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M.A. in Theory and Research

The M.A. in Communication Studies theory and Research is intended to qualify the student to assume a variety of professional roles in educational, industrial, and government institutions; teach the subject matter at the college level; or undertake advanced training toward a doctorate in Communication Studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. degree program in Communication Studies, it is expected students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the field of Communication Studies through the identification and explanation of the research domains which comprise the field of Communication Studies.
  • Demonstrate a general knowledge of the research methodologies used in the field of Communication Studies.
  • Identify the significant contributions made by researchers in the field of Communication Studies to the social science discipline.
  • Further develop their writing, analytical, and research skills to guide future research endeavors and projects in the field of Communication Studies.

Program Timeline

The M.A. degree program is designed to take no more than one academic year. Students complete 15 hours of coursework during the Fall semester, 15 hours of coursework during the Spring semester, and 6 hours of coursework during the Summer term. Students are not permitted to extend their enrollment in the program past one academic year unless extenuating circumstances prohibit the student from finishing within the allotted year. The constitution of extenuating circumstances is determined by the Department Chair.

Program Application Process

To qualify for admission to the M.A. in Communication Studies program, students will need to meet the minimum GRE and TOEFL scores, minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA, statement of interest, current curriculum vitae and 3 letters of reference. See the Admissions process page for more details. All admitted students are eligible for a one-year assistantship that includes a tuition waiver and monthly stipend. March 28th is the submission deadline for Fall Semester MA Applications and paperwork.

M.A. Theory and Research Application Process

M.A. Assistantship Application

Program Courses

Students in the M.A. program are expected to complete 36 hours of coursework as well as either a thesis or comprehensive oral examination. All 36 courses must be at the 500-level or above, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.

M.A. Theory and Research Courses

M.A. Theses

For M.A. students wishing to further pursue graduate education, the thesis project represents a major milestone in their academic career. Qualifying students work closely with their advisory panel on original lines of research designed to make a meaningful contribution to the larger field of Communication Studies. The completion of a thesis is not a requirement for graduation and must be approved by supervising graduate faculty prior to beginning the process.

Click here for a comprehensive list of M.A. theses.


Seelio: Sharing Student Work

Students enrolled in COMM courses are asked to study the theory and process of human communication so that they can apply this knowledge to understanding real-world issues. As part of this process, COMM students have adopted the Seelio platform – a social media platform that allows students to create an online portfolio of their coursework that is easily accessible to the public. Sharing these portfolios shows the importance of the COMM degree while also giving prospective employees a clear, accurate look at the academic work our students are doing.

Seelio Student Coursework Showcase

Academic Advising

Our advisors are available during the summer, fall and spring semesters during office hours. Check 108 Armstrong Hall, call 304-293-3905, or e-mail an advisor to check office hours for the semester (see below for contact information).

The COMM academic advisors are:

Nikki Loy –
Dr. John Shibley –
Mary Donato –


Request a Mountaineer Intern

Professional Field Experience (PFE) is a key element in the undergraduate COMM curriculum that allows students to gain experience in applying their classroom knowledge to a variety of corporate and organizational environments. Organizations looking for students with an in-depth understanding of communication areas that include (but are not limited to) communication theory, data analysis, health communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and social media/communication technology now have the opportunity to request an intern from the Department of Communication Studies at WVU. Use the form below to read up on our PFE program, and to request a Mountaineer intern today.

Organization Intern Application