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Frequently Asked Questions

Who would benefit from earning a Master of Arts in Communication?
How do I apply to the Graduate Program? (And where do I send all the materials?)
Who teaches graduate courses? Tell me about the faculty.
When and where are graduate courses offered?
Do I have to start the Graduate Program in the fall?
How quickly can I earn a graduate degree?
Are any graduate courses taught online?
How much math will I need for the Graduate Program?
I don't have a bachelor's degree in communication, but I am interested in the master's program. Should I apply?
Will I need to write a master's thesis?

Who would benefit from earning a Master of Arts in Communication?
Anyone who needs or wants to learn more about ethical and effective communication. Following completion of a core of courses in communication theory and research, our graduate students will select from an array of elective courses.

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How do I apply to the MA in Communication program?
To complete your application, we will need official undergraduate transcripts sent to the Graduate School, along with the completed application form, official GRE scores, at least one academic writing sample demonstrating your best work, a statement of goals, and two letters of recommendation from individuals (professors/advisers) who can speak to your prospects for academic success. (The address is The Graduate School, Randolph Hall, Charleston, SC 29424.) Please submit materials by the published deadlines.

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Who teaches graduate courses? Tell me about the faculty.
All courses are taught by full-time members of the CofC faculty. Our faculty members from the Department of Communication have extensive experience in undergraduate and graduate education, and several have won teaching and research awards during their careers. The faculty have advanced degrees from such universities as the Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Indiana University, Northwestern University, Louisiana State University, the University of Georgia, and University of Florida. Our faculty have published numerous articles in research journals, and several are sole book authors. A number of our faculty members also have local and national consulting experience. Several serve on national editorial boards for top journals, with several being editors of such publications.

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When and where are the graduate courses offered?
All graduate courses are taught in evening sessions, with classes meeting at the beautiful, downtown College of Charleston main campus. During the fall and spring semesters, a typical graduate course will meet one night a week for 15 weeks, followed by a final examination.

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Do I have to start the Graduate Program in the fall?
Yes, in most situations. We have refined our curriculum so that incoming students begin our program with critical courses in theory and research during the fall semester that will serve as a springboard for future coursework and research for the remainder of their master's program.  However, if circumstances dictate, an interested applicant should email program director Dr. Amanda Ruth-McSwain at ruthmcswaina@cofc.edu if he/she wishes to begin the program during the spring term.

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How quickly can I earn a graduate degree?
Students take between 21-24 months to earn a master's degree if they have no undergraduate preparatory classes, and take a full-time student load (nine hours). Throughout your program, you will work closely with your faculty adviser to make sure that you make steady progress toward the completion of your degree.

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Are any graduate courses taught online?
Not at the moment. While many professors make extensive use of the Internet in classroom instruction, the faculty believe that the best learning environment for a typical graduate class in communication includes face-to-face interpersonal interaction between students and faculty.

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How much math will I need for the Graduate Program?
While some basic knowledge of statistics will be helpful, we will provide the instruction you need to succeed in courses with a quantitative component.

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I don't have a bachelor's degree in communication, but I am interested in the Graduate Program. Should I apply?
Yes. The Graduate Program is designed for students with a variety of different undergraduate backgrounds, though we do require that students have the equivalent of 12 undergraduate hours in communication or a related discipline for regular admission. Please contact the Graduate Director if you have questions about this requirement. If you do not meet the undergraduate hours requirement, it may be possible for you to take undergraduate preparatory courses at the College of Charleston.

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Will I need to write a master's thesis?
No. The MA degree offers the choice of a field internship opportunity or a master's thesis. The student consults with her or his graduate advisor before making the choice between the thesis and non-thesis options.