FAQs: MA in Applied Communication

We are glad to learn of your interest in our Applied Communication graduate program at UA Little Rock. Some of the frequently asked questions are organized by topic.


When is the deadline to apply for admission?

We accept applications until all of our slots are filled with qualified applicants. While we prefer to receive applications by April 1 for Summer or Fall and Nov. 15 for the Spring, students may be admitted as late as August 2 for the Fall and January 5 for the Spring. Please contact the graduate coordinator, Dr. Bailey Blackburn (boblackburn@ualr.edu), to arrange a Zoom interview if you have additional questions. The link to apply can be found here.

What is the cost of this degree?

The 2022-23 fully online rate is $383 per hour x the 33 hours required to graduate or $12,639. The cost of books will vary.

Do I need to take the GRE or MAT?

Applicants are not required to take an entrance exam. However, the GRE is beneficial for students planning to apply to Ph.D. programs after the MA, or those applying to combined programs with the UAMS College of Public Health.

How many students are admitted each year?

Up to 20 students are admitted each year. We seek to keep the numbers low in order to maximize classroom interaction.

How soon will I hear whether or not I was admitted?

Notification of acceptance or denial are provided by the middle of May for Summer/Fall and by early December for the Spring. Graduate assistantship positions are decided by mid-April.

What scholarships are available?

Our graduate assistantships cover tuition for the two year program (not including fees or books) plus a stipend. Beyond the opportunity for graduate assistantships, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can explore financial aid opportunities.

What if my bachelor’s degree is not in speech or communication?

If your bachelor’s degree is not in speech/communication or if you do not have at least 18 hours in approved speech/communication courses, you have two options. First, you may elect to take ACOM 7390, a Summer 4 (5 week, online) course that occurs in July each year. Second, you may elect and/or the graduate coordinator may suggest that you take campus and/or online undergraduate leveling work within our department. To help determine the best options, please send an unofficial transcript to the graduate coordinator. This process will help identify if you need preparatory post-baccalaureate coursework and/or ACOM 7390 after admission, in addition to the 33 hours required for the program.

International students

Can an international student living in another time zone join the fully online program?

Yes, however, the student would need to be willing to attend required synchronous classes each semester. This commitment involves attending our synchronous classes which are held during the evenings and weekends on U.S. Central Time to meet the needs of working professionals.

Will your program accommodate international students in terms of visa requirements that require face-to-face contact and instruction?

International students on F-1 visas are not eligible for the Applied Communication program at this time. According to F-1 immigration regulations, all international students on an F-1 visa are required to be continuously enrolled in face-to-face courses. Currently, the MA program does not offer enough face-to-face courses in the academic year to meet F-1 immigration regulations, as our program is primarily an online program. Although our courses include a mixture of synchronous (live, real-time instruction via video conferencing software such as Zoom) and asynchronous instruction (completing assignments and watching lectures online in your own time), we do not offer enough face-to-face class options to meet the F-1 visa requirement. You may, however, take electives in our program as long as you are enrolled in another primary program that offers 6 or more in person credit hours each semester. This F-1 regulation also applies to students interested in graduate assistant roles. The graduate assistantship role requires you to enroll in 9 hours of coursework each semester, and 6 of those hours would be required to be in face-to-face courses, which this program does not offer. Please note that internationals DO have the option to study in this program online from your home country for the same cost as students living in the United States.

Is there an office that provides assistance and support for international students?

Yes, the International Student Services Office can answer questions about visa/travel requirements. This office also provides information about resources ranging from campus clubs and sports to conversation clubs hosted by International Friendship Outreach. International students can gain additional information at International Applicants and at Estimated Cost of Attendance.

Graduate assistantships

What is a graduate assistantship?

Graduate assistantships provide work-related funding for students. The position may involve full time (20 hours a week) or part time (10 hours a week) work that varies from department to department.

In general, you need an academic background focused on interpersonal, intercultural, public speaking, and/or organizational communication to qualify for a GA role in our department. Our GA roles require a two year commitment, and opportunities are typically available in the Fall and Spring. It is rare to have the opportunity to serve as a GA over the Summer. Our assistantships cover tuition for 9 hours of course work each Fall and Spring (not including fees and books) plus a stipend. Conditionally admitted students do not qualify for our assistantships. If you are interested in applying, please apply online: Graduate Assistantships.

Does the full-time GA provide enough funding for living expenses?

No. Typically, master’s level funding provides funding to cover tuition and stipend amounts that will cover fees and books, with a modest amount to help with other expenses.

What will a GA do in your department?

Our graduate assistants serve in the Communication Skill Center (CSC) by:

  • Creating a supportive space for students to learn and connect
  • Providing mentoring and management of undergraduate interns
  • Serving students and clients with constructive feedback on assignments
  • Facilitating communication workshops
  • Participating in department recruitment events

Additional resources

UA Little Rock strives to provide a usable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable environment free from all discrimination. Students can contact the Disability Resource Center by phone at 501-916-3000 or by email: disability@ualr.edu. View more information about financial aid, scholarships, and various campus and community resources.