M.A. in Communication Studies

The Master's program requires a three-semester residence at McGill University, the successful completion of a total of 7 courses (21 credits, including the Pro-Seminar course), and a thesis (equivalent to 24 credits). "Residence" means that the student is enrolled on a full-time basis during this period (the semester is not connected with housing or accommodations). There is no language requirement for MA students.

This designated period of residence represents the minimum time requirements in order to obtain the degree. There is no guarantee that the work for the degree can be completed in this time. Students may register for additional semesters to complete the program, and most students take 4 semesters (see Time Limitations).

The time limit to complete a Master's degree is 3 years (full-time) and 5 years (part-time).

The Pro-Seminar (COMS 616) and five other courses must be taken during the first year. The seventh and remaining course may be taken the first year or during the fall semester of the second year. Courses must be at the 500 level or above and will normally be chosen from those offered by the program or by affiliated professors. Two courses may be taken outside of the program or as directed readings; they must be approved by your advisor and the Graduate Program Director. Students are encouraged to consider taking one of their courses in the graduate programs in Communications at other universities in Montreal.

MA students who have selected the Graduate Option in Gender and Women's Studies are required to take 6 credits (within the total credits that are required for the MA degree). WMST 601 (3 cr.) is a required course; the complementary course can be either WMST 602 or another 3 credit course related to gender and women's studies. All course selection must first be approved by the supervisor and Graduate Program Director.

MA Thesis Submission

Please use the myThesis portal for the initial submission, examination, and final submission of your thesis. You may access myThesis through the GPS website.

GPS provides detailed instructions, including tutorial videos and next steps.

In terms of the timeline, in order to graduate in June, your “final submission” must be no later than April 15, which means that your “initial submission,” ideally, should be at the end of the fall term or early in the winter term. Alternatively, if you work on your thesis through the winter term and only make an initial submission to GPS after the April 15th date, your graduation will be set for October (and you will incur extra fees).

If you are using images in your thesis, keep in mind issues of copyright. Useful guidelines can be found here:

Typical MA Timeline

Year in Program Milestones Details
Year 1 Complete the Pro-Seminar and 5 complementary seminars.


  • Meet with your supervisor to discuss your courses and timeline
  • Register for COMS 616 Advanced Pro-Seminar (3 credits)
  • Register for COMS 692 M.A. Thesis Preparation 1 (6 credits)
  • Register for 2 complementary seminars (6 credits)


  • Register for COMS 693 M.A. Thesis Preparation 2 (6 credits)
  • Register for 3 complementary seminars (9 credits)
  • Begin working on a thesis research proposal


  • Finalize the proposal, do in-depth research, begin writing a first draft of your thesis
Year 2 Complete all coursework and submit thesis.


  • Register for M.A.Thesis Prep 3 (COMS 694 - 6 credits) and M.A. Thesis Prep 4 (COMS 695 - 6 credits) (total 12 credits)
  • Register for the final seminar in the fall (3 credits)*
  • Work on thesis, which can be submitted to GPS between December 15 and April 15 for a June graduation. Note the April 15th deadline is for the “final submission,” meaning that it has already passed examination


  • Complete thesis, with the “final submission” to GPS before April 15 for a June graduation

* Please note that MA2 students may register for courses in their final term. However, they must make an arrangement with the professor teaching the course to hand in their final coursework two weeks prior to the April 15th final thesis submission deadline.  

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