Skip to main content
College of Liberal Arts »

Communication Studies

Information » Programs » COMM Courses »

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

This degree allows the student to construct a personalized program that draws from the following areas: rhetorical, interpersonal, organizational, or intercultural communication, performance studies, forensics or instructional communication.


1. Application for Admission to the University. The office of Enrollment Services processes applications to the University and forwards those meeting University criteria to the Department.

2. Application to the Department. In addition to the University application, prospective students are also required to submit an application and supporting materials directly to the Department. An application form along with detailed instructions are available on-line at the Department's website ( Generally, the department accepts students who have a minimum 3.0 Overall Undergraduate GPA and a minimum combined score of 900 on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (minimum of 400 per section) on August 1, 2011, the GRE revised the test and scoring system. For tests taken after, August 1, 2011, applicants will need a minimum combined score of 297 on the Verbal and Quantitative sections, with no less than 146 on either section. The decision to admit is never based on a single indicator. Students who do not meet these requirements may seek admission through appeal.

General Considerations

1. Requirements

  • A. All requirements date from the time at which a student receives approval for Advancement to Candidacy, not from when a student begins graduate study.
  • B. The Department requires a minimum of thirty semester hours (including four thesis credits in the Thesis Option) for the Master's Degree. The University requires a minimum of twenty-four graduate credits be completed in residence.
  • C. Students must either pass the Department's comprehensive examination or write an acceptable thesis.
  • D. The Department expects its graduate students to possess the writing skills necessary for advanced study. Fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). Students should fulfill the GWAR no later than the end of the first semester of graduate study.If you believe you have taken an examination equivalent to fulfillment of the GWAR, consult the Graduate Advisor.

2. Prerequisites

  • A. Units obtained fulfilling prerequisites or deficiencies do not count toward the minimum of thirty semester hours needed to complete the Master's degree.
  • B. Students must meet all prerequisites before enrolling in graduate courses, except for COMM 541 or COMM 546. Individuals may petition for waiver of this rule prior to registering for courses if compelling reasons warrant such a waiver.

3. Students must comply with all University regulations outlined in the CSULB Catalog.


Individuals with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies (or its equivalent) from a fully-accredited college or university must have approved coursework in the following:

  • COMM 300, COMM 301, COMM 306, COMM 307.


1. A minimum of thirty hours of graduate work in Communication Studies distributed as follows:

  • A. Complete prior to advancement to candidacy and preferably within the first semester of graduate work:
    • COMM 541 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism I (3)
      Prerequisites: None
    • COMM 546 Communication Theory and Research I (6)
      Prerequisites: None
  • B. Complete preferably in the second semester:
    • COMM 640 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism II (3)
      Prerequisite: COMM 541.
    • COMM 646 Communication Theory and Research II (6)
      Prerequisites: COMM 307 (or equivalent) and 546.
  • C. 18 units of graduate level electives or 15 units of electives plus 3 thesis units

2. No more than 3 units may be taken outside the Communication Studies Department or transferred from another institution. The graduate advisor must approve any courses taken outside the department or transferred from another institution.

3. Completion of the Department's Comprehensive Examination or of an acceptable thesis. (Note: In order to satisfy the culminating activity requirement (thesis, project, or comprehensive examination dependent upon the program), students must earn at least three (3) units and no more than six (6) units related to the completion of the culminating activity.)

4. Please note that Internships and student teaching cannot be included in the required thirty units.


Any questions not answered in these pages should be directed to the Department Graduate Advisor.

Graduate Courses in Communication Studies

Students may apply the following graduate courses in Communication Studies toward the Master's Degree:

  • COMM 531, COMM 541, COMM 546, COMM 590, COMM 610, COMM 611, COMM 614, COMM 620, COMM 630, COMM 633, COMM 634, COMM 635, COMM 636, COMM 637, COMM 639, COMM 640, COMM 646, COMM 649, COMM 650, COMM 697, COMM 698

Undergraduate Core Courses

  • COMM 300, COMM 301, COMM 306, COMM 307, and COMM 330.

College of Liberal Arts
University Course Listings
PDF Document IconPrint (PDF) Versions of the Catalog