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Graduate Program Profiles: Communication








Boise State University’s Master of Arts in Communication is designed to offer graduate students advanced study of communication to understand, critique, and actively engage contemporary communication issues. This two-year program focuses on both the theory and practice of communication and offers students an opportunity to study across three interrelated areas of study: Relational and Organizational Studies, Critical/Cultural Studies, and Media Studies.

Within each of these interrelated areas of study, graduate coursework has been developed to provide a comprehensive foundation while allowing students to focus on their individual interests and hone their expertise in a particular area of communication scholarship. The MA in Communication is formatted so students may select from a variety of elective courses, independent studies, reading and conferences, internship/practicum experiences, as well as a few courses outside the department.

The varied coursework allows students to enjoy a unique and creative experience that supports professional, personal and academic growth.  Students will learn to become engaged scholars, critical thinkers and communication practitioners. The program culminates in the form of a thesis, project or comprehensive examination.

To learn more about the Master of Arts in Communication, click here or contact Dr. John McClellan at


Core Sequence (7 credits):
COMM 501 Communication Research and Writing (3 credits)
COMM 505 Communication Theory and Philosophy (3 credits)
COMM 598 Seminar (1 credit)

Graduate Elective Courses (18 – 21 credits):
COMM 506 Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
COMM 507 Organizational Communication (3 credits)
COMM 508 Media Theory and Criticism (3 credits)
COMM 509 Media Law and Ethics (3 credits)
COMM 510 Communication, Community and Politics (3 credits)
COMM 511 Critical Theories (3 credits)
COMM 512 Culture and Communication (3 credits)
COMM 520 Collaboration and Conflict (3 credits)
COMM 521 Discourse and Identity (3 credits)
COMM 522 Communication Pedagogy and Training (3 credits)
COMM 530 Media, Power, and Politics (3 credits)
COMM 531 Media and Institutions (3 credits)
COMM 532 Media Aesthetics and Culture (3 credits)
COMM 540 Communication, Gender, and Difference (3 credits)
COMM 541 Rhetoric and Civic Life (3 credits)
COMM 590 Practicum/Internship (3-6 credits)
COMM 595 Reading and Conference (3-6 credits)
COMM 596 Independent Study (3-6 credits)
COMM 597 Special Topics in Communication (1-3 credits)

Graduate Culminating Activity (choose one activity):
COMM 591 Project (6 credits)
COMM 593 Thesis (6 credits)
COMM 690 Master’s Comprehensive Examination (3 credits)

Research and Teaching Opportunities

The MA in Communication offers a limited number of competitive research and teaching opportunities in the form of Graduate Assistantships. Graduate Assistantships typically include 9-month Teaching Assistantship position that includes an approx. $9,000 stipend, tuition and fee waiver, and student health insurance. Graduate Assistants must enroll for a minimum of nine credit hours each semester.

The MA program is pleased to offer a new graduate assistantship opportunity aimed at supporting an MA student who identifies as a member of an historically underrepresented racial or ethnic group in graduate education (e.g., Black/African American, Hispanic, Latino/Latina, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Native Pacific Islander). To learn more about Graduate Assistantships through the Department of Communication, please click here.  

Alumni Testimonials

“Without my MA in Communication from Boise State, I wouldn’t be where I am professionally. I am currently Public Relations and Digital Communications Manager for a system of hospitals, clinics, and providers that stretches from Boise, Idaho to Baker City, Oregon.  In my current role, I provide communications leadership for all facilities and individuals within our system, including media and community relations, messaging, crisis communication, administrative communication, recruitment and retention communications, digital communications, and more.” (Josh S., ‘15)

“Learning more about the field of communication and the different perspectives of thought that guide how we think, act, and talk is something that I use in my daily life. The ways in which communication organizes individuals is a huge part of both my personal and professional lives. (Amanda S., ‘14)

“Currently, I am a professional writer at a global healthcare technology company in the Denver, CO area. I work in the Engineering department to develop product information for surgical navigation systems for surgeons and medical professionals. My MA in Communication at BSU contributes to my problem-solving solving skills and raising important issues in my current role. The team I work with is constantly trying to improve our processes to deliver quality products for patients. (Shannon J., ‘15)

To hear more from recent graduates of the Communication-MA program, please visit the Communication webpage.