Master of Arts - Communication Studies


The Department emphasizes two areas of study: Relational Communication and Public Communication Faculty research and expertise focuses on interpersonal, small group, and organization communication, media studies, political communication, public advocacy, research methods, health communication, and intercultural communication. Courses of study are designed for students with various career aspirations. Students may choose a more applied, professional path, where the M.A. is a terminal degree. Alternatively, students with a stronger research orientation may choose to enter a Ph.D. program upon completing their M.A. degree. For either path, while at UNLV they work to acquire proficiency in critical analysis, social scientific and humanistic research methods, argumentation, and oral written presentation.

Available Options

  • Thesis Track
  • Non-Thesis: Examination & Project Tracks


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts program, students should be able to:

  • Define communication in relational and public contexts.
  • Analyze and evaluate messages and interaction in interpersonal, small group, organizational, intercultural, and rhetorical/public settings.
  • Identify and discuss historical developments and key theories in relational and public communication.
  • Recognize and explain self-reflexivity in relational and publiccontexts.
  • Read critically and analyze productively published research articles.
  • Recognize and explain multiple perspectives in rhetorical and relational communication theory.
  • Conduct original research in relational and publiccommunication at a level appropriate to capstone work in a graduate education.
  • Identify and assess features of ethical and unethical relational and public communication.

Career Possibilities


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Master of Arts - Communication Studies

Thesis Track

Non-Thesis: Examination & Project Tracks


Graduate Coordinator

Natalie Pennington, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator

GUA - 4138

Department of Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies’ mission is to help students, members of the Las Vegas community, and citizens from all walks of life develop healthy interpersonal relationships, manage small groups and organizations, speak with knowledge and confidence, critically evaluate and present complex data, and ensure the development of sound public policy.


Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs is committed to creating contemporary solutions for resilient communities. Its academic programs focus on effective public policymaking, creating support structures to meet behavioral and mental health challenges, ensuring cities are safe and prepared to meet emergency situations, effective and ethical journalism, and interpersonal and public communication strategies.