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Communication (M.A.)


Campus:  Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus, Instructions: Residential/On Campus

Program Overview

The M.A. in Communication program offers two majors: M.A. in reputation management and M.A. in communication. The M.A. in reputation management focuses on public relations and reputation management in a variety of sectors including corporate, nonprofit, and government relations. This degree is designed for students interested in advanced studies on how to improve public perceptions of organizations and enhance the goodwill asset on the company balance sheet. Students who complete the reputation management major earn a graduate professional credential that prepares them for broader management responsibilities and enhances their career advancement.

The M.A. in communication involves advanced study in strategic communication and society, media, and technology research from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. The program introduces students to public and mass communication for application to academic and professional settings. Students engage in reviewing and discussing research and criticism while collecting and interpreting original research data. 

Both the M.A. in communication and reputation management have opportunities for funded graduate assistantships. These assistantships provide a GTA salary and payment toward tuition (tuition remission).

Why choose this program?

  • A master's in communication prepares you for doctoral studies or advanced careers in the communication field. 
  • Students pursuing our master's in communication 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. 
  • 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 include: political communication, public relations, digital and new media, rhetoric, mass communication effects, organizational communication, and media law and policy.
  • We prepare you to pursue communication doctoral studies, research positions in industries, advanced teaching positions, and careers in communication.

What You'll Study

You'll take master's Communication courses while completing a substantial learning experience outside the classroom that includes the successful writing and defense of a thesis.

  • COMM 5014: Communication Theory (3 credits)
  • COMM 5024: Communication Research Methods (3 credits)
  • COMM 5054 Qualitative Methods in Communication (3 credits)

and either

  • COMM 5034: 2 hour teaching practicum (for public speaking GTAs) / 1 hour mandatory grad school teaching class (other GTAs)


  • COMM 5994: Research or Elective Course - determined by the Graduate Director
  • COMM Class (3 credits)
  • COMM Class (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)
  • COMM 5034: 1 hour teaching practicum (if PS GTA)
  • Independent Reading or Research (2 credits)
  • COMM Class (3 credits)
  • COMM Class (3 credits)
  • Research & Thesis, Independent Study, or Class (3 credits)
  • COMM 5034: 1 hour teaching practicum (if PS GTA)
  • COMM 5044: 2 hour thesis prospectus practicum
  • COMM Class (3 credits)
  • COMM Class (3 credits)
  • Hours to Complete Research and Thesis 
  • COMM 5034: 1 hour teaching practicum (if PS GTA)

Note: Credits listed are for those serving in GA/GTA positions. Non-GA/GTA students are not responsible for all hours listed but are still required to take at least two COMM classes each semester and meet all graduation requirements.

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 (4 Scale)
  • Compatibility with faculty research interests
  • GRE scores in the 50% range in both of the quantitative and verbal areas
  • TOEFL/ IELTS score required  (if applicable)

Learn more 

The department of communication has a limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships available for students applying for full time study on the Blacksburg campus. Entering students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application. No separate application required.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

Download Plan of Study

Priority deadline: January 13 for consideration of funding

Final deadline: April 15

Cayce Myers, Graduate Director
113 Shanks Hall

Kelly Petersen, Graduate Staff Coordinator and Administrative Assistant
119 Shanks Hall

Communication Graduate Students

Download Plan of Study

Time Table of Classes


Cayce Myers, Graduate Director
113 Shanks Hall

Graduate Faculty 

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