Is the Master of Arts in Professional Communication (MAPC) a business degree?
No, the MAPC is an interdisciplinary degree offered by the College of Arts and Letters; however, it can help the way you practice and perform the functions of business.
What do I do with this degree? Can I have a career in the field of professional communication?
Yes! Professional communication as practice comes in various forms, with job titles such as communication coordinator, specialist or director; media specialist; public relations specialist; advertising coordinator or manager; marketing coordinator or manager; social media strategist; government communication specialist; and human resource compliance and benefits specialist. In retail, business, sales and industry, a “communication team member” works outwardly with the public. Private consulting is another pathway. There are many options.
Everyone communicates. Why would I need a degree in something I was born to do?
Not everyone communicates well, and not everyone knows others who communicate well. Think people in the arts — some people can sing or play an instrument very well, but they still attend a conservatory or college to refine their skills and meet other people who could one day work with or for them. The students and networking opportunities offered by the MAPC program are equally as important as the content taught by the instructors.
When are classes offered?
All of the courses in the MAPC program are offered in the evening beginning at 6 p.m. This schedule is designed so students can practice their craft during the day and take their classes at night. Students complete one course at a time. See the plan of study tab to get a sense of how this model leads to degree completion in just one calendar year.
What if I cannot take one of the electives or courses as planned?
No problem. The graduate advisor or program director will meet with you and see where you can pick up next. Although the classes build on each other, students are not required to take them in order. Students are highly encouraged to begin the program with MAPC 601 — the kickoff course.
I started a different master’s program (either at another university or in a different department at UT). Can I transfer credit to the MAPC?
Yes. Depending on what credits you took elsewhere, you are allowed to bring up to two graduate courses to the MAPC. Students will work with the program director to determine if previous coursework is eligible for transfer into the MAPC — not all graduate classes will count. In general, previous coursework must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution within the past seven years. Often, these two courses will be slotted into the two elective spaces in the MAPC. Note: Many graduate courses at other institutions are three credit hours, but MAPC courses are four credit hours. Students with an overall deficit of two credit hours will need to seek guidance from the Registrar’s Office. Typically master’s degrees are not conferred unless a student meets a minimum of 32 credit hours.
I am considering teaching in the communication field or pursuing my Ph.D. Is this program appropriate for me?
Yes and maybe. Typically in Florida, to teach a college course instructors must hold a graduate degree and 18+ credit hours in the subject they are teaching. The MAPC would provide both of these things. A credential audit would most likely qualify you to teach communication courses related to business and the professions, public speaking, design, organizational communication and strategy. Teaching in higher education with only a master’s degree is very competitive and often difficult, so some students choose to pursue a Ph.D. The MAPC can prepare students for doctoral studies, but they must plan for this from day one of the program. These students will work with the director to choose a thesis advisor, and instead of designing a project, they will spend the year working on a master’s thesis, which they will defend at the completion of the program. Could a student complete the MAPC with the capstone project and still pursue a doctorate? Yes — but it depends on the doctoral program. If done well, a thesis is typically the beginning chapters of a dissertation.
Is there a 4+1 option?
Not yet. UT students, especially in business, are used to hearing about 4+1 programs. These allow students to take two graduate-level courses as part of their bachelor’s degree, followed by one year of graduate studies. Upon graduating, students are awarded both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Currently, the MAPC is exploring if this model would fit the needs of our students. If approved, the option could be available starting in Spring 2022. The MAPC is a one-year program, so if time is an important factor, you could begin the MAPC the August after graduation and complete it the following August. Additionally, once the MAPC program is in its second year, students can opt to take a summer course (like Digital Analysis) ahead of the MAPC 601 course beginning in the fall. Ask the director for details.
Are there graduate assistantships or funding?
There are currently no GA positions approved for the MAPC program. At UT, courses are never taught by graduate students. GA and TA roles typically found in state programs are not available at this liberal arts teaching university. UT faculty members working on scholarly projects often work with graduate and undergraduate students, sometimes in a funded capacity. However, that funding comes from various sources and is not a guaranteed source of income or funding. Could a student arrive at UT, connect with a faculty member who shares similar scholarly pursuits and apply for funding — absolutely!
Can I live on campus?
Is this program open to international students?
Yes, we welcome and encourage international applicants. However, all students in this program must be comfortable reading, writing and presenting in English.
Can I work on my business while pursuing the MAPC?
Yes, absolutely! That’s the vision for the program: study today, use tomorrow. In many cases students’ businesses, organizations and hobbies will be the focus of their projects and papers.
What are the GPA requirements to remain in the program?
The MAPC faculty expect a “B” or better in every course.
Do I have to take the GRE?
No student is required to take the GRE to apply for the MAPC. There are certain requirements for non-UT grads compared to UT grads with a guaranteed admission pathway. See the admissions and applications tabs.
What can I expect to earn in a career related to professional communication?
$45,000-$145,000 — a big range! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is the trusted go-to for salary and career data related to the workforce. There are many factors that contribute to an employee’s earnings, including experience, specialty, scarcity, economy, years of education and area of expertise. In the field of communication, time and experience often directly correlate to salary and station within one’s career. For example, marketing and communication coordinators typically have the least working experience, so they earn the lower end of the pay scale. As they gain experience through work (a year of a master’s degree typically adds to experience), they then move up in title and salary. A communication coordinator may move to a specialist role or an account executive title. For students who are already working, this credential is more nuanced. Some employers will count the master’s as a year or two of experience, while others will consider it the credential for a promotion, and in some fields it will be the requirement to change careers entirely. The MAPC faculty cannot overly emphasize the importance of networking with members of your master’s class. These people will have the connections to make you the communication director of their new company or help you focus your interest on a job you wouldn't have previously thought you were qualified for. Read more about master's in communication average salaries.
What is the difference between communication (no S at the end) and communications (with an S at the end)?
Typically communication (no S) denotes the study of or within the field of communication, such as interpersonal communication, organizational communication and professional communication. Communications (with an S) typically refers to fields where attention is paid to the channel of communication and the dissemination of the message, such as radio, TV, broadcasting and the physical act of bringing the message. You may hear someone say, “She’s a communications specialist in the Army.” This is accurate because most likely that soldier is working with Wi-Fi, radios, satellites, etc. As communication programs have grown over the last 20 years, and are now heavily integrated with media (social, visual, traditional), it’s become common to hear people use the two terms interchangeably. For whatever it’s worth, all of your MAPC classes at UT and your degree will be referred to as communication, no S. How you choose to customize your study of the mediated channel for your own business is up to you.