Employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. Source: "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009," 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.

The Communication and Training program prepares students to succeed as working professionals and for further graduate study in the communication and training fields. Beyond taking the common required courses, students adapt their program of study to 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.

A Choice of Sequences
You can adapt your studies to meet your personal and professional goals by pursuing one of the three sequences: Communication Studies, Media Communication or Human Performance and Training. Each sequence includes your choice of elective courses to further personalize your education.

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

Program Fact Sheet

2014 to 2016 Course Schedule Plan

Required Preparation

The Communication Studies graduate sequence offers students the ability to understand themselves and the world they live in from the perspective of communication. It explores multiple aspects of human interaction in both private and public realms, assisting students to become effective citizens and leaders who exemplify ethical and professional communication practices. The graduate sequence in Media Communication facilitates advanced creative development and exposure to professional practices for students interested in the fields of television and cinema studies as well as multimedia writing, producing and directing. The Human Performance and Training sequence develops practitioners' skills in assessing employees' performances, determining performance gaps, designing and delivering training and non-training interventions and evaluating results.  

Special Admissions Requirements

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

  • have completed the following prerequisites (or equivalent) with a grade of C or better:
    • Students pursuing the communication studies sequence - COMS 3101.
    • Students pursuing the media communication sequence - MCOM 4520 MCOM 4740 or MCOM 5702; and MCOM 4230 or MCOM 4731.
  • have earned a GPA of 2.75 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.
  • submit a personal statement. In this two-page essay, students should consider which of the three tracks (COMS, MCOM, HPT) 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. 

Applications for the program should be completed by Aug. 1 for the fall term, Dec. 1 for the spring term, and April 1 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

Degree Requirements

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 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. 

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. 

I.     Required Courses (10-12 Hours)

HPT 6100/COMS 6100 Introduction to Graduate Communications and Training (3)

COMS 7110  Research Methods I (3)

COMS, MCOM or HPT Capstone (4-6) 

II.     Sequence Courses (15-18 Hours) 

Select one of the following sequences:

Communication Studies

Human Performance and Training

Media Communications

Communication Studies Sequence

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

  • at least 9 hours must be COMS Course
  • 6 hours must be at the 8000 level
  •  no more than 6 hours may be taken at the 5000 level. 

A.    Humanistic Communication

COMS 5090 Topics in Communication (3)

COMS 6125 Listening (3)

COMS 6135 Nonverbal Communication (3)

COMS 6140 Family Communication (3)

COMS 6300 Humanistic Communication (3)

COMS 6330 Intrapersonal Communication (3)

COMS 6350 Gender Communication (3)

COMS 6425 Group and Leadership (3)

COMS 6435 Conflict Management (3)

COMS 6452 Clients and Customers (3)

COMS 8130 Interpersonal Communication (3)

COMS 8330 Communication and Consciousness (3)

COMS 8400 Organizational Communication (3)

COMS 8440 Interdisciplinary Team Process (3)

COMS 8460 Communication Training (3) 

B.    Political Communication

COMS  5090 Topics in Communication (3)

COMS 6500 Political Communication (3)

COMS 8060 Seminar in Political Communication (3)

COMS 8110 Research Methods II (3) 

C. Critical/Cultural Communication

COMS 5090 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 Sexualities (3)

COMS 6780 Rhetoric and Popular Culture (3)

COMS 8070 Seminar in Critical/Cultural Communication (3)

COMS 8110 Research Methods II (3)

COMS 8190 Philosophy of Communication (3)

COMS 8790 Teach Communication and Critical Pedagogy (3)

IFDI 8400 Film Seminar (3)

MCOM 6560 Women and the Media (3)

MCOM 6742 Film and TV Documentary (3) 

Human Performance and Training Sequence:***

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 and Teamwork in HPT (3) 

Select one credit hour from the following:

HPT 8600    Advanced Field Project (1)

HPT 8800    Internship (1) 

*** Students in the HPT sequence need to fulfill standards suggested by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction by selecting 14 credit hours of selectives from among 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 Seminar in Advertising and Public Relations (3)

MCOM 6361 Advertising and Society (3)

MCOM 6730 Directing (3)

MCOM 6742 Film and TV Documentary (3)

MCOM 6746 Advanced Editing (3)

MCOM 6760 Non-Broadcast TV Operations (3)

MCOM 7455 Media Management (3)

MCOM 7501 Journalism Seminar (3)

MCOM 7540 Trends in Communication Technologies (3)

MCOM 7725 Advanced Producing for Film/TV (3)

MCOM 8003 Contemporary Issues (3)

MCOM 8030 Graduate Seminars in Media Communication (3)

MCOM 8800 Internship (3)

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 9-12 hours of graduate credit appropriate to the student's career interest(s). At least 6 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.  

IV.        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