Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the UNC Charlotte Communication M.A. Program.

Why choose UNC Charlotte?

  • UNC Charlotte’s library, with 1.3 million volumes, is the largest library in North Carolina.
  • Charlotte has become a major U.S. financial center, and based on assets, both the nation's largest and third largest financial institutions call the city home (Bank of America and Wachoiva, respectively).
  • Charlotte is also a major center in the US motorsports industry, with NASCAR having multiple offices in and around Charlotte.
  • UNC Charlotte’s accomplished faculty members are nationally competitive and recruited from across the world.
  • Charlotte boasts a mild and sunny climate. It's just a three-hour drive east to the Carolina beaches or west to the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • In 2008, Charlotte was chosen the "Best Place to Live in America" by in its annual ranking, based on factors including employment opportunities, crime rates and housing affordability.
  • UNC Charlotte is a beautiful, contemporary, spacious, 1,000-acre campus 10 miles from downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

What are the steps of the application process?
To be considered for admission, the applicant must complete the application, and submit copies of the required transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample (preferably a scholarly paper written for one of your undergraduate classes). 

*It should also be noted that requirements are subject to change, so please follow all directions as specified on the Graduate School website.*  

Applications are reviewed only once per year.

When is the application deadline?
January 15 is our priority deadline for early decisions and for students who want to be considered for an assistantship. March 1 is the deadline for all other students. 

What is the application fee?
The graduate application fee is $75 for applications. The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable.

How long does it take to complete a Master's degree in Communication studies?
How long it takes you to complete a degree depends on whether you are a full-time or part-time student, how many classes you can take during a semester, and other outside considerations, such as working schedules and family commitments. Generally, full-time students can complete the program in four semesters (two years). 

How many credit hours are required to complete the M.A. program?
The program requires the completion of 30 graduate credit hours and a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Is the program a full-time or part-time program?
It can be either full-time or part-time. Classes are offered Monday through Thursday evenings, and you can choose the number of classes to take each semester. However, to hold a graduate assistantship, you must be enrolled in at least two classes.

Are courses offered during the summer?
Not customarily. 

Can I complete the program online?
We do not currently offer online courses. Our approach is centered around an on-campus experience that permits active participation and interaction with students and faculty.

When can I start the program?
All graduate students accepted to the program begin their studies in the fall semester. A structured progression through the cirriculum maximizes the educational experience for the student.

Is there an orientation for incoming graduate students?
Yes, there is a new student orientation sponsored by the Graduate School each fall before classes begin. In addition to the Graduate School Orientation, there is a departmental orientation that takes place the week prior to the first day of classes.

Are there designated parking lots for graduate students?
No, parking permits are available for purchase through Parking and Transportation Services

My interests are in journalism and broadcasting. I do not see any course offering in these areas.
Our program does not offer training in journalism or broadcasting, nor is it a program for advertising or marketing. We specialize in health communication, organizational communication, rhetorical/critical studies, media studies, and public relations. Students in our program do not specialize in any one area but instead take courses across interest areas. 

Are doctoral degrees offered in Communication studies?
No, but our faculty participate in the Ph.D. programs in organizational science and health psychology.

How can I get more information about the M.A. program?

Please contact Dr. Erin Basinger, the Graduate Program Director for Communication Studies. She is available by email at