The Saint Louis University master's program in communication is designed to teach you to be a conscientious thinker and leader who communicates effectively in a diverse world.
You will find the courses that are right for you with the chance to develop a personalized program of study that fits your individual goals and interests. Take courses to deepen your understanding of communication theory, research, criticism and ethics within a variety of areas of study, including health communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, strategic communication, rhetoric and public dialogue, media studies, and organizational communication. Small classes give you the chance to form close working relationships with faculty.
St. Louis, a diverse urban setting and large social, corporate and media center, will
give you access to a dynamic research setting in which to examine significant organizational,
social and cultural issues that are occurring locally and globally from a communication
By the time you graduate, you will be prepared for greater responsibilities in a range of professions including advertising, corporate communications, higher education, human resources, journalism, politics, public relations, and training and development.
In order to receive full consideration for funding, students should apply for graduate school and submit a separate application for an assistantship to the Department of Communication by Jan. 15. Applications received after that date may be considered for funding based on availability.
Generally, teaching assistants teach their own sections of CMM 1200: Public Speaking. Assistants are in charge of all aspects of the course and gain firsthand experience in the classroom.
Research assistants gain research experience by working closely with communication faculty members to help them with research projects. Research assistant duties vary according to the needs of the faculty.
Professional assistants work either in the Department of Communication or in another office on campus. Professional assistantships are usually assigned to communication students who are interested in advertising, public relations, journalism, and/or media production. Professional assistantship options include:
The Department of Communication may nominate one student seeking a master's degree each year for a Presidential or Diversity Fellowship. If you would like to be considered for nomination, please contact the graduate program coordinator, Matt Carlson, Ph.D.
If selected, the graduate program coordinator and a mentor will work with you during your fellowship to create a personal plan based upon individual goals and background. This plan may be adjusted during the course of your studies, with the approval of the graduate program coordinator and mentor, if your goals change.
The M.A. program is a 30-credit hour program. Each student works out her or his own program with the graduate director and a faculty mentor according to her or his individual goals. Students and mentors usually develop a close working relationship in which the mentor plays an important role in designing and managing the complete academic program with the student.
All graduate students complete the following three classes for their degree:
Within a two-year cycle of courses, the following courses are likely to be taught in addition to core courses and one or two other electives that vary from year to year:
In addition, a course will be offered that focuses on culture and communication (e.g., Culture and Public Dialogue, Language and Cultural Diversity, Intercultural Communication).
Students are encouraged to explore the relationship between communication and other university departments and disciplines. Students can take a maximum of six credit hours in coursework outside of the department.
Students may choose up to a total of nine hours in the following areas: 4000-level courses in communication, graduate coursework outside of the department, or independent studies. Unless circumstances mandate otherwise, no more than six of these nine hours may be taken in 4000-level courses in communication or in graduate coursework outside of the department. No more than three of these hours may be taken as an independent study.
A maximum of six hours of relevant graduate coursework completed at another university may be transferred to the master's program in communication. Petition forms may be obtained at the Office of Graduate Education, DuBourg Hall 417. The graduate director must approve all requests prior to submission to Graduate Education. Any hours transferred will be regarded as part of the six credit hours allowed outside of the communication department.
All graduate students must choose among one of three degree completion options: applied project, comprehensive exams or thesis project.
The applied project allows students with a professional focus to apply communication theory and research methods in a professional setting. Projects may take different forms, but all students produce some form of communication material on behalf of an organization or field of practice. Students who choose this option take 27 credit hours of coursework and three credit hours of “CMM 5890: Applied Project.”
Examples of recent applied projects include:
A thesis involves the creation of new knowledge relevant to the field of communication, a professional area or an organization. Students read existing research in their topic area and develop a set of research questions or hypotheses to investigate. They then design and implement a study to answer those questions. Students take 24 credit hours of coursework and six credit hours of “CMM 5990: Thesis Research.”
Examples of recent theses include:
This option allows students to synthesize knowledge from across their coursework and demonstrate competency in communication theory and research in the form of an oral and a written exam. Students complete 30 credit hours of coursework and take comprehensive exams during their last semester in the program.