Our program offers advanced study in strategic communication and society, media, and technology research from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. 

Application Deadline

Priority deadline: January 19 for consideration for funding

Final deadline: April 15

We combine the study of complex theories with strategic thinking, research, and practical application. We offer rigorous engagement in issues involving the production, content, and impact of messages. Our faculty's strengths center on:

  • Audiences
  • Media policy
  • Technology
  • Artifacts in social, political, organizational, and cultural contexts  


We prepare you to pursue communication doctoral studies, research positions in industries, advanced teaching positions, and careers as communication professionals.


Students are offered admission on the basis of the following criteria: 

  • Compatibility with faculty research interests;
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a four-point scale;
  • Minimum GRE scores in the 50% range in both of the quantitative and verbal areas. Scores for sections are not averaged; rather each section is considered seperately. A table that shows the percentile range for scores is available on the GRE website.  


Related Links

What Is a Master's in Communication?

A master's in communication prepares you for doctoral studies or advanced careers in the field. The program introduces you to public and mass communication for application to academic and professional settings. You will engage in reviewing and discussing research and crticism while collecting and interpreting original research data.

Why Study Communication Here?

Our master's in Communication students are active researchers. You work on your own projects, in research teams, and with faculty mentors. You'll present your own findings at professional conferences and in publications. We also offer advanced study in public and mass communication research from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. 


Steps to Apply

Start Your Application

Priority Deadline: January 19 for consideration for funding

Final Application Deadline: April 15

  • Complete the online Application for Graduate Admission:
    • select communication from the alphabetical list of degree programs
    • upload a personal statement of academic and professional goals
    • upload required writing sample
    • submit the names and contact information of three individuals who will provide letters of recommendation
    • upload resume/CV
    • pay applicaiton fee ($75)
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities where you completed undergraduate or graduate coursework or degrees
  • Send GRE scores: our code is #005859
  • Send TOEFL scores (for applicants who are not native speakers of English)

Additional Notes

  • We begin review of applications in January. Completing the application by January 15 will give you the best opportunity to be considered for teaching assistantships. Admissions and assistantships are usually announced in February. 


Graduate Assistantships

Details about Assistantships

Students must be enrolled full time in the graduate degree program to qualify for a position. 

We offer a limited number of full-time positions which require 20 hours of work per week, usually fulfilled by teaching two sections of undergraduate public speaking each semester. The position requires enrollment in 12 hours of graduate credit each semester. Our department typically does not offer graduate research assistantships.  

Other opporutnities for graduate teaching assistantships or graduate research assistantships are available across the university. 

Duration of Funding

Contracts are for one year, with renewal depending on progress in the degree program and satisfactory performance of assistantship duties. The majority of our students are funded for two years. 

Benefits of Assistantships

Assistantships provide these benefits:

  • stipend
  • tuition waiver
  • health insurance program (see the Graduate School benefits page for details)


You can find details on benefits and fees under "financial matters" at the Graduate School website: www.grads.vt.edu.

Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend for teaching undergraduate courses, usually public speaking. Other campus-wide opportunities are avaialble. See additional assistantship information avaialble through the Graduate School.

Students pay non-academic fees. Out-of-state students are advised to apply for Virginia residency as soon as possible (after one year in residence). 


Applying for Funding

A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. If you check yes, you will respond to additional questions and be added to our list of candidates. All new positions begin in the fall semester.

Travel Support

The Graduate School and Department of Communication support graduate students traveling to professional conferences to present research. Students must apply for the funds in advance and early applicants have the best chances of support before funds are depleted. We encourage you to seek funding through the Graduate Student Assembly.

Graduate Student Assembly Travel Fund

This program provides graduate students with funding for travel, accommodation, registration, and meal expenses associated with the presentation of their research at professional conferences, symposia and other similar events. Application deadlines are generally in October and March. For more information, visit the Graduate Student Assembly website.

Department of Communication Travel Support

We award support for participation in a professional conference such as presenting a paper. Annoucements about funding availabilty are sent to our students each semester. 

Beyond the Classroom

Master's in Communication studying

We offer a limited number of assistantships to exceptional students, primarily to teach public speaking. All students with an assistantship receive a competitive monthly stipend, and the full cost of their tuition.


Our highly specialized graduate faculty of 14 works closely with students to design a program that fits their needs. We have particular strengths in public and mass communication.

Finish your master's in Communication with Options
Finishing with Options

The M.A. in Communication prepares graduates to pursue communication doctoral studies, research positions in industry, and advanced teaching or professional careers.

Communication Graduate Student Association
Communcation Graduate Student Association

Become a member of the student-run organization that serves the university community through academic colloquia, philanthropy, and service.

A master's in Communication student writing her thesis
Writing Your Thesis

Spend several semesters developing a carefully argued, in-depth, original research project that demonstrates your expertise in a chosen area.

Living and learning in Blacksburg for your master's in Communication
Graduate School

Learn more about living and learning in Blacksburg as a graduate student.  


Program Inquiries:

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Beth M. Waggenspack

Application Questions:

Graduate Staff Coordinator

Ms. Wendy Hodge