The Master of Arts Program in Communication Studies at Cal State Fullerton allows students to develop a broad understanding of Communication Studies as a discipline and an in-depth emphasis in an area of concentration, such as argumentation and persuasion, interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational communication. Our graduate students reflect the community of diversity at Cal State Fullerton, including international students and students of various ethnic backgrounds. There are more than a dozen faculty members in the Department of Human Communication Studies. Many have national or international reputations in their areas of research. Each is committed to helping students learn to apply theory and research in practical settings, such as training and development and conflict mediation. The department also offers excellent training for students who want to teach at the college level, including hands-on experience in teaching their own classes.

The Master of Arts in Communication Studies is designed for students who have an interest in and background for the study of communication theory and process. The degree is designed to give students broad exposure to the discipline and, at the same time, allow them to specialize in one area (i.e., argumentation and persuasion, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, or rhetorical theory and criticism). The Master of Arts is an advanced degree and all students are expected to complete comprehensive examinations, or write a thesis or research project as part of completing their degrees.


Dr. Gary Ruud  
Department of Human Communication Studies 
California State University, Fullerton 
Fullerton, CA 92834-6846 
Telephone: (657) 278-4198

Note: From the end of May through August, graduate advisor availability is intermittent. Questions about the program can be directed to the graduate secretary.


The objectives of the Masters program include improving students’ academic and professional competence in Communication Studies, developing students’ research capabilities, increasing students’ knowledge in their chosen area of specialization, preparing students for advanced work toward the doctoral degree, and for those students planning teaching careers, to improve their teaching skills. Students in the program are expected to demonstrate a high degree of intellectual competence and scholarly discipline; to develop the ability to evaluate concepts, research, and theories critically; and to demonstrate mastery of an area of concentration. These goals are met through a variety of experiences. Similar to undergraduate work, graduate students are expected to complete a series of courses. Graduate education, however, is not limited to course work. Graduate students are expected to read widely in their area of concentration (beyond their course work), and discuss their ideas with other graduate students and faculty (particularly their supervisory committee) outside the classroom context. A large portion of the learning in a graduate program comes from this informal inter-action outside the classroom.


The level of achievement required of graduate students is considerably higher than in undergraduate work. Students are expected to demonstrate qualities of self-reliance, creativity, accuracy, scholarly integrity, and ethical conduct. Students are expected to be familiar with the procedures, guidelines, and regulations which apply to their graduate degree program (i.e., the procedures outlined in the Handbook and the  Graduate Degree Programs section of the University Catalog PDF File ).