Masters of Arts
Applied Communication Studies
The Master of Arts in Applied Communication Studies provides graduate students with a solid theoretical and practical understanding of how communication practices operate in everyday life. Through this study, students develop communicative skills that are necessary to function effectively in all areas of today’s business and professional world. The primay objective of the program is to guide students in the application of communication theory to a variety of interpersonal, institutional, public and organizational contexts. We achieve this objective by focusing on five major application models: (a) communication and culture, (b) communication and transformation/change; (c) positive communication; (d) crisis and renewal communication; and (e) experiential learning.
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Our curriculum fosters a strong knowledge base grounded in communication theory and its various applications, such as management, consulting, human resources, training, organization development, relational communication, health care, education, and public relations. An undergraduate background in speech is helpful, but not required.
The program is divided into two tracks with classes offered in the evenings and in a unique weekend format. These tracks are designed to provide options for students with differing goals. Each track maintains an applied focus and students are expected to complete their course work, comprehensive exams, and a final project in two years. Opportunites for students interested in preparation for a doctoriate after completing their master’s are available as well.
The Professional Communication track is geared toward students seeking to enhance their communication skills and improve their ability to positively influence internal and external communication in organizations. First year core course in theory and research lay a foundation for understanding and improving communication processes in a variety of settings.
The Health Communication track includes the same first year core courses as the Professional Communication track, but in the second year, students venture into electives offered jointly by UALR and UAMS to prepare health professionals to meet the needs of current jobs in health related fields.
We also offer a unique, combined program with the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. This 60 hour program provides training for students with an interest in serving communication roles in public health arena.
Students interested in pursuing doctorial work may complete either of the above tracks. We encourage to revise and submit major course papers to professional conferences and journals. Students with an interest in doctoriate work thus gain a solid foundation in applied communciation research and theory may conduct research in that area and benefit from the personal attention of faculty devoted to preparing them for the next step in their education.