Master of Arts in Communication

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
Master's Degree
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Entry Requirements

  • Applicants should have a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university. The Department of Communication does not require grad school applicants to have an undergraduate major in communication.
  • Acceptance into the program is based primarily on general academic ability and interest in the areas of study within the department. Students with no background in the discipline are usually required to complete supplemental courses in addition to the minimum requirements for the MA.


From concepts to topical seminars

The Communication department’s graduate course offerings implement a three-level curriculum:

  • The four-course base: A three-course core consisting of a survey of concepts and theories of communication and both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, plus one course in your primary area
  • The center: A series of 600- and 700-level courses
  • The apex: 800-level seminars that cover specialized topics in great depth

The following courses are permanent titles. For descriptions, consult the semester schedule or the department’sGraduate Handbook.

Required courses

  • Comm 611: Introduction to Theories and Concepts of Human Communication
  • Comm 620: Research Methods I (Qualitative Methods)
  • Comm 621: Research Methods II (Quantitative Methods)

Area surveys

  • Comm 613: Introduction to Theories of Social Interaction
  • Comm 665: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory (or its equivalent)
  • Comm 691B: Seminar in Media Theory
  • Comm 693D: Introduction to Film Theory

Permanent titles

  • Comm 696: Independent Study
  • Comm 699: Master’s Thesis
  • Comm 712: Political Communication
  • Comm 720: Social Impact of Mass Media
  • Comm 724: Audience Research and Cultural Studies
  • Comm 733: Cultivation Analysis
  • Comm 781: The Ethnography of Communication
  • Comm 796: Independent Study
  • Comm 896: Directed Research
  • Comm 899: PhD Dissertation

Special topics

In addition to our permanent graduate courses, the department regularly offers special topics. Among the special topics offered in recent semesters:

  • American Rhetorical Theory
  • Cinema As Social Force
  • Class Cultures
  • Communicating Central American Cultures
  • Communication and Social Change in the Third World
  • Communication and Transnationalism
  • Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Cultural Theory of Stuart Hall
  • Democracy, Rhetoric, and Performance
  • Discourse Analysis
  • The Documentary Enterprise
  • Feminist Film Theory
  • Field Research in Media and Cultural Studies
  • Field Research Methods in Social Interaction
  • Film Cultures and Community
  • Global Cultures and Communication
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Introduction to Semiotics
  • Media and Cultural Policy
  • Media and the Family
  • Media Effects
  • Media Historiography
  • Media Literacy
  • Mediation
  • Music, Culture, and Communication
  • The Politics of Sexual Representation
  • Political Economy of Media Industries
  • Social Interaction Analysis
  • Technology and Society
  • Telecommunication Policy


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