Communication Studies (M.A.)

M.A. Communication Studies

Scholars in communication studies investigate communication processes as they occur among individuals, groups, organizations, and societies.

Program Overview

The program offers a comprehensive degree incorporating empirical and rhetorical research methods. Students also may customize their programs by concentrating on specialized areas. The program receives consistently high rankings in surveys of master's programs in communication studies. Some alumni pursue doctoral education at the country's top Ph.D. programs.

Course Work

Enrollment in most graduate courses is limited to 18 students. This seminar format allows students to receive individual attention and to explore research programs unique to their own interests. Many classes are offered in the evenings to accommodate working students. Students may pursue a 36-hour master of arts degree culminating in comprehensive exams or a 30-hour degree that includes a thesis. After completion of two required communication research methods courses, students can design their own customized programs from one or more of the following program areas:

•    relationship management & well-being
•    persuasion, advocacy, & civic engagement
•    professional & organizational advancement

DegreeConcentrationHoursThesis OptionMinor Option
No concentration
Thesis Option
Minor Option
No minor
No concentration
Thesis Option
Minor Option
No minor

What Our Alumni Say

“It was great to have a support system of students and faculty who would listen and respond to my ideas, questions and concerns. I liked that my professors were so willing to provide suggestions and guidance for my assignments.ˮ

— Grace Hildenbrand, M.A. ’14, Consultant, Cerner Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri

Program Details

Students who are graduate instructional assistants earn financial support during school while taking part in a world-class teacher training program through the department's Teaching & Learning Academy.

Program Mission

Communication studies examines the creation, expression and analysis of messages in the personal, professional, and public spheres. Students learn to manage message processes within and among individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. They explore verbal and nonverbal communication, organizational and business communication, rhetoric and criticism, argumentation and persuasion, and communication technology. Communication studies majors learn principles and practical skills useful for careers in business, industry, government, nonprofit organizations, social services, and education. Graduates enter such professions as law, business, public relations, event planning, public service, teaching, management, human resources, training and development, marketing, sales, public administration, and politics.

Career Options

The program prepares students to meet the needs of industry, the public sector, and academia in the following roles:

  • corporate trainer
  • project manager
  • nonprofit director
  • entrepreneur
  • user experience
  • researcher
  • human resources officer
  • lobbyist
  • marketing manager
  • elected official
  • advertising manager
  • press secretary
  • fundraiser
  • health services manager
  • government administrator
  • account executive
  • instructional program designer
  • event planner
  • instructional program
  • consultant 
  • speech writer
  • editor
  • teacher
  • leadership professional 
  • legislative assistant
  • campaign director
  • foreign service officer
  • sales director
  • executive director


Program Faculty

Faculty members engage in research partnerships with students and community members to embrace and pursue bold, interdisciplinary solutions to common communication challenges. Findings from their work are published in national and international peer-reviewed journals and books, and many of our faculty members are cited as communication research experts in media outlets worldwide. Faculty members have received grants and other extramural funding for their work, and the department is home to recipients of the most prestigious university-level research award at Texas State.

Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more. If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following individuals.

Graduate Advisor 
Dr. Lindsay Timmerman 
Centennial Hall (CENT), Room 323

Advisor Support 
Madison Wimmer 
Centennial Hall (CENT), Room 205C


Apply Now Already know that Texas State is right for you?

Application Deadlines

DeadlinesU.S. CitizenInternational
Fall - Priority
U.S. Citizen
February 1
February 1
Fall - Standard
U.S. Citizen
May 15
May 15

This program's deadline is firm. This type of deadline means the application and other application requirements must be submitted by the program's specified deadline day.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Admission Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.

  • Review important information about the online application.

    • $55 Nonrefundable application fee, OR
    • $90 Nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

    Review important information about application fees.

    • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university (Non-U.S. degrees must be equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree. In most cases, three-year degrees are not considered. Visit our International FAQs for more information.)
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • a 3.0 overall GPA or a 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)

    Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

  • GRE

    • GRE not required

    Approved English Proficiency Exam Scores

    Applicants are required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score that meets the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

    • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall and minimum individual module scores of
      • 19 listening
      • 19 reading
      • 19 speaking
      • 18 writing
    • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
    • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
      • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
    • official Duolingo scores required with a 110 overall
    • official TOEFL Essentials scores required with an 8.5 overall

    This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

    Review important information about official test scores.

    • resume/CV
    • three letters of recommendation from individuals knowledgeable about your academic ability and promise as a scholar
    • statement of purpose (approximately 1,000 words) addressing the following:
      • Which area(s) of communication studies are you most interested in pursuing and why?
        • Describe at least two communication questions you might like to explore, understand better, or develop an expertise in during your graduate study. These questions are not binding; you do not have to research these questions should you be accepted, but they will help us assess your fit with graduate work, our program, and our faculty.
      • Why did you select the M.A. in communication studies at Texas State?
      • How does your academic background prepare you for graduate study in the Department of Communication Studies at Texas State?
      • What are your plans after completing the M.A. degree, and how do you plan to apply your degree?

    Your statement of purpose will be evaluated on your ability to demonstrate correct composition, grammar, and writing style, to provide a complete and well-developed response, and to explain and justify your answers.

    Review important information about documents.

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