Skip to main content


About the Degree

Students in the communication graduate program have access to as many areas of research as there are professors – everything ranging from mass communication processes and effects, international communication, gender and communication, health communication, social consequences of new communications technologies, public relations and instructional communication.

The communication master's program also offers an interdisciplinary curriculum which combines core courses in the study of communication with the study in one of the following areas: English, political science, psychology or business administration.

The flexibility of the communication graduate program allows students to tailor their education to their professional and personal goals. This program is mostly offered on campus with few online  course offerings. 

Course work within the Department of Communication focuses upon symbolic processes in human communication in a variety of contexts including health communication, public relations, organizational communication, instructional communication, and mass communication. The program will provide a solid grounding in research, theory, and analysis to prepare graduates for careers in education, business, mass media, and/or government.

Students with a master's degree from the Department of Communication must:

  • Have a thorough grounding in theories relevant to a particular area of interest, and have the ability to apply this knowledge to the solution of a variety of communication-related problems;
  • Have been exposed to a variety of research and analytical or critical methods, have a basic understanding of these, and have demonstrated a working command of at least one methodology; and
  • Have a basic knowledge of and appreciation for approaches to the study of communication from a variety of perspectives.

The department's M.A. program is based on the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit distributed as follows:

1. At least 24 hours of credit must be taken within the Department of Communication.

2. Up to 6 to 12 hours of credit may be scheduled outside the department.  These courses must be approved by your advisor.

3. The four required core communication courses are:

  • CMM 501: Communication Research Methods
  • CMM 503: Communication Research Seminar or CMM 502 - Rhetorical Criticism 
  • CMM 536: Communication Theory & Models
  • CMM 517: Organizational Communication or  CMM 571 - Mass Communication Processes & Effects
  • CMM 597: Communication Practicum (not for thesis students)

Teaching Assistants are also required to take COM 504 (Instructional Communication) in their first fall semester of teaching.  Other students are welcome to take this class as an elective. 

4. Each master’s candidate writing the thesis must schedule a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 hours of thesis credits.

Demonstration of satisfactory progress toward the degree includes the requirement that students maintain a minimum grade point average of B (3.0) in course work. Students who fail to meet this requirement are either placed on academic probation and can be dropped from the program. Students are permitted no more than 2 courses or six credits with grades of C or lower. Students who fail to meet this requirement are dismissed from the program. Please note: It is your responsibility to know if you have 1 or more Cs in graduate coursework. If you are not sure, be sure to inquire before registering for additional classes. This is of particular importance to students who have taken a grade of incomplete in one or more courses. The office of graduate studies will make an effort to notify you by mail if you fall below the 3.0 GPA requirement.

Each year the Department of Communication offers a limited number of teaching assistantships to qualified graduate students. These appointments include a monthly stipend, health insurance and tuition remission for their graduate coursework. Each teaching assistant has the opportunity to teach CMM 100 (Principles of Oral Communication) while completing his or her master's. degree. These assistantships begin in the fall term of each academic year.  Students interested in an assistantship should complete their graduate application by the deadline listed below (under Application Materials) and indicate their interest in the application form. Assistantships are only available for a fall semester start and are not available any other time of year.

Students interested in applying for the master's program in Communication must complete the online graduate application process.  We use a rolling admissions process and accept applications year around. However, those interested in applying for an assistantship should complete the application process by Feb. 3. A checklist of the steps for applying to the program are listed below. 

  • Complete the University of Dayton Graduate School online application.  If you are interested in applying for an assistantship, be sure to indicate your interest by checking the appropriate box on the application form. 
  • Send official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended to the Office of Graduate Admission Processing. If you are a current University of Dayton student or graduated from the University of Dayton, your UD transcript will be automatically uploaded. 
  • Send three (3) letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with your academic work. Have the faculty member send the letter to the Office of Graduate Admission Processing. You may use the letters required for applying to graduate school in your application for a teaching assistantship. However, be sure you indicate to the faculty writing for you that they should speak to your ability to teach if they can. 
  • Send a written statement of your educational and professional goals. Be sure to address the following questions: 
    a. Why are you interested in pursuing a master's degree in communication?
    b. What are your career goals?
    c. Why do you think you would be an effective teacher? If you are interested in a teaching assistantship. 
    d. Send a resume or CV.


Department of Communication

St. Joseph Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1410