Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a baccalaureate in communication or a related discipline by the end of the semester in which they apply. The minimum cumulative GPA required for regular admission to the graduate program in communication is 3.25 on a 4-point scale. In addition, three letters of recommendation, at least two of which address the applicant's potential to succeed in graduate studies in communication, are also required. Finally, international students who are non-native speakers of English must obtain a TOEFL iBT score of 100 to be considered for admission. Applicants with GPAs that do not meet the admission criterion may elect to submit other materials, such as scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), to offset these deficiencies. Contact the Graduate Program Director for more information. More information on the program.

All students take a common core of 15 units (list)

All students complete a 15 credit-hour core. This includes two required courses focusing on the fundamental theories and basic research methods within the field. To complete the core, students will select at least three of four "applications" courses dealing with communication processes within a particular context. 

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Examination of the theoretical, methodological, and philosophy of science issues in the discipline of communication. Examines general, micro, contextual, and interdisciplinary (symbiotic) communication theories. Required of all graduate communication students.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Concerns the logic and forms of communication inquiry including an examination of various communication research and evaluation methods and their theoretical frameworks. Topics include communication research strategy and methodology, scientific process, derivation and test of hypotheses, methods of research design. Provides and orientation to graduate research including proposal development for thesis, internship and paper requirements, and includes a theory-based research project of the student's choice. Required of all graduate communication students.


Students also select three of four "applications" courses, which address communication within particular contexts:

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Examines the function of communication in the workplace. Students will study various frameworks for understanding organizational communication, implications of major organizational theories, and strategic communication processes in organizations. Interpersonal sensitivity, communication skills, and ethical values within organizations are also examined.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. This course examines the theories and research pertaining to interpersonal communication. Students will evaluate, adapt, apply, and formulate theory and research findings to several interpersonal communication topics, including information management in interpersonal contexts, relational uncertainty in interpersonal communication, deception detection, new technologies, and dating.

Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Examines the theories and research pertaining to media industries, content, and users. Topics include the impact of technology on media content and usage patterns, media effects on society and on individuals, media representation patterns, and the reasons users select particular types of content.

Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Examines the theories that researchers use to investigate health communication phenomena, as well as the application of those theories to understanding and enhancing health. Course topics include health campaigns and interventions, patient-provider communication, and cultural perceptions of health.

The UMSL Communication department prepared me for academic research, which has contributed to my success as a Ph.D. student at CSU. Though the work was challenging, and sometimes I didn't quite understand what I was doing, the lessons I learned from my professors at UMSL have come to be valuable tools.

- Renee Harmon, MA Communication Alumna