Communication, MA

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research: Sumana Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.
Graduate Communication website

Degree Offered

Master of Arts, Plan B only

Program Description

The J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication graduate program in communication prepares students for intellectual, artistic, professional and ethical leadership in a complex technological and multicultural world. It uses a core of common knowledge, values and communication skills to improve understanding of communication as a cultural and social process and to develop the skills necessary for success in constantly changing information environments. Students can specialize in one of two areas: communication and media studies, or digital communication strategies. The master’s program takes an integrative approach that emphasizes how contemporary communication practices, technologies and professions intersect and encourages students to learn from one another’s specialized interests.

The communication and media studies specialization focuses upon deeper skills of analysis and research in communication and prepares students for advanced roles in their careers or for doctoral studies. The digital communication strategies specialization focuses upon the planning and use of communication technologies and prepares students to work as leaders in their professional fields.

Students are encouraged to tailor the degree to their individual interests by choosing from the varied proseminars or topics courses offered in communication, or from courses offered in other Marquette graduate programs, including business, marketing, English, psychology and political science.

Both specializations require a problem-based, interdisciplinary, organizationally grounded educational experience. Milwaukee offers a rich urban landscape for communication study, with a wide array of advertising and public relations agencies, major corporations, consulting firms, broadcast stations, general interest and specialized newspapers and magazines, and online publications. Students in the program have the opportunity to collaborate with each other and with faculty and learn from one another’s experiences as writers, designers, multi-media specialists, consultants, trainers and marketers.

Upon the completion of the master of arts degree program in communication, graduates will be able to:

  1. Apply research-based, theory-informed knowledge to the identification and solution of real-life issues in the field.
  2. Apply ethical decision-making skills in a variety of communication situations.
  3. Integrate knowledge from the discipline of communication with the chosen specialization area.

Master of Arts in Corporate Communication

In addition to our master of arts in communication, the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication offers a master of arts in corporate communication in conjunction with the Graduate School of Management. This 30 credit-hour program combines advanced course work in communication and business to prepare students for an executive-level communication role. See the Corporate Communication bulletin page for more information on this master of arts and its related five-year accelerated degree program.

Dual Programs of Study

M.A. in Communication and M.A. in Political Science

M.A. in Communication and M.A. in International Affairs

The J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication, in conjunction with the Department of Political Science, offers a program of dual study leading to a master of arts degree in communication and a master of arts degree in political science or international affairs. Dual degree students are able to complete both degree programs in less time than if both degrees were pursued separately.

Students seeking admission into the dual degree program must submit to the Graduate School separate applications for admission to both programs, including two sets of required documentation, and must meet the admission requirements of each program. Acceptance into one program does not guarantee acceptance into the other. If a student is accepted into one program and not the other, the student can still choose to accept the admission offer from the first program but would not be considered a dual degree student. Because students are officially admitted into only one Marquette University graduate program at a time, applicants must indicate which program they intend to pursue and complete first, although once accepted for admission to both programs, students may take courses from both departments. Upon completion of the first program, the student is officially admitted to the second program for completion of the remainder of the dual program.

Dual degree students count 9 credits of course work in each program toward the required course work credits of the other program. Thus, 9 of the 30 credits required for the master of arts degree in communication come from POSC courses, and 9 of the 30 credits required for the master of arts degree in political science or international affairs come from COMM courses.