Master of Communication Studies

About the program

Communication is central to human endeavor and the Master of Arts in Communication Studies program connects students to great experiences and opportunities. Our graduates enjoy success in a range of communication professions and fields, including digital media production, public relations, organizational development or communication theory.

Communication-class-female-studentsThe curriculum extends from strengthening written and oral mastery to laying the foundation for advanced work in communication research. The program encourages the student to select classes to support one’s own interests. The program is committed to the development of leadership, and to the University’s position of national leadership in promoting an ethic of service to community and country, fostering scientific and humanistic research, and advancing social mobility.

Students who work full-time may complete the program by taking evening courses.

Students can pursue the following program option:

Courses and degree plan

View the Master of Communication Studies Requirements and Degree Plan
View the Combined Master of Arts in Communication Studies and Doctor of Jurisprudence Requirements and Degree Plan
View the Certificate in Public Communication, Public Policy and Public Leadership Requirements and Degree Plan

Combined Law Degree Option

In addition to separate degree programs in Law and Communication Studies, the Law School and Graduate Studies also offer a combined program of study leading to the degrees of Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Arts in Communication Studies (M.A.). The combined degrees program allows a student to complete the requirements for both degrees in three or four years.

The J.D./M.A. challenges lawyers to sharpen their analytical, critical, and creative communication skills. Current communication scholarship, technology, and the rights surrounding the technology have placed increasing importance on law in the communications sector. For those who wish to practice law in communications-related areas, this advanced degree is a valuable asset in their career development. This program will also enable students to acquire knowledge while developing ethical sensitivity and professionalism.

For the student with the appropriate communication background, the degrees may be earned with the completion of a total of 108 credit hours of Law and Communication Studies, 18 credit hours less than the normal requirement for both. To satisfy the 90 credit hours of Law for the J.D. degree and the 36 credit hours of Communication Studies for the M.A. degree, 12 credit hours of Law courses are transferred as elective credit hours to the M.A. degree and six credit hours of graduate communication courses are transferred as elective credit toward the J.D. degree. Students in the program must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of communication courses at St. Mary’s University.

The first year of study consists of law courses. During the second and third years, the student completes the remaining law courses and appropriate Communication Studies courses.

Admission to the joint program requires application to both schools, although application to the Graduate Studies program need not be made until the student begins at St. Mary’s School of Law. An acceptable LSAT score may be substituted for the GRE.

Certificate Option

Communications Studies graduate students also have the option of earning a Certificate in Public Communication, Public Policy and Public Leadership.

Learn more about the Master of Communication Studies Program
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