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Master of Arts in Communication

Bethany Goodier

Amanda Ruth-McSwain
Program Director


This 33-hour master’s degree program is designed to develop an understanding of communication theory, the ability to conduct research, the capacity for critical thinking about communication problems, and the competencies required of a professional communicator, teacher or scholar Full- and part-time students are welcome.Students may choose a thesis option or a non-thesis option for completing the program. The thesis option requires completion of a traditional research project, with students registering for three credit hours of Master’s Thesis during each of two consecutive semesters (COMM 701-702). The non-thesis option requires completion of an approved three-credit hour graduate Internship (COMM 795), with a provision for waiving the internship requirement if a student demonstrates appropriate professional experience in a communication career. Students are permitted to take up to three cognate graduate hours at the College of Charleston outside the Communication program.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a 3.0 minimum GPA overall and 3.0 in the major
  • Scores from GRE tests taken through July 31, 2011 must have a composite score of 1000 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections and 4 on the writing assessment section. The minimum requirements for tests taken on or after August 1, 2011 require a minimum composite score of 300.
  • Acceptable coursework in communication or a related discipline.
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic sources (professors, advisors, etc.).
  • A writing sample demonstrating the candidate’s academic and research capabilities.
  • A statement of goals describing the candidate's interest in a master's degree in communication.
  • Personal interview with the Program Director (or the Director’s designee)

Transfer Credit Policy

An applicant or student of the M.A. in Communication program can seek approval from the Program Director to accept up to nine transfer credit hours. These courses must have a grade of B or higher, and can count toward the degree requirements if the course description and syllabus closely match the parameters set by the Communication program. Courses with a grade of “Pass” or “Satisfactory” may be accepted.

Application Deadline

This program only accepts applications for candidates intending to begin courses during the Fall semester. Applications are accepted through March 1.

Degree Requirements

Candidates must complete 33 credit hours, including the required courses outlined below. These courses are COMM 500 and COMM 510, plus one of each from the three choice options below for a total of 15 credit hours. To reach the 33-hour minimum, candidates may choose COMM electives, plus either six thesis hours or three internship hours. All graduate students must earn a satisfactory rating on a comprehensive examination after completing 24 graduate hours in the program. Finally, by the start of the second semester in the program, all graduate students are expected to choose an academic advisor and file a plan of study with the program director. This plan must be approved by the student’s academic advisor as well as the program director.

Required Courses:

Required of all students

COMM 500

Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication

COMM 510

Communication Theory

Option One (Choose One):

COMM 501

Quantitative Research Methods

COMM 502

Qualitative Research Methods

Option Two (Choose One):

COMM 680

Seminar in Rhetoric

COMM 681

Classical Rhetorical Theory

COMM 682

Modern and Contemporary Rhetorical Theory

Option Three (Choose One):

COMM 701-702

Master's Thesis

COMM 795