Advanced Programs

General Program Requirements
Degree Tracks
Required Courses
Grades Required for Degree Completion 
Standards of Performance
Time Limitation for Degree Completion
Lapsed Enrollment
Transfer Credits
Military Transfer Credits
Elective Courses
Admission to Candidacy Form
Comprehensive Examination
Due Dates for Candidacy Forms and Exams
Graduate Application
Contact Information


The Master of Arts with a major in Communication provides the expertise individuals need for effective participation in an information-based society. Our students come from and are hired into a wide variety of careers in business and industry, government, religion and social services.

Graduates of this degree program are active in personnel management, public relations, consulting, community leadership, and other occupations where an ability to communicate effectively is vital to success. Offering masters degrees starting in 1937 and the Ph.D. degree since 1971, the OU Department of Communication views communicative behavior as basic to human activity, to individual development, to interpersonal social relationships, and to the functions of political, economic, cultural, and social institutions. Through research and theory-building, we seek to understand how individuals use symbols to interpret and act within their environment. Our students investigate communication processes as they occur within and among individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. In doing so, they learn to communicate more effectively and to facilitate the communication effectiveness of others.


Admission to this Communication program is limited to those students who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree program. Undergraduate degrees may be from a variety of social, behavioral, natural, or physical sciences background. Most undergraduate degrees are acceptable. There are no course work prerequisite requirements for admission to the program. Admission applications can be found at:

Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission. Some students may be eligible for conditional admission if their GPA ranges from 2.76-2.99. Conditional admission will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students admitted with Conditional Admission (due to low grades) must earn a GPA of 3.25 on the first twelve hours of course work, earning no letter grade below a "B".

General Program Requirements

The M.A. in Communication degree requires a minimum of thirty-two hours of graduate credit. Twenty-four of those hours must be Communication courses from OU. This non-thesis program also requires a written comprehensive examination to be successfully completed before the candidate is recommended for a master's degree.

Degree Tracks

Two different tracks are available to students seeking an M.A. with a major in Communication. The General track is recommended for those seeking a liberal arts approach to graduate study. The Organizational Communication track is recommended for those intending to pursue careers in profit/non-profit, entrepreneurial, and government organizations.

The MA in Communication degree requires a minimum of 32 hours of graduate credit. Courses offered through Advanced Programs are 3 credit hour courses.

Required Courses:

• COMM 5013 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication

and one research method course from the following:

COMM 5003 Quantitative Research Methods or

COMM 5023 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods or

COMM 5053 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods or

COMM 5313 Qualitative Research Methods: Participant Observation


Along with the above core courses, students must take COMM electives to meet the minimum requirement of 26 Communication credit hours, which must be approved by the director. Elective hours can be a combination of COMM electives, other OU graduate classes and transfer work. Students may only earn up to 8 hours of credit from graduate courses taken in other OU programs or from transfer hours outside the University of Oklahoma from other universities. Transfer credits must be evaluated by the University and courses from other programs must be approved by the Department prior to enrollment. NOTE: The combined total of transfer hours and graduate credit from other OU programs may not exceed 8 credit hours.


Required Courses:

  • COMM 5013 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication
  • COMM 5333 Organizational Communication
  • COMM 5010 (3 hours) Organizational Research Practicum

and one research method course from the following:

COMM 5003 Quantitative Research Methods or

COMM 5023 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods or

COMM 5053 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods or

COMM 5313 Qualitative Research Methods: Participant Observation


Elective guidelines outlined for the General Track apply to the Organizational Track as well, however only a total of 20 elective credit hours are needed.

Required Courses - Course Description

COMM 5053 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods:

This course introduces the study of communication (and related fields) from a scientific perspective. While some statistics will be included in the course, no prior knowledge is required. 


COMM 5003 Quantitative Research Methods:

Overview of contemporary approaches and issues in the conduct of quantitative research in communication. Topics may include nonparametric designs and multivariate techniques such as regression, factor analysis, canonical correlations and discriminate analysis.


COMM 5023 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods:

Prerequisite: Graduate student standing. Introduction to various qualitative methododological strategies used in the social sciences for students not pursuing a Ph.D. Examines the relationship of method and theory and the process of collecting, coding, and analyzing data. 


COMM 5313 Qualitative Research Methods:

Introduces the students to the use of qualitative methods in social sciences research. Students will learn how to use participant observation, informal interviewing and other techniques to collect information on social sciences topics.


COMM 5013 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication:
Traces the development of research and professions in communication, providing and integrative conception of the discipline and an introduction to research and theory formulation. Students are exposed to those skills critical to success in graduate training in communication.

Organizational Track

COMM 5013 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication
See above.


COMM 5053 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
See above.


COMM 5003 Quantitative Research Methods
See above.


COMM 5023 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
See above.


COMM 5313 Qualitative Research Methods
See above.


COMM 5010 Organizational Research Practicum:

Course is intended to provide practical research experience in an organization.  Student's departmental advisor and organization's sponsor must agree through a written contract about the goals, plan and activities associated with the research project.  Prerequisite: Student must have two-thirds of the courses required completed and permission of advisor.


COMM 5333 Organizational Communication:

Focuses on the communication environment of organizations, both internal and external, emphasizing implications of organizational designs for communication, communication principles to motivate employees, and the role of communication for productivity and quality of life.

Grades Required for Degree Completion

To qualify for a graduate degree, each student must have an overall grade point average of 3.00 ("B") in all graduate work taken at the University of Oklahoma.  For those students enrolled in our M.A. program, the two "C" rule is applied.  Any student who receives a second grade of "C" will be suspended from further enrollment until the student's graduate committee reviews and approves the student's appeal.

Standards of Performance

All Master’s degree students are required to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA in all graduate courses attempted. One grade of C will put the student on academic probation with the graduate college. The student will then have a 12-hour probationary period. The student must not make lower than a B or a grade of U during this time. At the end of the 12-hour probationary period, the student must have raised their overall GPA to 3.0. Failure of either of these two conditions will result in the student being unable to continue enrollment in graduate classes. Should a student receive two or more C’s, or give other indication to the professor of inability to pursue successfully the course of study towards the degree, the student will be required to petition to the graduate liaison to determine whether the student should be permitted to continue work in the Department of Communication.

Time Limitation for Degree Completion

Five years, dated from the semester of initial enrollment, is the maximum time for degree completion. Extensions beyond this limit will result in disqualification of the over-aged credit. This time limit applies both to courses completed through University of Oklahoma and to courses approved for transfer credit.

Lapsed Enrollment

A graduate student who has a lapse of enrollment for one calendar year must reapply for admission following the same procedures as used for first time admission.  The student will then be subject to the regulations applicable during the term of the first enrollment after readmission.

Transfer Credits

The maximum of transfer credits accepted for the Master of Arts with a major in Communication is no more than twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for the degree. No graduate credit may be earned by correspondence courses. To be used as transfer credit, the credit MUST:

  • Represent valid graduate credit earned in graduated level courses at an accredited university.
  • Carry a grade of A, B, or S (Satisfactory) (any B- is not transferable)
  • Not be more than six years old at the time of admission to the degree program. (in special cases, credit more than six years old may be transferred if recommended and validated by the Graduate College.)
  • Be applicable to the degree program.
  • Be approved by the Department of Communication and the Graduate College.

Credit hours previously presented and counted for one master's degree may not be applied toward satisfying the requirements of a second master's degree with exception.
The student must submit an Early Evaluation of Transfer Credit form before the credit can be validated. This form is available online at

Military Transfer Credits

Military courses may also be reviewed as part or all of the 8 hours of transfer credit accepted. Courses are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by the Department.

Elective courses

In addition to the core course courses students select course work to use as electives. Students may earn no more than 6 credit hours of S/U work. Students also cannot earn more than 6 hours of IDR credit. A student who is uncertain whether a course would count as an elective should contact his or her advisor.

Admission to Candidacy Form

The semester prior to taking comprehensive exams, the student must submit an Admission to Candidacy form. The candidacy form can be found at Please note and adhere to the deadlines listed on page 7 of this handbook.
The form will list all 32 hours of course work applied to the degree. If courses have not been taken yet, then the student will project those courses on the form. On the second page of the form, the student will list the date they plan to take comprehensive exams.

NOTE: The Admission to Candidacy form and Graduation Application are separate forms, both of which are required for degree completion.

Comprehensive Examination

Students should notify the Communication Advisor the semester before planning to take the examination to discuss available professors for your exams. To be eligible to take the comprehensive exam, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in at least two graduate credit hours in the semester in which the general comprehensive examination is held.
  • Have an approved Admission to Candidacy form on file by applicable deadlines before the exam is to be taken.
  • Have 75% of his or her degree requirements completed.
  • Have completed all core courses.
    • In order for a course to be considered completed, it must be graded and on the student’s official record. Incomplete grades (I’s) are not acceptable.

Exams will consist of a minimum of three questions covering at least three subject areas and totaling eight hours. One of the questions must come from a core course. All exams are closed notes/books and will be taken on site. Students will not receive exam questions in advance. If a student fails the comprehensive exam, it may be retaken once more in either of the two following semesters. The exam may not be taken a third time.

Due Dates For Candidacy Forms And Exam Dates

The candidacy form must be received in the Department of Communication

No Later than
The 1st Monday in October       
The 1st Monday in April                  
For semester to take exam
Spring comprehensive exam              
Fall comprehensive exam 
Date of Examination
No later than April 1
No later than November

The department does not schedule summer exams. 

**These dates are according to Graduate College deadlines. The department asks you submit your candidacy form to them 30 days prior to these deadlines in order to ensure the forms reach the graduate college by their deadline.

Comprehensive Exam Steps

After Admission to Candidacy form has been approved:

  • Call (405.325.7710) or email the Department to discuss the semester and approximate date of examination.
  • Make arrangements with Site Manager for specific date(s) and time(s) to take exam.  Department will then request authority from the Graduate College to release exam.
  • Contact the Department to discuss the availability of professors to write comprehensive exam questions. Keep in mind that one exam question must come from a core course.
  • Contact professors, to request him/her to write a comprehensive exam question.  A copy of this email should be sent to Department advisor ( This correspondence must take place a minimum of 60 days prior to taking exams.
  • Contact professor regarding materials needed to help prepare for the exam.
  • Confirm date(s) and time(s) with Site Manager the day before the exam is to be administered.

  • Graduate Application

    Graduation applications are due October 1st for fall graduates, and March 1st for spring graduates. 

    The application for graduation is now available online. 

    Communication Department

    The University of Oklahoma
    Department of Communication
    610 Elm Avenue, Room 101
    Norman, OK 73019-2018
    (405) 325-3111
    (405) 325-7625 fax

    Communication Department Advisor:

    Shay Glover
    (405) 325-7710

    Advanced Program Coordinator:

    Dr. Michael Kramer
    (405) 325-9503


    Office of Academic Records
    1000 Asp Avenue, Room 330
    Norman, OK 73019-4076
    (405) 325-7047 (fax)