Graduate Certificate in Communication Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Communication Studies is an 18-hour online program. The certificate consists of two required courses and four elective courses. Full-time students will be able to complete the program in a year. Using summer classes, part-time students will be able to complete the certificate in a year and a half.

The elective coursework can be tailored to advance various professional goals in areas such as education, management, leadership, diversity and inclusion, human resources, and more.  

This Graduate Certificate is eligible to receive Title IV funding – Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate PLUS loans by request. To be considered for aid, students need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Applications to the online Communication Studies Certificate Program are reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority application deadlines of: March 1st for the fall semester; October 1st for the spring semester.  We will accept and continue to review applications until all program slots are filled.  Students seeking admission to the graduate program in Communication Studies must submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application:  The Graduate Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining State of Texas residency.
  2. Application fee: An application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.*
  4. Two letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s suitability for graduate study. Letters should be from professional sources.
  5. A letter of interest that summarizes the applicant’s educational and professional goals, how a Communication Studies degree or certificate will help the applicant obtain his/her professional goals, and how the applicant’s personal and professional experiences have prepared him/her for our graduate program.
  6. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is expected. Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree and have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 must submit additional information as evidence of their academic and professional potential. Additional information may include, but is not limited to: GRE scores, a narrative that provides an explanation for the applicant’s low GPA and why the GPA is not indicative of the applicant’s academic and professional potential, etc.
  7. A resumé.

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

Applicants must submit all application materials directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions by the university deadlines of August 1 for Fall, December 1 for Spring, and May 15 for Summer. A holistic review of each applicant’s file will then be completed, with admission to the MA in Communication Studies program awarded on a competitive basis.


Incomplete applications will be held by the Office of Graduate Admissions until the application file is complete. If students have questions about their application file, they should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.

If a student enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Communications Studies wishes to switch over the Master's of Arts in Communication Studies, they need to contact the Graduate Director for departmental approval. 

Graduate Certificate in Communication Studies
Required Courses
COMS 5335Advanced Communication Theory3
COMS 5360Advanced Interpersonal Communication3
Concentration OR Prescribed Electives 112
Concentration in Communication Studies for Educators and Dual Credit Instructors 1
Select four from the following:
Pedagogy of Public Speaking for Novice Instructors
Advanced Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Conflict
Intergenerational Family Communication
Social Support and Well-Being
Concentration in Communication Studies for Leadership, Management, and Business Professionals 1
Select four from the following:
Computer Mediated Communication
Advanced Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Conflict
Sex & Gender In Communication
Advanced Risk Communication
Persuasion & Social Influence
Prescribed Electives
Select four from the following:
Communication Studies Methods and Research
Statistical Methods For Communication
Qualitative Communication Research
Dark Side of Communication
Advanced Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Conflict
Contemporary Family Communication
Affectionate Communication in Close Relationships
Sexual Communication
Advanced Health Communication
Graduate Readings in Communication
Advanced Family Communication
Dark Side of Family Communication
Seminar In Interpersonal Communication
Seminar In Family Communication
Total Hours18

Students must choose between either one of two Concentration options: Communication Studies for Educators and Dual Credit Instructors or Communication Studies for Leadership, Management, and Business Professionals OR pick from the Prescribed Elective courses to complete degree requirements.  

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Graduate Certificate in Communication Studies is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Professional oral and written communication.
  • Effective presentation skills.
  • Research and analytical skills.
  • Evaluation of sources and information validity.
  • Data synthesis.
  • Critical thinking and the ability to compare and contrast information.
  • Multi-cultural and diversity competencies.
  • Conflict management and resolution.
  • Interpersonal communication.
  • Listening skills.
  • Leadership and teamwork.
  • Problem solving.
  • Ethical communication.