MA in Communication Management

A woman speaks with Organizational Science and Communications students.

The Master of Arts in Communication Management — the only degree of its kind in the D.C. metropolitan area — prepares students to plan, implement, monitor and revise communication messages and processes within and across organizations. Students graduate with in-demand skills and a competitive edge in the growing communication management field.

Coursework explores how people inform, influence and persuade each other. The interdisciplinary program is designed to meet the needs of a diverse pool of students, with courses including Intercultural Negotiation, Persuasion, Principled Political Leadership, International Business Strategy and Conflict Management and Negotiation.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: April 1 (February 1 for fellowship/assistantship applicants)
  • Spring Semester: October 1

Blue line
Joey Mengyuan Chen


"The Communication Management master's program at GW provided precious opportunities to explore my potential. It is not without challenges. I was lucky and grateful to have excellent and supportive professors during my graduate study. This program paved the way for my Ph.D. study and offered practical skills for students to grow both professionally and personally."

Joey Mengyuan Chen
MA '22, Communication Management

Program Objectives and Outcomes


Graduates are well-equipped to excel at four communication management objectives:

  • Effective and ethical leadership
  • Efficient flow of essential communications
  • Strong alignment of context and communication strategies
  • Enhanced achievement of collective goals


Graduates of communication programs are highly sought after by employers in roles including project managers, brand specialists, market researchers and directors of marketing and development. Students in the MA program learn to:

  • Analyze and develop strategies to enhance communication management functions in intercultural, organizational, public and health contexts
  • Activate critical thinking and strategic oral and written communication skills, applicable across multiple communication contexts
  • Plan, implement, and actively facilitate communication management-related training and interventions to individuals, groups and organizations in various contexts
  • Prepare for admission to doctoral programs in communication and related disciplines (such as international affairs, organizational sciences and public health)

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

Thesis option—30 credits, including 15 credits in required courses, 6 credits in thesis, and 9 credits in elective courses, at least 3 credits of which must be in a COMM course; non-thesis option—30 credits, including 15 credits in required courses and 15 credits in elective courses, at least 6 credits of which must be in COMM courses.

COMM 6150Persuasion
or ORSC 6224 Persuasion and Negotiation
COMM 6100Communication Theory
COMM 6110Research Methods in Communication
COMM 6171Professional Communication
COMM 6190Leadership Communication
Required for thesis students
COMM 6999Thesis Research (taken twice for a total of 6 credits)
9 credits for thesis students and 15 credits for non-thesis students, selected from the following:
ANTH 6506Topics in Medical Anthropology
COMM 6165Organizational and Communication Networks
COMM 6172Health Communication
COMM 6174Intercultural Communication
COMM 6179Sexual Communication
COMM 6189Intercultural Negotiation
COMM 6196Independent Study
COMM 6242Organizational Communication and Conflict Management
or ORSC 6242 Organizational Communication and Conflict Management
DNSC 6247Organization, Management, and Leadership
DNSC 6290Special Topics (Communication Strategy in Project Management)
EDUC 6530Intercultural Campus Leadership
HOL 6704Leadership in Organizations
IAFF 6171Introduction to Conflict Resolution
IBUS 6201International Marketing
IBUS 6401International Business Strategy
MGT 6210Leading Teams
MGT 6215Conflict Management and Negotiations
ORSC 6212Current Issues in Personnel Testing and Selection
ORSC 6214Personnel Training and Performance Appraisal Systems
ORSC 6243Seminar: Leadership in Complex Organizations
PMGT 6402Applied Political Communications
PMGT 6404Principled Political Leadership
PSYC 8243Seminar: Psychology of Leadership in Organizations
PSYC 8248Research Applications to Organizational Intervention and Change
PUBH 6247Epidemiologic Methods I: Design of Health Studies
PUBH 6431Global Health Communication Strategies and Skills
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
PUBH 6501Program Evaluation
PUBH 6503Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing
PUBH 6570Advanced Public Health Communication: Theory and Practice
SMPA 6202Media Effects, Public Opinion, and Persuasion
SMPA 6204Strategic Political Communication