Employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. Source: "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009," U.S. Department of Labor 

The major prepares students as working professionals and for further graduate study in the communication and training fields. Beyond taking the common required courses, students adapt the major to their individual needs and backgrounds by pursuing one of the three sequences and choosing appropriate elective courses. Students plan their specific programs in consultation with their advisors. Graduates of the program are in career areas such as advertising, cable TV, college teaching, consulting, customer service, film making, human resource development, instructional design and development, journalism, media management, media writing, public affairs, public relations, TV production/direction and training.


In our high-speed world, information is currency and the ability to communicate effectively is a requirement if you want to make an impact in business, government, media, the arts and other vital fields.

A Choice of Sequences

You can adapt your studies to meet your individual goals by pursuing one of the three sequences: Communication Studies, Media Communication and Human Performance and Training. You will also choose appropriate elective courses. You will be prepared for further graduate study in the communication and training fields.

A Choice of Careers

Graduates of the program enjoy careers in filmmaking, advertising, television production/direction, journalism, customer service, human resource development, higher education, instructional design and development, media management, media writing, public relations and job training.

Program Fact Sheet

Required Preparation

The Communication Studies graduate sequence offers students the ability to understand themselves and the world they live in from the perspective of communication. It explores multiple aspects of human interaction in both private and public realms, assisting students to become effective citizens and leaders who exemplify ethical and professional communication practices. The graduate sequence in Media Communication facilitates advanced creative development and exposure to professional practices for students interested in the fields of television and cinema studies as well as multimedia writing, producing and directing. The Human Performance and Training sequence develops practitioners' skills in assessing employees' performances, determining performance gaps, designing and delivering training and non-training interventions and evaluating results.  

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting the university admissions requirements, applicants must:

  • have completed the following prerequisites (or equivalent) with a grade of C or better:
    • Students pursuing the communication studies sequence - COMS 3101.
    • Students pursuing the media communication sequence - MCOM 4520 MCOM 4740 or MCOM 5702; and MCOM 4230 or MCOM 4731.
  • have earned a GPA of 2.75 or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements or who have graduated from non-grade baccalaureate programs may be conditionally admitted. A GPA of 3.0 must be maintained for the first nine credit hours of work completed. If a 3.0 GPA is not maintained, the student must petition the communication and training program for continued enrollment.
  • submit a personal statement. In this two-page essay, students should consider which of the three tracks (COMS, MCOM, HPT) they will be focusing on in their studies in the graduate communication and training program, and discuss their reasons for enrolling in the program and how they see completing the degree as beneficial to their life. 

Applications for the program should be completed by Aug. 1 for the fall term, Dec. 1 for the spring term, and April 1 for the summer term.

Recommended Preparation

An undergraduate major in one of the following fields is recommended: business, education, media, multimedia, communications, English, psychology, sociology, linguistics or liberal arts. In addition, students are expected to have demonstrable competence in written, verbal and visual forms of communication.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in Communication and Training requires a common core of courses. The core concentrates on the essential connections between the sequences, awareness of the common aspects in research and the application to various media and technology.

Some required and selective courses are offered only once per academic year. Students are strongly advised to register well in advance of the commencement of courses and to consult closely with their assigned advisors upon entering the program to ensure individual study plans are aligned with the university schedule.

Introduction courses should be taken in the student's first term (HPT 6100 for HPT students, COMS 6100 for COMS and MCOM students). No more than three credit hours of COMS 5050 may be applied to the degree. 

Students must meet all university requirements for a master's degree and complete required and sequence courses with a grade of "B" or higher in each course and maintain an average GPA of 3.0. Students are only allowed to repeat a course once. 

I.     Required Courses (10-12 Hours)

HPT 6100/COMS 6100 Introduction to Graduate Communications and Training (3)

COMS 7110  Research Methods I (3)

COMS, MCOM or HPT Capstone (4-6) 

II.     Sequence Courses (15-18 Hours) 

Select one of the following sequences:

Communication Studies

Human Performance and Training

Media Communications

Communication Studies Sequence

In consultation with an advisor, student select at least 15 hours from the areas below. Of those 15 hours:

  • at least 9 hours must be COMS Course
  • 6 hours must be at the 8000 level
  •  no more than 6 hours may be taken at the 5000 level. 

A.    Humanistic Communication

COMS 5090 Topics in Communication (3)

COMS 6125 Listening (3)

COMS 6135 Nonverbal Communication (3)

COMS 6140 Family Communication (3)

COMS 6300 Humanistic Communication (3)

COMS 6330 Intrapersonal Communication (3)

COMS 6350 Gender Communication (3)

COMS 6425 Group and Leadership (3)

COMS 6435 Conflict Management (3)

COMS 6452 Clients and Customers (3)

COMS 8130 Interpersonal Communication (3)

COMS 8330 Communication and Consciousness (3)

COMS 8400 Organizational Communication (3)

COMS 8440 Interdisciplinary Team Process (3)

COMS 8460 Communication Training (3) 

B.    Political Communication

COMS  5090 Topics in Communication (3)

COMS 6500 Political Communication (3)

COMS 8060 Seminar in Political Communication (3)

COMS 8110 Research Methods II (3) 

C. Critical/Cultural Communication

COMS 5090 Topics in Communication (3)

COMS 6705 Intercultural Communication (3)

COMS 6710 Culture and Communication (3)

COMS 6720 Communication and Identity (3)

COMS 6750 Critical Gender and Sexualities (3)

COMS 6780 Rhetoric and Popular Culture (3)

COMS 8070 Seminar in Critical/Cultural Communication (3)

COMS 8110 Research Methods II (3)

COMS 8190 Philosophy of Communication (3)

COMS 8790 Teach Communication and Critical Pedagogy (3)

IFDI 8400 Film Seminar (3)

MCOM 6560 Women and the Media (3)

MCOM 6742 Film and TV Documentary (3) 

Human Performance and Training Sequence:***

HPT 6150    Introduction to HPT Technologies (3)*

HPT 6200    Training Product Design (3)*

HPT 7200    Needs/Task Analysis in HPT (3)

HPT 7300    Evaluation/Cost Benefit Analysis in HPT (3)

HPT 8200    Consulting and Teamwork in HPT (3) 

Select one credit hour from the following:

HPT 8600    Advanced Field Project (1)

HPT 8800    Internship (1) 

*** Students in the HPT sequence need to fulfill standards suggested by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction by selecting 14 credit hours of selectives from among the following: 

COMS 8400 Organizational Communication (3)

HPT 5100    Training Topics (1-3)*

HPT 7100    Principles of Message Design (3)

HPT 7150    Project Management in HPT (3)*

HPT 7190    Training Techniques (3)

HPT 7260    Scriptwriting for Instruction and Training (3)

HPT 7300    Evaluation/Cost Benefit Analysis in HPT (3)

HPT 7400    Solving Performance Problems (3)

HPT 7450    Performance in Organizations (3)

HPT 8250    Research in HPT (3)

HPT 8800    Internship (1-4) 

Media Communication Sequence

In consultation with an advisor, students select at least 18 hours from the following:

COMS 8480 International Communications (3)

MCOM 6040 Film Seminar (3)

MCOM 6070 Media Workshop (3)

MCOM 6355 Seminar in Advertising and Public Relations (3)

MCOM 6361 Advertising and Society (3)

MCOM 6730 Directing (3)

MCOM 6742 Film and TV Documentary (3)

MCOM 6746 Advanced Editing (3)

MCOM 6760 Non-Broadcast TV Operations (3)

MCOM 7455 Media Management (3)

MCOM 7501 Journalism Seminar (3)

MCOM 7540 Trends in Communication Technologies (3)

MCOM 7725 Advanced Producing for Film/TV (3)

MCOM 8003 Contemporary Issues (3)

MCOM 8030 Graduate Seminars in Media Communication (3)

MCOM 8800 Internship (3)

Electives (9-12 Hours) 

(If a student chooses the Human Performance and Training Sequence, the selectives listed above must be taken in place of electives.) 

In consultation with the advisor, select 9-12 hours of graduate credit appropriate to the student's career interest(s). At least 6 hours must be taken within the Communications and Training program. Students must complete at least one 8000-level course as an elective. 

* Indicated courses may be taken by graduate student in the Communication Studies or Media Communication sequences as an elective.  

IV.        Total - 36 Hours

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet the university requirements for a master's degree found in the GSU Catalog. Please meet with your faculty advisor during the first semester to complete your study plan.

Advisor Information

Yevette Brown
Associate Professor, Communication
Academic Program Coordinator