Academic Catalog 2022-2023

School of Communication

The Master of Arts in Communication program provides advanced knowledge and skills to individuals who want an in-depth understanding of processes, application, engagement, and discovery in an intellectual climate. We pride ourselves on providing a wide range of perspectives, approaches, research, and practical application in communication and multimedia content. Our graduate students thrive by learning in a diverse environment and the richness provided in the various course offerings. As graduate students discover their strengths in communication research and media production, they become more prepared and confident to work in multiple careers or continue their studies at the doctoral level.

The School of Communication (SOC) seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  • Provide students with a theoretical, practical, and research foundation in Communication and media so that they may acquire enhanced understandings of their professional specialties;
  • Prepare students for further study toward the Ph.D. degree;
  • Provide students with advanced skills in content creation, production, and industry technology;
  • Provide students a platform to expand their real-world industry experience and creative problem-solving

Graduate students in the Master of Arts in Communication program can either earn a thesis or a non-thesis Master's degree with an opportunity to focus their area of study in one of four concentrations. All concentrations in the Master of Arts in Communication are designed to be completed in four semesters if a student attends full time, completes their master's or thesis project, and defends within that time.

Concentrations include:

  • Media Studies
  • Organizational Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Sports and Entertainment Management

CONCENTRATION DESCRIPTIONS

Media Studies

The Media Studies concentration focuses on the understanding, interpretation, and application of the scholarly study of the mass media. This concentration provides foundations in theory and research on mass media and relates the theory and research to these media's professional and ethical/legal/policy aspects. It prepares students for the further development of the foundations in theory and research in doctoral programs and the application of the theory and research in the corporate, governmental, consulting, educational, and public service environments. Students gain an understanding of mass media in courses on such issues as Theory and Process of Communication; Research on Mass Communication; Media Law and Ethics; Media Effects; International Media Systems; Social Media, Culture, and Communication; Race, Gender, Class and the Media; International Mass Media; and Media Technology.

Organizational Communication

This concentration advances the scholarly skills of students in the theoretical frameworks for the study of organizational contexts, Communication within the organization, communication structures of the organization, and crisis management. This concentration incorporates theoretical foundations and research methodology used to study organizational processes, and current problems in organizational contexts (such as corporate and nonprofit systems, employee and management information flow, and organizational culture).

Health Communication

This concentration allows public health professionals, nonprofit leaders, and researchers to gain advanced knowledge of communication models, processes, strategic Communication, and health campaigns. Students gain advanced knowledge of theories, research, and practice to examine current problems in health care. This degree program allows professionals and nonprofessionals to study how information is generated and shared among health professionals, communities, individuals, and public advocates. Students in this concentration develop new understandings of channels, messages, and cultural and other contexts that influence individuals and groups to seek health information. The concentration is also designed to equip professionals with the skills to analyze, design, and evaluate policies, campaigns, and structures in health communication environments. Students acquire the knowledge and skills to plan campaigns, cultivate initiatives for specific groups, analyze program objectives, develop public speaking skills they apply in addressing various audiences, and assess communication processes within different medical environments.

Sports & Entertainment Management 

The concentration offers a master's program geared toward creating new media, sports entertainment, and recording industry management scholars and professionals prepared to enter a computer-native industry. Our program allows students to gain a critical understanding of advanced technologies and a range of skills in audio production and multimedia production, and management and business. Additionally, graduates will understand the theory, methods, and analytical tools needed to create and contribute to scholarship in fields of Communication that are part of the Sports and Entertainment Management discipline. 

Admissions Criteria and Application Process

The Master of Arts in Communication program accepts applicants in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Fall Enrollment Deadline:

Application and all supporting documents must be received by July 15 for the Fall semester.

Spring Enrollment Deadline:

Application and all supporting documents must be received by November 15 for the Spring semester.

Applications received after these dates will be considered for the following semester. Early admission is highly encouraged.

Only completed applications (including all required materials listed above) will be reviewed for admission. The Graduate School receives graduate application materials and is forwarded to The School of Communication for review. The recommendation of the School of Communication is returned to the Graduate School. The Graduate School makes the final admission decision, and the applicant is notified of the decision accordingly. Prospective students wishing to inquire about their application status should direct questions to the Graduate School until they receive official admissions notification.

Applicants must be admitted to the program before enrolling in coursework. Admission is competitive and based on an applicant's entire academic record. The requirements stated are the minimum standards for consideration of an application and do not guarantee admission. Admission to the program is contingent upon admission to Graduate School. Please note that admission is only applicable for the semester admitted.

Application Process

The Master of Arts in Communication program requires, at a minimum, that applicants have a B.A. in Communication or a closely related field with a 3.2-grade point average for the upper-division courses (usually the last 30 semester hours). In addition to meeting the Graduate School's requirements for admission, retention, examinations, candidacy, and graduation as listed elsewhere, applicants should submit the following:

  1. An official transcript of all undergraduate coursework. (Must show evidence of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.)
  2. A 500-750 word personal essay/statement details the academic and professional preparation for and interest in the graduate program. The essay should clearly state the applicant's choice of concentration (Media Studies, Organizational Communication, Health Communication, or Sports and Entertainment Management). In addition, the essay should address the reasons the applicant selected their specific program and concentration, details of the collegiate academic background and professional experiences of the applicant, and the post- MA-program goals of the applicant.
  3. Two confidential letters of recommendation from faculty who have taught the applicant, the letters should address the applicant's strengths, areas of improvement, and commitment to excellence. Applicants with related professional experience may submit an additional letter of recommendation from their supervisors.
  4. A current resume.
  5. For concentrations in Media Studies, Organizational Communication, Sports and Entertainment Management, and Health Communication, applicants must submit a writing portfolio of 10-20 pages, single author, submitted for a graded assignment or publication.
  6. For concentration in Sports and Entertainment Management, applicants can submit a portfolio containing a multimedia project submitted for class or published (including but not limited to YouTube, digital or new media source, website, news, entertainment outlet, or festival submission).
  7. Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score if the applicant's native language is not English unless the applicant has received an undergraduate degree from a U.S. college or university. A TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 79 on the Internet-based test is required.
  8. NO GRE or ENGLISH PROFICIENCY exam is required for this degree program.

SOC Application Checklist

Fall Admission: July 15 | Spring Admission: November 15

  1. Completed Online Application
  2. Pay Application Fee
  3. Order and Submit Official Transcripts
  4. Completed Personal Essay (Include Concentration Choice)
  5. Letter of Recommendation (1)
  6. Letter of Recommendation (2)
  7. Submitted Resume
  8. Submitted Writing Sample for Concentrations in Media Studies, Organization, and Health Communication (if applicable)
  9. Submitted Portfolio for Concentration in Sports and Entertainment Management (if applicable)
  10. Submitted TOEFL Scores (if applicable)
  11. Confirmation from the Graduate College
  12. Notification of Admission Status

Documents may be submitted electronically to the School of Communication through the application portal. Transcripts, letters of recommendation, and materials should be mailed to the address below. No applications will be processed without payment of the application fee.

The Graduate School

Texas Southern University

TSU Box #1254

3100 Cleburne

Houston, TX 77004-1254

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

Unconditional Admission:

  1. A Graduate with a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university (degrees from institutions outside the U.S. are evaluated for equivalency to U.S. degrees)
  2. Possess a grade point average of at least 3.0 in undergraduate studies
  3. Complete satisfactory preparation in the specific discipline or field of study
  4. Attain a score of at least 213 on the TOEFL, if an international student

Conditional Admission:

Students who fail to satisfy the unconditional admission criteria may be admitted on a conditional basis. Under conditional admission, the student must have at least a 2.8 undergraduate grade point average. The undergraduate grade point average within the last thirty hours (30) of course work must be at least 3.2. Students admitted in this category will be required to meet the unconditional admission criteria by maintaining at least a grade of "B" or better in each course in the first twelve hours of graduate work within the first year of enrollment. Failure to satisfy unconditional admission criteria within the stipulated time will result in the student being dismissed from the program. Conditional admits are not eligible for financial aid.

Post-Baccalaureate and Non-Degree Seeking Applicant Policy:

  1. Applicants are not eligible for financial aid.
  2. If admitted as a post-baccalaureate student, the student must earn a minimum of 3.5 GPA in the hours taken while in the graduate program to be admitted into program.
  3. If admitted with non-degree-seeking status, a student is allowed to take up to six (6) hours only.

Degree Requirements and Program Policies

Master of Arts in Communication Overview

Fulfillment of the general requirements for graduation as outlined in the general information section of the Graduate School Bulletin and specific requirements for the Master of Arts in Communication as summarized below:

Minimum General Requirements for the Master of Arts in Communication Degree:

  1. A degree plan must be filed with the Graduate School within the first semester of coursework.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for all graduate work attempted.
  3. Courses transferred may not exceed six semester hours and must have earned a grade of "B" or higher.
  4. No more than six semester credit hours of "C" and/or "C+" work are accepted toward satisfying graduation and degree requirements.
  5. The program must be completed within six calendar years.

Warning Status and Grade Point Average

To continue in Graduate School, the student must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.00.

A graduate student whose graduate grade point average falls below 3.00 GPA at the end of any semester or summer session will be warned by the Program and the Graduate School that their continuance in the Graduate School is in jeopardy. The student must attain a graduate grade point average of at least 3.00 during the next semester they are enrolled or will be subject to dismissal.

Conditional Admission

Students who fail to satisfy the unconditional admission criteria may be admitted on a conditional basis. Under conditional admission, the student must have at least a 2.8 undergraduate grade point average. The undergraduate grade point average within the last thirty hours (30) of course work must be at least 3.2. In addition, students admitted in this category will be required to meet the unconditional admission criteria by maintaining at least a grade of "B" or better in each course in the first twelve hours of graduate work within the first year of enrollment. Failure to satisfy unconditional admission criteria within the stipulated time will result in the student being dismissed from the program. Conditional admits are not eligible for financial aid.

Post-Baccalaureate and Non-Degree Seeking Applicant Policy

  1. Applicants are not eligible for financial aid.
  2. If admitted as a post-baccalaureate student, the student must earn a minimum of 3.5 GPA in the hours taken to be admitted into the program.

If admitted with non-degree-seeking status, a student is allowed to take up to six (6) hours only.