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.
No matter what your needs and dreams are, your graduate adviser will help you complement the required foundational courses with electives and other courses in your specialization to create a program of study that prepares you for the next phase in your life.
You can read about our program in detail below, download an overview of our program and visit the Marquette Bulletin for a complete list of course descriptions.
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES (9 hours)
These courses provide you with a broad understanding of how communication works at a fundamental level. After completing the foundational courses, you will understand how communication solves societal problems. Furthermore, you will develop a lens through which to view communication issues that you will expand on in your specialized courses. All graduate students in communication take these courses, in addition to the courses required for a specialization.
Each foundational course is three credit hours:
COMM 6001 Communication Theory in Context
COMM 6002 Communication Research in Action
COMM 6250 Communication as Ethical Process
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
Proseminars in this specialization are structured as non-lecture courses and offer you a chance to engage in deep discussion with faculty. You will develop in-depth research and discover new interests within a wide range of communication concepts and theories.
While proseminars are organized under six contemporary topics, their content and title will vary, depending on the term and instructor. You may repeat one proseminar under a different title, but you must complete at least three areas to fulfill your requirement. Here is a sample of proseminars we have offered in the past:
- COMM 6953 Proseminar in Health, Science and Environment: Health Campaigns
- COMM 6954 Proseminar in Media: Media Representations of Identity
- COMM 6954 Proseminar in Media: Sociology of Communication – How Social, Political, Economic Institutions Impact Mediated and Public Discourse
- COMM 6954 Proseminar in Media: Global Strategies in Public Relations and Advertising
- COMM 6955 Proseminar in Organizations: Corporate Social Responsibility
- COMM 6956 Proseminar in Public Life: Storytelling in Public Life
- COMM 6956 Proseminar in Public Life: Political Communication
- COMM 6957 Proseminar in Relationships: Managing Challenging Relationships and Difficult Conversations
- COMM 6958 Proseminar in Technology: New Technology in Contemporary Society
Digital Communication Strategies Specialization
Courses in this specialization provide you with the conceptual foundation and practical training you’ll need to help organizations plan and execute effective digital communication strategies. In addition to learning how to plan effective strategies and create digital content, your coursework will also explore how to measure the effectiveness of communication messaging in advertising, public relations and journalism.
These topic-based courses allow you to tailor your selections to meet your professional goals and interests. Specific titles will vary upon term and instructor. After completing this specialization, you will know how to develop an effective communication strategy using a variety of digital communication technologies.
Here is a list of sample courses we have offered in the past:
- COMM 6810 Digital Communication Strategies in Content: Writing in a Corporate Context
- COMM 6810 Digital Communication Strategies in Content: Freelance Writing for Magazine Media
- COMM 6825 Digital Communication Strategies in Leadership: Training and Development
- COMM 6815 Digital Communication Strategies in Metrics: Data Analytics and Reasoning
- COMM 6820 Digital Communication Strategies in Technologies: Emerging Social Media
- COMM 6820 Digital Communication Strategies in Technologies: Documentary Production
- COMM 6820 Digital Communication Strategies in Technologies: Craft of Digital Storytelling
THESIS OR PROFESSIONAL TRACK (9 hours or 15 hours)
Once you’ve completed your coursework, you’ll finish your degree with either a thesis or professional project.
If you choose the thesis track, you’ll complete six credits of COMM 6999: Master’s Thesis and one three-hour elective. Coupled with nine hours of foundational courses and twelve hours of specialization courses, the thesis track program is a total of 30 credit hours.
If you choose the professional track, you’ll complete three credits for COMM 6998: Professional Project, three credits for COMM 6964: Communication Practicum, and nine hours of electives. Coupled with nine hours of foundational courses and your twelve-hour specialization, the professional project track is a total of 36 credit hours.
You may choose either a thesis or a professional track, regardless of your specialization.
Download an overview of the M. A. in Communication program to see how the Foundational Courses, Specialization Courses, and Thesis / Professional project will work together to create your complete degree.