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Communication Studies M.A.

Aug. 21, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

Learning Format

Navigate Organizational Networks Effectively

The Master of Arts in Communication Studies, with an emphasis in Corporate and Organizational Communication, creates leaders who have an ability to communicate strategically and with a diverse audience. Through this program, graduates translate fundamental ideas of communication into real-life applications. By learning innovative strategies for effective solutions, graduates develop skills to respond to crises that organizations may encounter. You will succeed in the workplace by having strong organizational interpersonal, critical-thinking, and written communication skills. The workplace of the 21st century is based on information exchange – on developing core communication literacies to effectively engage multiple information sources and receivers in an increasingly crowded and connected digital landscape – and our program prepares graduates who can meet those demands.

Professional woman speaking in front of a group of people.

This program is designed for working professionals who want to enhance their communications skills to advance in the workplace. Students will learn how to navigate organizational networks effectively, influence clients, coworkers, and administrators, and interact with people from diverse populations. Improved communication competence in one-on-one and group interactions, along with the proper use of technology and social media to effectively communicate will also be highlighted.

Attend a Virtual Information Session

Thank you for your interest in the Communication Studies M.A. program at West Virginia University! Contact Jason Rice for more information or to set up a personal information session at (304) 293-3905.

Email Jason

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Jessica Carr, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

"As a graduate of WVU, I look forward to helping future students begin their own journeys to becoming a Mountaineer. At WVU Online, we are eager to guide you through the enrollment process with ease and want to provide you with the information and resources you need to be successful. Online degrees give everyone an opportunity to further their education and I can’t wait to help you do just that."

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Communication Studies M.A. Admission Requirements

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university (B.A., B.S., or equivalent), with a minimum GPA of 2.75. We encourage applications from those who have a GPA less than 2.75, as they may be accepted as a provisional student, who can then be admitted to the program after completing two graduate courses with a grade of B or better.


  • Pay graduate application fee
  • Current Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and send to:
    WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
    One Waterfront Place
    PO Box 6510
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6510
    or electronically sent to

The program does not require GRE/GMAT scores or letters of recommendation.

Apply Now

Christy Rittenour profile image.

Christine Kunkle

Communication Studies M.A.
"For students wanting to be their very best at their jobs, in their relationships, and as citizens, Communication Studies offers an empowering opportunity."

To her, this field places special emphasis on an area of life that we have a strong capacity to control: our behavior.

"Communication Studies is versatile and speaks to the person who craves a deep, useful, and meaningful understanding of why and how humans interact as they do."

Christy uses her communication expertise to give her fullest as an instructor.

"I enjoy learning – particularly the messy and vulnerable parts of the process – and I love watching students dive in with me. They impress me most when they work hard through difficult situations, are comfortable with making mistakes, and bravely proceed in prosocial ways."

She says technology is important in today’s world, but it should always be used to connect us to others.

"I encourage students to prevent technology from interrupting or impeding our individual, relational, and social growth. This is sometimes as simple as prioritizing rich face-to-face interaction with the person next to you, even when it means waiting to respond to that incoming text message."

Alan Goodboy profile image.

Allen Goodboy

Communication Studies M.A.
"My teaching style is focused around relevance and translating scholarship into meaningful practice."

Alan says he enjoys the social science scholarship of understanding competent message design.

"I think teaching with relevance is important for students. They benefit most when they can apply what they learn in Communication Studies courses in their daily lives."
"I want my students to be able to use what they learn and then assess if their knowledge has improved their personal or professional lives."

Goodboy says one big change in the field is that students have become more active on social media during the past five years.

"The Communication Studies discipline conducts excellent scholarship on social media use and publishes this scholarship in our journals."
"Our online program has courses on social media and its importance in contemporary society."

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.

Students are encouraged to:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by the June 30, 2024 deadline to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827; and
  • Check with your employer to see if they provide financial support for earning your graduate degree.

Communication Studies M.A. total degree cost: $20,280 – Residents and Non-Residents

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Your future in Communication Studies

Students earning a M.A. in Communication Studies will be able to:

  • Acquire a general understanding of Communication theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts
  • Identify, analyze, and critique Communication-related problems using Communication theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts, and prescribe Communication-based solutions to these problems
  • Design, conduct, and interpret original Communication-based research
  • Propose ways in which Communication theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts can enhance personal, social, and professional relationships
  • Develop the ability to encode and decode messages effectively across communication contexts

The Benefits of choosing the Master of Arts in Communication Studies

The Master of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Corporate and Organizational Communication is an online program intended for working professionals who want to improve their communication skills and effectiveness in order to be successful in their careers. In this program, students will learn how to navigate organizational networks effectively, influence coworkers, clients, and administrators, interact with people from diverse populations, use technology and social media to effectively communicate, and increase one’s communication competence in one-on-one and group interactions.

The faculty who teaches in this program are the same faculty who teach in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs on campus. These individuals are recognized as some of the best researchers and instructors in the communication discipline and at West Virginia University.

Career Outlook for those with a Communication Studies M.A.

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Communication Studies M.A. degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

  • Communications Professor
  • English/Literature Professor
  • Education Administrator – Postsecondary
  • Technical Writer
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Sales
  • Politics
  • General Manager

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Credit Hours: Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours in Communication Studies at the 400 level or above. A maximum of 6 credits may be taken at the 500 level or above from outside the department.

Grade Point Average: Students must earn a minimum overall GPA of 2.75, and of 3.00 in coursework applied to their graduate program, with a minimum grade of B- in each course.

Graduation Requirement: Students in the Corporate & Organizational Communication Area of Emphasis are not required to take comprehensive examinations.

Course Work: 18

Course Credit Hours
Select any COMM courses 400 level or above. * 18

Area of Emphasis: 12

Course Credit Hours
Corporate and Organizational Communication 12

Total Hours: 30

* A maximum of 6 credits may be taken at the 500 level or above from outside the department. Excluded courses include those applied to the Area of Emphasis and COMM 697 and COMM 797. COMM 650: Applied Communication Theory and COMM 660: Communication in the Organization are required courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Master of Arts in Communication Studies worth it?

A Master's degree in Communication Studies can be worth it if it aligns with your career goals, provides networking opportunities, and you are passionate about the subject. However, it's important to consider the cost and potential return on investment before deciding. Communication skills are commonly cited as a top priority by hiring managers and this program will help you further develop those skills.

Is Communication Studies a difficult major to pursue?

The difficulty of Communication Studies will depend on a variety of factors, including your personal strengths and weaknesses, the specific courses you take, and the expectations and requirements of your program.

Communication Studies is a broad field that covers a range of topics, including interpersonal communication, organizational communication, media studies, and more. Some courses may be more challenging than others depending on your interests and background knowledge.

What does the job market look like for a Communication Studies graduate?

Media and communication jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 4% in the next 10 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

WVU Online

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