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Communication Studies, M.A. - Advising

New Students

Accepting Admission Offer: Register Today

Secure your spot in the program by emailing and informing your faculty mentor.

International Student Admits: Students from other countries (F-1 status) should read and complete next steps for securing a visa.

Deferring Admission Offer

If you are unable to enroll in the term that you originally applied for then please review your options to defer admission.

Declining Admission Offer

We understand that plans change.  If you do not wish to attend this program please email with your full name, ASU ID number (located on admissions letter), and your intention to decline the offer.  This will help to ensure that ASU advisors do not reach out regarding next steps and registration.

Click here to review your program’s available courses within your semester of admission and select classes for enrollment.

Now What?

Prior to beginning your first course it is important that you read and understand the information available under “Current Students” on this advising website.  This includes, but is not limited to, the Program Handbook, Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, and Graduate College Policies & Procedures.  Students are responsible for information contained on this advising website, we recommend that you bookmark this page. 

Login to MyASU and complete items listed in Priority Tasks.

         Graduate College Field Guide to Grad School

ASU Graduate Admissions Next Steps

Financial Aid & Scholarship Services

Check your ASU email regularly

Save the date for orientation: Fall 2023 TBD

Current Students

Staff Academic Advising Questions

We are here to help!  E-mail with questions related to policies and procedures to help you navigate graduate school successfully.
Many of the answers to your questions may be on this website and in the Program Handbook, please review both carefully.

Ed & Judy Lynn Scholarship

Each academic year the Ed and Judy Lynn Scholarship provides financial assistance to newly admitted graduate students enrolled in the Masters of Arts in Communication Studies (MACS) program.  Students receiving a Lynn Scholarship are engaged academic leaders and embrace the values of Ed Lynn, which include a lifelong ethic of hard work, leadership, personal accountability, and a commitment to helping others develop their potential.  They are expected to work closely with a MACS faculty mentor on projects related to teaching, research, or community service.  This commitment normally involves roughly ten hours of engagement per week during the spring and fall semesters.

For more information please download the flyer and the application.

Student Travel Funds

The New College may provide for support graduate student travel to academic and professional conferences.  Students may also receive support for travel from GPSA.
Apply to MACS for SSBS
Apply for GPSA Funding 
Travel Funding 

Important Student Support Resources

Academic Calendar


University Academic Success Programs

Sexual Violence and Prevention Response

The MA Communication Studies campus immersion program requires 36 credit hours including 0-6 credit hours of culminating experience.

ASU Catalog and Degree Search: Communication Studies, MA

Download a MACS Checklist (Fall 2024 and beyond)

Download a MACS Checklist (Spring 2024 and before)

Written Comprehensive Exam (Required)

All students in the MACS program are required to complete a Written Comprehensive Exam.  The objective of the comprehensive examination is for students to demonstrate “mastery”.

Please review the Written Comprehensive Exam section of the MACS Program Handbook for more information.

Thesis or Applied Project (Optional)

Depending on academic and career goals the thesis or applied project elective is designed for students who desire to thoroughly investigate a particular topic of interest through an extensive independent research project.  Students interested in either option should consult the MACS Program Handbook and discuss with their faculty advisor early in their program.

What is the Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS)?

The Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS) functions as an agreement between the student, the academic unit, and the ASU Graduate College. It will support you as you make progress toward your degree requirements. (Learn More)

The iPOS allows you to plan for your course load, can guide registration each term, and provides an anticipated timeline for degree completion.

How do I select courses for my iPOS?

At the time of admission to a graduate program in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences students are provided with a sequence of courses for the first semester and then work closely with the staff and faculty advisors to determine a successful path to degree completion.

How to create an iPOS?

To access the iPOS: Login to My ASU. From the My Programs box, under the Programs tab, select iPOS. Select Graduate Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS). Note: Pop up blockers may need to be turned off.  You will find instructions for submitting the iPOS in the downloadable how-to guide.

Individualized Instruction Form

Advanced students in the MACS program with specialized and well-developed topics may choose to take CMN 580; Practicum, CMN 590: Reading and Conference, or CMN 592: Research as an individualized instruction course, working with a faculty member independently.  Please refer to the MACS Program Handbook for additional policies.

After consulting with the faculty member with whom you want to work, please complete the Online Individualized Instruction Form. After completing the form, it may take several days to receive the line number to register.

Please submit the request to complete an individualized instruction course two weeks prior to the start of any academic semester.


If you are interested in completing an internship (584) for academic credit, please follow the below steps:

  1. Contact your graduate academic advisor at to confirm the internship meets your program’s degree requirements.
  2. Then, contact to learn more about securing an internship and enrolling for graduate credit hours.
  3. After you have received the course permission override to enroll in the 584 course:
    1) register for the class as soon as possible;
    2) email to update the iPOS on your behalf (if the credits will be used toward your graduate degree requirements).

For detailed descriptions of both the Applied Project and Thesis culminating experience options, please read the Program Handbook.

To Register for Applied Project or Thesis Courses

To be eligible to enroll in CMN 593 Applied Project or CMN 599 Thesis, the student must:

Download and complete (with the required signature of the faculty chair) the MACS Application to Register form

Download an Applied Project Application to Register

Download a Thesis Application to Register

Email the MACS Application to Register document to AND copy (i.e. cc) the MACS program director.

Upon completion of above steps, receive a course permission override from the graduate staff advisor to enroll in the course.

Meeting with a faculty advisor is one of the most important elements of graduate college.   Your advisor can help you in selecting the proper courses, developing your plan of study, and, more generally, in understanding the complexities of graduate-level education.   For MACS students the program director is your initial faculty advisor and will serve as your advisor throughout the entire program. However during the course of your studies you may identify another faculty member who is a good match for your particular interests and emphasis. In this instance we encourage you to approach that faculty member to serve as your advisor, making sure you formally record this change on your interactive plan of study (iPOS).  You are required to meet with your faculty advisor to discuss your iPOS, most notably in preparation for submitting your first formal iPOS (refer to the Handbook for details).

Having the director serve as your initial or permanent advisor ensures you have access to advising from the moment you join the program through to your graduation. We also understand that identifying an advisor can take time and making contact with them can be anxiety-producing. As a MACS student, you have the choice of completing your program with the director as your advisor or taking some time to identify an alternative advisor.

A summary of this is provided below:

  • The MACS director serves as advisor. 
  • If you identify another faculty member who you would like to serve as your advisor, make arrangements to meet with them to discuss your interests and their availability for mentoring duties.  Changes in advisor must be officially recorded via an up-date of your plan of study (iPOS). 
  • You should meet with your faculty advisor to discuss your iPOS in detail.
Our Faculty

Below is a list of your program’s faculty who may potentially serve as your faculty chair/advisor. Use the ASU iSearch feature to read more about each faculty’s expertise and research.

Jeffrey Kassing
Nicole Lee
Lindsey Mean
Majia Nadesan
Ramsey Eric Ramsey
Vincent Waldron
Greg Wise

The MACS program has a set of core readings that cover a range of perspectives faculty consider pertinent to the study, theory, and practice of communication, advocacy and/or social technologies. Students are recommended to read these early in the program. These also comprise the required readings for the exam, which requires the student to integrate materials from at least three of these readings into their exam answers.

Dahlgren, P. (2012). Social media and counter-democracy: The contingences of participation. In E. Tambouris, A. Macintosh, and Øystein Sæbø (Eds.). Electronic Participation (pp. 1-12). New York: Springer. 

Hartnett, S. J. (2010). Communication, social justice, and joyful commitment. Western Journal of Communication, 74(1), 68–93. 

Olson, K. M. (2008). The practical importance of inherency analysis for public advocates: Rhetorical leadership in framing a supportive social climate for education reforms. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 36 (2), 219-241. 

Scholz, S. J. (1998).  Peacemaking in domestic violence: From an ethics of care to an ethics of advocacy. Journal of Social Philosophy, 29 (2), 46-48. 

Tufecki, Z. (2013). “Not this one”: Social movements, the attention economy, and microcelebrity networked activism. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(7): 848-870. 

van Dijk, T. A. (1999). Editorial: Discourse and racism. Discourse & Society, 10(2), 147–148. 

Winner, L. (1986). Do artifacts have politics? In The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology (19-39). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 

Zompetti, J. P. (2006). The role of advocacy in civil society. Argumentation, 20, 167–183.