Communication Studies

MA in Communication Studies

Dean Endorsement of Graduate Program (PDF)

Thank you for your interest in our master's program in Communication Studies. The department offers coursework in Rhetoric, Communication Theory & Philosophy, Political Communication, Intercultural Communication, and Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. Graduate students in Communication Studies (CMST) may choose between either thesis or comprehensive plans of study to complete their degree. A thesis is a traditional track for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or simply a research interest. Comprehensive examinations require additional coursework instead of a thesis and completion of examinations over the course of 6 hours spread across multiple days.

Our graduate students are encouraged to complete both academic and applied communication research while completing their studies, as well as attend academic and professional conferences. CMST graduate students have submitted and presented papers to the National Communication Association and Western States Communication Association. Graduates have been placed in such top-rated doctoral programs as Purdue University, Southern Illinois University, Arizona State University, the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Iowa. Others have chosen professional careers in human resource development, public relations, employment recruiting (to name only a few), pursued successful careers in the non-profit field, as well as teaching communication studies at the junior college level.

Qualified graduate students may apply for graduate teaching assistantships that come with very competitive graduate stipends and provide excellent preparation and experience for pursuing teaching as a profession at the university level.

Chico State is an excellent environment for advanced study. Located near the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California, it is equidistant from San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. Alumni have positively commented on the level of challenge and satisfaction provided by the CMST program, as well as the added benefits of working and studying in such a peaceful and affordable location. The residential nature of the campus, along with the highly committed, present, and professional faculty contributes to a well-rounded and enjoyable educational experience.

Please contact the Graduate Coordinator Dr. Jennifer Malkowski ( with any questions or consult the Communication Studies Graduate Student Guide (PDF) which provides additional detail and information about the CMST MA Program.