Please note:

To view the current calendar, go to

School of Communication | Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology Simon Fraser University Calendar | Fall 2019


Master of Arts

The School of Communication approaches the study of communication using theoretical and methodological frameworks that are informed by the Social Sciences and Humanities. In both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs graduate students design research projects that examine case studies, theoretical issues or practices using a Communication framework, analyzing the political, economic and cultural implications for society at local and global levels.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulation 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Admission requires a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Communication or an equivalent degree. Qualified applicants will be accepted only if the School of Communication's Graduate Program Committee (GPC) can identify faculty members from the School who have the capacity and required expertise to be senior supervisors for the applicants in question.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work and the option to complete two extended essays, a project examined by two readers, a Project examined like a thesis or a thesis for a minimum of 30 units. No more than one course may be completed with the same instructor, except by permission of the graduate studies committee.

Students must complete

CMNS 801 - Design and Methodology in Communication Research (5)

A survey course which examines the problems, methods and theoretical assumptions in communication research using case studies of research design and methods. Students may design a research project and conduct a small pilot study in a selected area. Normally offered in the spring term and expected in the first year of graduate study.

and one of

CMNS 800 - Contemporary Approaches in Communication Studies (5)

This course surveys current interdisciplinary perspectives in communication studies and theory. It is normally offered in the fall term, and expected in the first year of graduate study.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Zoe Druick
Fr 10:30 AM – 2:20 PM
HCC 3122, Vancouver
CMNS 802 - History of Communication Theory (5)

A survey of classic works, issues and debates in communication theory.

CMNS 804 - Seminar in Advanced Communication Theory (5)

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Sarah Ganter
Mo 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
SSCK 8652, Burnaby

and one graduate course in CMNS

and one graduate 5 unit elective course

and one of two options


and one of

CMNS 893 - MA Project (6)

MA project examined by two readers. Prerequisite: CMNS 801 and one of CMNS 800, CMNS 802 or CMNS 804.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD
G300 TBD
CMNS 896 - MA Extended Essays (6)

MA Extended Essays. Prerequisite: CMNS 801 and one of CMNS 800, 802, or 804.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD
G300 TBD

and an additional graduate 5 unit elective course


and one of

CMNS 897 - MA Project (10)

MA Project.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD
G300 TBD
CMNS 898 - MA Thesis (10)

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD
G300 TBD

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requiremets in six terms.

Other Information

Advising and Supervision

Students are advised to read section 1.6 of the Graduate General Regulations and the School's guidelines for supervisory committees. Upon admission, students are assigned an interim advisor. Once the student's senior supervisor has been confirmed, in consultation with the supervisor, a minimum of one other faculty member is invited to join the student's supervisory committee by the beginning of the third term. Although the Graduate Program Committee aims to select interim advisors with expertise in the student's research area and the time and capacity to supervise, the student or interim advisor might decide another faculty member is better suited to be the senior supervisor.

Program Options

Each option is research-based. Students determine which option is suitable for their research in consultation with their senior supervisor and supervisory committee. The course work is normally completed before beginning the thesis, project, or two extended essays. The thesis option involves more extensive research and is normally between 80 to 100 pages, inclusive of the bibliographies and appendices.

The extended essays option requires completion of two essays of not more than 40 pages each, which may be on related fields, but which may not substantively duplicate papers presented in course work.

In the project option, a student may use an alternative format such as a video, soundscape production, or an on-line or community-based media project All projects also need to be documented in a written form, not to exceed 40 pages, which will be determined in consultation with the senior supervisor.

Co-operative Education

The Co-operative Education Program combines professional work experience with academic studies. After the first two terms of the program, students may alternate work and academic terms. All work positions are full-time paid jobs and can extend the amount of time it takes to complete the program. The Co-op position may lead to the student's MA project or extended essays in lieu of a master's thesis. The student should consult with their senior supervisor before pursuing this option. Application for the Co-op program is made through the school's Co-op Coordinator and the Co-operative Education Office.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.