Graduate Program Information

The Department of Communication Studies offers a Master of Arts graduate degree. The program is designed to provide advanced study in the field of communication by emphasizing the ability to understand and analyze communication practices in the 21st Century. The curriculum is broad-based, and includes opportunities to study the theory and practice of communication.

The Communication Studies M.A. program has a generalist focus. Rather than specializing in one subject or research area, students take courses across five different interest areas: health communication, organizational communication, public relations, rhetorical and cultural studies, and media studies.

Students earn their degree by completing 30 credit hours, including four required courses:

  • Professional Seminar in Communication Studies
  • Contemporary Viewpoints in Communication Theory
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Special Topics in Research Methods

The remaining courses (18 credit hours) are electives, capstone hours, independent studies, internships, or interdisciplinary coursework in other departments.

All M.A. students complete a capstone project during the final year of their program. There are three capstone options: comprehensive exams, thesis, and directed project. Click here to learn more about the capstone experience. 

Our average incoming class size is 10-15 students, and we generally have 25-30 active students in the program. Our average class size is 5-10 students.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Dr. Erin Basinger, Graduate Program Director, at or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Students may enroll full-time or part-time in the program. Full-time students generally take 6-9 credit hours per semester (2-3 classes), and part-time students usually take 3-6 credit hours per semester (1-2 classes). Most of our classes are offered one evening per week (5:30-8:15pm). 

Located at North Carolina’s urban research institute, the Communication Studies program at UNC Charlotte offers a premier setting in which to study the blend of communication theory and practice.


Admission and Progression Requirements, and all Program Requirements can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Please see the information below:


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