The Master of Arts in Professional Communication is a 30-unit program that can be completed in two years. Students complete four core and six elective courses that are three units each. Full-time students enroll in courses each fall and spring semester. Courses are also available in the summer. The degree culminates in either a capstone or a directed study and culminating project, such as a reflective portfolio, internship-related project, analytical paper, or academic research project.
Students can enroll in the general track in professional communication, which combines courses in strategic and technical communication for a blended specialty in the industry and organizational communication. This broader focus gives students valuable knowledge toward launching or furthering successful communications careers in a variety of fields and organizations.
Program Learning Outcomes
Core Knowledge: Graduate students will define, identify, and apply the rhetorical conventions and strategies appropriate to communicating effectively and ethically to varied audiences.
Scholarly Communication: Graduate students will write and edit a substantial amount of revised prose, meeting standards and applying conventions defined by the field of communication.
Professionalism: Graduate students will produce written, oral and digital communication of high quality consistent with their professional concentration and focus.
Research: Graduate students will conduct skilled and ethical research in the field of communication and contribute original knowledge in their chosen industry and profession.
Strategic communicators work as planners, designers, and leaders to develop and disseminate messages both within and outside of organizations. Students enrolled in this concentration analyze how organizations interact internally and externally with the public, industry, and media. Students also gain practical communication skills that give them a competitive edge in the workplace.
Technical communicators use communication skills to translate complex scientific, engineering, or technical information into content that users can understand and utilize. Students enrolled in this concentration learn how to communicate to the user while ensuring that the product or service has a competitive advantage. As technology grows in a variety of fields, the demand for such skilled, user-centered, and agile technical communicators has never been greater.
This concentration equips students with the theoretical and practical communication tools needed to effectively and ethically impact public and personal health literacy. By creating health awareness campaigns, improving patient relationships, working with regulations, and explaining health care policy, health communication professionals are critical to the facilitation of understanding health care issues as a basis for informing, influencing, and motivating diverse audiences about health and medical issues.