Public Communication, Master of Arts

Offered by the Department of Communication

Program Information

The Master of Public Communication is an online master’s program designed to serve students who are currently working in a career or who progressing directly from their baccalaureate degree to improve their credentials. Public communication is the art of translating information from jargon-specific terms to lay terms. The goal of this program is to teach students to communicate expert knowledge to broader audiences. Students will learn how to take specialized knowledge (e.g., health or political science) and communicate that knowledge to larger publics. They will learn how to utilize mass media and public relations strategies to synthesize knowledge in a specific field and present to and persuade public audiences. While communication to the public is a primary focus, internal communication skills are also emphasized.

Students will have two degree-completion options. They may opt to complete a practicum or write a thesis. These options will allow students to tailor the degree to their own professional/academic goals.  The program prepares students to learn how to lead outreach programs within their chosen discipline yet offers the flexibility to prepare students for a Ph.D. program.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Public Communication MA program is based on undergraduate GPA, resume, letter of intent, and letters of recommendation. An applicant interested in pursuing an MA in Public Communication should:

1. Meet the requirements for admission set forth by the Office of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach

2. Submit official college/university transcript showing the conferment of a Bachelor's degree with an overall GPA of 2.75* or higher on a 4.0 GPA scale

3. Submit two letters of recommendation

4. Submit a letter of intent that describes the applicant's interests and goals in obtaining a degree in Public Communication

5. Submit a professional resume

*Students with an undergraduate GPA lower than 2.75 may still be considered for the program based on their other strengths. These students will be conditionally admitted for the first semester and must achieve a 3.0 GPA to be fully admitted to the program. Conditional approval will be considered for students who have especially strong work history, letters of recommendation, and/or students whose undergraduate GPA in the major is markedly higher then their overall GPA.

International students will be required to meet the minimum TOEFL score of 213 on the computerized test and 550 on the paper test.

Public Communication, Master of Arts

Core and Media Literacy
JMC 860PMass Media & Society3
SPCH 899PCommunication Theory3
Choice of one research methods course3
Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research Methodology
Specialization6
Readings in American History
Critical Approaches to Media
International Media and Society
Political Communication
Media and Public Policy
Health Communication
Social Movements and International Media
Science Communication
Diffusion of Innovations
Advanced Organizational Communication
Skills6
Social and Emerging Media
Media Technology and Narrative
Managerial Communications
Campaigns and Elections
Strategic Communication
Leadership Communication
Communication Training and Consulting
Electives - Choose 3 additional courses in the curriculum9
Select one of the following options6
Practicum Option
Public Communication Practicum 1
Thesis Option
Public Communication Thesis 2
Total Credit Hours36