Five Reasons Why You Should Get Your M.A. In Communication at UCSC, According to Current Students

This year’s program enrollment is comprised of 14 students with different interests and backgrounds: some new students, second-year students, recent CofC graduates, students who are new to the area, and some who have already been in the workforce for a number of years. No matter which category you fall into, the Master of Arts in Communication can be a great stepping-stone along your path.

You may be wondering why you should you get your Master’s Degree in the first place. You already have a Bachelor’s Degree (or you’re currently working on it), so why sign on for more school? Well,there are many reasons why students decide to further their education.

I talked to some current students and asked them for their thoughts on the reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. More specifically, below are five reasons why you should consider getting your M.A. in Communication at the University of Charleston, S.C. straight from the mouths of our current students.

  1. The program allows for a personalized education experience. In this program, you will take 15 credit hours of required courses, which leaves 18 credit hours available for your choice of electives. In addition, students are required to take one cognate course from another graduate program across campus. The end result is a unique experience that aligns with your personal interests and professional goals.

A current second-year student explained, “I chose the MCOM program because of the flexibility of courses and opportunities that allows you to personalize the program to your research and professional goals.”

  1. You can complete your Master’s Degree in as little as 1.5 years…but feel free to take as long as you need. The program is flexible for both full- and part-time students; you design your schedule to fit your life. In your very first class, Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication, you work alongside program director Dr. Ruth-McSwain to create your personalized plan of study. This acts as a “road map” for your graduate experience, informed by  your personal mission statement, goals, courses you plan to take, and experiences you aspire to acquire.

A new student to the program said, “I’m now feeling relieved after the very first introductory class with Dr. Ruth. She assuaged my fears by reassuring [us] that finding our personal and professional path with this program is the reason she [and the rest of the department faculty], is here.”

  1. It opens doors and presents unique opportunities. The program offers many opportunities, from graduate-level internships and pedagogy experiences, to study abroad and unique independent-study projects. Not only do these immersion activities provide learning experiences for students, they have the potential to offer future opportunities. The MCOM program has seen many successful graduates, who undoubtedly took advantage of the opportunities presented through the program; one student received a fellowship to teach English for a year at the University of Versailles while others have landed positions with companies such as IBM, Forbes, and Ketchum based on their graduate experiences.

On this topic, one of our current students told me, “…the work and internship opportunities this program affords are incredible. We get fantastic real-world experience.”

  1. Networking opportunities and new connections. The Department of Communication offers students unique connections that other programs do not offer. For one, the Department’s Advisory Council gives students access to network with more than 50 prominent leaders in the field of strategic communications. In addition, students often find mentors within the department – creating meaningful relationships and life-long connections.

Another student in the program said, I think one of my favorite things about the program, is that the professors are so willing to go above and beyond.”

In my own experience, this statement holds true. Many times that I’ve met with professors to talk, they’ve suggested opportunities or introduced me to people they think I should know. They truly go above and beyond the classroom for students.

  1. The professors and staff. Our students may be a bit biased, but we truly believe that we have the best professors anyone could ask for. Nearly every student I talked to mentioned the value the professors bring to the program.

One student put it this way (but we all agree):I chose [this program] because of the amazing faculty. We have a special group of people who are supportive and want us to do well.”

So, those are the reasons current students think you should consider the MCOM program. If you want to know more, or have specific questions, feel free to contact me at

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