Requirements & Classes

The M.A. in Communication requires completion of 31 units in an approved program of study, with a “B” (3.0) or better.

All courses are four units unless otherwise specified. In cases of transferred credit, a minimum of 24 units must be completed at CSU East Bay.

Writing Skills Requirement

All students must meet the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) to become fully “Classified Graduate” students. Graduate students must begin satisfaction of this requirement in their first semester of their residency.

Attainment of “Classified Graduate” Standing

To attain “Classified Graduate” standing, a student must have completed all prerequisites with grades of “B” or better and satisfied the University Writing Skills Requirement. Notify the graduate advisor immediately upon completion, and request that s(he) complete the necessary paper work.

Advancement to Candidacy

To be Advanced to Candidacy for the M.A. degree in Communication, the student must:

  1. be a “Classified Graduate” student in good standing;
  2. complete 27 semester units beyond the prerequisites with at least “B” grades;
  3. choose a program advisor;
  4. submit a study plan for completion of the degree program to the program advisor;
  5. have the thesis proposal or project proposal approved by their graduate adviser, if applicable;
  6. show evidence of progress and ability to complete the program.

 

Course Requirements (31 units)

All students must take 13 units of core courses:

Units: 1
Units: 4

 

Choose one (1) of the two courses listed for 4 units:

Units: 4
Units: 4

 

Choose one (1) of the two courses listed for 4 units:

Units: 4
Units: 4

 

 

Elective Courses

All students must take a minimum of 12 units from the following 4-unit courses:

Units: 1-4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4
Units: 4

Up to 8 units of 400-level Communication courses may count as electives with approval from the Program Coordinator.

 

Completion Options

All students must complete one (1) of the following Capstone experiences for 2-6 units:

Units: 1-6
Upon approval of the student’s graduate committee, a student may elect the University Thesis for 6 units; the student will carry out research on a specific topic in the field and will report, review, and file the results, and will be examined on the thesis. Students electing the University Thesis capstone will sit for an oral defense of the thesis at its completion.
For more information about the University Thesis visit
A student who selects the comprehensive exam capstone must elect a program made up entirely of a minimum of 31 units of approved coursework, including COMM 692 for 2 units. Satisfactory achievement on comprehensive written and oral examinations will be required of students electing the coursework and examination option. For the comprehensive examination, the student will be tested on all coursework taken during their graduate study, including all required courses and any coursework in progress during the semester of examination.
Upon approval of the student’s graduate committee, a student may elect the Project capstone for 6 units; enrollment commits the student to a production of a piece of work which is to follow prescribed forms; a permanent record is to be filed in the departmental office. Students electing the Project capstone will sit for an oral defense of their project at its completion.
For more information about the Capstone Project visit

 

 

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the University requirements for graduation as described throughout this catalog. These include the 70% unit residence requirement; the five-year rule on currency of subject matter; the minimum number of units in 600-level courses; the “C” minimum grade for each graduate course; the 3.00 cumulative grade point average; and the University Writing Skills Requirement.

Note: For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see Graduate Policies or call the Testing Office at (510) 885-3661.

 

Go to information for the Department of Communication.

Please see the most recent University Catalog for current course offerings and descriptions

Graduate Courses (Full list - Not every course is offered every year)

COMM 600 - Introduction to Graduate Study Units: 1
COMM 601 - Theories in Communication Units: 4
COMM 602 - Critical Cultural Methods Units: 4
COMM 603 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods Units: 4
COMM 604 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods Units: 4
COMM 605 - Contemporary Rhetoric Units: 4
COMM 620 - Internship in Communication Units: 1-4
COMM 625 - Teaching Communication Units: 4
COMM 630 - Media Studies Units: 4
COMM 640 - Advanced Rhetorical Studies Units: 4
COMM 645 - Media and Globalization Units: 4
COMM 655 - Communication, Media, and Society Units: 4
COMM 665 - Identity and Difference in Media Units: 4
COMM 670 - Communication Campaigns Units: 4
COMM 675 - Digital Organizational Communication Units: 4
COMM 680 - Moral Economies of Digital Media Units: 4
COMM 685 - Future of Media and Society Units: 4
COMM 690 - Independent Study Units: 1-4
COMM 691 - University Thesis Units: 1-6
COMM 692 - Comprehensive Exams Units: 2
COMM 693 - Project Units: 1-6
COMM 696 - Topics in Communication Units: 4
COMM 697 - Issues In Communication Units: 4
COMM 698 - Internship Units: 1-3


 

Eligible Undergraduate Elective Courses

(May take up to 8 units with approval. Not every course is offered every year)

COMM 400 - Film, Communication and Culture Units: 4
COMM 410 - Organizing Cultures of Innovation and Empathy Units: 4
COMM 416 - Communication, Technology, and Social Change Units: 4
COMM 417 - Game Studies Units: 4
COMM 418 - Organizational Change, Creativity, and Innovation Units: 4
COMM 420 - Organizational Transformation Units: 4
COMM 425 - Digital Cultures Units: 4
COMM 430 - Media Studies Units: 4
COMM 433 - Discourses of Difference Units: 4
COMM 453 - Strategic Communication Campaigns Units: 4
COMM 455 - Communication, Media, and Society Units: 4
COMM 461 - Popular Culture Units: 4
COMM 465 - Identity and Difference in Media Units: 4
COMM 470 - Communication Campaigns Units: 4
COMM 471 - Strategic Communication and Difference Units: 4
COMM 475 - Digital Organizational Communication Units: 4
COMM 480 - Moral Economies of Digital Media Units: 4
COMM 485 - Future of Media and Society Units: 4
COMM 488 - Conflict Management Units: 4
COMM 496 - Topics in Communication Units: 4
COMM 497 - Issues in Communication Units: 4


Full catalog entry and current class listing

Time to Completion

It is possible to earn this master’s degree in two years by enrolling in 8 units for three semester  (24 units) plus one semester of 7 units, totaling 31-units for the degree. Taking more units is allowed, but only 31 units will be counted towards the degree. Taking more units may also impact your standing with financial services. Eight units per semester is the minimum for financial aid and reporting purposes. Please note that some courses – such as a Thesis or Special Project – may be spread over more than one semester.

International Student Visa Considerations

Graduate students on a student visa are required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to take a minimum of 8 units per semester that will count towards their degree as a “graduate” student. International students should contact the Center for International Education (cie@csueastbay.edu) for information on matters affecting visa status, eligibility for employment, and any special academic requirements for international students.

Please Note

Most classes you might take in the Dept. of Communication are 4 units (not 3). Each unit represents one contact class hour, so a 4-unit class will meet for roughly 4 hours per week (or entail equivalent learning experiences outside the scheduled class meeting). You can expect to devote an additional 2 or 3 hours per unit for reading and assignments outside the class meetings. In other words, a 4-unit class may take up 12 to 16 hours of your time every week. Please plan accordingly. The most commonly-heard reason students fall behind is the burden of trying to take too many classes at the same time.

 

 

Graduate Course Symbols & Grade Points Earned

Academic Grade Standard of Work
Grade Points
A Superior 4.0
A- Superior 3.7
B+ Adequate 3.3
B Adequate 3.0
B- Adequate1 2.7
C+ Substandard 2.3
C Substandard 2.0
C- Unacceptable 1.7
D+ Unacceptable 1.3
D Unacceptable 1.0
F Failing 0.0
CR Credit2 not applicable
NC No Credit2 not applicable
     
1Note: A “B-” grade, though described as “adequate,” generates fewer than 3.0 grade (quality) points and must be balanced by a grade of “B+” or higher to maintain a 3.0 GPA.

2Note: These grades cannot be selected by students.  They are only available in graduate courses offered exclusively on a “credit/no credit” basis.

The typical grading pattern for courses graduate students will take is “A-F”; the use of “+” and “-” is at the discretion of each instructor.  Grades lower than “C” may not be used to satisfy master’s degree requirements. A graduate student may use courses taken on a “CR/NC” basis to meet the degree requirements only if the courses are offered exclusively on that basis.  Typically, these courses are restricted to fieldwork and internships and a “CR” grade indicates that the student’s work is at least of “B-” quality.

Cal State East Bay seeks to help maximize your educational experience to the best of your academic possibility.

If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, or if you would need assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation, please contact your instructor as soon as possible.

There are many resources available to students seeking services and/or accommodations in classes. Please contact the Accessibility Services Office who will match your needs with available services.