Master's Program


  1. 30 hours of course work with a B average (minimum). Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in Communication may be required to take course work beyond the minimum required 30 hours to remedy any deficiencies.
  2. All courses must be taken at the 7000 level or higher. At least 15 hours of courses must be taken at the 8000 level.
  3. At least 24 hours of graduate classes (7000 and above) must be completed in the department.
  4. You must complete Comm 8110: Introduction to Graduate Studies.
  5. You must complete a research methods course.
  6. No more than 12 hours combined may be taken in research, problems, or directed readings courses (i.e., 4960, 8085, 9050).
  7. At least 24 hours of course work must be completed at the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. Only six hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another university in the University of Missouri system.
  8. You must write either a master's thesis or complete a substantial research or creative project with exams in lieu of a thesis. The thesis option requires an oral defense of the thesis before a committee of three faculty members. This is in lieu of written comprehensive exams. Students who opt for the project option must submit an approved research project or creative project to their advisor prior to graduation and must successfully pass a six-hour written comprehensive examination written for a three-member faculty advisory committee. A student may earn up to six hours of academic credit for either the thesis or the independent project.

Typical full time enrollment for graduate students is 9 hours in the fall and spring semesters and 3-6 hours in the summer. Graduate School regulations forbid graduate students from pursuing more than 16 hours each semester or more than 9 hours in the summer session. Under normal conditions, a full-time student can complete the M.A. in 12-24 months. This involves taking 9-12 hours per semester and steady progress on the thesis or project.

M.A. Assistantships
All graduate students are eligible for various fellowships and scholarships through the Graduate School. Because the department recommends students for these awards, an early applicant is more likely to be nominated. Graduate teaching assistantships are primarily offered to Ph.D. students. However, occasionally qualified M.A. students receive assistantships on a semester-by-semester basis. In addition, M.A. students should never expect to receive funding beyond a two-year time period. The department application (pdf) includes a section on graduate teaching assistantships. If you are interested in an assistantship, be sure to complete this section of the application.

Need More Information?
If you have a question about the Communication Department Graduate Admissions
Please email the Communication Department at:

Notice of Nondiscrimination
Applicants for admission and employment, students, employees, sources of referral of applicants for admission and employment, and all unions are hereby notified that this institution does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, or sexual orientation in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. Any person having inquiries concerning the University of Missouri-Columbia's compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is directed to contact the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Personnel Services / Affirmative Action, University of Missouri-Columbia, 130 Heinkel Building, Columbia, MO 65211, 573-882-4256. The Assistant Vice Chancellor of Personnel Services/Affirmative Action has been designated by the University to coordinate the institutions' efforts to comply with the aforementioned regulations. Any person may also contact the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, regarding the institution's compliance with these regulations. If you have special needs as addressed by the American with Disabilities Act and nee special arrangements, you may contact the ADA Coordinator of the Communication Department, 108 Switzler Hall, 573-882-4431. Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate your special needs.