College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2015-2016

School of Communication

Communication, Master of Arts

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Communication Studies - Emphasis
  • Documentary Studies - Emphasis

This graduate degree was created to provide students with advanced skills in communication analysis, problem-solving, critical-thinking, research, theoretical application, and written communication.

Careers

What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Communication?

How people communicate with each other influences problems confronting business, government, schools, families, and social relationships. At a time when relationships of all kinds are mediated by technology, good communication is more critical than ever. If you want to advance your understanding of how communication affects finding solutions to complex issues in a complex world, then this Master of Arts in Applied Communication may be for you.

You will work closely with a faculty mentor to design a degree program that meets your professional interests and needs. You'll design, carry out, and present independent research while increasing your skills and expertise in writing, critical thinking, reasoning, presentation and defense of ideas, and research. You'll emerge with the skills and abilities that are expected of communication experts. 
 

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Hospital public information officer
  • Public relations professional
  • Speech writer
  • Internal communications manager
  • Market research analyst

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Attorney
  • University faculty 


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Student Learning Outcomes

M.A. in Communication Studies
 
Core Learning Outcomes

  • Learn and apply basic research methods in Communication scholarship.
  • Demonstrate ability to plan, conduct, and disseminate a research project in human communication.
  • Understand, synthesize, and explain the historical development of Communication as an academic field of inquiry.
  • Integrate and apply knowledge of communication theories to multiple contexts of human communication.
  • Utilize communication constructs, theories and concepts to define, evaluate, and manage real-world problems, conflicts, and events.
  • Develop skills in constructing and presenting messages to diverse audiences.
 
Communication Studies Emphasis Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate ability to plan, conduct, and disseminate a research project in human communication.
  • Understand, synthesize, and explain major research methods in Communication Studies.
  • Integrate and apply knowledge of communication theories to multiple contexts of human communication.
  • Develop skills in constructing and presenting messages to diverse audiences.
 
Documentary Studies Emphasis Learning Outcomes
  • Engage a theoretical and historical understanding of documentary as rooted in the traditions of creative storytelling and social critique.
  • Apply heightened skills of observation, critical thinking, and creativity to the stories of untold, under-reported, and under-represented issues and peoples; bring these stories to the public eye.
  • Create and distribute a variety of documentary projects in different forms at an advanced level to diverse populations.
  • Realize that production tools and techniques are a means to author a unique point of view shaped by the documentarian's philosophical sensibilities and ways of seeing the world.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application required.for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Writing sample
    • Personal statement or essay
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units:
    Core requirements (15 units):


    Emphasis Requirements (select one):

    Communication Studies Emphasis (21 units)
    • Select Thesis or Project Option
    Thesis Option
    • COM 699 (6 units). Be aware that you may end up taking more than the 6 units you can count toward your degree because you must enroll each fall and spring semester while you work on your thesis. You must enroll for at least 3 units the semester in which you will graduate, including summer, regardless of the number of units already taken. (6 units)
    • Additional coursework selected with your advisor; this can include, with advisor approval, up to 9 units of coursework outside of Communication and Communication Studies and no more than 6 units of individualized studies as independent studies, directed readings, and research. (15 units)
    Project Option
    • COM 690 (3 units)
    • Additional coursework selected with your advisor; this can include, with advisor approval, up to 9 units of coursework outside of Communication and Communication Studies and no more than 6 units of individualized studies as independent studies, directed readings, and research. (18 units)
  • Documentary Studies Emphasis (21 units)Thesis option
    • COM 699 (6 units). Write a traditional MA thesis on a documentary studies topic. Be aware that you may end up taking more than the 6 units of COM 699 you can count toward your degree because you must enroll for COM 699 each fall and spring semester while you work on your thesis. You must enroll for at least 3 units of COM 699 in the semester in which you will graduate, including summer, regardless of the number of units already taken.
    • Additional coursework chosen in consultation with a graduate faculty advisor. Select elective courses from any graduate program at NAU that will help provide you the research tools, specialization, knowledge, and intercultural understanding for documentary work. Such disciplines could include: anthropology, communication, environmental science, ethnic studies, gender and women’s studies, sociology, among others. (6 units)
    Project option
    • COM 690 (3 units). In consultation with a graduate faculty advisor, prepare field research and a detailed project proposal in the semester previous to your project covering a semester-long documentary field project—this may be done through writing, audio, oral history, photography, digital film, exhibit, or multimedia.
    • Additional coursework chosen in consultation with a graduate faculty advisor. Select elective courses from any graduate program at NAU that will help provide you the research tools, intercultural understanding for documentary work. Such disciplines could include: anthropology, communication, environmental science, ethnic studies, gender and women’s studies, sociology, among others. (9 units)
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability



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