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Student Resources

Attentive faculty, small class size and career-related experiences are just some of the reasons our graduate students excel.

Program A:  Non-Thesis Track

Students selecting Program A Non-Thesis track must complete 12 courses or 36 credit hours. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be from the Department of Communication. Students are required to complete the four core courses. The four core courses include two research methods courses, Communication Theory & Models, and a course in mass communication or in organizational communication. Students in Program A typically take the written comprehensive exam during their last semester of the program. 

Program B:  Thesis Track

Students selecting Program B Thesis track complete 30-33 credit hours of course work of which up to 6 credit hours can be taken from other disciplines.  Students are required to complete the four core courses. The four core courses include two research methods courses, Communication Theory & Models, and a course in mass communication or in organizational communication. The thesis is an original research project designed in conjunction with the advisor and a committee of two other faculty members. The thesis should be an original research investigation on some important question relevant to the study of communication. Students must register for 3-6 hours of thesis credit (CMM 598 and/or CMM 599) if they are writing a thesis.

Program C:  Communication/Interdisciplinary Track

Students electing the Interdisciplinary track must complete a total of 12 courses or 36 semester hours of course work.  Eight of those courses or 24 credit hours must be completed within the department of communication.  The four remaining courses or 12 credit hours are taken in one of the following designated program:  psychology, English, political science or business administration.  Students are required to successfully complete the four core communication courses.  The four core courses include two research methods courses, Communication Theory & Models, and a course in mass communication or in organizational communication.  All students choosing Program C must take the comprehensive examination during their last semester of classes.  Students should select an advisor from the Department of Communication to help them design an appropriate interdisciplinary plan of study.  Students selecting the interdisciplinary track do not write a thesis.

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
  • NOTE: 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. 
  1. 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.

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 March 9th.  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. 
  • Have your the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores sent to the Office of Graduate Admission Processing. You will need to complete the verbal, quantitative, and writing sections of the GRE. 
  • Send a written statement of your educational and professional goals.  Be sure to address the following questions: 
  •  Why are you interested in pursuing a master's degree in communication?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Why do you think you would be an effective teacher?, if you are interested in a teaching assistantship. 
  • Send a resume or CV.

Each year the Department of Communication offers two types of assistantships: Teaching and graduate assistantships. Both the graduate and teaching assistantship appointments include a monthly stipend, health insurance and tuition remission (18 credit hours per year of which no fewer than six and no more than nine credit hours may be used per term) for their graduate coursework. These assistantships begin in the fall term of each academic year. All application materials must be received by the office of Graduate Admission Processing before March of each year. Unfortunately, the department does not offer this assistantship at other times of the year. Renewal of the assistantship contract for one additional year is contingent on satisfactory performance of the duties required by the position. 


The number of teaching assistantship appointments varies each year.  The teaching assistant will generally be instructor of record for two sections of CMM 100: Principles of Oral Communication.   The graduate assistant will report to the Basic Course Director and will be expected to lecture and conduct class sessions in a manner consistent with the Instructor's Manual, provided during orientation.  The graduate assistant will attend all staff meetings, hold classes as scheduled, hold office hours, grade assignments, and attend to other duties as assigned that are directly related to instruction of CMM 100. 


There are few graduate assistantship opportunities available each year.  The graduate assistants will work in various offices on campus.  Specific duties will differ depending on an appointment.  The graduate assistants will work 20 hours per week.  The department will recommend students to these offices, but the final decision will be made by the respective office after the interview process.  To apply to these positions, a cover letter with writing samples are needed. 


Department of Communication

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