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Master of Arts

Communication

Program of Study

The master’s in communication curriculum combines core study in theory, practice and research methods with electives related to your selected concentration in one of these areas:

  • Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Political Communication
  • Health Communication

Your studies will culminate in either an original research project or a practicum with guidance and mentorship from our active faculty. The research project provides excellent preparation for doctoral study, while the internship-practicum offers a prime opportunity to practice what you have learned in an applied setting.


Core Requirements

  • Communication Theory and Practice
  • Communication Research Methods


Supporting Electives

(9 credits)

Courses in the Department of Communication or in other departments that have been approved for your course of study. Sample courses:

  • Conversation Analysis
  • Mass Media Effects in Political Communication
  • New Media and Engagement
  • Organizational Culture
  • Digital and Social Media in Strategic Communication

Areas of Concentration 

(12 Credits)

Interpersonal / Intercultural Communication:

  • Interpersonal Interaction
  • Culture and Communication
  • 6 additional credits as advised in interpersonal interaction/cultural practices

Organizational Communication:

  • Theories and Research in Public Organizational Communication
  • 9 additional credits as advised in organizational communication

Political Communication:

  • Theories and Research in Political Communication
  • 9 additional credits as advised in political communication

    Health Communication:

    • Health Communication
    • 9 additional credits as advised in health communication

     

    Capstone Project

    Complete either a Guided Research Project or Research Seminar/Practicum as advised.


    See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

    For more information, contact the department at commdgs@albany.edu.

    Combined MA Communication/MS Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

    Because communication science and English language teaching are complementary areas of study, UAlbany offers this integrated program to earn graduate degrees in both fields.

    In addition to the theoretical knowledge you gain in these programs, you also acquire practical experience that fully prepares you to succeed at instructing English learners in a variety of language learning environments.

    If you’re interested in interpersonal and intercultural communication, you will have the opportunity to go overseas to teach English as a foreign language, or to teach international students attending U.S. institutions.

    This combined MA/MS program provides you with a rich educational experience with full access to resources, professors, and opportunities across two departments in two different schools within the University at Albany (the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences).

    See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

     

     

    Small groups of UAlbany Communication students having discussions

    Content

    Research and Internships

    You will have the opportunity to participate in faculty-assisted research and internships to acquire a deeper understanding of the coursework. Collaborate with faculty on topics such as e-government, mass media, healthcare interactions and communications within under-resourced communities. 

    Our MA Communication students have previously interned for the nearby New York State Assembly, as well as the American Red Cross, General Electric, Sirius XM Radio, Starbucks and the World Health Organization.

     

      Career Outcomes

      With an MA in Communication degree you will be positioned to pursue executive and managerial positions, or advanced degrees such as a PhD. Potential job titles include:

      • Public relations manager
      • Project manager
      • Vice president of corporate communications
      • Digital marketing strategist
      • Technical writer
      • Managing editor
      • Communications director
      • Attorney
      • Content strategist

      "Academically and professionally, the program did two really important things for me. First, it helped build important connections between aspects of communication that I had learned by experience and the conceptual and theoretical mechanisms behind them. Second, the political communication program opened my eyes to the ways I could apply the skills that I had learned working in media to other industries and professions."

      - Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, MA 2016

      Admissions Requirements
      Deadlines

      Departmental Assistantship Consideration

      • Fall: Not Available 
      • Spring: Not Available
      • Summer: Not Available


       No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

      • Fall: July 15
      • Spring: November 1
      • Summer: Not Available

      The deadline for applying to the MA program for the 2020 Fall semester is rolling.
      Applications received after those dates may be reviewed if there is space for new students.

      Required Application Materials
      • Transcripts from all schools attended
      • Three letters of recommendation
      • Statement of Goals
      • Writing Sample

       

      Letters of Recommendation

      Letters should come from university faculty with whom you studied, preferably more senior, permanent faculty. Letters from employers or work associates do not provide information about your ability as a student. If you have been out of touch with faculty with whom you studied and cannot supply letters from academic sources, you should contact the Communication department’s Director of Graduate Studies for advice.

       

      Personal Statement

      Your personal statement should inform the Admissions Committee about what you hope to gain from studying Communication at the graduate level. In particular, your statement should be informative about:

      • How you expect graduate studies in Communication to be relevant to and supportive of your plans and goals after your receive your degree
      • What you hope to learn as a graduate student and how that will benefit you
      • What it is about the UAlbany program in particular that led you to apply here

       

      Writing Sample

      Your writing sample should demonstrate your ability to analyze and reason about the claims and thinking presented in others’ texts, and to write arguments supporting your claims. Papers that summarize or evaluate or dispute others’ work but do not analyze it, are less helpful to the admissions committee in discerning your ability to do the kind of writing required in our classes. Press releases or other professional writing, or creative writing, generally do not reveal abilities relevant to the kind of writing you would be asked to do in our classes.

      You can submit a sample of writing you did in the past that presents an analysis and argument about materials you read. This may have been written to fulfill a class assignment or a work-related report or recommendation. If you have a writing sample of this kind, please include it with your application, adding an explanation of the assignment or task you were fulfilling.

      OR

      You can write a new essay to submit with your application in response to the following assignment: In an essay of 700-1,000 words, provide reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the argument that David Bohm is making about communication in his short essay "On Communication".


      Note: In submitting your writing sample, you are guaranteeing that it is entirely your own work, both in regard to the content and the actual writing. If you are admitted to the program, and it is later found that your writing sample was not original work created solely by you, that would be grounds for dismissal from the program.

       

      GRE Scores

      Applicants to the MA program do not need to submit GRE scores.

       

      TOEFL/IELTS Scores

      All international applicants must submit TOEFL or IEFLTS scores except for those who have earned BA or MA degrees in English-speaking countries. In general, the minimum TOEFL score required for admission to our graduate program is 580 (paper-based total), 237 (computer-based total) or 93 (internet-based total). The minimum IELTS score is 6.6.

       

      For questions about application materials and procedures, and application status, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at graduate@albany.edu.

       

      Special Notes

      This program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience in the course listing as an option to fulfill course requirements. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

      Student Learning Objectives


      Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

      Master of Arts
      • Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the perspectives, research methodologies, historical development and values of the field of communication, and their understanding of the communication discipline’s relationship to other academic disciplines.
      • Students will be able to analyze and synthesize theory and research related to one or more of the fields of study represented within the Department’s MA program.
      • Professionally oriented students will be able to apply knowledge of theory and research within their field of study to understanding and explaining communication phenomena experienced within practical contexts and proposing courses of action designed to achieve relevant communication-related goals.
      • Students with the goal of pursuing further graduate study will be able to apply their knowledge of theory and research to the generation of appropriate research questions, and to the collection and analysis of data designed to answer research questions related to their field of study.