Mar 23, 2018  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: Content may no longer be accurate.

Master of Professional Communication (MPC)

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission into the WSU Master of Professional Communication program must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or be in the final stage of completing the degree. 

Applicants will submit:

  • Completed application with personal essay
  • Current resume
  • Official transcripts from every institution of higher education attended
  • Three letters of academic and/or professional recommendation
  • Scores from the GRE taken within the last five years

Prerequisite Courses

Students are required to take the following courses within five years prior to admission:

  • COMM 3150  Research Methods or equivalent.
  • One theory-based course in communication. Choose from the following: COMM 3000  Communication Theory, COMM 3550 /5550  Organizational Communication, COMM 3820 /5820  Persuasive Communication or COMM 3050  Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Resolution. This requirement will be waived for students who have a bachelor’s degree in communication from an accredited college or university.

Students can be admitted to the program before taking prerequisites courses, but will be required to complete the prerequisites within their first two semesters in the program. Courses taken as prerequisites cannot count towards electives within the program.

Additional Admission Requirements for International Students

All international students and any applicants educated outside the United States must demonstrate proficiency in English. Those whose native language is not English must submit an official score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based). The score may not be more than two years old. Equivalent IELTS score is also accepted in place of TOEFL. Students who do not have these scores may be admitted provisionally to the program upon review. If they are able to perform satisfactorily in their first semester, their provisional status may be amended.

Acceptance into Program

Each applicant is accepted on an individual basis. Ideal applicants will present a strong overall previous academic record, positive letters of recommendation, professional accomplishment, and an appropriate GRE score. An ideal class will consist of working professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds in for-profit, government or non-profit organizations. Ethnic diversity is a plus. The MPC program will have limited enrollment.

Elective Courses from Other Universities

Related graduate-level courses from other universities may be accepted with permission of the MPC director.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit must be approved by the program director and cannot exceed 12 hours. Transfer classes must be at an appropriate level and fulfill the objectives of the MPC. No courses for which credit was used to fulfill requirements of another degree may be used toward the MPC degree.

Grade Requirements

To earn the MPC degree, candidates must complete all MPC courses with a grade of B- or higher.  They must receive a grade of C or better in all non-MPC graduate courses. The overall program GPA must be 3.0 or higher. Failure to maintain a 3.0 grade point average, or two consecutive course sessions where a grade lower than C- has been earned, will result in academic probation in accordance with departmental policies.

Graduation Requirements

  1. 37 credit hours, at least 31 at the 6000-level.  Courses taken to fulfill prerequisites cannot count towards the 37 credit hours.
  2. Grades of B- or better in all MPC courses and grades of C or better in all non-MPC courses.
  3. Overall GPA of at least 3.0. 

Time for Degree Completion 

MPC students have a maximum of six calendar years to complete their degree requirements, starting from the first semester during which the student has registered and begun taking classes. Students who exceed this requirement may submit a letter of appeal to the MPC director to request that this requirement be waived. Students who fail to enroll in MPC courses for three consecutive semesters must apply for readmission to the program. In order to ensure timely progress through the program, students must consult with an MPC advisor every Fall Semester. Students on the thesis/project track who, for any reason, do not finish their thesis or project or program of courses within the two-year framework suggested in this program, must pay continuing enrollment and tuition every semester.

Course Requirements for MPC

Electives (15 credit hours required)

Students may choose to complete a 6 credit hour thesis or project, plus an additional 9 credit hours of elective master’s level courses.


Students may choose to take 15 credit hours of elective coursework in lieu of a thesis or project. 

Thesis/Project Track (6 credit hours)

Coursework Track

  • 15 credit hours of elective master’s level courses
  • At least 6 credit hours must come from MPC elective courses at the 6000 level.
  • No more than 6 credit hours of dual designated MPC courses at the 5000 level.
  • No more than 9 credit hours of graduate level courses outside the MPC program.
  • Students should choose electives in consultation with the graduate program director.

Elective Master's-level Courses

Elective Variable Topic Course

Elective Interdisciplinary Courses

With the permission of the MPC director and/or fulfillment of prerequisite courses.  Classes not listed, including those at other universities may be accepted.  Students may select no more than two courses (six credit hours) from the following WSU master’s program courses (with the permission of the appropriate MPC graduate program advisor and/or fulfillment of prerequisite courses).

Dual-Designation or “Swing” Courses

The following dual designation courses are designed to fill gaps in the undergraduate preparation of students who wish to command the broadest understanding of professional communication.  While the courses are accessible to students who have not taken the corresponding undergraduate courses, the graduate courses differ from undergraduate counterparts in demanding greater depth and breadth in all major aspects of each course such as reading, writing, presentation, projects, etc.  Of the 9 elective credit hours in the Master of Professional Communication degree, only 6 may be 5000-level courses and must be approved by the MPC Coordinator before registration.