Why seek a master’s degree in communication?
A master’s degree in communication provides you with additional knowledge and experience that extends beyond what you learned during your undergraduate degree. The M.A. program emphasizes both theoretical and applied knowledge that will prove extremely valuable in a variety of personal and professional situations.
The advantages include bringing you:
- higher levels of knowledge, skills, theory, research, and practical experience in the communication discipline
- practical leadership skills
- the possibility of gaining teaching experience as a graduate teaching assistant
- the possibility of increasing your research skills and practical experiences as a graduate assistant
- advanced knowledge and expertise in your chosen area of study.
The master’s program in communication at WIU is large enough to be of recognized quality and rigor, but small enough to provide you with individualized attention. The Department of Communication graduate faculty are noted for their teaching effectiveness as well as their significant scholarly and professional activities.
The advantages are:
- small classes
- working closely with faculty
- the opportunity for graduate assistantship funding
- increased job options
- preparation for doctoral studies
- the choice of a thesis or non-thesis option to complete your degree
The Master of Arts degree in Communication requires a minimum of 33 semester hours (SH) of coursework that you select from the thesis or non-thesis options:
- the thesis option includes 27 SH of course work and 6 SH of thesis (COMM 601) work.
the non-thesis options include:
- 30 SH of coursework and 3 SH of creative/applied project work (COMM 602); or
33 SH of coursework and 1 SH of revising a previously-written graduate research paper (COMM 603).
Regardless of your particular option, the following core courses are required:
COMM 500, Introduction to Graduate Studies
COMM 504, Empirical Research in Human Communication
COMM 506, Graduate Seminar in Message Production
Your remaining courses are electives that you choose with the approval of your graduate advisor and/or the graduate committee.
Depending on your career goals, you can take up to 6 units of courses in other departments such as psychology, political science, sociology, management, marketing, and instructional technology. Your specific program of study is chosen with the approval of your graduate advisor and/or the graduate committee.
Admission to the Program
In order to be considered for admission to the Department of Communication graduate program, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and meet the following minimum requirements for consideration:
- have a cumulative GPA in all undergraduate work of a 2.75 (on a 4-point scale) or higher or
- have a 3.0 GPA or higher in your last two years of undergraduate work
- additionally, all students born after December 31, 1956 and registering for the first time at WIU are required to provide evidence of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria.
- International students must have a TOEFL score of at least 237 paper-based/580 computer-based or higher in order to be considered for admission to the program.
For more information about the graduate program in the Department of Communication at WIU, please contact
Dr. Ilon Lauer
Coordinator, Graduate Program
Department of Communication
Memorial Hall 320
Western Illinois University
Macomb, Illinois 61455
School of Graduate Studies
Sherman Hall 116
Phone: 309/298-1806 Fax: 309/298-2345
Call Toll Free: 1-877-WIU Grad