About Marist's MA in Communication

1. Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in Communication to pursue my MA at Marist College?

No. The MA in Communication program is designed to accommodate the academic needs of working professionals with undergraduate degrees in areas other than Communication as well as graduates of Communication related programs. Check out the description of our students.


2. How long does it take to complete the MA in Communication degree program?

Part-time students will complete the degree in exactly two years. Students take two courses each fall and spring and one course during each summer during the two years.

Full-time students will complete the degree in exactly one year. Students take four courses each fall and spring and two courses during the summer.

3. How long is each MA course?

All MA courses are offered online and are eight (8) weeks long and are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Throughout the semester, students access lectures, share course information, work on group projects, submit class work, and take exams, all online.

Full-time students will take two courses during the first eight week session and another two courses during the second eight week session of each Fall and Spring semester

Part-time students will take one course sequentially during each eight week session.

4. How are the MA courses structured?

Online courses are organized and presented in much the same way as one would experience in a class room. Lecture notes, readings, and class assignments are issued or posted at regular intervals throughout the course. Assignments and exams are time sensitive in that they are due on a specific date. Online students simply submit work electronically on the date it's due.

5. How do Online MA courses work?

The communications capabilities are at the heart of the MA in Communication program and become seamless as you progress through the coursework. There is no on-campus requirement nor is everyone expected to be online at the same time. As with a traditional class, you are expected to read assigned material prior to a certain due date specified in the course syllabus and course calendar. Usually, there are discussion questions that accompany your readings. These questions are where you will engage the material and interact with professors and peers. Typically professors expect each student to contribute their ideas in the discussion forums over the course of a week. In addition, there are papers and other assignments that will be turned in electronically (as a word document in most cases), through the online course site.

6. How do I access my online class?

When you are admitted to the Masters in Communication program, you will be given an email account, user name and password. As soon as you are registered for the first course, you will have access to the iLearn system. Here you will log in with our user name and password and as soon as your courses are active (the start of the semester), you will be able to get online and start learning.

To preview the online classroom, you can look at the iLearn web tutorial today. You do not need a password for this one. Just click in the link to iLearn, then select Web Tutorial (in gray below the log in area). Here's the link.... iLearn


7. Is the entire MA in Communication program offered online?

Yes! You can complete your entire degree from the comfort of your own keyboard. Of course, if you wish to have a personal meeting with your professor, you are most welcome to do so.

8. Do I have to be a computer expert to pursue my MA degree online?

No. The only computer skills required are a familiarity with Windows and an Internet browser.

9. What kind of system and web browser will I need to access iLearn?

Minimum system and web browser requirements for accessing iLearn:

  • The minimum web browsers are Internet Explorer 6.0 and Firefox 2.0
  • Operating System: Windows 2000, MAC OSX 10.2.x and later
  • Hardware: 512MB of RAM 
  • Note: iLearn does not support the Camino, Opera, Chrome, or Safari web browsers

10. What is the tuition for this degree program?

The tuition for a 3-credit graduate course for the 2010-2011 academic year is $695 per credit. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement for graduate study, so students are encouraged to check with the benefits department at their place of employment. Tuition can be paid by cash, check or credit card. Contact the Student Financial Services office at (845) 575-3231 or visit http://www.marist.edu/financialaid/ for more information.

11. What types of Financial Aid are available?

Need-based financial assistance is available for matriculated students in the form of loans, and very limited grants and scholarships. To apply, simply complete FAFSA as well as Financial Aid Application (for Graduate & Continuing Education Students Picked for Verification). Veteran's benefits may also be available so call (845) 575-3250 for more information. For specific questions concerning financial aid, you may visit the Student Financial Services or call (845) 575-3230.

12. How do I apply to the MA in Communication program?

Please submit the following for academic consideration:

  • a completed application for graduate admission (available online)
  • a $50 non-refundable application fee
  • official transcripts from all undergraduate (including two-year colleges) and graduate institutions including evidence of an earned BA or BS degree in communication or closely related field from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • an official score report showing an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (visit www.ets.org for more information)
  • a current resumé
  • a written statement of purpose
  • three letters of recommendation

Note: All Marist graduate programs require a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.

Please send all your hard copy materials to Office of Graduate Admissions, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601. Students who already have a Master's Degree from an accredited institution are not required to take the GRE exam. The Office of Graduate Admissions will notify you by mail when your file is complete.

13. From whom should I solicit recommendations?

We suggest that you solicit recommendations from those who can comment meaningfully on your performance in an academic or professional setting. If it has been a while since you attended an institution of higher learning, then we recommend that you ask your employer (e.g., supervisors) to complete the recommendation forms. If you are a recent graduate, then ideally you would ask a former professor to fill out a recommendation form and have one of your supervisors where you are currently employed complete a form. Be sure to give your recommenders the proper form and envelope and instruct these individuals to complete the form, seal it in the envelope, sign across the seal, and send it to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

14. Whom do I call if I have questions?

The Director of Graduate Admissions is available to assist you with any additional questions you may have. Also, you may visit our website for specific course descriptions and other information. Please call the Graduate Admissions office at 845-575-3800 to arrange a telephone or personal appointment or email graduate@marist.edu for more information.
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