The Master of Arts in Communication Management requires successful completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate work, with a grade of B or higher in all classes; completion of a comprehensive examination; and completion of a Plan I or II research project.

Specifically, the MA requires:

  • Completion of 36 hours of graduate classes with the following restrictions:
    • Up to 6 hours may be taken outside of the department, with prior approval of your advisor and the Department’s Graduate Director.
    • 6 hours of Thesis Research (CM 699) if you choose the Plan I thesis option.
    • Up to 6 hours of Qualitative Communication Research (CM 696) if you choose the Plan II non-thesis option. (Please note that Plan II students are not required to take any project hours and may fulfill their hour requirement through coursework alone.)
    • Your committee and the Graduate Advisor must approve all programs of study.
    • All nontraditional classes, (i.e., Internships, Independent studies, Directed Studies) may only be taken if you have completed 24 graduate hours or more, are in good standing, and have prior written approval of your advisor, the faculty member directing the project, the Graduate Director, and the Department Chair.
  • Successful completion of a comprehensive qualifying exam on your coursework and research interests.
  • Successful completion of a Plan I or II proposal defense.
  • Successful completion of a Plan I or II research project. You will receive 6 hours of credit for a Plan I Thesis (CM 699), or up to 6 hours of credit for a Plan II project (CM 698).
  • Timely observance of all graduate school requirements, including application to candidacy, application for degree, and requirements for the final format of your Plan I thesis.

Application to Candidacy

Once you have decided upon an academic advisor, you will work together to identify members of your advisory committee. With their help, you will propose a program objective. The Advisory Committee then designs a written exam that reflects your coursework and research objectives. Departmental committee members will submit questions; outside members may (but are not required to) submit questions. Your advisor will then administer the written exam and the Advisory Committee will evaluate it.

The Advisory Committee may make one of the following evaluations:

  • You pass and are admitted to MA candidacy.
  • You do not successfully pass the examination but are given a conditional pass providing that you provide further work that demonstrates your abilities and knowledge. This may include taking further coursework. This option is used if the committee does not feel that your abilities were accurately demonstrated on the test.
  • You do not successfully pass the examination and must retake all or part of the exam. This option is used when it is clear that you are ill prepared to be admitted to candidacy. If you do not pass a second attempt, your status as a graduate student in the department will be terminated.

Once a student has been admitted to Candidacy, then they may begin working on their final Plan I or II research project.

Research Project

Research Project



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