The Communications Management program consists of  academic coursework, including either a thesis (6 hours) or a project (3 hours) and leads to a Master of Arts degree upon successful completion of all requirements.

The program offers four avenues: health communication, public relations management, media management, and theater management. The sequence begins with a group of graduate level communications courses, combined with selected courses from the MBA program. The degree prepares the student for leadership roles in a wide variety of communications/audience-related fields, ranging from public relations and marketing to nonprofit administration and mass media management.

Success Stories!

Through their training in a range of communication models, our students are prepared for the challenges of graduate work or the career world. But don’t take our word for it, read the stories of two of our graduates in their own words:

Admission Requirements

  • Fifteen hours of communications courses including a course in public relations, mass media production, or theater arts. Work experience is considered in fulfilling this requirement.
  • A 3.0 grade point average (GPA) is expected for full admission. Applicants with slightly lower GPAs may be given conditional acceptance if they have shown grade improvement over the course of their undergraduate program.
  • A complete application.
  • Acceptable completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. No absolute minimum is set. Conditional acceptance may be granted in marginal cases.
  • Two letters of recommendation with recommendation cover sheet which may be from former professors, work supervisors, or other qualified individuals who are familiar with the applicant’s ability and character.
  • Written statement of personal goals and plans regarding the program.

Educational Philosophy and Goals

  • We serve a student community that ranges from the newly-graduated to those with considerable work experience who may be seeking to enhance their potential or, in some cases, make a career change.
  • We are conscious of the needs of the part-time student while accommodating those who wish to take a full-time program.
  • We seek to prepare students to be capable leaders in a wide variety of communications fields.
  • We endeavor to ensure that students have a clear understanding of the ethical, legal, and practical challenges and approaches involved in leading a department, a division, or an organization.

The Program
The Master of Arts in Communications Management requires 33 hours of graduate credit. Two plans are offered. All students take a final comprehensive examination. A few of the required courses have prerequisites that can add to the total, if similar courses have not been taken in the undergraduate years. These include statistics, economics, and organizational behavior.

Core communications courses include research methods, ethics in media, communications law, communications theory, marketing, management theory, and human resource management. Track courses include media strategy and public relations management or media production and mass communications management.

According to their career goals, students may choose between two approaches to the degree, Plans A or B.

Plan A, which emphasizes research and includes a thesis requirement, is most appropriate for those considering further course work at the doctoral level.

Plan B, which combines course work with either a research essay or a creative project, may be more appropriate to students whose M.A. will be their final degree. The selection of Plan B does not exclude students from subsequent doctoral study. Both plans require a comprehensive examination.

PLAN A: 33 Hours. 27 hours plus 6 hours thesis and a comprehensive exam.
Communication Courses – 18 Hours*
Research Methods** CO 510
Ethics and Media** CO 520
Seminar in Communication Law and Policy CO 530
Development of Communication Theory CO 550
Plus one of the following three CO sequences:
Public Relations Sequence
Media Strategy CO 515
Seminar in Public Relations and Media Management CO 585
Television Sequence
Advanced Media Production CO 525
Seminar in Electronic Media Management CO 580
Theater Sequence
Seminar in Advanced Pre-Production and Performing Arts Direction CO 535
Live Theater and Performing Arts Venue Management CO 575
M.B.A. Courses – 9 Hours*
Marketing MK 521
Management Skills***(Must be taken before MN 550
Strategic Human Resource Management)
Strategic Human Resource Management MN 588
Thesis:  6 hours approved CO 599
PLAN B:  33 Hours.30 hours plus 3 hours of a research essay or creative project and a comprehensive exam.
Communications Courses – 21 Hours*
Research Methods** CO 510
Ethics and Media** CO 520
Seminar in Communication Law and Policy CO 530
Development of Communication Theory CO 550
Communication in the Global Marketplace or one additional approved M.B.A. course CO 595
Plus one of the following three CO sequences:
Public Relations Sequence
Media Strategy CO 515
Seminar in Public Relations and Media Management CO 585
Television Sequence
Advanced Media Production CO 525
Seminar in Electronic Media Management CO 580
Theater Sequence
Seminar in Advanced Pre-Production and Performing Arts Direction CO 535
Live Theater and Performing Arts Venue Management CO 575
M.B.A. Courses – 9 Hours*
Marketing MK 521
Management Skills***(Must be taken before MN 550
Strategic Human Resource Management)
Strategic Human Resource Management MN 588
Essay or Project in Communication
Management:  3 hours
CO 598

* Courses may have prerequisites.
** CO 510 and CO 520 must be taken in the first year of the program.
*** MN 531 or equivalent is a prerequisite for MN 550. It can be used as the “one additional approved MBA course” in Plan B.

Financial Assistance

  • A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Graduate assistants are given a tuition waiver for up to 18 credit hours per year plus a stipend. Students are expected to spend 10-20 hours per week working for the department. Assistants teach laboratory courses for beginning undergraduates, assist professors with courses and research, and fulfill other department duties as needed.
  • The University’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid offers assistance on student loans.