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Communication - Master's and Doctorate

Availability: Hattiesburg Options

Why study communication at Southern Miss?

Students pursue graduate degrees to enhance their educations and careers. While at Southern Miss, students enjoy the benefits of a supportive, accessible and diverse group of faculty who hold wide-ranging research interests and are committed to the success of their students; bright and worldly classmates who are part of a smart and talented student body; and connections to successful graduates that hold pivotal positions in academia and various organizations all over the world.

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3master's degree options
8doctoral concentrations/ emphases
3program-specific scholarships; 4 graduate awards

What Will I Learn?

The graduate faculty combines applied knowledge with communication theory and works to engage students while challenging them to think critically as they address communication practices and issues. As such, students will:

  • Examine how communication creates, sustains, and changes political, corporate, non-profit, and cultural institutions, and society at large.
  • Apply communication theories in scholarly research and professional projects.
  • Explore communication through various quantitative, qualitative, and rhetorical methodologies in multiple contexts; equipping them to conduct independent research.



Choose Comm. at USM

  • Undergraduate record of an overall 3.0 GPA is required as well as a 3.0 major GPA
  • Scores from the GRE must be submitted.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must attain a TOEFL score of 79.
  • Applicants must submit a 500-700 word goals statement.
  • Three letters of recommendation that refer to the student’s academic ability and preparation to pursue graduate study are required.
  • The admissions process takes into account the GPA, GRE, and the letters of recommendation. Students with a strong likelihood of success in advanced study will be admitted.

If applicants do not have sufficient evidence (courses taken post graduation or professional portfolios) of a background in communication, they may be required to complete specified undergraduate courses before entering the program. The graduate faculty will provide a list of required courses based on the degree the student is pursuing.

Students who do not have substantial professional experience may opt to complete a semester-length approved internship, consisting of at least 160 total hours completed during the semester in which the student is registered. Students are responsible for securing their own internship, but each position must be approved by the graduate coordinator. Internship opportunities help students: enhance practical skills, gain experience in the field and create networking opportunities with communication professionals.

The master's degree requires that students complete original research either in the form of a thesis or applied project. The doctoral degree requires that students complete original research and submit a formal dissertation prior to graduation. Students must select an advisor and committee. All will guide the student to the completion of the project, which includes an oral examination and defense. Additionally, all graduate students are challenged to pursue innovative and important research. That research should be conference ready and publishable in an academic journal.

A limited number of graduate assistantships may be awarded to qualified students by a competitive application process. Graduate Assistants receive an stipend and tuition waiver for up to 12 credit hours each term of the appointment.

  • Students must apply by March 1 or notify the graduate coordinator of interest in an assistantship upon acceptance into the program.
  • Potential graduate students will not be considered for award until they have been formally accepted into the program.

Enrolled students are considered for the Don George Teaching and Research Award and can apply for the Gene Wiggins and Arthur J. Kaul scholarships.

Graduate students are eligible to apply to the university’s British Studies Program. There is currently a British Journalism and Social Media course offered during the summer term. Graduate students are provided an enhanced research opportunity abroad, as well as an opportunity to explore the UK and surrounding countries. Those interested in the program or any study abroad opportunity, please visit the Office of Study Abroad website.

Please review the International Graduate Admissions web page for information regarding international graduate admissions.

For questions specific to international students, contact Ms. Elizabeth Shoemake at the International Student and Scholar Services Office:



  • Supportive, Accessible, Diverse and Accomplished Faculty

The graduate programs in the School of Communication are served by 22 graduate faculty members who have significant professional experience in their fields as well as advanced academic careers. In addition to teaching assigned graduate courses, faculty may serve in the capacity of academic advisor, thesis advisor or professional project director. In each instance, faculty provides guidance, support and direction to guide students in the successful completion of their specific project and/or program.


Contact Us

School of Communication

Liberal Arts Building 475

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map



  • Media/Communication Relations
  • Non- and For-profit work with organizations
  • College/University Professor and/or Administrator
  • Scholar
  • Research Analysts/Specialist
  • Dr. Carl Brown, 2015, 
    Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University
  • Thomas Broadus, 2011, 
    Director of Digital Strategy, The Focus Group
  • Dr. Angela McGowan, 2015, 
    Assistant Professor, State University of New York Fredonia
  • Dr. Hazel J. Cole, 2008, 
    Associate Professor/Public Relations Sequence Head, University of West Georgia
  • Kaisha Brown, 2017, 
    Communications Specialist, City of Salisbury (NC)
  • Dr. Willie Tubbs, 2017,
    Assistant Professor, University of West Florida