The major prepares students as working professionals and for further graduate study in the communications and training fields. Beyond taking the common required courses, students adapt the major to their individual needs and backgrounds by pursuing one of the three sequences and choosing appropriate elective courses. Students plan their specific programs in consultation with their advisors. Graduates of the program are in career areas such as advertising, cable TV, college teaching, consulting, customer service, film-making, human resource development, instructional design and development, journalism, media management, media writing, public affairs, public relations, TV production/direction, and training.

Employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 9 percent from 2012 to 2022.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-2015, U.S. Department of Labor

In our high-speed world, information is currency and the ability to communicate effectively is a requirement if you want to make an impact in business, government, media, the arts, and other vital fields.

A Choice of Sequences
You can adapt your studies to meet your individual goals by pursuing one of the three sequences: Communication Studies, Media Communication, and Human Performance and Training, and choosing appropriate elective courses. You will also be prepared for further graduate study in the communication and training fields.

Choice of Careers
Graduates of the program enjoy careers in film-making, advertising, television production/direction, journalism, customer service, human resource development, higher education, instructional design and development, media management, media writing, public relations, and job training. 

2014 to 2016 Course Schedule Plan

Required Preparation

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting the university admissions requirements, applicants must:

  1. have completed the following prerequisites (or equivalent) with a grade of "C" or better:
  2. Students pursuing the Communication Studies sequence - COMS 4100, and students pursuing the Media Communication sequence - MCOM-2520, MCOM-4740, or MCOM-4702; and MCOM-4230 or MCOM-4731.
  3. have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements or who have graduated from non-grade baccalaureate programs may be conditionally admitted. A GPA of 3.0 must be maintained for the first nine credit hours of work completed. If a 3.0 GPA is not maintained, the student must petition the Communication and Training program for continued enrollment;
  4. submit a Personal Statement. In this two-page essay, students should consider which of the two tracks (COMS; MCOM;) they will be focusing on in their studies in the graduate Communication and Training program, and discuss their reasons for enrolling in the program and how they see completing the degree as beneficial to their life.
  5. Applications for the program should be completed by July 15 for the fall term, November 15 for the spring term, and March 15 for the summer term.

    Recommended Preparation
    An undergraduate major in one of the following fields is recommended: business, education, media, multimedia, communications, English, psychology, sociology, linguistics, or liberal arts. In addition, students are expected to have demonstrable competence in written, verbal, and visual forms of communication.

    Degree Requirements

    Admission to Candidacy

    After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student also must apply for candidacy. To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must:

    1. complete the prerequisite course work listed above (see Special Admissions Requirement #1) with a grade of "C" or better in each course;
    2. complete 15 hours of coursework in the major with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 

    More detailed candidacy information is available through the division office or the student's advisor.

    Capstone Requirement: Internship, Thesis, or Project Options

    As part of this degree program, students select between an internship, thesis or project capstone option, depending on the sequence chosen. Before enrolling in any capstone option, students must be admitted to candidacy (see above).

    In the Communication Studies and Media Communication internship option, students select an internship and develop an internship agreement (similar to a thesis or project proposal). The internship agreement must be approved by the student's committee (composed of the student's internship director, site supervisor, and a faculty member). Upon committee approval of the internship agreement, the student may register for COMS-8970. After successful completion of the internship hours, students must complete the internship report and portfolio.

    In the thesis option, students develop a thesis proposal, carry out a formal research study under the supervision of the faculty member and a degree committee, and prepare a final manuscript. The thesis option is strongly encouraged for students who have focused research interests or who intend to pursue doctoral studies. Student may register for COMS-8990 once the proposal has been approved by the student's thesis committee.

    In the project option, students develop a master's project proposal, design and complete the project under the direction of a faculty member and a degree committee, and prepare a final report. Students may register for COMS-8980 or HPT-8981 /8982 once the proposal has been approved by the student's project committee. 

    Degree Requirements

    Students must meet all university requirements for a master's degree and complete required and sequence courses with a grade of "B" or higher in each course and maintain an average GPA of 3.0. Students are only allowed to repeat a course once.

    The M.A. in Communication and Training requires a common core of courses. The core concentrates on the essential connections between the sequences; awareness of the common aspects in research; and, finally, the application to various media and technology.

    Some required and selective courses are offered only once per academic year. Students are strongly advised to register well in advance of the commencement of courses, and to consult closely with their assigned advisors upon entering the program to ensure individual study plans are aligned with the university schedule.

    Introduction courses should be taken in the student's first term (HPT-6100 for HPT students; COMS-6100 for COMS and MCOM students). No more than three credit hours of COMS-5050 may be applied to the degree.

    Required Courses (10-12 Hours)

    HPT - 6100 Introduction to HPT (3)


    COMS - 6100 Intro. to Graduate Communication (3)

    COMS - 7110 Research Methods I (3)

    COMS, MCOM, or HPT Capstone (4-6)

     Sequence Courses (15-18 Hours)

    Select one of the following sequences:

    Communication Studies Sequence

    In consultation with an advisor, student select at least 15 hours from the areas below. Of those 15 hours:

    • at least nine hours must be COMS Courses;
    • six hours must be at the 8000 level; and
    • no more than six hours may be taken at the 5000 level.

    The following courses are suggestive of those that will fulfill this requirement.

     A. Humanistic Communication

     COMS - 6090 Topics in Communication (3)

    COMS - 6125 Listening (3)

    COMS - 6135 Nonverbal Communication (3)

    COMS - 6140 Family Communication (3)

    COMS - 6330 Intrapersonal Communication (3)

    COMS - 6350 Gender Communication (3)

    COMS - 6425 Group Communication and Leadership (3)

    COMS - 6435 Conflict Management (3)

    COMS - 6452 Com. with Clients and Customers (3)

    COMS - 8130 Interpersonal Communication (3)

    COMS - 8320 Communication and Consciousness (3)

    COMS - 8330 Adv. Communication & Consciousness (3)

    COMS - 8400 Organizational Communication (3)

    COMS - 8440 Interdisciplinary Team Process (3)

    COMS - 8460 Communication Training (3)

    B. Political Communication

     COMS - 6090 Topics in Communication (3)

    COMS - 6500 Graduate Political Communication (3)

    COMS - 8060 Seminar in Political Communication (3)

    COMS - 8110 Research Methods II (3)

    C. Critical/Cultural Communication

    COMS - 6090 Topics in Communication (3)

    COMS - 6705 Intercultural Communication (3)

    COMS - 6710 Culture and Communication (3)

    COMS - 6720 Communication and Identity (3)

    COMS - 6750 Critical Gender and Sexuality (3)

    COMS - 6780 Rhetoric and Popular Culture (3)

    COMS - 8070 Sem. in Critical Cultural Com. (3)

    COMS - 8110 Research Methods II (3)

    COMS - 8190 Philosophy of Communication (3)

    COMS - 8790 Teaching Com. & Critical Pedagogy (3)

    IFDI - 8400 Film Seminar (3)

    MCOM - 6040 Film Seminar (3)

    MCOM - 6560 Women in the Media (3)

    MCOM - 6735 Documentary Filmmaking (3)

    Human Performance and Training Sequence

    Please note that admission to the HPT Sequence has been suspended.  Students are encouraged to consider the other two sequences

     HPT - 6150 Introduction to HPT Technologies (3) *

    HPT - 6200 Training Product Design (3) *

    HPT - 7200 Needs/Task Analysis in HPT (3)

    HPT - 7300 Evaluation/Cost Benefit Analysis in HPT (3)

    HPT - 8200 Consulting Teamwork in HPT (3)

    Select one credit hour from the following:

    HPT - 8600 Advanced Field Project (2)

    HPT - 8800 Internship (1-4)

    Students in the HP&T sequence need to fulfill IBSTPI (International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction) suggested standards by selecting 14 credits of selectives from the following:

    COMS - 8400 Organizational Communication (3)

    HPT - 5100 Training Topics (1-3) *

    HPT - 7100 Principles of Message Design (3)

    HPT - 7150 Project Management in HPT (3) *

    HPT - 7190 Training Techniques (3)

    HPT - 7260 Scriptwriting for Instruction and Training (3)

    HPT - 7300 Evaluation/Cost Benefit Analysis in HPT (3)

    HPT - 7400 Solving Performance Problems (3)

    HPT - 7450 Performance in Organizations (3)

    HPT - 8250 Research in HPT (3)

    HPT - 8800 Internship (1-4)

    Media Communication Sequence

    In consultation with an advisor, students select at least 18 hours from the following:

    COMS - 8480 International Communications (3)

    MCOM - 6040 Film Seminar (3)

    MCOM - 6070 Media Workshop (3)

    MCOM - 6355 Sem. in Advertising & Public Rel. (3)

    MCOM - 6361 Advertising and Society (3)

    MCOM - 6730 Directing Drama for TV and Film (3)

    MCOM - 6743 History of Film (3)

    MCOM - 6746 Advanced Video Editing (3)

    MCOM - 6760 Corp. & Nontrad. Broad. TV Oper.(3)

    MCOM - 7455 Media Management (3)

    MCOM - 7540 Trends in Com. Technologies (3)

    MCOM - 7725 Advanced Producing for Film and TV (3)

    MCOM - 8003 Contemporary Issues (3)

    MCOM - 8030 Grad. Sem. in Media Com. (3)

    MCOM - 8800 Internship (1-4)

    Electives (9-12 Hours)

    (If a student chooses the Human Performance and Training Sequence, the selectives listed above must be taken in place of electives.)

    In consultation with the advisor, select 9 to 12 hours of graduate credit appropriate to the student's career interest(s).

    At least six hours must be taken within the Communications and Training program. Students must complete at least one 8000-level course as an elective.

    * Indicated courses may be taken by graduate student in the Communication Studies or Media Communication sequences as an elective.

    Total - 36 Hours

    Graduation Requirements

    Students must meet the university requirements for a master's degree found in the GSU Catalog. Please meet with your faculty advisor during the first semester to complete your study plan.


    Career Resources
    Learn about careers in communication, training, and related fields by clicking on topics below. Also, please be sure to check out GSU's Office of Career Services in room A1120.

    Current students: please visit MyGSU for additional resources.

    Look for sites like these online:
    Tips for Writing Your Resume

    10 Words and Terms That Ruin a Resume

    10 Things to Leave Off Your Resume

    Pathways to Careers in Communication

    New Jersey Communication Association

    Writing Personal Statements & Application Letters

    Survey of Communication PhDs. five years after earning their degree

    Careers in the Field of Communication
    Ever wonder what you can do with a degree in Communication?
    Check out this list of famous people who earned their degree in Communication to find out which presidents, actors, athletes, journalists, and magazine moguls have studied communication.

    marketing specialist · copywriter · account executive · sales manager · media planner · media buyer · creative director · media sales representative · public opinion researcher

    Communication Education
    language arts coordinator · high school speech teacher · forensic/debate coach · drama director · college or university professor · speech communication department chairperson

    Electronic Media/Radio-Television Broadcasting
    broadcasting station manager · director of broadcasting · film/tape librarian · community relations director · unit manager · film editor · news director · news writer · transmitter engineer · technical director · advertising sales coordinator · traffic/ continuity specialist · media buyer · market researcher · actor · announcer · disc jockey · news anchor · public relations manager · comedy writer · casting director · researcher · business manager · account executive · floor manager · talk show host

    reporter · editor · newscaster · author · copywriter · script writer · publisher · news service researcher · technical writer · acquisitions editor · media interviewer · talk show host

    Public Relations
    publicity manager · advertising manager · marketing specialist · press agent · lobbyist · corporate public affairs specialist · account executive · development officer · fundraiser · membership recruiter · sales manager · media analyst · media planner · creative director · audience analyst · news writer · public opinion researcher

    Theatre/Performing Arts/ Dramatic Arts
    performing artists · script writer · producer · director · arts administrator · performing arts educator · costume designer · scenic designer · lighting designer · theatre critic · makeup artist · stage manager · model · theatre professor · casting director

    Careers in Fields Related to Communication

    sales representative · executive manager · personal manager · public information officer · industrial and labor relations representative · negotiator · director of corporate communication · customer service representative · newsletter editor · communication trainer · human resource manager · buyer

    teacher · school counselor · educational researcher · audiovisual specialist · educational administrator · school/ university information specialist · director of college news · director of collegiate information center · educational tester · developmental officer · educational fundraiser · alumni officer · college placement officer · college admission director · college recruiter

    public information officer · speech writer · legislative assistant · campaign director · research specialist · program coordinator · negotiator · lobbyist · press secretary · elected official

    Health Care
    health educator · school health care administrator · medical grant writer · hospital director of communication · clinic public relations director · health communication analyst · research analysis · medical training supervisor · communications manager for federal health agencies · health personnel educator · medical center publications editor · hospice manager · drug rehabilitationist · health care counselor · activities director · marketing director · health facility fundraiser

    High Technology Industries
    trainer for communication technologies · closed circuit television producer/ director · system analyst · technical copywriter · language specialist · speech synthesizer · cognition researcher · audio and visual computer display specialist · performance assessor

    International Relations
    on-air international broadcasting talent · corporate representative · translator · student tour coordinator · diplomat · foreign relations officer · host/ hostess for foreign dignitaries · foreign correspondent

    public defender · corporate lawyer · district attorney · public interest lawyer · private practice lawyer · legal researcher · mediation and negotiation specialist · paralegal researcher · legal secretary · legal reporter · legal educator

    Social and Human Services
    Public administrator · social worker · recreational supervisor · human rights officer · community affairs liaison · park service public relations specialist · philanthropic representative · religious leader · mental counselor

    Professional and Academic Associations
    Communication & Media Communication Associations
    The Independent Feature Project

    The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

    Women in Film Chicago

     Documentary Filmmaking

    Directors Guild of America

    Writers Guild of America

    Digital Filmmaker's Resources Site

    Association for Multimedia Communication

    Association for Women in Communication

    International Association of Business Communicators

    Journalist's Resource

    Human Performance and Training Associations
    American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)

    Chicago Chapter of American Society for Training and Development (CCASTD)

    Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)

    Information Technology Training Association (ITTA)

    International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)

    Chicago International Society for Performance Improvement (CISPI)

    Society for Applied Learning Technology (SALT)

    Academic Associations
    National Communication Association (NCA)

    International Communication Association (ICA)

    Central States Communication Association (CSCA)

    Southern States Communication Association (SSCA)

    Western States Communication Association (WSCA)

    Eastern Communication Association (ECA)

    World Communication Association (WCA)

    American Communication Association (ACA)

    University Film and Video Association

    Broadcast Education Association

    Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

    Pop Culture & American Culture Associations

    Rhetoric Society of America (RSA)

    Society for Cinema & Media Studies (SCMS)

    Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (OSCLG)

    Association for Cultural Studies

    International Listening Association

    Advising Information

    Communication Studies Sequence, (advisor assigned at time of admission)

    Yevette Brown
    Associate Professor
    Academic Program Coordinator

    Debbie James
    Assistant Professor

    Michele McMaster
    University Lecturer

    Jason Zingsheim
    Assistant Professor

    Human Performance and Training Sequence
    Lisa Helm
    Administrative Coordinator

    Media Communication Sequence, (advisor assigned at time of admission)

    Yevette Brown
    Associate Professor
    Academic Program Coordinator

    Tony Labriola

    Sang Hoon Lee
    Associate Professor

    Dan Nearing