Master of Arts in Communication
About the Degree
The graduate program in the School of Communication at The University of Akron provides a multifaceted academic experience that stresses research, theory-making, and professional development. The school aims to prepare students to prosper in the integrated communication landscape of the 21st century. The emphasis is to apply theory to practical problem-solving through rigorous methodological training. Students will become acquainted with both quantitative, qualitative, and rhetoric criticism methods, and will be able to explore their scholarly and professional interests in topics coursework such as, organizational communication, public relations, media business, interpersonal communication, social media, and media convergence.
The School of Communication offers an M.A. in communication with three areas: Strategic and Organization Communication, Media Studies, and Public Relations.
- Strategic and Organization Communication specialization equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop, evaluate, and critique organizational, interpersonal and public messages. Students are prepared to communicate effectively in relationships, workplaces and the broader context. (36 credits)
- Media Studies specialization serves students who wish to pursue a career in media management, marketing, business, and research. Students learn how to become information brokers in today’s convergent media environment. (36 credits)
- Public Relations specialization prepares students for corporate or nonprofit workforces. Students learn important public relations and integrated marketing communications skills in writing, creating, strategizing, and evaluating campaign efforts. (36 credits)
The School of Communication’s M.A. program prepares students to prosper in today and tomorrow’s integrated communication landscape. Students learn how to apply theory to practical problem-solving through rigorous methodological training. Students will become acquainted with both quantitative, qualitative, and rhetoric criticism methods, and will be able to explore their scholarly and professional interests in topics coursework such as, organizational communication, public relations, media business and management, training and development, social media, and media convergence.
Salary and Career Outlook
The M.A. program in Communication prepares students for a variety of career options in media management, training development, public relations, integrated marketing communications, social media, business and organization analyzing, audience research, and human relations. Many of our graduates also matriculate to doctoral studies at nationally recognized Ph.D. programs.
The salaries in the field range from $41,558 to $105,802, commensurate with experience and specific areas.
A singular distinction of the School of Communication's M.A. program is that the program not only embraces the breadth of the field by offering three specializations -- Strategic and Organization Communication, Media Studies, and Public Relations, but also synthesizes the resources to focus on strategic business communication and management. The program aims to prepare students to pursue a management-level career at media companies, public relation firms, or non-profit organizations.
The School of Communication’s M.A. program has instituted a cohort system in which students follow a curriculum guide and take courses as a peer group to ensure student success and timely graduation. The cohort system offers a stimulating and intellectually challenging environment, while promoting a sense of community and leading to higher graduation rate and student satisfaction.
The School of Communication hosts a group of highly productive scholars and researchers. Faculty productivity clearly encourages the School’s student productivity. For example, in the past two years, M.A. students in the School of Communication has published 3 journal articles, made 22 presentations at state, national, and international conferences, including 5 top paper awards.
The School of Communication initiated a state-of-the-art Social Media Learning Lab to prepare students for the integrated communication and media landscape. The lab is equipped with digital media technologies, including: an interactive whiteboard, MacBook Pro laptop computers, iPad minis, and the latest social media management and analytics software. Among the possibilities offered by the lab is the sophisticated review and response to real time social media posts that reflect attitudes, opinions, trend information, and geo-location data. This initiative aids students to explore opportunities in the social media and changing communication industries.
According to recent Institutional data, the M.A. program in the School of Communication is ranked as the third largest M.A. program in the State of Ohio.
Various jobs recent graduates have received include:
- Account Executive for Inside Sales, the Cleveland Cavilers
- Manager, Custom Production, the US Green Building Council
- Learning Developer, IBM
- Social Media Marketing Specialist, Heinen’s Corporate
- News Anchor/Reporter, Rubber City Radio Group
- Project Coordinator, Ohio Multi-County Development Corporation
- Research Associate, Summit Education Initiative
- Manager, Client Fulfillment, The Impact Group
Dr. Julia Spiker, Graduate Coordinator