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Communication, MA

Master of Arts in Communication

Strong communicators are often our strongest leaders. The University of Central Missouri’s master’s degree in Communication equips you with the advanced methods in theory and practice you need to lead in community, media, personal and professional communication contexts. At UCM, you’ll gain knowledge and know-how that can propel you into a communication job in nearly any industry.

A respected Communication master’s degree that gets results

UCM’s graduate degree in Communication is designed to meet the needs of working professionals looking to deepen their knowledge or seek new skills to use in their current communication careers. 
We offer two specializations for our Master of Arts in Communication: 

  • Applied Communication: Our Applied Communication concentration courses can be completed entirely in person or entirely online.
  • Communication Studies: Our Communication Studies concentration offers a selection of courses online.

No matter which area you choose to specialize in, you’ll be able to employ advanced communication strategies to reach your audience — and your goals.

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Only online master’s of its kind in MO

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Affordable master’s in Communication

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Top 10% best value program

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Applied or Communication Studies tracks

What you will study

Whether you’re pursuing a new career or looking to get ahead in your current job, UCM’s Master of Arts in Communication program will give you the expertise and experience you need. Learn from Communication master’s degree program faculty who are experts in communication and social movements, communication and leadership, film and media representation and much more. 

Our master’s degree in Communication allows you to pursue a variety of topics, including analysis and promotion of social media, group communication, leadership, managing conflict, message design, persuasion and verbal and nonverbal communication. The two track options will then allow you to specialize in one area of communication:

  • Applied Communication: Develop skills to evaluate research and how to use it in professional settings. You’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of communication theories and ways to apply them in personal and professional contexts.
  • Communication Studies: Build on your prior experiences as you analyze and contribute to leading research in the field. You’ll learn advanced skills that can be used in interpersonal, media and organizational contexts. You’ll also produce scholarly and creative materials that showcase your knowledge in a specific area of communication.


Excellence in Communication

  • One of the Most Focused Master’s Degree Colleges for Communication & Media Studies (College Factual, 2022)
  • Among the Most Popular Colleges for Communication & Journalism (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Best Value Colleges for Communication & Journalism (College Factual, 2021)
  • A Best Online Master’s In Communication Degree Program (Intelligent, 2021)


Unique learning opportunities in communication studies

Throughout our Communication master’s degree program, you'll have various opportunities to put your learning into practice:

  • Research projects: Applied Communication and Communication Studies students culminate their graduate program with a research project that applies to a personal or professional interest related to communication. For example, past grad students have developed studies in analyzing gendered communication in the workplace or the impact of media on stereotypes.
  • M.A. Thesis: For Communication Studies students who are planning to pursue their Ph.D., a thesis offers the opportunity to work with a faculty member to create and complete an academic primary research study. The student's experience aids them in being prepared for a Ph.D. program.


What can you do with a Communication master’s degree from UCM?

UCM’s graduate program in Communication will prepare you for senior communication jobs in advertising and marketing agencies, government agencies, social media oversight, nonprofit management, news and media teams, public and private school districts, sales teams and more. Some of our graduate students go on to pursue their Ph.D. in communication.

Looking for advanced communication jobs?

A UCM Master of Arts in Communication will enable you to move your career forward in nearly any industry. Use our interactive tool below to learn more about job outlooks, salary expectations and more.




Financial assistance options for master’s degrees in Communication

We offer several ways for you to finance grad school, including: 

  • Graduate teaching assistantships for public speaking courses
  • Graduate teaching and coaching jobs with our Speech and Debate Team. 

You may also qualify for program-specific scholarships. Search our UCM Scholarship Finder for opportunities and apply.


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Make yourself more marketable.

In addition to specializing your Communication master’s degree, you could add a graduate certificate to further advance your career in communications:

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Explore programs related to communication.

Are you interested in a master’s degree but not sure which direction is best for you and your career? UCM offers graduate degrees in the following:


Admission Requirements

Must have a 2.50 overall undergraduate GPA

Have at least 15 hours of undergraduate communication courses.
Complete and submit an online application to UCM’s Graduate School and International Admissions along with your official transcripts.

In addition to the general admission requirements, applicants must submit the following items to the program coordinator:

  1. A statement of purpose
  2. A writing sample
  3. Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources.

In addition, international students must score higher than 550 paper-based or 79 on the IBT TOEFL to be admitted.

This program is based on a cohort model and only admits students in the Fall semester.  The deadline for applying is July 15th.  Submissions after this date will not be reviewed.

If you have questions about the program, please contact the graduate coordinator (Dr. Hillary Pennell; for more information.

Graduate Assistantships

This program offers teaching assistantships for Comm1000- Public Speaking. A full-time teaching assistantship requires students to teach 2 face-to-face Public Speaking courses per semester for up to 4 semesters. This position covers 10 hours of graduate tuition fees for both fall and spring semesters as well as a monthly stipend (approximately $800 per month Aug.-May). There are no assistantships in the summer. Please contact Dr. Nicole Freeman ( or Dr. Hillary Pennell ( for more information.

This program also offers teaching/coaching positions for the Communication Speech and Debate Team. Please contact Dr. Jack Rogers ( or Dr. Nicole Freeman ( for more information.

To apply, please click on the link, click on the “search jobs” tab, and enter “communication teaching assistants” in the search bar. This will bring up any position available in the program.


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