Master of Arts in Communication

Our graduate students enjoy a supportive, collegial environment. By design, our MA Program offers mentorship from peers and faculty along with professional development opportunities. We prepare students for high level careers by developing critical reasoning and advanced research and analytical skills, to be put to use in academia, the public sector or within civil society or industry.

We offer three options for students to select as they complete their MA in Communication:

  • Some students prefer the Coursework program which offers opportunities for intensive study across a range of classical and current topics and subjects in communication.
  • Others want to take on some independent work, selecting the Research Essay program. This option is similar to the Thesis program but involves a smaller-scale project.
  • The Thesis program is for those students who want to undertake primary research and culminates in a final defence of the project.

Each program takes approximately two years to complete.

Students can also take our MA in Communication with a Specialization in Data Science, African Studies, Climate Change, or Latin American and Caribbean Studies. These specializations offer tailored content for students who want to focus more closely within a particular field and collaborate with departments outside of Communication. Find out more about all of the options available to you by exploring our MA Communication Program Information (click on a course code to see descriptions) and our Graduate Handbook. Also, find out more about our campus and student life or go on a virtual tour of Carleton.

Funding and Scholarships

Top-ranked domestic candidates are offered generous financial support from Carleton University. Our MA students have access to teaching assistantships (TA), research assistantships (RA), and have been very successful at obtaining funding through Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS), Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) fellowships. Students also have access to various internal awards, including Donor-Funded Awards and Graduate Student Travel / Research Bursaries.

Our department also awards the following endowments:

  • Sons of Maxwell: Awarded annually to one undergraduate and one graduate student in financial need who demonstrates strong academic achievement and community service. Endowed in 2017 by Dave Carroll.
  • Rogers: Awarded annually to an outstanding MA student. Endowed in 1991 by Rogers Ottawa Ltd.

What can I do with a Graduate Degree in Communication?

Joining the MA Program

We admit between 15 and 20 new students each year on a competitive basis. The deadline for admission is February 1.

Our application requires you to provide contact details for two academic referees who can comment on your academic background and preparedness for more advanced study. You will also prepare a 2-5 page, double-spaced statement of intent telling us why you would like to join our MA program, your research interests and their relevance to communication studies, and any other information that will help us understand your goals and motivations. Finally, your application dossier will include a current curriculum vitae (CV/Resumé), a sample of written work (usually a senior undergraduate essay), and your academic transcripts. Click here for more information about how to apply.

Are you an international student?

We are excited to welcome international students to our program! Alongside faculty and students with international backgrounds who already contribute to our program, many of us also collaborate with scholars from across the world. Cross-cultural perspectives enrich our conversations about communication and media studies and influence how we conduct our research.

Despite our enthusiasm, we must also face the reality that funding for international students is inadequate. While we continue to advocate for change, it is critical that all prospective international applicants are well informed of the financial obstacles they may face. It is for these reasons that we provide the following information.

  • At the MA level, we cannot offer any funding (including Teaching Assistantships). Unfortunately, this makes it very impractical for international students to study with us and we are often unable to admit any as a result.

If you are looking for more information about tuition fees and expenses, please use these websites and select ‘All other Masters programs.’ Note that rent is only listed here for a period of 8 months and many leases are for 12 months and application fees are not refundable. Find out more about admission requirements, including English proficiency test scores.

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