A graduate degree in communication is a great career option for those in many fields, including public relations and media, as well as those who wish to become professors and researchers. Read on to find out about the wide range of degree options available within the field of communications, as well as some programs in the state of North Carolina.
Master of Arts in Communication
One common option for students seeking graduate studies in communication is the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication. Most M.A. programs will blend theory with practice, so that students understand the theories behind communication while being prepared to put these theories into practice. Courses can often be tailored to individual interests, and can include Communication Fluency, Classical Rhetoric, and Communication for Global Audiences. Graduates of M.A. programs can seek employment in corporate communication, public relations, media production, and a range of other industries.
Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
An M.A. in Strategic Communication gives students the framework to implement and evaluate campaigns to solve problems over a range of disciplines. Courses may include Persuasion and Media, Public Relations Campaigns, Media Law, and Message Design and Production. Students who choose this program may become campaign managers or consultants for politicians, public relations experts, or organizational communications strategists.
Doctor of Philosophy in Communication
A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Communication is designed for students who wish to become scholars, teachers, and researchers in the field of communications. PhD students take high-level courses in communication studies. They also engage in research in areas of interest, such as interpersonal communication, social media, and digital rhetoric. In addition, students should expect to take comprehensive examinations and complete a dissertation to be prepared at the PhD level.
Graduate Programs in North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
One graduate option at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an M.A. in Media and Communication. This two-year program focuses on training in skills, concepts, and research methods of communication. Students can focus their program in journalism, strategic communication, visual communication, or theory and research. To apply, students should hold a bachelor's degree with a B average, submit GRE scores, and also provide a statement of purpose, recommendations, a resume, and writing samples.
UNC-Chapel Hill also offers the PhD in Communication Studies. Students are required to take core courses, and then choose two lines of inquiry in which to focus their studies. Lines of study include communication and culture, intrapersonal and organizational communication, media studies, performance studies, and rhetoric. In addition to coursework, students must complete comprehensive exams and a dissertation. To apply, students must submit transcripts reflecting an average grade of B, GRE scores, a statement of purpose, resume, recommendations, and list of research interests, and sample of scholarly writing.
North Carolina State University
At NC State, students can pursue a Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication. This is a 36-credit hour program and can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Students take core courses in quantitative and qualitative methods as well as theory, and then pursue electives in their area of interest such as gaming and social network communication or international communication. Students can pursue study abroad programs or internships as a component of their master's degree program. To apply, students should submit a resume, personal statement, writing samples, and references. GRE scores and transcripts are also required.
NC State also offers a PhD in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. In this program, students undertake high-level analysis of the various forms of new communication media. The program typically takes four years to complete on a full-time basis. Students are prepared for professional careers through an Industry Immersion program for students interested in industry-related careers, or the Preparing for the Professoriate program, which provides mentoring and teaching experience to future college professors. To apply, students should submit a personal statement, curriculum vitae, academic writing samples, copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and GRE scores.
Queens University of Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte offers the M.A. in Communication. Students can undertake concentrations in a range of areas, including creativity and networks, organizational identity and brand, and digital experience design. Programs are offered on-campus and online. To apply, students should submit an application, transcripts, and GRE scores. Individuals with more than five years of professional experience may seek a GRE waiver.
High Point University
High Point University offers the M.A. in Strategic Communication program as part of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication. Students focus upon both communication theory in terms of developing messaging, as well as technology skills to put effective messages together. Over the course of the program, students have the opportunity to work on at least two campaigns: one as part of a course based upon community campaigns, and one as a component of their final thesis. Admissions requirements include a bachelor's degree with undergraduate GPA of 3.0, a resume, personal statement, and three references.
Wake Forest University
At Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, students can pursue the M.A. in Communication. The program requires 33 semester hours of study to complete, beginning with core courses in communication theory and research. Foreign language competency is required for graduation. Students have the option of completing a thesis or undertaking comprehensive exams. To apply, students should submit transcripts reflecting a 3.0 GPA, GRE scores, and three recommendations.
A graduate degree in communication can offer many advantages. North Carolina provides access to many outstanding programs in this field.