Programs by Campus


Applied Communication

School of Liberal Arts

Departmental E-mail: commdept [at] iupui [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, the University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin).



Degrees Offered
M.A. in Applied Communication

The Department of Communication Studies offers a master's program in Applied Communication with optional concentrations in corporate communication, health communication, medi­a studies and public communication.

Program Goal

The overarching goal of this unique program in Applied Com­munication is to provide students with the competencies and skills necessary to address specific communication issues and problems that are socially relevant and to suggest or imple­ment change. The primary intellectual goal of the program is to increase our students' understanding of the theoretical implica­tions of discipline-specific knowledge and to enhance their ability to understand and predict human interaction relative to realistic, applied outcomes associated with contemporary social problems. A practical goal of the program is to educate professionals who grasp the complexities of communication problems and who are able to develop and execute strategies and create programs to address such issues.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Applied Communication M.A. curriculum will:

  • communicate both orally and in writing for professional and academic audiences
  • synthesize, critique, and apply theoretical constructs in communication studies
  • select and evaluate appropriate methodologies for conducting communication research
  • propose and justify solutions to real-world communication problems
  • design and conduct guided communication research

Admission Requirements

Our Department prides itself on the diversity of majors from which students enter our program of study. Prior to entering our master’s program, students should have (1) a baccalaure­ate degree from an accredited institution, (2) an introduction to research methods, (3) experience in the analysis of com­munication phenomena, and (4) experience with writing in an academic context. Students who do not have this preparatory work may be admitted provisionally with additional course­work required prior to admission, and/or additional credit hour requirements imposed as a part of the minimum requirements for the Master of Arts degree.

The Admissions Committee will evaluate an applicant’s prepa­ration and goals to ensure that the applicant meets the require­ments of Indiana University Graduate School and that the ap­plicant’s needs and goals are compatible with the Department’s program. The Department seeks applicants who have strong analytical and writing skills, a strong liberal arts background, an interest in communication, and applicable work-related experiences. Generally, successful applicants will have cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 or higher at the undergraduate level. The Admissions Committee considers all indicators of the appli­cant’s ability to complete the degree successfully.

Applicants should submit the following:

  1. Completed application form for Indiana University Gradu­ate School.
  2. Personal Statement.
  3. Official transcripts of all college level coursework.
  4. Three letters of recommendation (from university instructors and/or professional associates) sent directly to the Director of Graduate Studies.
  5. *GRE scores are not required for admission to the program; however GRE scores may be submitted if an applicant feels the scores will enhance his/her application and an applicant wishing to be considered for scholarships or fellowship support should note that strong scores on the GRE General Test ARE REQUIRED and may have a positive impact on his/her application.
  6. Interna­tional students must submit TOEFL scores. Information about TOEFL can be obtained from the International Affairs Office, 902 W. New York Street, ES 2126, Indianapolis, IN 46202 or 317- 274-7000. 

The following deadlines must be observed in order to receive consideration for admission:

  • January 15—Priority consideration for fall semester
  • May 15—Fall regular admission

Degree Requirements

Completion of 30 credit hours including:

  • 12 credit hours of core requirements.  These include:
    • COMM-C500 Advanced Communication Theory
    • COMM-C501 Applied Quantitative Research Methods
    • One of COMM-C502, COMM-C680, COMM-C530 or COMM-C531
    • COMM-C503 Applied Learning Project, or COMM-C597 Thesis
  • 18 additional hours
  • Each student may take 3 credit hours of interdisciplinary electives from outside of the Department of Communication Studies, as approved by the student’s advisor. However, this is not
  • The student must maintain a B+ average (3.3) or higher to graduate. 
  • The student must complete either a thesis or an applied learning project to complete the degree requirements.
5-Year BA/MA in Applied Communication

The Department of Communication Studies also offers a 5-year BA/MA in Applied Communication. The program, which is only available to majors in IUPUI’s Department of Communication Studies, allows students to complete a BA and an MA in five years instead of six. The program consists of three years of undergraduate coursework, a fourth year of combined undergraduate and graduate coursework, and a fifth year of exclusively graduate coursework.  The Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes of the 5-Year BA/MA in Applied Communication are identical to the goals and learning outcomes of the M.A. in Applied Communication. 

Admission Requirements

  • Qualified Communication Studies majors may apply for the program in the second semester of their junior year. To be eligible to apply, students should have completed at least 60 credit hours overall and 12 hours in the major, including the 9-hour core (G100, G201, and G310). They should have a minimum GPA of 3.3 overall and a 3.5 in their major coursework.
  • As part of the application process, students are required to submit two (2) faculty letters of recommendation (at least 1 from a member of the IUPUI Department of Communication Studies faculty) and a single-authored writing sample.
  • If students maintain at least a B average in all of the graduate courses taken during their senior year, they will automatically be allowed to continue in the MA program, and the graduate courses completed during their senior year will double count towards completion of the MA requirements.

Program Structure

  • Students accepted into the program will be able to take up to 15 hours of graduate courses in Communication Studies (COMM) during their senior year. During the senior year, students will be required to take COMM-C500 (Advanced Communication Theory) and COMM-C501 (Quantitative Research Methods). In addition, students may enroll in up to 9 additional hours of 500-level COMM classes. These courses will count towards the student’s B.A. (NOTE: All courses counting to the B.A. major must be completed with a grade of C or higher).
  • In Year 5, after earning their B.A., students will complete the remaining hours of course work required for the M.A. in Applied Communication as well as their ALP (Applied Learning Project) or Thesis. Students may elect to take classes during the summer between the 4th and 5th year or to write the ALP/Thesis in the summer after the 5th year.

Sample Curriculum

This sample curriculum provides an example of the Communication Studies courses a student could take to complete the major requirements for their B.A. and their M.A. in 5 years, based on the current curriculum map for the B.A. in Communication Studies.

Sophomore Year-Fall:

  • G100: Introduction to Communication Studies

Sophomore Year-Spring:

  • G201: Introduction to Communication Theory

Junior Year-Fall:

  • G310: Introduction to Communication Research
  • Communication Studies Elective (i.e., M150: Media in Contemporary Society)

Junior Year-Spring:

  • Communication Studies Elective (i.e., R321: Persuasion)
  • Communication Studies Elective (i.e., R310: Rhetoric, Society & Culture)

NOTE: During this semester, qualified students should apply for the Dual BA/MA program

Senior Year-Fall:

  • C500: Advanced Communication Theory
  • Graduate Communication Studies Elective (i.e., C580: Advanced Organizational Communication)

Senior Year-Spring:

  • C501: Applied Quantitative Research
  • Graduate Communication Studies Elective (i.e., C528: Group Communication and Organizations)
  • Graduate Communication Studies Elective (i.e., C544: Advanced Relational Communication)

NOTE: At the end of this semester, the student must have completed all of the requirements for a B.A. with a major in Communication Studies. One of the graduate-level courses will substitute for the B.A. Capstone requirement.

Fifth Year-Fall:

  • Second Core Methods class (i.e., C531: Media Theory and Criticism)
  • Graduate Communication Studies Elective (i.e.,; C594: Comm. & Conflict Management in Org.)
  • Graduate Communication Studies Electives (i.e., C582: Intercultural Communication)

Fifth Year-Spring:

  • Graduate Communication Studies Elective (i.e,, C520: Advanced Public Communication)
  • ALP (Applied Learning Project) or Thesis (3 credit hours)

Academic Bulletins

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