Master of Arts in Applied Communication

From corporate leadership and fundraising to public information officer and researcher, an MA in Applied Communication will strengthen your skills and open doors to new opportunities. We invite students to participate in our mission to foster the co-creation of better social worlds through positive communication.

Our program builds community while focusing on asking three big questions across our course work:

  • What are we creating in our communication?
  • What do we want to create in our communication?
  • What communication practices will facilitate what we want to create?

Flexible Online Program

The MA is offered online with a blending of video/zoom-real time and on-your-own class formats. The required video/zoom classes are offered on evenings and weekends. No matter where you live, you can engage in a mission-driven program focused on practical application.

Future Career Opportunities

To support your career development, we will aid you in connecting with our diverse alumni network. Our MA graduates work in numerous industries in Arkansas and across the country. Many of our graduates go into careers in leadership and management. Students use our degree for moving into various corporate leadership roles as changes agents, both inside organizations and within their communities. Others excel in public relations, fundraising, consulting, and government.

Early Entry

We offer a great way for students to see if they’re interested in the graduate program while they work on their undergraduate degree. The early entry program allows students to earn up to 12 hours toward the MA while pursuing their BA, and will save up to 36% of the total cost of tuition. Students will need a 3.0 or higher overall GPA and a 3.2 GPA in ACOM 2310, 2311, 3320, and at least one ACOM elective. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Dr. Gerald Driskill.

Graduate Certificates

We identify ways to maximize coursework, electives, and the final project to fit a student’s career goals. Additionally, students may concurrently complete a graduate certificate in the following areas:

Conflict Management Certificate – Prepares students with a critical tool for supervisors, managers, and HR directors.

Nonprofit Management Certificate – Equips executives, directors, and managers of nonprofit organizations, as well as students interested in the nonprofit sector.

Human Resources and Organizational Communication Certificate – Gain specialized knowledge of effective interpersonal communication practices to human resource functions


Learning Outcomes and Goals

MA-ACS graduates engage in the departmental mission of fostering the co-creation of better social worlds through positive communication by ethically:

Analyzing Messages to determine what we are creating in our communication. Students learn to apply theoretic models and research methods to better understand communication practices as they occur in real-life contexts.

Setting Communicative Goals to guide what we want to create in our communication. Students offer research-based and theoretically informed recommendations for both professional and personal contexts to better the communication in those contexts.

Influencing Discourse by advocating for communication best practices that will create what we want to be creating in our communication. Students model positive communication practices when productively responding to personal, local, national, and global issues.