Graduate Program

Graduate Class 2023, 9 people


In the Master of Arts degree program in Communication Studies, students acquire an understanding of research methods and theories that explore the nature and functions of human symbolic communication in the areas of communication and rhetorical theory, interpersonal and organizational communication, strategic communication, public discourse, intercultural communication, performance studies, and health communication. The program requires that students select and develop an area of specialization.

Students have the unique opportunity to choose elective courses, with advisor approval. This enables students to pursue intellectual inquiries that interest them while gaining a broader understanding of the communication process.

To read more about the Communication Studies MA Program, please see this interview by Communication Studies Professor, Dr. Rob DeChaine.


To apply to the Graduate Program in Communication Studies, please complete your application online at

If you are interested in being a GA or TA please make sure to fill out the GA and/or TA part of the Department application.

Important Notice: If you have obtained an old department application form, please disregard the form and complete the entire application process and submit your department supplemental materials online at

The FALL 2024 University Application deadline is April 15, 2024.

Important Links:
Click here to Apply  
CSU Apply Admission Requirements
Graduate Application and Admission Information
International Application and Admission Information

In addition to University requirements for admission to graduate study, you must have a 3.00 grade point average in the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) from your undergraduate work. Please submit the program supplemental materials, including unofficial transcripts, a resume/CV, a writing sample, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation by persons qualified to assess your academic work, online as part of you application package. If you are interested in applying for teaching, forensic coaching, or graduate assistantships, you will need to provide additional information and related statements. Only complete application files with all required supporting materials will be reviewed by the department and assessed for admission.

Students applying to the MA program and whose undergraduate major was not Speech or Communication Studies may be admitted to the degree program in conditionally classified standing. Prior to beginning graduate work, conditionally classified students must achieve a minimum B grade in every course of a conditional study plan of up to 20 units of undergraduate work in Communication and related fields, as approved by the graduate advisor for their program. The graduate advisor will assist students in designing a classified study plan suited to their individual interests and goals.

Once accepted, a formal conference with an adviser is required to design a master's degree program suited to individual interests and goals.


You will need official transcripts of all previous college work, a CV/resume, a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation by persons qualified to assess your academic work. Additional forms and statements are required if you are interested in applying for teaching, forensic coaching, or graduate assistantships.

The MA application deadline is April 15, 2024.

Please complete your entire application online at

All department supplemental materials should be submitted online under the “Program Materials” section. These include: unofficial transcripts (note this does NOT replace your official transcripts. You still need to request your official transcripts to be sent to the University Admissions Office), a CV/resume, a writing sample, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation requests, and any additional materials that are applicable to you.

We only offer Fall admission.

Each year we admit 14-18 MA students.

MA students should be able to complete their degree in two years at full-time registration.

We offer Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship, and Forensics Coaching Assistantship.

  • As a teaching assistant (TA), you would participate in our TA Development Program and would teach one or two sections of our introductory public speaking course.
  • As a graduate assistant (GA), you would assist a faculty member in a class. These include a variety of activities such as grading, class maintenance, conduct screenings, and other duties assigned.
  • Graduate students who have experience with competitive forensics experience are also eligible for a forensics coaching assistantship.

The department usually offers 12-15 assistantships to new MA students each year.

It is strongly recommended. If you do not have a communication BA, you may be admitted with conditional status. In this case, you will need to complete pre-requisite coursework before you can officially start your MA coursework.


Yes. Letters and recommendation forms should be submitted online by the recommenders.

Competitive applications include a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester units.


If you are an international student and English is not your first language, a TOEFL score is required, unless you have earned a BA degree from an accredited college/university in a predominantly English-speaking country, or the only language of instruction at both the secondary and post-secondary levels.


At this time, we do not offer online graduate courses.

For MA program and graduate assistantship (GA) related questions, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Mu Wu at [email protected].

For questions specifically about TA and teaching assistantship, please contact Dr. Kristina Ruiz-Mesa at [email protected].

For questions specifically about forensics coaching assistantship, please contact Melissa Deleon at [email protected].