Graduate Studies in Communication


Why Graduate Studies in Communication?

People with well-developed communication skills are in demand by virtually every professional organization, whether small or large, local or international, public or private. At Bryant, you can gain that level of communication expertise in several ways:

  • The Master of Arts (MA) in Communication
  • The Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS) in Communication
  • Specifically tailored studies in Communication as a Special Student.

No matter which path you choose, you will have the opportunity to gain extensive exposure to theory and applications in:

  • The science and art of persuasion
  • Essential interpersonal and intercultural communication skills
  • Emerging and important modes of communication and media
  • The state of the art in the concentration you choose: Organizational Communication, Health Communication, or a personalized concentration that you develop with the guidance of our highly qualified graduate faculty.

The Graduate Experience in Communication at Bryant

You'll take courses, collaborate on research, make conference and classroom presentations, and secure meaningful opportunities to work with industry, government, and other organizational partners, all under the guidance of the Bryant graduate faculty. Our faculty are prominent, award-winning scholars, teachers, and media industry professionals who continually enhance their own expertise through research, publishing, consulting, and community service. Our small class size and collaborative environment allow this extraordinarily accessible faculty to share their knowledge with you.

The Master of Arts program consists of nine courses, plus either a traditional master's thesis or an applied research project called the Culminating Experience. You may also elect to complete your degree with Comprehensive Exams (in which case you take 10 master's-level courses).

Bryant undergraduates majoring in Communication are eligible to complete the Master of Arts degree within one calendar year of receiving their Bachelor of Arts degree.

To earn a Certificate of Graduate Study , you and a faculty advisor will select four graduate courses within a particular area of interest, for instance, "Strategic Communication in the Workplace." All courses successfully completed in the pursuit of a Certificate of Graduate Studies will apply toward the Master of Arts degree for those who are interested in continuing their education.

As a Special Student, you can select two individual courses of interest without going through the entire application process.

Our courses are offered year-round, and you can enroll on a full-time or part-time basis.

Bryant emphasizes application of theory to the real world. As a graduate student, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your newly acquired knowledge while gaining invaluable experience through a guided practicum -- a placement in some of the area's most prestigious health, business, social services, education, political, and governmental organizations. Alternatively, you may conceive of and conduct research relevant to your field. Either way, we will teach you the communication skills required of 21st century careers.


Bryant encourages applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline to apply for Graduate Studies in Communication.

Applications are accepted and considered at any time. To be admitted as a graduate student in Communication, you must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, or have completed at least 90 hours toward the bachelor's degree.  An official transcript is required.
  • Have earned a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as an undergraduate. Foundational coursework in Communication Theory and/or Research Methods may be required of non-Communication degree holders admitted to the program, and/or individuals who do not meet the minimum required GPA.
  • Submit three references, at least two of which should be academic references from individuals who can comment on your ability to be successful as a graduate student. (Download the letter of recommendation .pdf here)
  • Submit Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test scores OR a brief essay (approximately 1,000 words) to serve as a sample of your writing.  (Download the essay guidelines here.)
  • If English is not your native language, you MUST submit the brief essay as a writing sample. You may also be required, at the discretion of the Admission Committee, to submit TOEFL scores and/or to meet with the member of the committee for a personal interview. (Download the essay guidelines here.)

Conditional Acceptance

If your grade point average (GPA) does not meet the minimum required, you may be accepted on a conditional basis at the sole discretion of the Admission Committee. Conditionally accepted students who earn a GPA of 3.0 or better in the first three courses in the program may continue as graduate students in Communication.

Special Student Status

You may take up to two graduate courses as a Special Student – provided you meet course prerequisites – before completing the application process.  In order to become a Special Student, complete the relevant form.   


For the Master of Arts degree

REQUIRED COURSES (all students):

Communication Theory (COM 601)
Communication Research Methods and Statistics (COM 602)
Comprehensive Exams (COM 696) OR
Culminating Experience (COM 698) OR
Thesis (COM 699)

Students concentrating in Health Communication must take: 

Health Communication (COM 603)

Students concentrating in Organizational Communication must take:

Organizational Communication (COM 604)


Depending on your course of study, choose six or seven from the following:

Conflict Management and Negotiation in Organizations (COM 610)
Communication in Small Groups: Applied Theory (COM 611)
Media Effects Theory and Research (COM 612)
Communication, Persuasion, and Social Influence (COM 613)
Ethical Public Communication (COM 614)
Culture, Diversity, and Communication (COM 615)
Instructional Communication (COM 616)
Media Ethics (COM 617)
Risk and Crisis Communication (COM 618)
Global Communication (COM 619)
Lifespan/Intergenerational Communication (COM 630)
Community-based Campaigns and Health (COM 631)
Special Topics in Communication (COM 685)
Graduate Practicum in Communication (COM 690)
Directed Study in Communication (COM 697)


For the Certificate of Graduate Studies

A Certificate of Graduate Studies is composed of four graduate courses that you will select with the guidance of a faculty member. Required and elective courses will vary, depending on the area in which you choose to focus. You can choose five or six courses from the list of electives, depending on your course of study (with the permission of your graduate advisor). 

Application Form Recommendation Form Essay Guidelines Special Student Status Form

To learn more, please contact:
Stanley Baran, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Director
Department of Communication
Phone: (401) 480-8148

Health communication

Jeanette Ferraro

Jeanette Ferraro '13, '14 MACom
Undergrad major: Communication

A health campaign communication project in her junior year helped Jeanette Ferraro envision a career path.

"At the end of my junior year, I still didn't know if I wanted to get a job right away or go on to graduate school," says Ferraro. Communication Department faculty helped her identify where her interests were and guided her toward Bryant's fifth-year MACom, which allows students to take grad courses in their senior year.

"As a senior, I'm taking my hardest courses and doing my best work. Going straight into graduate school will just keep the momentum going,"