, sustains, and changes political, corporate, non-profit, and cultural institutions, and society at large.

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate transcripts from an accredited university with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate study.

Applicants without an undergraduate degree in communication must present evidence of general knowledge of the field and basic skills in writing. For those pursuing the mass communication emphasis, evidence should be provided of basic skills and knowledge of digital media production. Such evidence may include courses taken post graduation and professional portfolios. Other requirements for both tracks:

  • At least three letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources addressing academic preparation and readiness for graduate work.
  • A statement of purpose, indicating why the candidate wishes to pursue a master’s degree at USM.
  • A current resume.
  • A writing sample.

Writing samples may include academic research papers or professional communication materials such as news articles or background papers. It is not required, but students may submit more than one sample. When doing so, please combine all samples into one document for the application upload.

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 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 minimum of 18 semester hours must be in courses numbered 600 or above.

A total of no more than 12 hours of work earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward a master’s degree.

A total sum of no more than 12 semester hours of transfer work and non-degree work may be applied toward a master’s degree.

TOTAL – 30 hours


At least 18 hours must be taken at the 600 level or above.

Students, in conjunction with their adviser, must complete one of the following:

  • Pass a comprehensive written exam covering the student’s emphasis area (mass communication or communication studies).
  • Complete a project of professional quality.

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

Course Requirements (30 hours)