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Communication

Saint Louis University’s master's degree in communication is designed to teach students to be conscientious thinkers and leaders who communicate effectively in a diverse world.


About the Program

Through their coursework, our M.A. students develop fluency in communication theory that can be used to solve practical problems. Students also learn to ask thoughtful questions and find engaging answers by building the skill sets necessary to develop research protocols, evaluate messages, analyze data and share these findings with various stakeholders. You will be allowed to develop a personally tailored program of study that fits your individual goals and interests.

Three Different Completion Options

Applied Project Option

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.”

Comprehensive Exam Option

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.

Thesis Option

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.”  

Program Highlights

SLU’s graduate degree in communication provides opportunities to explore the human communication process through a multi-theoretical approach. Coursework options allow you to deepen your understanding of communication theory and research within a variety of areas of study, including: health communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, media studies, organizational communication, rhetoric and public dialogue, and strategic communication.

Curriculum and Program Details

You will develop a program of study with the graduate director and a faculty mentor according to your individual goals. All students are required to take:

  • CMM 5000: Graduate Studies in Communication
  • CMM 5010: Reading Foundations in Communication Theory
  • CMM 5800: Research Methods in Communication

Many students also take:

  • CMM 5020: Interpersonal Communication
  • CMM 5090: Health Communication
  • CMM 5200: Organizational Communication
  • CMM 5400: Contemporary Issues In Media
  • CMM 5600: Strategic Communication

Additional electives are also available and vary from year to year. Students also 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.  

Faculty
  •  Matt Carlson, Ph.D.
  • Mary Gould, Ph.D.
  • Cynthia Graville-Smith, M.Ed.
  • Amber Hinsley, Ph.D.
  • Tim Huffman, Ph.D.
  • Amber Johnson, Ph.D.
  • Ilwoo Ju, Ph.D.
  • Dan Kozlowski, Ph.D.
  • Jon Mabee, M.F.A.
  • Jennifer Ohs, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Richard, Ph.D.
  • Karla Danette Scott, Ph.D.
  • April Trees, Ph.D.
  • Nancy Wilson, Ph.D.
Careers

SLU’s communication program prepares students for greater responsibilities in a range of professions, including advertising, corporate communications, higher education, human resources, journalism, politics, public relations, research, and training and development.

Recent graduates are working for companies such as FleishmanHillard, Maritz, Monsanto, Corizon Health, the Carolina Hurricanes, the National Catholic Reporter and Express Scripts. In addition, the department has an excellent track record of placing graduates in top-ranked Ph.D. programs.

Scholarships and Financial Aid
SLU’s Department of Communication offers approximately 12 graduate assistantships each year for teaching, research and professional endeavors. Assistantships are awarded on an annual basis and generally only to students who enter the program during a fall semester.

Applicant Criteria

There are no minimum GRE or GPA requirements. Successful applicants typically have GRE scores in the range of 153 Verbal, 144 Quantitative and 4.0 Analytical Writing, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.

Applicants whose scores vary from these guidelines may be admitted based upon fit with our program, past experiences or letters of recommendation.

You’ll need the following items to apply:

Application Requirements

Application form and fee
Three letters of recommendation
Transcript(s)
Personal statement
GRE scores
Résumé

Requirements for International Students

Application and Assistantship Application Deadlines

Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit their application along with the request to be considered for an assistantship by Jan. 15. The assistantship request goes directly to the department.

U.S. students who want to be considered for admission must submit their applications by July 1 for the fall semester and Nov. 1 for the spring semester.

International students who want to be considered for admission must submit their applications by May 1  for the fall semester and Oct. 1 for the spring semester.

Review Process

The Department of Communication carefully reviews each applicant's material as a package to gain an overall understanding of his or her background, goals and abilities.


Hands-on Experience

Multimedia Center

Students practice in a variety of media and can collaborate with one another in the Communication Media Center. Working independently or as a group, students get hands-on experience with current technology, including:

  • digital cameras and video recorders
  • dual-screen computers
  • advanced audio equipment

In addition to the Communication Media Center, SLU communication students have access to a separate multimedia production studio, interview rooms and research rooms, as well as several computer classrooms.