Skip to main content
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Apply now! Earn your bachelor's degree at El Centro. More information »


The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Communication, Media and Theatre provides an in-depth study of the principles and practices of communication, media, and theatre. The program is designed for students interested in advanced corporate positions, those preparing for positions in higher education or further graduate study, and teachers at the elementary or secondary level. The CMT Graduate Program only admits students for the fall semester; we do not admit in the spring semester. For more information about the CMT Graduate Program contact Dr. Shayne Pepper, Acting Director of Graduate Studies ( or the CMT main office by email ( or phone (773-442-5950).

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

Before entering the CMT Graduate Program specifically, you must meet the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. If you meet these requirements, the College of Graduate Studies and Research will then forward your application to the CMT Graduate Committee. Currently, the following requirements are specific to the College of Graduate Studies and Research:

  • Application Form (available on the College of Graduate Studies and Research website)
  • Statement of Goals and Objectives. Make sure you describe your reasons for pursing graduate study and also why you find the CMT Graduate Program of interest.
  • Application Fee. A $30 application fee is required.
  • Transcripts. The applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. As an applicant, you are responsible to request from each college or university of previous or current attendance (other than Northeastern Illinois University) to send you an official transcript, together with a key to grading.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation. These letters must substantially address your ability to excel in graduate school and, specifically, in CMT. (If you graduated from NEIU, one letter must be from a CMT tenure-track faculty member.) If necessary, the CMT Director of Graduate Studies reserves the right to request one additional letter of recommendation. Such a request will be made after all of your materials have been received and evaluated by the department.

The Department of Communication, Media and Theatre also has three additional requirements:

  • A sample of written work must be included in your application file (e.g., a research paper, honors thesis, a substantial report for an organization, or a creative essay). Submit the writing sample with your application to the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
  • Applicants must have completed 15 undergraduate credit hours (with a minimum of 9 upper division credit hours) in Communication, Media, OR Theatre coursework (or a closely related discipline). Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average for these courses. Upper division courses are defined as 300 or 400-level, junior/senior courses.
  • A phone or face-to-face interview with the Director of Graduate Studies will occur after the CMT department receives and reviews your competed application.
  • Admission to the program will be deferred until all requirements are satisfied. Students at large will only be authorized to enroll in graduate-level courses with approval of the CMT Director of Graduate Studies. Final admission decisions rest solely with the CMT Graduate Committee.

Degree Requirements 

Students are admitted each fall semester. All students are required to enroll in CMTC 401: Introduction to Graduate Study and CMTC 402: Seminar in Research Methods during the fall semester and CMTC 404: Communication Theory in the subsequent spring semester.

Required Courses (15 credits)

  • CMTC 401: Introduction to Graduate Study
  • CMTC 402: Seminar in Research Methods
  • CMTC 404: Communication Theory
  • CMTM 465: Mass Communication Theory
  • CMTT 430: Dramatic Theory

Five Elective Courses (15 credits) chosen from the following:

  • Communication:

    • CMTC 400: Special Topics in Communication (rotating topics course)
    • CMTC 414: Seminar in Organizational Communication
    • CMTC 416: Seminar in Interpersonal Communication
    • CMTC 434: Independent Study in Communication
  • Media:
    • CMTM 410: Independent Study in Media
    • CMTM 466: Media and Cultural Studies
    • CMTM 467: Special Topics in Film and Television (rotating topics course)
    • CMTM 478: Seminar in New Media
  • Theatre:
    • CMTT 423: Independent Study in Theatre
    • CMTT 431: Comparative Performing Arts
    • CMTT 446: Theatre Management
    • CMTT 473: Special Topics in Theatre (rotating topics course)
  • Education:
    • CMTE 490: Instructional Communication
    • CMTE 492: Teaching College Speech

Students also have the option to take up to two graduate (400-level) courses in other departments. If you want to pursue the program on a full-time basis (9 credits per semester), please be aware that courses are offered on a rotational basis. Be prepared to adjust your schedule to accommodate the rotation of courses.



In addition to coursework, students must either pass Comprehensive Exams or complete a Thesis. In either case, the student will work with the Director of Graduate Studies to form an Exam or Thesis Committee made up of three graduate faculty members. Students should note that thesis proposals must be approved by a primary advisor before forming a thesis committee and writing a thesis counts for 6 elective credit hours toward graduation.

Program Contact Information 

 For more information about the CMT Graduate Program contact Dr. Shayne Pepper, Acting Director of Graduate Studies ( or the CMT main office by email ( or phone (773-442-5950).

Communication, Media and Theatre

Back to Top