four people chatting in the park

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

Two years for most full-time students

Where will I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: March 15
  • Spring: October 15
  • Summer: Does not admit

Communication, Human Communication and Social Influence, M.A.

Graduate Program Director
Dr. Douglas Barthlow
[email protected]

The M.A. with a concentration in Human Communication and Social Influence fosters the advanced study of rhetoric and interpersonal communication. Our faculty in interpersonal communication are interested in media portrayals of interpersonal relationships, particularly those involving older Americans. Our faculty in rhetoric are interested in the intersection of public persuasion and issues of national identity.

The Department of Communication offers a multidisciplinary program to prepare communication professionals and academicians for the demands of the 21st century. Based on theoretical perspectives from rhetoric, public argument, audience research, media studies, global communication, international communication, health communication, strategic communication and new media, the Communication Studies program explores public discourse and mass-mediated environments, and prepares students to investigate how persuasive practices are transforming culture at home and abroad.


Program Details
  • Statement of purpose
  • Academic writing sample (class research paper) recommended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume (assistantship applicants only)
  • Transcripts (one from each institution attended)
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores (international applicants only) *

* Institutional code 5251 should be used for reporting TOEFL

It is helpful if at least one of the letters of recommendation is from a former professor who can speak to your past scholarship and aptitude for graduate-level work.

For the statement of purpose, submit a statement which summarizes your research, academic and potential professional interest, and details your intellectual interests as they relate to communication.

You may use the statement to bring information to the attention of faculty reviewers you think is of importance. For example, if your application contains evidence of special strength or weakness, you might choose to address that in your statement. If your undergraduate or graduate transcripts would benefit from additional explanation (for example, if you wish to call to our attention your higher grades in communication-related courses or your record of improvement), it would be appropriate to add that language to this statement.

You should address the question: Why do you wish to pursue studies with the Georgia State Department of Communication? If you are undecided about the particular direction you wish to pursue, do your best to specify the direction you are heading.

The program requires a minimum of 36 hours of coursework.

Research Thesis option:

  • Six hours of core courses:
    • COMM 6010 Issues and Perspectives in Communication (3)
    • COMM 6030 Research Methods in Communication (3)
  • Eighteen to twenty-four hours of courses designated by the area of concentration
  • Up to six hours of coursework in related fields
  • Proficiency in a foreign language or approved research skill
  • Minimum of six hours of COMM 6990 Thesis Research
  • A successful research thesis prospectus defense
  • A research thesis
  • A successful research thesis defense

Course-Intensive option:

  • Six hours of core courses:
    • COMM 6010 Issues and Perspectives in Communication (3)
    • COMM 6030 Research Methods in Communication (3)
  • Eighteen to twenty-seven additional hours in communication courses designated by the concentration (mass communication, and human communication and social influence)
  • Optional 0–6 hours of allied coursework in another area of concentration or outside the department as approved by the advisor
  • Two additional approved elective courses, where the credit hours total to a full six hours substitution
  • An approved research paper to show research competence

Visit the catalog for curriculum details.

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

To be considered for a Graduate Assistantship you must submit a Graduate Assistantship Application with an updated resume. Assistantships are for full-time students and they provide a tuition waiver and stipend in exchange for work hours. All graduate assistantships start in the fall semester and run through the academic year.

The M.A. in Human Communication and Social Influence can be pursued as an end in itself for professional career advancement and, given its scholarly research emphasis, is also a stepping stone for pursuing a doctorate, especially for those choosing the thesis track.



Earning a master's degree in Human Communication and Social Influence prepares you for career success. It equips you to understand how tools of communications can solve problems and influence others and their role in managing change in a world of uncertainty, and its power to solve problems. These skills are in demand across a variety of sectors, including non-profits dedicated to community advocacy, corporations in need of the best methods for implementing strategy and responding to crises, and governmental institutions related to health and education in designing learning platforms and message strategies.


Mailing Address and Office Location

Department of Communication
25 Park Place
Suite 800, 8th Floor
Atlanta, GA  30303

Graduate Program Director
Dr. Douglas Barthlow
[email protected]

College of Arts & Sciences Lockup25 Park Pl NE #2500
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.