Graduate Program

The Master’s Degree in Communication at Wake Forest University provides a comprehensive study of the field of Communication. From 1974 until today, our Master’s program has matriculated students into top-tier Ph.D. programs, law schools, and careers ranging from public advocacy to entrepreneurship. 

The 4-semester program requires research methods courses in rhetorical theory and criticism and quantitative methods in communication studies. Students select their additional courses from a range of graduate-only seminars or bridge seminars, where they learn in small classes with upper-level undergraduates.

The graduate seminars include a wide range of topics including persuasion, media studies, alternative qualitative and quantitative methods; entrepreneurship, health communication; democratic theory; rhetoric of science; argumentation; public address; social movements; international communication; and many more special topics seminars. Additionally, in most semesters, faculty offer special topics graduate courses that do not show up in the permanent course catalog. For a list of permanent courses and descriptions please visit this link to the graduate school academic bulletin

During the first year, students enroll in a Communication Practicum with the Director of Graduate Studies. In this one-hour course, students learn about the field of Communication and develop professional, pedagogical, and research skills. 

At the end of the first year, students develop their central research question or argument for their thesis, in collaboration with their advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Students present their initial project proposal to the entire faculty in what is a very exciting opportunity for feedback and discussion.

During the second year, students typically spend the fall semester finishing coursework. In the spring, students work on their thesis.

Students select a thesis advisor based on the research topic and method. They work with their advisor to form a committee of at least another Communication faculty member and an external reviewer from another Department/University.

Throughout the program, students at Wake Forest University benefit from a small department, small class sizes, and personal attention that leads to several opportunities for academic, intellectual, and professional development.

The rigorous nature of our program provides a solid foundation for doctoral degrees and many of our students continue their graduate work at nationally ranked Ph.D. programs in Communication but many of our graduates choose careers outside of the academia as well. 

The Master’s degree is awarded to candidates who complete:

  • A minimum of 33 semester hours of work, including 27 semester hours of faculty-approved course work with an average grade of B (3.0) or above on all courses attempted.
  • Meet the research methods, professional seminar, and elective requirements.
  • Write an acceptable thesis as defined by the Department Handbook.

The university’s minimum residence requirement is one academic year or three summer sessions.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, please reach out to: 

Jarrod Atchison, Ph.D.
John Kevin Medica Director of Debate
Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor
Department of Communication

Wake Forest University
Box 7347 Reynolda Station
Winston-Salem, NC 27109

(336) 758-5405
atchisrj@wfu.edu

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