May 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies (M.A.)

The graduate program in communication studies within the Media and Communication  department, offers students a broad-based education in the theory and criticism of human communication. The objective of the program is to provide students with a program of instruction that exposes them to diverse perspectives within the field of communication studies in preparation for careers in higher education, business, law, ministry, government, and community service.

The communication studies program is housed in Nichols Hall, one of the architectural showpieces of the K-State campus. Facilities include semi-private office accommodations for graduate teaching assistants, a departmental library, seminar room, and practice facilities for debate and forensics activities. The K-State campus is ideally situated for students interested in the study of political communication because of the proximity of the Eisenhower and Truman presidential libraries.

The graduate program in communication studies has been recognized as one of the top graduate programs in communication studies in the midwest region. The graduate faculty is committed to providing every student with individual attention in the planning and conduct of his or her program of study. Classes are small, allowing faculty and students to work closely together on projects of mutual interest. Graduate students may also work with K-State’s nationally recognized debate and forensics programs.

Master’s degree requirements

Students become eligible for the master of arts in communication studies upon recommendation of the graduate faculty and completion of the following requirements: 

Degree Options

Students may elect either a thesis or nonthesis (report) program of study. A master’s thesis identifies an original research problem, implements an appropriate methodology and reports and interprets its findings. Completion of a thesis project demonstrates the student’s ability to carry out sustained, independent research that makes an original contribution to the discipline. A master’s report is an academic essay that reviews and analyzes research literature within the discipline. Completion of a report project demonstrates the student’s ability to interpret and synthesize scholarly literature in a given subject area.

Completion of the coursework only option provides students with additional classroom exposure to the discipline and may be appropriate for students who do not intend to pursure doctoral study in the discipline.

Both the master’s thesis and research report options require prospectus approval by the graduate faculty and adherence to Graduate School and departmental guidelines.

Additional Requirements (18 credit hours)

An additional 18 credit hours in communication studies courses numbered at the 600 level or above, including six credit hours of COMM 899 (for students electing the thesis option); or an additional 18 credit hours, including 2 credit hours of COMM 899 (for students electing the nonthesis (report) option).

Submission of an acceptable thesis or report.


Successful completion of a comprehensive (written and oral) examination over coursework for those electing the coursework only degree option.

In consultation with his or her advisor, a student may develop a minor emphasis of up to 6 credit hours at the 500 level or above in academic areas outside the communication studies program.