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M.A. in Communication Studies Pictured :: Bronson Bontrager :: Speech Communication :: Middlebury, Indiana (hometown) and
Jessica Lambright :: Speech Communication :: Shipshewana, Indiana (hometown)

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Pending approval

The graduate program in Communication Studies provides students the opportunity to earn the degree of Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication Studies. It offers a rigorous curriculum that is competitive with other graduate programs at IU South Bend and in the region. Our instructors have both the theoretical and practical knowledge that will be an advantage to the students. Our 36 credit hour graduate program has four concentrations to choose from, and students take 15 credit hours in their chosen area. The required thesis or capstone option will provide an opportunity to demonstrate their excellence in the program.

The M.A. in Communication Studies degree is a flexible program intended for students and working professionals holding a bachelor’s degree in communication, or in a related field. Full-time students may complete the program in two years. Adjusted courses of study are available to part-time students.

Admission Requirements

Information about applying for admission to the M.A. in Communication Studies degree program is available from the Graduate Program Coordinator. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. A candidate who does not meet the GPA requirement may apply for special student status. Students are admitted to the Communication Studies graduate program by the departmental selection committee.

 The following materials are required:

  • A completed online application submitted through IU South Bend’s Graduate Programs Admissions site
  • A Statement of purpose (a two- to three-page essay, double spaced) identifying the candidate’s goals and interest in pursuing graduate work in Communication Studies and describing the educational and work experiences that contributed to that sense of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources who can attest to your readiness for graduate-level work.
  • An official transcript from each postsecondary school attended.
  • IU South Bend application fee.
  • A recent writing sample that demonstrates the candidate’s analytical skills, research abilities, and a command of clear and fluent language.
  • Acceptable GRE scores. The GRE should be taken within one year of admission to the program.

 If applying for special-student status, students may additionally need to submit:

  • A request for conditional admission identifying the areas in which the applicant does not meet admission standards and, if appropriate, describing the special conditions, educational background, or work experiences that contribute to the candidate’s preparedness for graduate work.

International applicants should consult with Office of International Student Service for additional materials. The information is available at  Acceptable TOEFL scores are needed for non-English speaking applicants (recommended score for the traditional version is 600, recommended score for the computer version is 250); and a telephone interview may also be required.

Application Deadline
  • Early admission, fall semester :: March 31
  • Final admission, fall semester :: August 1

Degree Requirements (36 cr.)

The 36 credit hour curriculum has four components:

  • A core set of required classes that focus on an introduction to graduate studies, relevant research methods, and communication theory (12 credit hours).
  • A specific concentration in one of four areas: health communication, interaction and social processes, media studies, or strategic communication (15 credit hours).
  • An outside concentration of two graduate classes (6 credit hours).
  • A capstone or thesis project (3 credit hours).
 Required Core Courses (12 cr.)
  • COMM-C 501 Applied Quantitative Research Methods in Communication Studies
  • COMM-C 502 Applied Qualitative Research Methods in Communication Studies
  • SPCH-S 500 Introduction to Graduate Study and Research
  • SPCH-S 502 Introduction to Communication Theory
 Concentration (15 cr.)

Students will declare one of four following concentrations, and take 15 credit hours in that area:

  • Health Communication
  • Interaction and Social Processes
  • Media Studies
  • Strategic Communication
 Outside Concentration (6 cr.)

Students will take two graduate-level courses outside of their declared concentration. Those courses will be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

 Capstone or Thesis Option (3 cr.)

Students will complete a Capstone or Thesis Option.

Photo courtesy of the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts

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