Jul 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication, M.A.

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Stephen Yungbluth, Ph.D., School Director

Jessica Kratzer, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director


The focus of the Master of Arts in Communication program is applied, professional, organizational or corporate communication, designed for and especially appropriate for students seeking a terminal degree for various professions (some students may decide to pursue doctoral education in communication after completing the MA in Communication). The Master of Arts in Communication offers graduate students the opportunity to apply theory and research in various ways, which may include analyzing and evaluating the impact of communication on society, engaging in basic and applied research, developing and conducting persuasive campaigns, preparing for teaching at the college level, preparing for additional graduate research/education, creating media and communication programming, evaluating various forms of discourse, and developing the ability to manage the communication function in organizations.

The program is appropriate for students who want to develop an advanced understanding of communication theories and applications and want to do so through an intensive educational experience in small and highly participative classes and in directed individualized research projects with faculty members. The program is accessible and conveniently scheduled for full-time professionals in the metropolitan region as well as full-time graduate students.

Graduates of the program may choose to further their graduate education, apply their research, enhance their professional development in organizations, or teach basic communication courses in post-secondary institutions.

Office of the Master of Arts in Communication Program

The MA in Communication Program is administered by the School of Media and Communication, located in 400 Griffin Hall. For additional information, visit https://www.nku.edu/academics/informatics/programs/graduate/macommunication.html or call the MA in Communication graduate program director, Dr. Jessica Kratzer at (859) 572-7933. Conversations and campus tours can be arranged with the graduate program director or graduate assistant. E-mail inquiries may be sent to macom@nku.edu. Once admitted to the program, graduate students must be advised by the graduate program director to register for classes.

Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for regular admission to the MA in Communication program, applicants will need:

1.  An online application for graduate admission to Northern Kentucky University (apply.nku.edu).

2.  A bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

3.  Previous graduate work, if any, with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

4.  Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work, including all work transferred into other institutions.

5.  An academic writing sample (such as an undergraduate research paper). Students who do not have a current academic writing sample can contact the graduate program director for an alternative writing prompt.

6.  A 500-word statement of interest explaining why you seek to earn an MA in Communication at Northern Kentucky University.

7.  Three letters of recommendation (specifically explaining your academic preparation and potential for success in graduate study) and completed NKU Graduate Education reference forms. These may be found at http://inside.nku.edu/graduate/admission-process.html.  The letters should be addressed to the graduate program director and should be sent by the person recommending you directly to Northern Kentucky University, Office of Graduate Education, AC 302, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099 or emailed to graduate@nku.edu.

Application Process

Once application materials are submitted to the Office of Graduate Education, files are forwarded to the communication graduate program director and reviewed. The priority deadline for receipt of materials for regular admission is February 1 to begin in the fall semester; however, applications will be reviewed for regular admission on a rolling basis throughout the year, and as long as the program can accommodate outstanding students they will be accepted. Students may apply to begin in any of three semesters (August, January or May). Students interested in attending graduate school full-time (3-4 courses per term) may apply for a graduate assistantship which typically includes partial tuition remission and a stipend for 15-20 hours of work per week. Applications are available at http://jobs.nku.edu under student employment (graduate assistant positions).  The graduate assistants will be selected on a competitive basis by the graduate program director.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.


Graduate Study in Communication (3 credit hours)

Communication and Contexts (9 credit hours)

Total Minimum Hours: 33

Students who have completed six Thesis or Applied Capstone Project hours and have not graduated must enroll in at least one hour of Continuing Capstone Project (COM 798 ) or Comprehensive Examinations (COM 791 ) every semester until graduation.

Program Requirements

  1. Satisfy degree requirements-required courses, a successfully completed capstone experience, and a minimum of 33 semester hours with a GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. No more than six hours of C grades.
  3. Students may take up to six hours of elective courses outside of the COM courses.
  4. Students may take twelve credit hours at the 500-level to complete MA in Communication degree requirements

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