M.A. in Communication Studies

Program Requirements

M.A. in Communication Studies

The Master of Arts in Communication Studies is a two-year program with the following curricular requirements:

Core Classes
Theory Courses

  • SPCM 601 History of Rhetorical Theory
  • SPCM 646 Media Theory
  • SPCM 639 Communication Theory

Research Methods Courses

  • SPCM 612 Rhetorical Criticism
  • SPCM 638 Communication Research Methods

Additional Courses

  • 12 credits of SPCM graduate elective courses (chosen by the graduate student in consultation with the faculty advisor)
  • 1 graduate course outside the department (up to 3 credits) or an additional SPCM graduate elective
  • 3 credits of SPCM 699 Thesis
  • Professional development courses (these classes are taken during the first year and support M.A. candidates’ development as researchers and teachers)
    • SPCM 692 Seminar: Introduction to Graduate Studies
    • SPCM 675 Speech Pedagogy (required for all GTAs)

In addition to those curricular requirements, M.A. candidates must write a master’s thesis, deliver a departmental research colloquium, and submit a research paper to a scholarly conference.

M.A. in Communication Studies, Deliberative Practices Specialization

M.A. in Communication, Deliberative Practices Specialization

The Master of Arts in Communication Studies, Deliberative Practices Specialization is a two-year program in which students work closely with our nationally-recognized Center for Public Deliberation and are trained to design and facilitate deliberative dialogues. Interested students apply for the Deliberative Practices Specialization during the fall of their first semester in the program. Admission into this track must be approved by the Director of the CPD.

Curricular requirements:

Core Classes

Theory Courses

  • SPCM 601 History of Rhetorical Theory
  • SPCM 646 Media Theory
  • SPCM 639 Communication Theory

Research Methods Courses

  • SPCM 612 Rhetorical Criticism
  • SPCM 638 Communication Research Methods

Public Deliberation Courses

  • SPCM 408 Applied Deliberative Techniques
  • SPCM 508 Deliberative Theory and Practice

Additional Courses

  • 9 credits of SPCM graduate elective courses (chosen by the graduate student in consultation with the faculty advisor)
  • 1 graduate course outside the department (up to 3 credits) or an additional SPCM graduate elective
  • 6 credits in connection with the applied research project
    • SPCM 695 Independent Study
    • SPCM 686 Practicum
  • Professional development courses (these classes are taken during the first year and support M.A. candidates’ development as researchers and teachers)
    • SPCM 692 Seminar: Introduction to Graduate Studies
    • SPCM 675 Speech Pedagogy (required for all GTAs)

In addition to those curricular requirements, M.A. candidates must complete an applied research project supervised by faculty experts in public deliberation, deliver a departmental research colloquium, and submit a research paper to a scholarly conference.

Note: students in either track may take SPCM 508 and be affiliated with the Center for Public Deliberation. The Deliberative Practices Specialization is designed for those who want to emphasize public deliberation and work extensively with the CPD.

Elective Courses

Elective Courses

The following graduate elective courses are currently being offered and are available to students in either track:

  • SPCM 508 Deliberative Theory and Practice
  • SPCM 538 Relating & Organizing for Health
  • SPCM 604 Rhetoric of Everyday Life
  • SPCM 611 Topics in Public Address
  • SPCM 620 Rhetoric and Public Affairs
  • SPCM 623 Feminist Theories of Discourse
  • SPCM 632 Theories of Interpersonal Communication
  • SPCM 633 Discourse, Work, and Organization
  • SPCM 634 Communication and Cultural Diversity
  • SPCM 647 Media Industries
  • SPCM 648 Media Texts
  • SPCM 549 Media Audiences
  • SPCM 649 Media Audiences
  • SPCM 650 Contemporary Issues in Media
  • SPCM 792A Topics in Rhetoric and Civic Engagement
  • SPCM 792B Topics in Relational and Organizational Communication
  • SPCM 792C Topics in Media and Visual Culture

How to Apply

To apply to the Master of Arts program in Communication Studies at Colorado State University, prospective students must submit an online application and application fee.

  • Applications are accepted for Fall admission only.
  • Deadline for applying to the Department of Communication Studies is January 5, 2017.

The following items are required for application to the Master of Arts program in Communication Studies:

  1. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  3. Statement of Purpose
  4. Writing sample
  5. Resume/CV
  6. Three letters of reference

Apply Online 

Applicants will upload a variety of supporting documents directly to the online application.

After submitting your online application and paying your fee please have your official materials submitted to complete your application.

  • To submit official transcripts, contact all previous institutions to request they submit official transcripts to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075). Your institution can also send official transcripts directly to gradadmissions@colostate.edu.
  • To submit test scores, contact the testing agency to request that scores be sent to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075).

For any documents that cannot be uploaded, submit paper copies directly to the Office of Admissions at:

Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Ensure your application checklist is complete and check updates by logging in here.