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The ability to problem solve, work in teams, and communicate effectively are the three most important skills employers look for. The 2018 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey of 201 employers found that the knowledge and skills taught in Communication courses are essential to being hired. By earning your Master of Arts in Communication, Media, and Performance (CMP), you will gain the skills needed to succeed in a competitive market that seeks individuals with the ability to communicate effectively and ethically, as well as think critically. The program’s creative problem-solving and research-centered approach is designed to help you find a meaningful career and excel in any field. As a CMP student, you’ll apply these skills across platforms and disciplines through advanced projects that encourage development in your area of personal and professional interests.

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Communication, Media, & Performance

Our CMP program helps you develop the sophisticated reasoning, strong writing ability, and applied communication skills that are the backbone of the professional world. When you graduate, you will become proficient among a diverse set of specialized topics that will distinguish you as a well-rounded leader in various career fields:

  • • Interpersonal Communication
  • • Public Presentation
  • • Social Justice
  • • Cultural Competency
  • • Advocacy
  • • Professionalism
  • • Persuasive Writing
  • • Theory
  • • Media Literacy
  • • Promotions
  • • Message Development
  • • Advertisement Development
  • • Social Media Development and Management
  • • Survey Construction and Design
  • • Message Testing
  • • Experimental Design
  • • Interviewing
  • • Critical Analysis

In addition to helping you develop into a versatile professional, a master's degree in Communication, Media, and Performance can also assist you in accomplishing your financial goals. One common career path for Communication graduates is that of a Public Relations Specialist which has held a nation-wide median salary of $61,150 and a mean salary of $64,270 in the Chicagoland area as of 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To learn more about potential career paths and their salaries, please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics's website to see what interests you most.

View Careers

For more information on why a master's degree in Communication is valuable, please check out the National Communication Association's "Why Study Communication?" document that details more benefits.

Why Study Communication?
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Program Delivery

Governors State’s 36-credit hour CMP program has flexible course offerings with on-campus, hybrid, and online classes. With full-time and part-time options, you can decide the pace of your program. On average, full-time students complete their degree in two years.

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Admission Requirements

For a quick and easy admission process, please refer to the list below to make sure you meet the CMP program's requirements for admittance:

  • • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university

  • • Good standing at last institution attended

  • • Earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher in last 60 hours of undergraduate course work

  • • A writing sample

  • • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions submitted to the Office of Admissions and Student Recruitment

  • • A non-refundable $50 application fee

  • • For any international or other special admission requirements, please visit the Graduate Admissions page

Admission Deadlines

Applications are accepted for classes beginning in the fall by March 1 and in the spring by September 1.


For any questions regarding the admissions process, please contact the Director of Graduate Admissions and Retention Jason Vignone at or 708-235-7325.

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Degree Requirements

Earn your master's degree as soon as possible by completing the following graduation requirements for the CMP program:

  • • Meet university requirements for master's degree

  • • Complete required courses with a grade of “B-” or higher in each course

  • • Maintain an average GPA of 3.0.

Core Courses

In our CMP program, you will be required to enroll in a common core of courses focusing on the essential connections between the areas of communication, media, and performance. You will also gain tangible and application based research methods training and sophisticated writing skills.

Course Availability

Some required and selective courses are offered only once per academic year. We strongly advise you to register well in advance of the beginning of courses, and to consult closely with your advisor, upon entering the program to ensure your study plan is aligned with the university schedule.

First Semester Requirement

As an incoming CMP student, you will need to enroll in CMP-6100 Disciplinary Survey of Communication, Media, and Performance during your first semester, which will help prepare you for the remainder of the program.


For any questions regarding the requirements for your master's degree, please contact Academic Advisor Bryce Johnsen at or 708-235-7527.

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To view courses offered during previous semesters, as well as program completion and capstone requirements, please visit the CMP catalog page.

View Program Catalog
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Alumni Stories

Cheri Ruiz, Class of 2020

I completed my bachelor's and master's degrees at Governors State, and the CMP program was everything I needed it to be at a very hectic time in my life. I was a new mom and was struggling to find the balance with my home life and school. Governors State’s flexible class schedule and incredibly supportive academic staff made life a little easier.

The small classroom format of the CMP program provided me with the ability to get to know my classmates and get the one-on-one help I needed from my professors. One of the most important accomplishments of my life happened while I was at Governors State, which was the completion of my thesis paper. I never had enough confidence in my abilities as a communication scholar before I transferred to Governors State; but with guidance from my professors and the confidence they instilled in me, I was able to complete my thesis, something I never thought I would be able to do. My professors understood that and pushed me to work hard to produce something I was proud of. I know for certain I was able to complete the CMP program due to the close relationships I built with my peers in the program and the support from my professors.

I am currently working as a social services coordinator at a skilled nursing facility and I am faced with a multitude of incredibly difficult situations on a daily basis. Now, I am able to confidently navigate those challenging situations because of the communication skills and knowledge I gained from Governors State's CMP program.

Stephan Shaw, Class of 2020

The CMP program at Governors State provides a fulfilling experience as it takes the necessary time to encourage thoughtful conversations and discussions. I have always viewed myself as someone with a tremendous drive to be great at anything that I put my mind to. Within the CMP program, I was able to enhance this particular skillset under the guidance of extremely dedicated faculty members who helped me produce quality research throughout my time in the program. I was able to emerge from the program with valuable tools at my disposal which helped transform me both as a graduate student and as a human being.

Monae Drake, Class of 2020

After attending a graduate school fair at Governors State, I learned that attaining my master’s degree in Communication, Media, and Performance could afford me the opportunity to apply for jobs in a wide variety of fields; because of this, I recognized that the CMP program was the most advantageous route for me to become a more marketable asset to my current employer and align with my future goals that lied ahead of me.

The CMP program definitely requires self-application and dedication. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because of the faculty within the department, I discovered an unknown researcher, writer, and scholar within me. The faculty want to see you succeed and provide you with the guidance to do just that!

Faculty Experts

Lara Stache

Dr. Lara Stache, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

As a critical scholar of media and popular culture, my favorite part of working with grad students is exploring their research ideas and projects to develop a scholarly lens for the workplace, or for continued graduate study. This program prepares students to become a master of communication, media, and performance, and develops critical, analytical and practical skills that are applicable in a variety of industries.

Learn more about our CMP program's faculty members via the faculty directory.

View Faculty Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of bachelors’ degree is required for the CMP program?

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

How much does tuition cost?

You can use our tuition estimator to figure out how much tuition may cost for your degree/course plans.

What financial aid is available to help me pay tuition?

There is more than one way to fund your education. You can learn about the different types of financial aid or you can learn about the various scholarships available. If you have any other financial aid concerns, you can visit the Financial Aid Office’s webpage to learn about the services they offer.

On average, how long does it take to complete the program?

The CMP program can be completed in 2 years with a full-time class schedule of 2-3 courses every semester based on courses offered.

Can I switch between a part-time and full-time class schedule?

Yes, you can switch between a part-time and full-time class schedule between semesters. However, during a single semester, you cannot change your class schedule beyond the last drop date, so be aware of those times so you can drop a class if you need to and avoid being charged.

When are classes held?

Classes typically run from the end of August to early December for the fall semesters, end of January to early May for spring semesters, and mid-May to July or mid-August depending on your chosen classes. During each semester, physical classes for the CMP program tend to start at 5:30 p.m.

When will I know if I’ve been accepted into GSU?

Students should expect an admission decision within 3 - 5 business days.

If I want to transfer to GSU, what do I need to know?

To find out about transfer admission requirements and transfer information for some specific institutions, you can check out our transfer guides.

Contact Us

Have additional questions about the program or the admissions process? Reach out to us!


Jason Vignone

Jason Vignone

Director Graduate Admissions & Retention


Office Location: C3302


Bryce Johnsen

Bryce Johnsen

Academic Advisor


Office Location: F2601

Program Coordinator

Valerie Cronin-Fisher

Dr. Valerie Cronin-Fisher

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies


Office Location: E2540

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