West Texas A&M University’s (WTAMU) Department of Communication offers an online Master of Arts in Communication with concentration options in Corporate Communication, Mass Communication, Public Relations, Rhetoric, Cultural Studies, and Performance. This program has no required campus visits and can be completed entirely online for students who do not live near the campus in Canyon, TX. However, local students can mix and match online and on-campus courses if they wish to complete the program in a hybrid manner. WTAMU employs a combination of asynchronous and synchronous instruction, and as a result, students can complete their courses and assignments from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection.
The curriculum for the Master of Arts in Communication program is comprised of 36 course credits. Students first complete 12 credits of core courses, which cover essential concepts in communication theory, rhetorical criticism, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. After their core courses, students select from a thesis and a non-thesis option. The thesis option requires students to complete six hours of thesis work and 18 credit hours of electives (six of which can come from outside of the Department of Communication, pending advisor approval). The non-thesis option requires students to complete 21 hours of electives from within the Department of Communication, and a three-credit Research Project in Applied Communication (similarly, students of this track can complete up to six credit hours of electives outside of the Department of Communication).
The Research Project in Applied Communication is distinct from the master’s thesis in that it does not necessarily have to abide by the five-chapter structure of a conventional thesis, and can focus on a topic that is directly applicable to students’ place of work or personal interests. Typically, students choose to create a project that can be implemented within an organization to improve communication dynamics. Regardless of which track they select–thesis or non-thesis–students receive support from a faculty committee during their work on their culminating experience. At the end of their work on their thesis or research project, students must present their findings to their committee.
West Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Online Master of Arts in Communication
Department: Department of Communication
Specializations/Concentrations: Areas of Study in Corporate Communication; Mass Communication; Cultural Studies; Rhetoric; Public Relations; Performance
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Program can be completed in 2 years when enrolled full-time, students may take longer to complete the program
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Thesis or corporate communication research project
Credits Required: 36 credits (12 courses)
Example Courses: Theories of Communication; Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism; Introduction to Graduate Communication Studies; Qualitative Research Methods; Seminar in Organizational Communication; Seminar in Interpersonal Communication; Trends in Media Communication
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required unless GPA below 3.0
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree (with 24 credit hours in communication or related field); letters of recommendation; writing sample; personal statement essay
Estimated Tuition: ~$9,645.84 + fees (in-state); ~$25,447.32 + fees (out-of-state) - out of state students may be eligible for a partial tuition waiver based on graduate GPA each semester in the program
Cost per Credit Hour: $267.94 per credit hour (in-state); $706.87 per credit hour (out-of-state)
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states