Overview of Programs
The department offers a choice of three emphases for residential students and one emphasis for online-only students within the communication major, three minors related to the emphases, and three certificates in speech writing, sports communication, and social media. A grade of “C-” or better is required for any course counted toward a major, minor, or certificate. The department also offers a Master of Arts in Professional Communication.
Required Credits: 45 credits for the communication major and 65 minimum credits for a composite of two emphases in the major. (Check with the department about recommended elective credit for the composite degree.)
Speech Writing Certificate
The Speech Writing Certificate requires the completion of 21 credit hours of coursework including an internship involving speech preparation. The certificate prepares students for speech composition and delivery. Evaluation of the students will be in each of the specific courses in the form of written assignments, speech preparation, and delivery. This University-approved certificate is available only upon degree completion.
Sports Communication Certificate
The Sports Communication Certificate requires the completion of 18 credit hours of coursework and can include an internship related to sports writing and other activities in the SUU athletic department. The certificate prepares students to work in a variety of sports-related jobs. This University-approved certificate is available only upon degree completion.
Social Media Certificate
The Social Media Certificate requires the completion of 18 credit hours of coursework. The certificate prepares students for highly competitive careers in social media marketing, branding, management, content creation, and strategic communication. This University-approved certificate is available only upon degree completion.
Master of Arts in Professional Communication
The SUU Master of Arts in Professional Communication (MAPC) is an applied, professional degree designed to focus on advanced research, writing, and presentation skills required for effectiveness in diverse communication industries. The practice-oriented program is ideal for those working for companies requiring audience messaging capabilities in advertising and public relations campaigns; social media content creation, strategy, and curation; internal organizational analysis; training and consulting; and media production. Candidates need not have a bachelor’s degree in Communication to apply, be accepted, or succeed in the program.
In addition to doctoral education, our faculty has decades of professional experience working as business/industry consultants, marketing professionals, sales directors and executives, talent for media outlets, media managers and media owners, event promotion specialists, and public relations practitioners.
The Southern Utah University Communication Department provides opportunities for its students to apply the principles and theories of human communication and mass media in situations that simulate the professional world. The department operates in a student-centered environment to foster ethical behavior, superior communication skills, leadership abilities, and critical thinking.
Southern Utah University’s M.A. degree in Professional Communication prepares students for career paths and opportunities by focusing on message design, analysis, dissemination, and evaluation. The program fosters ethical reasoning and action, critical thinking, research competencies, and effective writing and oral communication abilities.
The curriculum of this department consists of a careful blend of classroom courses in theory, methods, histories, and laboratory experiences in the various emphases with hands-on applications. The intent is to produce a well-rounded graduate who is conversant with the material in communication-related areas of employment and who can also proficiently apply that material. To this end, internships are strongly encouraged in the department. The department prepares students for careers in social media, advertising and public relations, strategic campaign planning, event planning, media writing and broadcasting, journalism, message design, and online content creation. Through general education offerings at SUU in the communication core, and the humanities and social and behavioral sciences knowledge areas, the Department of Communication endeavors to give SUU general education students effective presentational skills and a solid base knowledge in applied communication principles and practices.
Department/Program Learning Outcomes
- The general education courses offered by the communication department will align with the essential learning outcomes established by the University.
- Communication students will pass their courses with a minimum grade of “C-“ as assessed by evaluation measures within each course.
- Communication courses will contain activities that enable students to demonstrate a reasonable level of proficiency in communication skills.
- All Communication majors must take COMM 1010 and the writing course, ENGL 2010 . These two courses will prepare students for study in Communication. Communication majors must take the core COMM 3100 - Communication Theory course. This course serves as a common learning experience where students will engage in High Impact Learning via portfolio creation. This course is also a prerequisite to COMM 4000 - Research for Communication Careers , the other core requirement for all majors.
- Additional assessment is measured through successful completion of practicum courses in the various emphases.
- Students will develop theoretical competence and an understanding of how to apply this knowledge to a variety of professional/personal relationships and career problem solving situations.
- Students will deepen methodological understanding and develop specific research competencies designed to inform, connect with, and influence target audiences.
- Students will develop and refine skills to improve writing and speaking ability while learning to create compelling presentations based on research and critical thinking investigative exercises.
- Students will become more conversant with social media and new technologies while systematically exploring the limits and impact of their use in professional communication situations.
- Students will understand the central issues related to message design, dissemination, analysis, and impact related to diverse audiences regardless of size, demographic composition, or geographic location.
Graduate Admission and Graduation Information
To be considered for admission to the SUU Master of Arts in Professional Communication program, candidates must provide a complete application file at www.suu.edu/hss/comm/masters. See the MAPC website for updated information. A complete file must include the following:
- A brief (1-2 page) letter of intent describing the applicant’s goals and expectations in pursuing a graduate degree in professional communication.
- Official transcript(s) reflecting a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Students with lower GPAs, but not lower than 2.7 overall or in the last 60 credits of undergraduate work, may be considered for conditional admission only.
- Completed application form: www.suu.edu/graduatestudies.
- $60 processing fee (nonrefundable).
- Writing sample(s) (professional or academic, minimum of 1,000 words and not to exceed 3,000 words).
- Three (3) references that will provide insight into the applicant’s readiness to pursue graduate education.
Send applications materials to:
SUU Graduate Programs
P.O. Box 8008
Cedar City, Utah 84720
Applications are accepted for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Priority will be given to those applicants who meet the listed deadlines. An acceptance decision is made upon completion of an applicant’s file, and candidates are notified after the Department Graduate Council reviews applications. For additional information about admission requirements, assistantships, and deadlines, contact:
Dr. Kevin A. Stein, Graduate Director
Department of Communication, SUU
351 W. University Blvd., Cedar City, UT 84720
Ph: (435) 586-7874, firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but students should plan to apply at least two (2) weeks before the start of a new session. The program has six (6) session start dates per year: Spring A, Spring B, Summer A, Summer B, Fall A, and Fall B.
The prospective student must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The degree need not be in communication. The master’s degree requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework and applied research competency. There are additional opportunities to teach undergraduate courses, participate in research projects, and network with other graduate students. The program culminates in a graduate capstone experience.
- All graduate students must complete their program within six (6) years of matriculation.
- Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all graduate courses to graduate. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 average GPA will be placed on probation and may be dropped from the program.
- No grade below a “C+” will be counted toward graduation.
Internships are strongly encouraged. Only communication majors or minors with a junior or senior standing and with the appropriate prerequisite courses may enroll for internship credit within the department. Students must contact the department for internship prerequisites and other information in advance of internship work. Only three (3) internship credits can be applied toward the required credits in the major. Additional internship credit may be counted as elective credit with the approval of the department chair.
Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Waivers
Please consult with the Program Director regarding qualifications and requirements to be considered for a graduate assistantship and/or tuition waiver. Tuition waivers are awarded based on GPA, writing ability, and the applicant’s skill and professional experience. Paid assistantship opportunities include teaching courses, conducting research, sport marketing, public relations, international recruiting, and working with community partners in university practicums. For more information about financial aid available to graduate students please refer to the Graduate Degrees section or the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Graduate Student Policies
Students should be familiar with all SUU policies related to graduate education. Please refer to the SUU policies page (help.suu.edu/policies). In addition, students should refer to the graduate handbook for current program policies (www.suu.edu/hss/comm/masters).
ProgramsBachelor’s DegreeCertificate of Proficiency (Undergraduate)MinorMaster’s Degree