Graduate Program of Study

The M.A. in Communication Studies provides advanced study of language, interaction, and communication in relational, cultural, and societal contexts. Individuals in the specialization draw from international developments in critical and cultural studies to explore culture and communication, develop a deeper understanding of the intercultural and international dimensions of communication, and explore communication as an interactive process across diverse social relationships, activities and contexts. The program of study prepares students for scholarly or applied careers in communication, including college-level teaching and preparation for the Ph. D. in Communication.

Degree Learning Outcomes

Degree Learning Outcomes

  1. FOUNDATIONAL COMPETENCIES: Ability to comprehend, identify, & competently employ skills in argumentation, writing, verbal communication, listening, nonverbal communication, public presentations, teamwork and collaboration, conflict management, and professional interaction
  2. DISCIPLINARY COMPETENCIES: Comprehension of the nature, function, scope, delineations, and history of the communication discipline (with emphasis on its SDSU instantiation)
  3. THEORETICAL COMPETENCIES: Ability to identify, differentiate, analyze, and modify major theories in the field, as well as formulate original theoretical creations
  4. RESEARCH COMPETENCIES: Ability to comprehend and differentiate the major research paradigms, and ability to propose and conduct original research
  5. APPLIED COMPETENCIES: Ability to translate communication knowledge into applied contexts, policies, projects, interventions, or presentations
  6. CULTURAL COMPETENCIES: Capacity for applying multiple perspectives toward self-understanding, in relation to self and others’ (co)cultures, group affiliations, and identities
  7. CRITICAL COMPETENCIES: Ability to identify relevant evaluative criteria and apply them competently to self-reflection, ethical progress, and actual or envisioned communication situations and/or scenarios

Students in Communication Studies have a program of study with the following characteristics:

Part I Core Theory & Methods 1 course (3 units) = Communication 601
Part II Tools 2 courses (6 units)
Part III Specialization Courses 4 courses (12 units)
Part IV Electives 2 courses (6 units)
Part V Program Completion: Thesis or Additional Course 1 course (3 units)

*See details in the 2023/2024 University Catalog

Seminar Descriptions

The following are brief descriptions of the seminars in our School. Normal full-time load for graduate students is 6 units, or two seminars. Methods seminars are offered once per year and other topical seminars are normally offered at least once within each 2-year period. Enrollment in a particular seminar is not guaranteed, although we work very hard to ensure that each student is able to take their most desired courses. Therefore, a student can graduate by taking 2 seminars each semester for two years plus two courses during the summer. The school offers two seminars every summer in our study abroad program. Alternatives are to take an overload two semesters or take summer courses in other departments.