This graduate degree was created to provide students with advanced skills in communication analysis, problem-solving, critical-thinking, research, theoretical application, and written 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.
The Strategic Communication Emphasis will equip you with the strong communication skills, applied experience and in-depth understanding of consumer/audience behavior needed to achieve business communication goals and manage company reputations and retail purchases. The Strategic Communication Emphasis expands on undergraduate studies in public relations, advertising and merchandising, designed to lead to greater leadership opportunities, broader responsibilities and scholarly pursuits in these fields. Jobs related to your degree are available in nonprofit, for-profit and government organizations, academic and entrepreneurial ventures:
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:
In addition to University Requirements:
|Minimum Units for Completion||36|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.|
|Emphasis or Coursework Required||
An emphasis or coursework is required for this degree.
|Thesis||Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Research||Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
The MA in Communication provides students with advanced skills in communication analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, research, theoretical application, argumentation, and written communication. Students choose from either the MA in Communication (with no emphasis) or the MA in Communication with an emphasis in Documentary Studies.
The MA in Communication provides a foundation of the basic research methods, theories, and standards of argument in the academic study of communication. Students explore theories and research in a variety of communicative contexts with an emphasis on the application of concepts, theories, and research to real-world issues. Students will be able to access, understand, evaluate, and apply research, concepts, and theories. Students will engage in original research and/or the application of existing research, concepts, and theories to specific situations for the purpose of problem-solving and/or evaluation, including effective message design. Students will learn the expectations of academic argument in communication as well as how to effectively communicate their findings to diverse audiences. The MA in Communication (with no emphasis) will be of relevance to working professionals in a variety of fields, educators, activists, and those preparing to pursue a PhD in Communication, Communication Studies, Rhetoric, or related disciplines.
The Documentary Studies emphasis provides a solid grounding in the theoretical, critical, and practical traditions that inform documentary work. Students engage in intensive research and fieldwork, professional production skills in storytelling, and learn to critically analyze media in terms of both content and craft. Particular attention is given to the role of documentary as social critique and bringing untold, under-reported, and under-represented issues and peoples into the public eye. The program is ideally suited to prepare students for today's world of cutting-edge multimedia journalism, documentary work, as well as preparation for PhD programs in cinema and media studies.
The Strategic Communication emphasis will provide a rigorous understanding of media effects, public opinion, persuasion theories, audience measurement, and consumer behavior in the digital age. The diverse range of faculty experts will engage with students to explore theory, practice, and application of research applied to the merchandising, advertising, and public relations fields with a focus on quantitative methods. The emphasis is designed to lead to greater leadership opportunities that are needed to achieve business communication goals and manage company reputations and retail purchases. Students will elevate their essential skills in marketing research, social media management, audience engagement, and public sector communication via project-based learning. The program is suited for students who enter the advertising, public relations, or merchandising industries and those students who plan to continue on to doctoral studies in communication, media, or strategic communication.
Student Learning Outcomes
Core Student Learning Outcomes
Individual program admission requirements include:
This Master’s degree requires 33 to 39 units distributed as follows:
Take the following 33 - 39 units:
Core requirements (12 units):
Documentary Studies Emphasis (18-21 units)
You may not pursue the Science Communication Certificate in conjunction with this degree.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.