Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Arts in Communication

Faculty working with Students: 15
Students: 5
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 40%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall December 31 Priority
  • Fall January 10 Final
Campus:
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:

Degree Description:

The M. A. in Communication at Washington State University is designed for individuals seeking higher-level and focused understanding of communication theory, processes and phenomena, whether their intent is to prepare for doctoral-level study in pursuit of an academic career or a communication-related career in business, government, education, research, or the communications industry. Successful completion of the program normally requires two academic years of full time study and results in the granting of the Master of Arts in Communication.

Our program centers on:

*Media, Society and Politics focuses on the role that communication plays in political institutions and in creating robust civic engagement. We examine political communication from multiple perspectives and examine the interplay of emerging technology, media, and communication with information seeking, processing, and decision making. Our research focuses on both individual-and societal-level outcomes. Faculty and graduate students work in teams to test and develop theory related to political communication.

*Media & Health Promotion focuses on media messages and health behavior. This includes social level analysis of mainstream and alternative media as products of and influences on the health of individuals and society; individual level analysis of psychological processes through which health related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors are shaped; and the creation of messages related to health and social well being, as well as how strategic message campaigns can influence decision making and social development.

*Science Communication focuses on enhancing the relevance and accessibility of scientific information and local context needed for collaborative and sustainable resource management, especially among local populations most at-risk. The program focuses on environmental communication, natural or technological hazards and the use or communication of public policy. Faculty and students specialize in science education, communication campaigns, communicating risks, risk perception analysis, spatial modeling of vulnerability and adaptive capacity of human populations, audience segmentation, media analysis and public engagement.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in communication or related field. If your undergraduate degree is not in a related field, certain undergraduate course work may be required.

In addition to the Graduate School application and admission tests, you should send the following:

  1. Personal Statement. A Personal Statement of no more than 500 words explaining your academic area of interest and why you feel The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University is a good fit for you. In your statement, please discuss the personal, professional and academic factors that have prepared you to pursue a master’s degree.
  2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  3. Reference Letters. Three reference letters from people who know you well, and who can comment on your academic ability. Please have these individuals complete the WSU reference form accessed through the Graduate School Application web page.
  4. Transcripts. One set of official transcripts for each college or university you have attended. These must be sent directly from those institutions to the Graduate School. If you are currently attending Washington State University, you do not need to have your transcripts sent.
  5. Supplemental material. Submit any additional material that you feel might enhance your application. Writing samples, published works, abstracts, etc. are particularly encouraged.

Although criteria for admission are stringent, they are not rigid. The College of Communication considers all available information before making a decision. In some cases, exceptional credentials in one area may override sub-par credentials in another (e.g., a high GPA from a respected school may compensate for relatively low GRE scores.)

Student Learning Outcome:

All graduates will be able to:

  1.  Mastery of foundational knowledge and research in core areas; ability to integrate theories and do creative research.
  2.  Mastery of theories and research in other (outside of the core) communication sub-disciplines to encourage intra-disciplinary research and collaboration.

Career Opportunities:

Graduates of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication graduate program are prepared for careers in teaching, research, and public service. Potential employers of program graduates include colleges and universities, private industry, and governmental agencies.

Career Placements:

Instructor, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Pursuing doctoral degrees at Michigan State University and Arizona State University; Communication Coordinator in health industry; Doctoral Fellow at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Non-Profit organizations; Account Manager at Consensus Inc.; Professional training coach; Assistant Professor; Assistant Director of Communication WSU Foundation; Event Planning Coordinator at Northwest Harvest; Faculty at La Trobe University; Director of Communication, WSU College of Nursing.

Faculty Members:

Austin, Erica Weintraub, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Professor and Director of the Murrow College Center for Media and Health Promotion.
Research interest:
Uses and effects of communication in decision making and social development, particularly in the areas of politics and health.

Bailey, Rachel, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

My research interest includes using experimental, computational, and psychophysiological methods to study the dynamics of complex human media interactions.

Borah, Porismita, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Emerging technology research, message design and interventions, EMA methodology via mobile technology, and social media use in political campaigns and health promotion.

Boyd, Amanda, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Risk perceptions and communication in the context of health and environmental communication, energy policy, indigenous health and media perceptions of risk.

Hindman, Douglas Blanks, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

First Amendment
Media ethics
Media accountability systems

Hindman, Elizabeth Blanks, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

First Amendment, media ethics, and media accountability systems.

Hmielowski, Jay, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Environmental communication, science communication and political communication.
How media influences institutional trust (i.e., trust in scientist or government), and how people’s level of trust affects attitudinal and behavioral outcome variables.

Hust, Stacey Jolene, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Use of Media to Reduce Sexual Assault and Promote Healthy Sexual Relationships
Parent-Child Communication About Media and Health
Media Effects and Strategies to Prevent Alcohol Abuse
Gender and the Mass Media

Hutchens, Myiah, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Political Discussion
e-Deliberation and e-Democracy
Information Seeking and Processing
Political Socialization

Lee, Yoon-Joo, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Advocacy Advertising
Corporate Social Responsibility
Health Communication
Health Promotions for Ethnic Minority
Social Media and Health Promotion

Nam, Yujung, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

My research addresses areas of health communication with a focus on health intervention and behavioral change through innovate e-technologies, such as social media, social networking, smartphones, interactive virtual collaboration and sensory haptic technology.

Peterson, Jeffery C, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Process-based and culture-centered health communication.

Pinkleton, Bruce E, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Associate Director of the Murrow College Center for Media and Health Promotion. Communication campaigns, individuals’ use of the media, and media effects primarily in health and public affairs contexts.

Pintak, Lawrence E, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

America’s relationship with the Muslim world, the role of the media in shaping global perceptions and government policy, the future of journalism in a digital/globalized world, and the responsibilities of reporters covering conflict and social injustice.

Tan, Alexis S, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Communication strategies for reducing prejudice, and intercultural communication and stereotypes.

Contact Information:

Christy Curtis
PO Box 642520
Murrow East 226
Pullman, WA 99164-2520
509-335-5608
509-335-3739