Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Communication
Communication is the transmission of impressions, ideas, and information from one human to another. It may take place directly through live interaction, or indirectly through writing, telecommunications, or computer-mediated technology. It remains the skill set most in demand by employers in business and industry nationwide.
While many graduate programs focus narrowly on a single approach to communication or media studies, graduate and professional students today need integrated programs of study offering multiple frameworks of analysis and a comprehensive range of critical, research, experiential, and practical skills. 21st Century workplaces require generalists to adapt rapidly to new environments and technologies.
Texas has the fifth-highest employment level of media and communication workers in the country, contains the sixth most concentrated metropolitan area by employment level in this field, and pays these professionals the seventh-highest annual mean wage of all states nationwide.
As far as possible without diluting the quality and rigor of a graduate communication program, course delivery will vary among face-to-face, Web-based, and hybrid seminars, along with internships or service learning.
Communication Jobs and Careers
- Community Affairs
- Communication Education
- Corporate Communications
- Events Management
- Marketing Research
- Media Relations
- Public Affairs
- Public Relations
- Social Marketing
(and many more)
Communication Degree Requirements
The M.A. in Communication at A&M-Texarkana will focus on the social science research tradition in Communication Studies and on the theory and practice of Emerging Media (social networking and computer-mediated communication). Each emphasis will offer a student a comprehensive conceptual framework and skill set for proficiency in a wide range of rapidly-changing communication professions.
All graduates will earn six semester credit hours (SCH) of foundation course work in theory and research methods and at least 24 SCH in Communication overall. The M.A. in Communication will offer a completion option of either a thesis or a comprehensive examination. Non-thesis students must take at least 6 SCH in Communication in addition to those required of thesis students.
|COMM 500||Theories of Communication||3|
|COMM 501||Communication Research Methods||3|
|Prescribed Communication Electives (or COMM Concentrations below)||12|
|Option: Thesis or Extra Communication courses||6|
|Approved Electives (non Communication)||6|
Students who elect to declare a concentration may choose between Communication Studies and Emerging Media. They will take a minimum of 9 SCH in that area and at least 3 SCH in Communication outside that area.
|Communication Studies Concentration|
|Select at least 9sch from:||9|
|Special Topics in Communication|
|Emerging Media Concentration|
|Select at least 9sch from:||9|
|Emerging Media Theory|
|Media and Cultural Criticism|
|Legal and Ethical Issues in Emerging Media|
|Digital Applications in Emerging Media|
|Emerging Media Production|
|Special Topics in Communication|
This curriculum was designed to support mastery of the program learning outcomes. Faculty have determined the following four Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) will address job expectations and reflect anticipated workforce needs for the proposed degree.
Graduates will be able to:
- Evaluate theoretical approaches to producing effective communication to meet specific professional requirements.
- Conduct relevant research according to professional standards.
- Apply effective communication strategies to the resolution of interpersonal communication challenges in organizational settings.
- Demonstrate effective strategies to meet professional requirements using mediated communication.
COMM 500. Theories of Communication. 3 Hours.
This course is a detailed exploration of established theoretical traditions in the study of human communication: rhetorical studies, semiotics, systems theory, as well as socio-cultural, socio-psychological, phenomenological, and critical approaches.
COMM 501. Communication Research Methods. 3 Hours.
This is a course designed to investigate many of the methodological designs used by communication scholars including both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Experimental and non-experimental designs, data gathering procedures such as questionnaires, physiological and behavioral measures are studied. Qualitative measures including participant observation, focus groups, life histories, textual methodologies and in-depth interviews are examined. Perspectives for the philosophical and theoretical assumptions underlying each methodology are focal issues.
COMM 512. Interpersonal Communication. 3 Hours.
This course is designed to teach students about interpersonal communication, how to apply current theoretical concepts to the analysis of interpersonal interactions, and to become aware of applying theoretical concepts in interpersonal interactions in professional and personal arenas. Prerequisite: COMM 500 or COMM 501.
COMM 520. Organizational Communication. 3 Hours.
This is an examination of the study and practice of effective communication in organizations at the interpersonal, group, and systemic level whether face-to-face or electronically mediated. The course is designed to teach students how to create a comprehensive graduate-level research proposal or organizational communication intervention proposal. Prerequisite: COMM 500 or COMM 501.
COMM 525. Intercultural Communication. 3 Hours.
Exploring the nature of communication within and between cultures, this course serves as an introduction to foundational and contemporary concepts, practices, and processes of intercultural communication, methods of critical intercultural analysis, and the scholarly field of intercultural communication. The course will challenge students to think about their own cultural assumptions and examine the ways in which these assumptions differ from those held by people in other cultures. The class will engage these topics through multiple and diverse readings, class discussions, reflective writing assignments, and in-and after-class research activities. Prerequisite: COMM 500 or COMM 501.
COMM 535. Strategic Communication. 3 Hours.
This class focuses on public relations management functions in organizations. Students examine public relations contexts and case studies that exemplify how organizations apply strategic communication to solve public relations problems. The course stresses basic steps necessary in resolving a public relations problem or handling a public relations crisis. Prerequisite: COMM 500 or COMM 501.
COMM 540. Conflict Management. 3 Hours.
This course is designed to teach students about conflict management styles in organizations, interpersonal compliance-gaining strategies, and how to apply current theoretical concepts to conflict management situations such as mediation and negotiation. Prerequisite: COMM 500 or COMM 501.
COMM 550. Emerging Media Theory. 3 Hours.
This course focuses on contemporary New Media theory. Topics may range from video game theory, videographic criticism, media coverage, and design.
COMM 555. Media and Cultural Criticism. 3 Hours.
This course focuses on the intersection between media and cultural criticism. Topics may include gender, race, ideology, and formalism.
COMM 560. Legal and Ethical Issues in Emerging Media. 3 Hours.
This course is a detailed exploration of communication law and ethics with respect to electronically mediated communication in general and emerging social and digital media in particular. Prerequisite: COMM 500 or COMM 501.
COMM 565. Digital Applications in Emerging Media. 3 Hours.
This class focuses on the intersection between Emerging Media theory and practice and may focus on such digital tools as SPSS and the software within Adobe Creative Suite. Prerequisite: COMM 500.
COMM 570. Emerging Media Production. 3 Hours.
This class focuses on the intersection between Emerging Media theory and production and may focus on such digital tools as the software within Adobe Creative Suite. Prerequisite: COMM 550.
COMM 597. Special Topics in Communication. 3 Hours.
This three hour course offered by the Communication program is open to all graduate students. The course is designed to teach students about organizational communication and how to create a comprehensive graduate-level research proposal or organizational communication intervention proposal.