M.A. in Communication
Do you aspire to better understand and influence human interactions? A master’s in communication examines the aspects that sway perspectives, build more effective personal connections and get others to take action.
ACU presents communication as integral to the human experience and equips you for a range of careers by enhancing your written, oral and analytical skills and helping you better assess one-on-one and group dynamics.
Our Commitment To You
Customizable degree plan: You’ll select from thesis and non-thesis tracks to chart out the trajectory of your degree in relation to your long-term goals. Thesis students engage in and present their original research meant to contribute to the field and eventually intend to pursue a doctoral degree. Non-thesis students eye an advanced communication position in the workplace and will prepare for an oral comprehensive exam. For both tracks, electives let you explore the various applications of communications.
A competitive edge: See theories in action, and apply them to achieve desired results while encouraging others to improve their communication skills. Through graduate assistantships, you’ll have the opportunity to teach undergraduate speech courses, tutor others in public speaking techniques at the Speaking Center or assist professors with their research.
Travel opportunities: Continue to vary and grow your perspective by studying overseas in Oxford, England. Along with staying in a historic villa and immersing yourself in the region’s history and culture, you’ll spend time exploring intercultural communications and international relations in detail. Research forms the backbone of our program, and beyond expanding your view of theory with data, you’ll have the opportunity to present your findings at professional conferences across the country.
What To Expect
ACU’s program takes a multifaceted approach, emphasizing interpersonal and organizational communications, rhetoric, analysis and the qualitative and quantitative methods for reviewing and conducting research. This baseline lets you select a number of paths, adapting your knowledge to politics, healthcare, leadership and other applications, and views communication not strictly through theory but as a method for fostering social and organizational change and developing a coherent, empowering narrative.
The typical student enrolled in the MA in communication program takes 36 credit hours over a period of two years. These courses are divided between the core (12 credit hours) and supplementary electives (24 credit hours). The core increases what you already know about the field, diving into higher-level theories and research methodology. Coursework introduces you to:
- quantitative research methods, including the scientific method, survey and lab research, sampling, interviewing techniques and constructing questionnaires;
- qualitative research methods rooted in ethics and philosophy to identify problems, create questions, design assessments and collect data;
- verbal and non-verbal interactions, including their meanings, how they assist with persuading and informing and their role in interpersonal, group and organizational communications; and
- rhetorical criticism for single and multiple symbolic events.
After consulting with a program director, you’ll craft an individualized course of study through supplementary courses offering a more focused and often industry-specific view of communications. Unlock the potential of communication in times of crisis to influence others through leadership or politics, to expand your understanding of gender and intercultural relations and to succeed in the nonprofit, organizational or health care sector.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts steady demand for media and communications professionals through 2029, with opportunities present in:
- administration and organizational development;
- corporate communications;
- consulting and training;
- intercultural relations;
- human resource development;
- health care;
- media and entertainment;
- public relations; and
- policy and public service.