Communication, M.A. Program
The Master of Arts degree in Communication is a dynamic, flexible program in the heart of the Bay Area. As a student, you will join an energetic community of active scholars engaged in a wide range of research interests. You will learn foundational approaches to theory, criticism, research, and ethics in communication that prepare students for the public and professional spheres, on local, national, and international levels. As a student you will construct a program of interest to you, with a solid foundation in communication theory and research. Your experience will include specialized seminars from a variety of areas including: rhetoric, cultural studies, organizational communication, media studies, strategic communication and political communication. The program consists of 31 units including: core courses, graduate elective seminars, and independent study courses. The culminating experience is a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam.
Program Learning Outcomes:
- Engage critical/creative thinking toward a convergent praxis of theory and applications relevant to the communication discipline/field;
- Conduct original research adding to the discovery of knowledge in the communication discipline/field;
- Demonstrate results of original research in the communication discipline/field through presentation in written, oral, or mediated formats;
- Develop critical and cultural perspectives for promoting social justice through communication.
- Demonstrate mastery in the scholarly discipline/field of communication.
Our program prepares you for advancement in communication and media-related fields. Students with an M.A. in Communication work in areas such as teaching, media technologies, journalism, consulting, human resources, communication training, management, sales, government, and politics. Numerous students use the degree as preparation for Ph.D. and law degrees.
A Bachelor’s degree in Communication or a related field/discipline. A GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Application for admission includes two parts:
- Submit the online University application at CALSTATE Apply;
- Submit the department application form, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and a sample of scholarly writing to the Graduate Coordinator, Department of Communication, Cal State East Bay, Hayward, CA 94542. Links to both university and department application forms are available on the Department of Communication website.
For Cal State East Bay Communication undergraduates we offer a streamlined application process that requires only one letter of recommendation from a current Cal State East Bay faculty member.
The program accepts students in both Fall and Spring semesters.
Student Standing and Progress Toward the Degree
You may be admitted under one of the following:
“Classified Graduate” Standing
For admission with “Classified Graduate” standing to the M.A. program in Communication, students must:
- Submit an application to pursue a specific program of graduate study and be accepted by the department and the university;
- Have completed a baccalaureate major in Communication from an accredited institution, or appropriate preparatory coursework approved by the faculty;
- Have maintained an overall grade point average of at least 3.00, and
- Satisfied the University Writing Skills Requirement.
“Conditionally Classified Graduate” Standing
If a student’s degree is in another field, or if the MCC-GRADIR- Graduation Requirement in Writing Proficiency [GRADUATE] (GDRP) has not been satisfied, it may be possible to be admitted with “Conditionally Classified Graduate” standing. In this case, students are admitted graduate students but may have additional course work to satisfy. Student status will remain conditional until the work is completed with a minimum of “B” or better average and the student has passed the Writing Skills Test.
The M.A. in Communication requires completion of 31 units in an approved program of study, with a “B” (3.0) or better.
All courses are four units unless otherwise specified. In cases of transferred credit, a minimum of 24 units must be completed at CSU East Bay.
Writing Skills Requirement
All students must meet the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) to become fully “Classified Graduate” students. Graduate students must begin satisfaction of this requirement in their first semester of their residency.
Attainment of “Classified Graduate” Standing
To attain “Classified Graduate” standing, a student must have completed all prerequisites with grades of “B” or better and satisfied the University Writing Skills Requirement. Notify the graduate advisor immediately upon completion, and request that s(he) complete the necessary paper work.
Advancement to Candidacy
To be Advanced to Candidacy for the M.A. degree in Communication, the student must:
- be a “Classified Graduate” student in good standing;
- complete 27 semester units beyond the prerequisites with at least “B” grades;
- choose a program advisor;
- submit a study plan for completion of the degree program to the program advisor;
- have the thesis proposal or project proposal approved by their graduate adviser, if applicable;
- show evidence of progress and ability to complete the program.
Communication Degree Requirements (31 units)
All students must take 13 units of core courses:
All students must take a minimum of 12 units from the following 4-unit courses:
All students must complete one (1) of the following Capstone experiences for 2-6 units:
- COMM 691 - University Thesis Units: 1-6
Upon approval of the student’s graduate committee, a student may elect the University Thesis for 6 units; the student will carry out research on a specific topic in the field and will report, review, and file the results, and will be examined on the thesis. Students electing the University Thesis capstone will sit for an oral defense of the thesis at its completion.
- COMM 692 - Comprehensive Exams Units: 2
A student who selects the comprehensive exam capstone must elect a program made up entirely of a minimum of 31 units of approved coursework, including COMM 692 for 2 units. Satisfactory achievement on comprehensive written and oral examinations will be required of students electing the coursework and examination option. For the comprehensive examination, the student will be tested on all coursework taken during their graduate study, including all required courses and any coursework in progress during the semester of examination.
- COMM 693 - Project Units: 1-6
Upon approval of the student’s graduate committee, a student may elect the Project capstone for 6 units; enrollment commits the student to a production of a piece of work which is to follow prescribed forms; a permanent record is to be filed in the departmental office. Students electing the Project capstone will sit for an oral defense of their project at its completion.