MA in Communication-Prospective Students

Join a Close-Knit Cohort

MA in Comm Graduation Photo 2024

A Lifetime of Experience in One Year

Saint Mary's one-year MA in Communication has officially opened applications for our Fall 2024 cohort with completion of the program scheduled for June 2025.

Whether you're a Saint Mary's senior who is about to graduate, a non-SMC student with an already-completed Bachelor's degree, or even a sophomore trying to plan out your career, SMC can help you get more out of your future. Check out more information about how to get started below.

How to Get Started

Prior to applying during their Senior year, students are encouraged to complete two Bridge Courses. These are cross-listed graduate versions of several of our upper division undergraduate electives offered to rising juniors and seniors. Successful completion of these courses results in priority entrance to the program and gives you a better sense of the kind of work you'll be doing in the one-year grad program.

Considering the importance of building your SMC schedule, we encourage any students interested in the MA in Communication program to work closely with their advisors and to get started early. This way, students can plan their entry into the program by fitting in two Bridge Courses without affecting other required classes needed for their undergraduate degree.

Our program faculty and staff are happy to talk more about Bridge Courses and help you enter the program. Please reach out to or our Assistant Director of Admissions at for more information.

In a perfect world, you'd have already taken your Bridge Courses and you'd be ready to jump right into the graduate Comm program—but scheduling can be tough, time slips away, plans are changed, and we totally understand. So no problem! We've got you covered and you still have an easy way for you to start the one-year MA in Communication.

For students who were unable to take the recommended Bridge Courses during their undergraduate career, the program gives students the option to take the two extra classes during their Fall or Spring semesters in the program. In some years, we will also offer students the opportunity to take one of the Bridge Courses during the Summer before the program begins.

If you're looking to join the program immediately after graduation, please begin an application using the above link and reach out to or our Assistant Director of Admissions at for more information.

Our MA in Communication eagerly accepts Saint Mary's alumni and students who have graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from a different school. While our cohort is typically made up of students who recently attended Saint Mary's, we appreciate and value the varied perspectives that come from people with different backgrounds.

The biggest difference for alumni/non-SMC students is that you'll need to take two Bridge Courses in addition to the typical one-year program curriculum. We give students the option to take these two extra classes during their Fall or Spring semesters in the program. In some years, we will also offer students the opportunity to take one of the Bridge Courses during the Summer before the program formally begins. Lastly, you will need to submit a few extra application materials—see our Application Checklist below for more info.

Please begin an application using the above link and reach out to or our Assistant Director of Admissions at for help with the application process—we're very excited to connect!

Photo of current MA in Comm student Stephanie Ramirez.

All Majors Encouraged to Apply

Our MA program accepts students with a Bachelor’s degree in any major. While a background in Communication might give you a head-start on certain concepts and skills you’ll encounter in the classroom, it is definitely not required to succeed in our Master’s—in fact, we believe that an MA in Communication can apply to any major and help students become better in whatever field they choose to pursue.

Application Checklist


  • Priority Deadline: Friday, April 19th, 2024
  • General Deadline: Friday, May 17th, 2024 

Ready to submit your application? Make sure you've got everything ready to go using the following checklist.

All Applicants Must Submit the Following:

  • Online Application: You can start the SMC application at this link.
  • Admissions Essay: Applicants are asked to provide a 2-3 page, double-spaced document addressing why they want to join the program, how they're prepared for graduate-level work, and what aspects of Communication that they're interested in studying.
  • Current Resume/CV
  • GPA Exemption Petition: If your undergraduate GPA is below 2.8, please submit a 1-2 page statement that includes relevant information about past academic or personal circumstances and evidence of your ability to succeed in a graduate program.
  • Please note that the MA in Communication program does not require applicants to submit Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores.

Additional Requirements for Non-SMC Students: 

  • Official Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded for initial application review but applicants must submit official transcripts for all higher education institutions if accepted into the program. Official digital transcripts can be sent to
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: We require two recommendation letters from people familiar with the applicant’s ability to be successful in the classroom and pursue graduate-level work.
  • Academic Writing Sample: Please provide a 5-10 page sample of academic writing, such as a midterm or final paper, that demonstrates your ability to critically evaluate and synthesize scholarly work.

Additional Information


For the 2024-2025 academic year, tuition is set at $1,149 per unit with a total tuition cost for the program coming out to $31,024 (not including travel costs for the optional June Term travel externship—estimated at $4000) if students have already taken two Bridge Courses during their time as an SMC undergrad (as those courses are included in the cost of undergraduate tuition). Tuition is charged per term, based on the units taken that term.

If a student must take these two additional Bridge Courses (worth 4 units each) prior to starting or during the program, those will be charged at a per course cost resulting in a total tuition cost of $40,216.

Financial Aid

We are excited to offer the following financial aid and funding opportunities…

1. Taking Bridge Courses as an SMC Undergrad

Current SMC students have the opportunity to take up to two co-located grad Comm courses (Bridge Courses) when they're juniors or seniors. Taking these classes early not only gives students a look into what graduate Comm work is like, but it also offers a significant discount if they choose to start the program. These 8 units of upper-level electives are included in undergraduate tuition, meaning students coming from Saint Mary’s can essentially save up to $9,192 towards the cost of graduate tuition and get a head start with coursework before the intensive year of graduate work.

2. Apply by the Priority Deadline (Friday, April 19th, 2024)

For the first time in program history, the MA in Comm will be offering the opportunity for students to be considered for a small scholarship at admission. To be eligible in Fall 2024, students will just need to submit their application to the program by the Friday, April 19th Priority Deadline. All students who submit by this deadline will receive this early bird scholarship, which will be applied toward tuition costs.

3. Consider Our New Fellowship Opportunities

Additionally, students joining our Fall 2024 cohort will be eligible to apply for two competitive graduate fellowship opportunities that will provide valuable funding alongside professional experience. The Disney Fellowship will involve students working with Roy E. and Patricia Disney Forum Speaker Series—including event promotion, planning, production, and marketing. The Foudy Fellowship will be more research-based, giving students the chance to work with faculty members on academic projects. Both fellowship opportunities will award up to a total of $8,000—including a $1,000 tuition scholarship in Fall/Spring alongside hourly wages, which may be applied towards the program's tuition. Interested students just need to submit an additional cover letter and apply by the priority deadline.

4. Make Sure to Submit Your FAFSA

Many students are eligible for federal financial aid through graduate student loans by filling out the current year’s FAFSA. Students are encouraged to submit this form early so our Graduate Financial Aid advisors can help provide you with a Cost and Aid Breakdown that will help with your financial planning.

5. Look for Additional Funding and Valuable Job Experience On-Campus

A number of our previous students have also found on-campus jobs as Graduate Student Workers in the Office of Institutional Research, SMC Museum of Art, Office of Research, the SOLA Dean’s office, and other positions that can offer professional experience alongside an opportunity for extra funding. Working on-campus can align well with the program’s intensive schedule, and it can help students network and build professional relationships.

Saint Mary’s MA in Communication deeply values the intellectual and cultural diversity that International students bring to the classroom. As such, we strongly encourage International students to apply to our program.

Due to the federal requirements involved in providing our International students with educational visas, International applicants will be required to submit the additional documents with their application. Please refer to Saint Mary's International Graduate Admissions page for more information.

Saint Mary's College campus photo

Lunch is on us!

Interested in meeting with a faculty member, Admissions staff, or current graduate student to discuss the program and your career goals in more detail? We're happy to sit down with you to talk about your plans over a complimentary lunch from the SMC dining hall. Contact us using the button below to schedule your lunch meeting today!

School and Program Information

Veronica Hefner, Ph.D.
Program Director, MA in Communication

Collin Skeen
Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment