Degree Paths and Coursework

View Graduate Catalog

Students in this program explore humanistic and social-scientific methods of inquiry and learn alongside some of the most esteemed faculty in their areas of study and practice. Three paths to completing the MA in Communication are available to cater to our students’ diverse interests and goals:

The thesis path entails an original research project based on the student’s interests that demonstrates the student's ability to synthesize research literature, gather and analyze original data or texts, and craft arguments for the findings and interpretations of that analysis. Students who write a thesis may aspire to doctoral studies or other research-oriented careers.

The professional project path entails writing and work submitted to an external outlet or audience for consumption or use. The writing is smaller in scale than a thesis and does not require original data collection or textual analysis. This path is intended for students seeking careers outside of academia where they will synthesize and write reports for clients or colleagues from existing sources of information and data.

The internship path requires securing and successfully completing an approved professional communication or media-related internship. This path is intended for students seeking careers that are not academic or research-oriented in nature and is an opportunity for deep investigation into an industry or professional role.

The credit-hour requirements for the degree vary based on the completion path:


(30 credit hours)

 Professional Project

(36 credit hours)


(36 credit hours)

  • 15 hours required coursework
  • 9 hours elective coursework
  • 6 hours thesis
  • 15 hours required coursework
  • 18 hours elective coursework
  •  3 hours prof. project
  • 15 hours required coursework
  • 18 hours elective coursework
  • 3 hours internship

Required Coursework

All students, regardless of completion path, must complete the following 15 hours of course credits:

  • CSS 5310 Communication Theory (3 hours)
  • CSS 5351 Methods of Graduate Study OR CSS 5352 Methods of Rhetorical Criticism (3 hours)
  • Three 5000-level CSS seminars (9 hours)

Elective Coursework

Depending on the completion path, students may take 9 hours (thesis) or 18 hours (professional project; internship) of electives from the following options:

  • Up to 6 hours of 4000-level CSS courses (approved for graduate credit, not previously taken for BA credit)
  • Up to 6 hours of 5000-level courses outside of CSS
  • Up to 3 hours of CSS 5380 Internship (not eligible for students on the internship path)
  • Up to 6 hours of CSS 5V35 Problems in Communication (i.e., Independent Study)
  • Up to 6 hours in the Baylor in New York or Baylor in London study abroad programs

Completion Path Course

According to the selected completion path, CSS MA students complete one of the following:

  • CSS 5V99 Thesis (6 hours)
  • CSS 5V90 Professional Project in Communication (3 hours)
  • CSS 5380 Internship in Communication (3 hours)

Department of Communication

One Bear Place #97368
Waco,TX 76798-7368