Department of Communication

Master of Arts - Professional Communication Frequently Asked Questions

Most students complete the program in 4 semesters, but some complete it in 3.

In Utah, completing 20 credit hours of graduate courses in a calendar year is considered full-time. Typically, we tell students that means 10 hours in each of the fall and spring semesters. A student seeking a quicker path toward graduation will take additional courses in the summer.

We have a packet in the department that needs to be completed, but here are some of the particulars. Students need to find the internship on their own and it should be directly related to some potential career interest. We encourage students to find paid internships when possible. Students must also find a faculty member to supervise the internship and discuss the deliverables (typically a portfolio of their work). Students should also have an on-site supervisor who is qualified and produces a letter explaining some of the duties the student will encounter. These steps should be completed the semester prior to registering for the course.

This course is designed for 2 purposes. One is to work with a faculty member on a research or other project -- often a conference paper & potential publication. The other is for a student who has a similar type of idea and approaches the appropriate faculty member to see if s/he is able to help the student. The faculty member then sets up the outcomes and expectations for the experience. Students cannot register for the course unless these details are worked out the semester prior as there is no regular curriculum for the course.

We provide a list of core and elective courses needed to satisfy degree requirements. The information is also available in your MAPC Program Info Canvas page under “Course Schedule.” Please use this information to plan ahead so you don’t find yourself needing a class that isn’t offered the semester you need it.

Visit the admission page and follow the steps. You will be notified in writing about the admission decision. Typically, we respond within 48 hours if you are not waiving GRE based on work experience. Waiver cases are reviewed by the graduate council and usually result in a decision within 1 week.

There are six total entry points (two in each semester) for fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Although somewhat competitive, any resident student can apply for a graduate assistantship. These assistantships provide a tuition waiver and a stipend for students who either teach a lower division undergraduate course (likely Essentials of Communication) or are assigned a non-teaching responsibility, such as research with a faculty member, working in SUU’s marketing department, or assisting in the Speech and Presentation Center.

Application information for Graduate Assistantships 

If you are an online student who lives out of state, your designation will be online only. If you are a resident of Utah and prefer to take all of your classes online, you will still register as an online only student, but keep in mind this designation will prevent you from registering for face-to-face classes. If you are a Utah resident and plan to take a mix of online and face-to-face courses, you should register as a traditional on-campus student. Within this designation, the registrar will allow you to register for both online or face-to-face classes.

The university has a policy requiring graduate students to finish their degrees within 6 years.

We discourage students from taking breaks from the program, but sometimes life happens. When it does, students can request a “step out” from the program by writing a letter to the graduate director indicating the reasons for the step out and when they plan to return.

We believe that the theories and research methods taught in our core courses are highly applicable in real-world communication industries. Wherever you find yourself working after you graduate, you will be asked to engage in data gathering and analysis as you create and analyze communication messages. The skills you learn in our core classes will serve you well. We promise!

Yes, you may be able to transfer credits from courses taken in another master’s program if the content of your previous classes matches with our program requirements. In order to request that previous courses count toward your degree, you need to submit to the graduate director a syllabus for each class you want to transfer and indicate which class you believe it should fill the requirements for.

Instead of traditional 15-week semester blocks, the MAPC program has two 7-week sessions within each semester. Typically, two classes (plus the orientation class) will be offered each session. Although a normal load is 3 classes per semester, student may opt to take one class in each session, two in each session, or complete one in one session and two in the other session. Face-to-face students will meet twice a week for two hours and 15 minutes each class period.

Yes, students attending conferences (without presenting a paper) can apply for a reimbursement of travel expenses up to $250 and students presenting papers at conferences can apply for a reimbursement up to $650.

For full admission, students are required to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA, a combined GRE score of 290 (with a 4.0 on the analytical writing section), a letter of intent, three references, and a writing sample. Conditional admissions are sometimes granted.

We expect students to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 in order to be in good standing. If a student falls below the minimum GPA in a given semester, he or she will be placed on probation with the expectation that the GPA moves above 3.0 after the probationary semester.

Yes, except for COMM 6850 (Individual Graduate Research), COMM 6891 (Individual Graduate Internship), and our topics class in Event Planning. These three classes are elective classes for face-to-face only students and are not required for your MAPC degree.

Our faculty work very hard to make our online course offerings as interactive and engaging as possible, but admittedly face-to-face classes often provide the best experience for our students. We will continue, however, to do our best to make our online MAPC program dynamic and valuable.

Armed with a plethora of skills in the areas of message design and analysis, our students often find jobs in a variety of unique and exciting places. Some of these jobs include: Social media manager/producer, television/film producer, media manager, video photographer, multi-media specialist, journalist, TV anchor, blogger, usability consultant, crisis communication manager, web/app interface designer, higher education administrator, higher education recruiter, college admissions specialist, adjunct professor, health care communication specialist, jury consultant, event planner/coordinator, human resource manager, director of talent and culture, communication consultant, organizational communication auditor, organizational project manager, media salesperson, radio personality, press release writer, political campaign manager, political speechwriter.