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Communication (M.A.)

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Program Overview

The M.A. in Communication program offers two majors: M.A. in Communication and M.A. in Reputation Management.

Communication

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. The M.A. in Communication is a residential program located on campus in Blacksburg.

Reputation Management

The M.A. in Reputation Management focuses on public relations management in a variety of sectors including corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors. 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. Reputation Management is delivered on campus in Blacksburg and in Falls Church, Virginia, using a bimodal delivery of courses.

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), but are only available for the residential option.

What Our Students Are Saying

Kate Owens, Reputation Management major

“The Reputation Management program has built itself upon a foundation strengthened by the variety of experiences – whether academic or industry - from which the faculty and students stem. As a part-time student and full-time communication professional, I’ve been able to apply theories I’m learning in the classroom to my job in real time.”               

- Kate Owens, Reputation Management major

Andrew Knight, Communication major

“My favorite part of the Communication graduate program is getting to work with professors on more specialized projects that align with my interests and provide me with a better understanding of communication research. Of course, I also love getting the opportunity to teach public speaking and interact with students!”

- Andrew Knight, Communication major

What You'll Study

Communication Example Schedule

You'll take graduate-level 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 credit hours)
  • COMM 5024: Communication Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • COMM 5054 Qualitative Methods in Communication (3 credit hours)
  • Communication class (3 credit hours)
  • Communication class (3 credit hours)
  • Elective class (3 credit hours)
  • COMM 5044: Thesis Prospectus Practicum (1 credit hour)
  • COMM 5994: Research & Thesis (2 credit hours)
  • Communication class (3 credit hours)
  • Communication class (3 credit hours)
  • COMM 5994: Research & Thesis (4-6 credit hours)
  • Communication Class (3 credit hours)
  • Communication Class (3 credit hours)
  • All students in the Communication major are required to complete six credit hours total of Research & Thesis, one credit hour of Thesis Prospectus Practicum, and at least 36 credit hours total.
  • Full-time students are required to take at least two Communication classes and at least nine credit hours each semester.
  • Students holding an assistantship position are required to take 12 credit hours each semester to be considered full-time students.
  • Students holding a School of Communication Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) position are required to take COMM 5034: Teaching Practicum (1 credit hour) each semester and to attend the GTA Workshop their first semester.

 

Reputation Management Example Schedule

You'll take graduate-level Communication courses and electives with a focus on your chosen specialty area while completing a substantial learning experience outside the classroom that includes the successful creation and presentation of a report project.

  • COMM 5014: Communication Theory (3 credit hours)
  • COMM 5024: Communication Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • COMM 5054 Qualitative Methods in Communication (3 credit hours)
  • PR 5724: Reputation Management and Public Relations (3 credit hours)
  • PR 5594: Topics in Strategic Communication (3 credit hours)
  • Elective class from your cognate/specialty area (3 credit hours)
  • PR 5534: Crisis and Issue Management (3 credit hours)
  • PR 5524: Organizatational Communication (3 credit hours)
  • Elective class from your cognate/specialty area (3 credit hours)
  • PR 5514: Public Relations Theory and Practice (3 credit hours)
  • COMM 5904: Project and Report (3 credit hours)
  • Communication class (3 credit hours)
  • Elective class from your cognate/specialty area (3 credit hours)
  • All students in the Reputation Management major are required to complete three credit hours total of Project & Research, to take at least nine credit hours total of elective classes within a chosen specialty area, and to complete at least 36 credit hours total.
  • Full-time students are required to take at least two Communication classes and at least nine credit hours each semester.
  • Students holding an assistantship position are required to take 12 credit hours each semester to be considered full-time students.
  • Students holding a School of Communication Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) position are required to take COMM 5034: Teaching Practicum (1 credit hour) each semester and to attend the GTA Workshop their first semester. Communication GTA positions are only available to residential Blacksburg students.

 

More Information

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 (4.0 Scale)
  • Compatibility with faculty research interests
  • TOEFL/ IELTS score required  (if applicable)

Learn more 

The School 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.

Priority Deadline: January 13 for consideration of funding (domestic and international applicants)

International Applicant Final Deadline (no funding consideration): April 15

Domestic Applicant Final Deadline (no funding consideration): May 31

Cayce Myers, Graduate Director
Shanks Hall, Room 113
181 Turner St. NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7165
Kelly Petersen, Graduate Staff Coordinator
Shanks Hall, Room 119
181 Turner St. NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-2704

Communication Graduate Students

Questions?

Cayce Myers, Graduate Director
Shanks Hall, Room 113
181 Turner St. NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7165
Kelly Petersen, Graduate Staff Coordinator
Shanks Hall, Room 119
181 Turner St. NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-2704

Graduate Faculty 

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