Communication Graduate Programs in California

You can choose from several institutions in California for a graduate degree in Communication. Learn about four master's programs and one doctoral degree program, including tuition costs and admission criteria.

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A graduate degree in Communication will provide you with a wide range of career opportunities. For example, you could work in fields like public relations, journalism, marketing, or advertising.

School Comparison

You can utilize this chart to see which school best fits your budget.

Institution Location Graduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)*
University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA $24,260
California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA $8,164 (in-state) / $17,668 (out-of-state)
Stanford University Stanford, CA $49,617
California State University - East Bay Hayward, CA $8,268 (in-state) / $17,772 (out-of-state)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA $44,013

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Mass Communication Studies
  • Speech Communications and Rhetoric

California Schools with Communication Graduate Programs

University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco offers a Master of Arts in Professional Communication with three specialization areas: strategic communication, technical communication, and health communication. You will need to earn 30 credits, which typically takes full-time students two years to finish. You will also need to complete either a directed study project like a reflective portfolio or a capstone project in order to graduate. To be considered for admission, you need to have a bachelor's degree with a preferred GPA of 3.0 or above. You will need to complete an online application and supply transcripts, a resume, statement of purpose, and two recommendation letters.

California State University - Long Beach

California State University at Long Beach has a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Areas of study include instructional communication and organizational communication. It is also a 30-credit program, with required courses in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism as well as Communication Theory and Research. At the conclusion of the program, you will either need to complete a master's thesis or pass a comprehensive test in order to graduate. When applying to the program, you will need a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies or a related field with at least a 3.0 GPA. Other requirements include a combined GRE score of 900 on the old version or a 297 for the new version. You will complete a university application, along with a departmental one.

Stanford University

At Stanford University, you have the opportunity to earn a dual bachelor's and master's in Communication. The program offers either a journalism or media studies concentration. Most students can finish the program by their senior year or with one or two additional semesters. Undergraduate students who already finished at least 120 units and finalized their undergraduate major are eligible to apply for the co-terminal master's program. Stanford also specifies that students intending to apply to co-terminal programs must still have at least one quarter of overlap between their bachelor's and master's degree. The admissions process involves submitting a preliminary program proposal, statement of purpose, recommendation letters, current unofficial transcript, coterm application approval form, and depending on the track you choose, you may also have to submit writing samples or a statement from a professor who will be your adviser.

California State University - East Bay

California State University at East Bay awards a Master of Arts in Communication, which is a 45 credit program. Degree coursework includes Professional Communication and Critical Ethnic Media Studies. For the general admission requirements, you will need a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA. You should complete a university application and submit it to the admissions office. The second admissions requirement is a departmental application which needs a statement of purpose, three recommendation letters, and a writing sample.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California Annenberg has a PhD in Communication. Graduation requirements include finishing 76 credits and a doctoral dissertation, which usually take four to five years to complete. The program offers seven areas of focus, such as New Media and Technology as well as Health Communication and Social Dynamics. The admissions process includes submitting the following:

  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement
  • 10-page writing sample of previous work
  • Three faculty recommendations
  • Interest questionnaire
  • Official transcripts

California institutions award both master's and doctoral degrees in communication. Some of the programs offer specialization areas, such as media studies or health communication and social dynamics.

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