Graduate Programs

MA in Professional Communication

The Master of Arts in Professional Communication prepares students to work in communication intensive jobs, including social media management, user experience, advertising, public relations, professional writing, human resources, fundraising, event management, general management, training, and consulting, among other things. It fosters basic understanding of communication processes, including: 

 

  • Understanding of the major theoretical concepts and practical applications associated with the study of human communication
  • The ability to conduct scientific research ethically and effectively, to interpret statistical information, and to assess its practical import for understanding communication in the world.
  • Understanding of variables in communication situations, including the number (especially as it impacts interaction), background, interests, and values of participants; language, communication purposes, and contextual factors.
  • Understanding of the implications of a multicultural world on appropriate and effective forms of communication.
  • Understanding of how to adapt to variable communication situations for informative and persuasive purposes.
  • Understanding of special forms of communication such as that related to advertising, public relations, social media, technical writing, and communication technology, among others.
  • The ability to effectively produce and critically analyze persuasive messages.

Requirements for Admission to MA in Professional Communication

To receive unconditional admission to the program, students must have a 3.2 grade point average for previous college-level work, and a GRE score in the 65th percentile for verbal reasoning (= score of around 155) or an MAT score in the 50th percentile (= raw score of around 410) or above. There is no subject-area GRE. Applicants should submit a statement of purpose on the application. Those applicants not meeting these requirements will be assessed on an individual basis. International students must submit TOEFL scores with minimum scores of 550 (paper-based), or 80 total (Internet based), or an IELTS of 6.5 or better. To begin the admission process go to:

Students in the MA in Professional Communication must complete 33 total hours, including the core requirements and either Plan I (non-thesis) or Plan II (thesis). They may select electives freely or follow one of the suggested emphases below. All students must complete 33 hours, including 12 hours of 600-level coursework (excluding CM 699). To inquire further about the program contact: gradcomm@uah.edu.

Students should file a Program of Study by end of second semester.

Core (required of all students)

  • CM 555 Communication and Culture
  • CM 631 Advanced Communication Theory
  • CM 633 Interpersonal Communication
  • CM 670 Advanced Communication Methods
  • CM 675 Rhetorical Criticism

Plan I: MA without Thesis

Choose 18 hours of electives from the list below, which may be freely chosen or may follow one of the suggested emphases identified below.

Plan II: MA with Thesis

  • Choose 12 hours of electives from the list below, which may follow one of the suggested emphases identified below
  • Six (6) hours of CM 699 Master’s Thesis

Suggested Emphases for Selecting Electives

Social Media

  • CM 505 Advanced Media Writing
  • CM 535 Social Media
  • CM 5XX Video Production
  • CM 554 New Media Writing and Rhetoric

User Experience
(developed in consultation with Trideum Corp.)

  • CM 552 User-Centered Design
  • EH 542 Usability Studies
  • EH 662 Information Architecture
  • Approved elective

Advertising/Public Relations

  • CM 505 Advanced Media Writing
  • CM 544 Advertising
  • CM 520 Public Relations Writing
  • CM 540 Public Relations Campaigns

Professional Writing

  • EH 603 Editing for Publication
  • EH 601 Writing Studies
  • Six hours selected from one of the following areas:
    • Technical Writing
      • EH 501 Theory and Practice in Technical Communication
      • EH 649 Special Topics in Technical Writing
    • Media Writing
      • CM 505 Advanced Media Writing
      • CM/EH 554 New Media Writing & Rhetoric

Communication Studies

  • CM 521 Small Group Communication
  • CM 509 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
  • CM 526 Burkeian Theory & Criticism or CM 533 Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication
  • CM 610 Communication Pedagogy

Human Resources Management

  • MGT 600 Organizational Theory, Behavior and Environment
  • MGT 560 Employee Staffing and Development
  • MGT 562 Employment Law for Managers
  • MGT 561 Strategic Compensation Management OR MGT 631 Strategic Human Resource Management in a Technological Environment

Other Areas of Emphasis

Students in the MA in Professional Communication program may request to take up to four courses from other graduate programs that cover areas not included here. For example, Alabama A&M University has graduate emphases in Counseling and in Telecommunications that would be suitable. The Department Chair or Graduate Adviser must approve such courses.

Electives

**Please note that all these electives are not offered each semester. Check with the graduate director on which electives are offered at your time of registration**

CM 505 Advanced Media Writing

CM 508 Classical Rhetorical Theory

CM 509 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory

CM 514 Creative Nonfiction Writing

CM 518 Legal Argument

CM 520 Public Relations Writing

CM 525 Theatre Mainstage

CM 526 Burkeian Theory & Criticism

CM 530 Mass Media in America

CM 533 Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication

CM 535 Social Media

CM 544 Advertising

CM 551 Organizational Training & Development

CM 610 Communication Pedagogy

CM 620 Practicum in Communication

CM 640 Special Topics in Communication

CM 670 Advanced Communication Methods

EH 500 Composition Studies for Teachers

EH 501 Theory and Practice in Technical Communication

EH 502 Problems in Technical Editing

EH 512 Special Topics in Writing

EH 514 Creative Nonfiction Writing

EH 5XX Web Writing

EH 5XX Writing and Rhetoric

EH 5XX Rhetoric of Science & Technology

EH 601 Writing Pedagogy

EH 602 Practicum in Technical Writing

EH 6XX Grant Writing

HY 510 Public History

MGT 560 Strategic Compensation Management

MGT 561 Strategic Compensation Management

MGT 562 Employment Law for Managers

MGT 600 Organizational Theory, Behavior and Environment

MGT 631 Strategic Human Resource Management in a Technological Environment

For a full list of courses for the Communication Arts major, visit the UAH Catalog.

View the Catalog