Graduate Program students

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
  • CM 670 Advanced Communication Methods

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