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The Communicology program offers a Master’s degree (M.A.) focused on the dynamics of human interaction: how people understand, relate, and influence each other. Students in our M.A. program usually have a strong undergraduate background in Communicology, Communication, Psychology, or a related discipline.

Located in Honolulu, Hawai'i, at a "crossroads" between the East and West, the Communicology M.A. program emphasizes the role of different cultural perspectives and social identities in communication, and how people can create understanding and communicate effectively. We are ranked among the top ten for research in intercultural communication, language, and nonverbal communication (CIOS, 2021).

To support graduate students, we offer several Graduate Teaching Assitant positions each year. These positions cover M.A. students' tuition and provide a stipend for teaching sections of department courses. We also offer other forms of financial support, such as merit scholarships and research awards.

Graduate Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. program in Communicology, students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate mastery of theories of communication, particularly in the areas of relational, persuasion/social influence, and creating understanding functions;
  • Demonstrate mastery of fundamentals of research design and analysis in communication;
  • Demonstrate an integrative and systematic understanding of the human communication process;
  • Conduct independent social scientific research;
  • Orally articulate ideas/positions and respond to questions cogently and thoughtfully;
  • In written form, articulate ideas/positions and synthesize research; and
  • Demonstrate presentation and teaching effectiveness.


The M.A. program in Communicology is typically a two-year program for students who enroll full-time. Students may also enroll part-time. The Department offers two tracks for completing a M.A. degree: Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis: applied project or comprehensive exams). Students must choose between Plan A and Plan B by the end of their second semester of study.

Plan A Overview

The Plan A option involves the completion of an original empirical research project overseen by a level 2 or level 3 graduate faculty member. Thesis projects are intended to be scholarly work in the field of communication. A thesis must be initially proposed and later defended to an advisory committee comprised of graduate faculty members (an advisor and two other graduate faculty members). Thesis candidates must present an acceptable written thesis and pass a final oral examination of the thesis.

Plan B Overview

The Plan B option requires candidates to complete a non-thesis applied project that addresses a communication-related issue in an applied or real-world setting (e.g., for an organization or group; for a specific public audience). This project can take a variety of forms, but it must incorporate research from scholarly journal articles and other academic sources to inform their choices in developing the project and answering the focal questions in that project.

The scope of the Plan B project is flexible. It can be a year-long project consisting of a single, substantive undertaking (e.g., designing and implementing a training program). The Plan B project can also be a smaller project that answers a series of targeted questions about communication-related issues in a specific applied setting (e.g., analyzing existing data on a situation and providing corresponding recommendations). If students choose a smaller project, they must take an additional 600+ level content course to satisfy the credit requirements for the degree.


To earn a M.A. degree, all students must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate work. Of these credits, at least 27 must be completed in Communicology courses numbered 601 and above. All students are required to take and successfully complete COMG 601 (Theories of Communicology) and COMG 602 (Research Methods in Communicology). Students who wish to complete the thesis option are also required to take and successfully complete COMG 702 (Advanced Research Methods in Communicology).

Courses from allied disciplines may be counted toward the M.A. degree in Communicology and, on rare occasions, an upper-division undergraduate Communicology course may be used toward the M.A. degree in Communicology. However, prior written approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the candidate’s faculty advisor MUST be obtained before either enrolling in a graduate course outside of Communicology or enrolling in an upper-division Communicology course for graduate course credit.

Click here for course descriptions in UH Mānoa Course Catalog:
UHM Course Catalog

Click here for sample graduate course syllabi:
Course Syllabi

Click here for class availability:
Class Availability

Click here for course schedule draft:
Schedule Draft


DEADLINE: JANUARY 15 (for priority consideration)
After this date, applications accepted and considered on a rolling basis.

Step 1: Complete the University of Hawai‘i Graduate Division Application

To apply to the M.A. program in Communicology, you first need to apply to the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Please see and follow the instructions from the Graduate Division.
How to Apply

Step 2: Complete the Department of Communicology Application

  1. Write a letter to the Director of Graduate Studies expressing your interest in the graduate program. If you are seeking a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA), indicate this request in your letter and discuss your teaching aspirations and capabilities. Applicants should be aware that they may be asked to participate in either an in-person or remote (online) interview.
  2. Complete and sign three copies of the Recommendation Form for the Graduate Program in Communicology and provide one form to each individual who will be writing you a letter of recommendation.
    • Writers of letters of recommendation should comment on your preparation and potential for success in graduate school.

    • If you wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship, writers of your letters of reference should also comment on your teaching potential.

    • Recommendation Form

  3. Applicants may elect to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) as additional evidence of their qualifications to do graduate level work. Submissions of GRE scores is optional

  4. Most applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an English Language Proficiency Exam. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (Interntational English Language Testsing System) scores are currently accepted when they meet the minimum scores set by the University of Hawai'i and Mānoa Graduate Division for general admission for teaching assistantship applicants, as relevant.

  5. Submit your Department of Communicology application materials as PDF attachments to


The Department of Communicology recognizes graduate students with three annual awards.

Outstanding Graduate Student Award

This award recognizes academic excellence, outstanding research that leads to a conference paper(s) or publication(s) and/or departmental citizenship.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

This award recognizes a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Communicology who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in teaching.

Graduate Student Research Award

This award recognizes a graduate student in the Department of Communicology who has demonstrated strong potential for outstanding scholarship and research accomplishments, particularly as they relate to the final research thesis or project.

Click here for award information (includes deadlines, eligibility, selection criteria, and previous winners.) and nomination form.
Award Info

Click here for nomination form:
Nomination Form

External Funding Opportunities

Click here for financial information for graduate students:
Financial Info

Click here for general financial aid information from UH Mānoa:
Financial Aid

Click here for achievement scholarships:
Learn More


Our M.A. graduate students are well-prepared for for successful careers in divers workplaces in public and private industry, as well as careers teaching in academia. Our alumni work in local and national nonprofits, Fortune 500 companies, state government, and collges and universities across the United States.

Academic Careers
Lecturer – University of Hawaiʻi system and mainland universities | Instructor – University of Hawaiʻi system and mainland universities | Professor – University of Hawaiʻi system and mainland universities | College Preparation Coordinator | Program Director | University Administrator | Administrative Support | Research Support | Academic Advisor

Careers Outside of Academia
Community Coordinator | Training Coordinator | Case Manager | Volunteer Services Manager | Marketing Executive | Human Resources Manager | Researcher | Business Owner | Writer and Editor | Consultant

Click here to view additional careers of our M.A. students:
More Careers
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