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Master of Arts (MA) Degree Program in Communication Arts Overview

Majors Overview February 12, 2016

This article talks about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Communication Arts and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Communication Arts

Ways of enhancing communication within communities, corporations, and educational institutions through various means, including creative expression, media, and technology, are explored in communication arts master’s programs. The interdisciplinary nature of the majority of communication arts programs entails various areas including language arts, international languages, inclusive education and media literacy. In some programs, a choice of concentrations may be offered in related areas such as film, communication science, cultural studies or rhetoric. Enrollees are often required to work on developing and researching thesis topic. Students in some programs have the choice of pursuing non-thesis tracks.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, in addition to submitting Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and writing samples.


Program coursework covers visual, written, and oral communication, with a focus on different subject areas, such as media studies or language development, varying in concentration. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Cognitive processes
•Human education
•Listening and discussion skills
•Interpersonal Communications
•Communication research methods
•Communication theory
•Media and culture
•Creative expressions
•Teaching with technology

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose from various career options. Varying by specialization, job opportunities exist in research, education, media or management. Program graduates may also choose from possible career areas such as:

•Radio broadcasting
•College teaching
•Print advertising
•Political communication

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a 13% job growth is expected for individuals in higher education (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, postsecondary communications teachers brought in an average annual wage of $68,540 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who wish to pursue continuing education may earn doctorate degrees in communication arts or a related field. The focus of doctorate programs is on the specific interests of students even as they continue to develop students’ knowledge of numerous subject areas within the broad field of communication arts.

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