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Communication Studies

Books stacked on a ledge

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.

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

 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:

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

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

“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

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. Most 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:

  • organizational communication
  • rhetorical studies
  • communication training and development
  • interpersonal communication
  • instructional communication
  •  health communication
Degree Concentration Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.A. No concentration 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.A. No concentration 30 Thesis No minor
Centennial hall building

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 examine 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, politics, and ministry.

Visit program website ›

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.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

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

  • elected official
  • author
  • advertising manager
  • press secretary
  • fundraiser
  • health services manager
  • government administrator
  • account executive
  • event planner
  • performer
  • instructional program designer
  • consultant
  • speechwriter
  • editor
  • teacher
  • leadership professional
  • legislative assistant
  • campaign director
  • foreign service officer
  • sales director
  • executive director

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard May 15 May 15
Spring - Priority October 15 October 1
Spring - Standard November 15 October 1
Summer I March 1 March 1
Summer II March 1 No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a firm deadline.

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.

Application 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.

Application Fee

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 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 Scores

  • GRE not required


  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose (500-700 words) addressing the following:
    • Which area(s) of communication studies are you most interested in pursuing and why?
    • 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?
  • three letters of recommendation

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet 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

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

  Review important information about official test scores.

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

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.