Graduate School - Communication

Paul Lakey, Graduate Director   
ACU Box 28156
Abilene, Texas 79699-8156
Sherrod Building - Don Morris Center, Room 132

Phone: 325-674-2292
Fax: 325-674-6966

Jonathan Camp, Associate Professor
Joe Cardot, Professor
Kristina Davis, Assistant Professor
Carley Dodd, Professor
Paul Lakey, Professor
Lauren Lemley, Assistant Professor
Cindy Roper, Associate Professor
Lynette Sharp Penya, Associate Professor
J.D. Wallace, Professor

The Department of Communication at Abilene Christian University offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in communication. Areas of concentration are organizational communication, interpersonal-intercultural communication, and persuasion and public advocacy.

Recognizing the increasingly vital role of communication in modern society, the department is committed to a diverse but integrated study of communication, preparing graduates for human interaction by improving people skills and task productivity. It also prepares students for further graduate work, personal growth and various career opportunities. Students going from this program into doctoral work have a 95 percent acceptance rate into their first choice of Ph.D. programs. Career opportunities include leadership roles in ministry, administration, sales, corporate communication, consulting and training, intercultural relations and human resource development.

Admission Requirements
Admission requirements for the MA in communication are:

1. Complete an application and application fee (see online link to admission);
2. An official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor’s degree from a 
    regionally accredited college or university or equivalent;
3. A cumulative undergraduate approximate B average or above in the area of focus or related area and evidence of an overall productive GPA;
4. Two letters of recommendation;
5. A satisfactory GRE score;
6. An essay describing their purpose for pursuing a graduate degree in communication;    
7. A writing sample representing high quality work (e.g. term paper). 


Major Code: COMS

The Master of Arts degree in communication requires 36 hours. The 36 hours includes two research tools courses and allows a thesis for 3 hours or a non-thesis option. An oral defense of the thesis and related course work is required with the thesis option while the non-thesis option requires an oral comprehensive examination. Students may retake the applicable exam only once more if they fail on the first attempt.

The communication degree requires a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants normally must have completed at least 18 hours in communication. Consideration is given to hours earned in related areas.

Requirements for the MA in communication are:
     1. Communication core, 9 hours:
         COMS 620 Communication Research Methods
         COMS 636 Seminar in Communication Theory
         COMS 687 Principles of Rhetorical Criticism

     2. Selection, 27 hours:
         (Students may choose to select courses in one or two areas of concentration. 12-15
         hours is required for each concentration. 6 hours of thesis may be taken as part of
         concentrations a-c. Courses from other departments must be approved by the
         graduate advisor.)

         a. Organizational communication emphasis:
             COMS 508 Crisis Communication
             COMS 521 Leadership and Communication
             COMS 543 Business and Professional Communication
             COMS 583 Communication in Multi-National Organizations
             COMS 585 Organizational Communication
             COMS 586 Training and Development
             COMS 642 Seminar in Communication: Interviewing
             COMS 685 Seminar in Organizational Communication
             COMS 686 Communication Consulting and Assessment

         b. Interpersonal-intercultural communication emphasis:
             COMS 536 Nonverbal Communication
             COMS 545 Intercultural Communication
             COMS 550 Gender Communication
             COMS 576 Family Communication
             COMS 583 Communication in Multi-National Organizations
             COMS 641 Seminar in Interpersonal Communication
             COMS 675 Seminar: Persuasion and Social Change
             COMS 683 Cultural Case Studies

         c. Persuasion and public advocacy emphasis:
             COMS 508 Crisis Communication
             COMS 515 Political Communication
             COMS 521 Leadership and Communication
             COMS 575 Persuasion and Attitude Change
             COMS 591 Rhetorical Theory
             COMS 675 Seminar: Persuasion and Social Change

     3. Comprehensive exam or thesis defense.

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