Tailor Your Degree to Your Interests and Goals

Our Master of Arts program is flexible enough to accommodate a broad range of career goals and objectives. Some of our students are working full-time in their chosen fields but want to earn a graduate degree that will advance their career. Other students envision a career in teaching and plan to pursue a Ph.D. or simply want the intellectual enrichment that a master’s degree offers.

Read about our programs in detail below, see an overview of our MA in Communication program and visit the Marquette Bulletin for a complete list of course descriptions.

Specialization Requirement

Students are required to choose a specialization and have the option of completing a thesis program or a non-thesis program. All students are admitted to the these program (Plan A) but may transfer to the non-thesis program (Plan B) with the approval of the program director. Students must earn a grade point average of at least 3.000 with no grades below a C.

Thesis Program (Plan A)

Students must complete 24 hours of course work plus 6 credit hours of thesis work (a total of 30 credit hours). Students must also submit an approved thesis and are required to give an oral defense of their thesis.

Non-Thesis Program (Plan B)

Non-thesis program students must complete 24 credit hours of course work, three credit hours of practicum and three credit hours of an approved professional project (a total of 30 credit hours).

Program Requirements

Thesis (Plan A) Requirements:

  • COMM 6001: Communication Theory in Context (3 credits)
  • COMM 6002: Communication Research in Action (3 credits)
  • COMM 6250: Communication as Ethical Practice (3 credits)
  • Specialization Courses (See details below) (12 credits)
  • Elective*† (3 credits)
  • Thesis (6 credits)

Total Credit Hours: 30

*The elective may include any course at the 5000 level or above, including communication professions and society proseminars and digital communication strategies courses. Students may also choose courses in other departments selected in consultation with advisers.

†Students may choose to take COMM 6964 Communication Practicum for elective credit. COMM 6964 may be repeated for up to 6 credits.

Non-Thesis (Plan B) Requirements:

  • COMM 6001: Communication Theory in Context (3 credits)
  • COMM 6002: Communication Research in Action (3 credits)
  • COMM 6250: Communication as Ethical Practice (3 credits)
  • COMM 6964: Communication Practicum (3 credits)
  • Specialization Courses (See details below) (12 credits)
  • Elective*† (3 credits)
  • Professional Project (3 credits)

Total Credit Hours: 30

*The elective may include any course at the 5000 level or above, including communication professions and society proseminars and digital communication strategies courses. Students may also choose courses in other departments selected in consultation with advisers.

†Students may choose to take COMM 6964 Communication Practicum for elective credit. COMM 6964 may be repeated for up to 6 credits.

MA COMMUNICATION SPECIALIZATIONS (12 hours)

As a graduate student in our program, you will choose either the Communication Professions and Society specialization or the Digital Communication Strategies specialization for an additional twelve hours of coursework. The following specialization courses are a representation of what we have offered for the Master of Arts degree. Each specialization course is three credit hours.

Communication Professions and Society Specialization

This specialization provides students with the theoretical and methodological foundation needed for positions of intellectual leadership in communication professions or for doctoral studies. The proseminar format encourages students to discover their individual interests within a broad spectrum of communication concepts, theories and research methods.

The proseminars are organized under six important contemporary topics. Their exact content and title will vary depending upon term and instructor. Proseminars may be repeated under different titles.

To complete the communication professions and society specialization, students must choose three proseminars from the following list and one additional COMM course at the 6000 level. Each course has variable topics and may be repeated once:

  • COMM 6953: Proseminar in Health, Science and Environment
  • COMM 6954: Proseminar in Media
  • COMM 6955: Proseminar in Organizations
  • COMM 6956: Proseminar in Public Life
  • COMM 6957: Proseminar in Relationships
  • COMM 6958: Proseminar in Technology

Digital Communication Strategies Specialization

This specialization provides students with the conceptual foundation and practical training they need to help organizations plan and execute effective digital communication strategies. Courses help students identify and plan communication strategy, develop digital content and measure the effectiveness of communication messages within a variety of professional contexts, including advertising, public relations and journalism. Students may tailor their course selections to meet their professional needs and interests.

The digital communication strategies specialization offers topic-based courses that take an applied approach to the strategic use of digital communication technologies. Specific titles vary, depending upon term and instructor, and topics courses may be repeated under different titles.

To complete the digital communication strategies specialization, students choose three courses from the following list and one additional COMM course at the 6000 level. Each course has variable topics and may be repeated once:

  • COMM 6810: Digital Communication Strategies in Content
  • COMM 6815: Digital Communication Strategies in Metrics
  • COMM 6820: Digital Communication Strategies in Technologies
  • COMM 6825: Digital Communication Strategies for Leadership