MA in Communication

Degree Requirements

  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.

Plan of Study

Not more than 6 semester hours of the required 30 hours of credit may be transferred from another university or campus of the University of Missouri System. There is no language requirement. For the assignment of advisors, students should see the director of graduate studies.

Thesis and Non-thesis Options

The master of arts degree may be completed under either a thesis option, approved by an advisory committee, or a non-thesis option (with a comprehensive examination and project). Both plans require a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit, including at least 15 hours of course work at the 8000/9000 level. MA candidates may take up to 6 hours of credit for their MA project for the non-thesis option. MA candidates take a minimum of 6 hours in 9090 Thesis Research for the thesis option.

Credit Hours for Production

No more than 9 hours of course work or independent study in television production or scriptwriting will be accepted for the MA degree. Students may opt to take more production hours but they may not be included in the candidate’s plan of study.

Length of Study

The MA must be completed in 8 years.

Financial Aid from the Program

Some programs require an extra form or statement from those who wish to be considered for internal assistantships, fellowships or other funding packages. Check the program website or ask the program contact for details.

Admission Contact Information

Martha Crump (
108 Switzler Hall; Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-4432

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: January 15

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum TOEFL scores:
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
61 Effective July 1, 2015 must have a score of 80 600
  • Minimum GRE scores:
When did you take the GRE? Verbal Quantitative Analytical
Prior to August 1, 2011 500 500 4.0
On or After August 1, 2011 153 144 4.0

Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in communication may be required to take course work beyond the required 30 hours to provide necessary background.

 Required Application Materials

To the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • All required Graduate Admissions documents

To the Communication Program

  • Departmental application
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Example of scholarly writing (no more than 25 pages)
  • Transcripts
  • Statement of purpose (no more than 500 words) explaining the student’s intended field of study, professional goals and other reasons for wishing to enter the graduate program
  • GRE scores
  • Résumé