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Master of Arts in Applied Social Research

Cleveland State University’s Master of Arts in Applied Social Research program provides advanced instruction in the essential empirical knowledge of social science, especially in the major applied social research skills, both qualitative and quantitative. The emphasis is on research skills needed for the workplace, including such topics as evaluation research, surveys, needs assessment, community impact, statistics, and data management. This training can be utilized in a variety of workplaces, including academic, business, government, and agency settings. Alternatively, the master's program can serve as preparation for doctoral studies. All core courses and seminars are held during late afternoon or evening hours, weekdays except Friday.

college of liberal arts and social sciences

College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
Department of Criminology, Anthropology & Sociology

Phone 216.687.4517


Admission Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Undergraduate Transcripts
  • GRE or GMAT scores
    • Students with an undergraduate GPA of 4.0 are exempt from this requirement
  • Two or more Letters of Reference
  • Career Statement
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA

*Admission to the program is based on a combination of a candidate’s undergraduate GPA, GRE/GMAT test scores, career aspirations, and letters of recommendation. 

-International students are required to have met at least one of the following English language proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based): 78 with at least 17 in each section
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based): 550
  • IELTS: 6.0 with at least 5.0 in each section
  • PTE (Pearson’s Test of English): 50
  • iTEP: 3.8

Admission Deadlines

All applications must be submitted and complete on the following application deadline dates:

  • Domestic Students
    • Rolling
  • International Students
    • Fall Semester – May 15th
    • Spring Semester – October 15th
    • Summer Semester – March 15th

Program Requirements

Core Courses (6 credits)

  • COM 501 - Pro Seminar In Communication
  • COM 512 - Communication Research Methods

Communication Theory (6 credits) 

Two of the following required:

  • COM 610 - Organizational Communication Theory
  • COM 620 - Relational Communication
  • COM 630 - Media Theory
  • COM 640 - Persuasive Communication

Research Methods (3 Credits)

One of the following required:

  • COM 631 - Multivariate Statistical Methods
  • COM 633 - Content Analysis Research Methods
  • COM 634 - Qualitative Research Methods

Electives (15-18 Credits, depending on exit option)

All other graduate-level communication courses are electives including additional theory and methods courses. Courses in other departments may be taken in lieu of these courses, with the graduate program director's approval. Specific elective needs and interests of students will determine how many electives are completed outside of the school.

  • COM 543 - Theory Building
  • COM 544 - Mediation and Collaborative Problem Solving
  • COM 548 - Managing Organizational Teams
  • COM 549 - Health Communication
  • COM 555 - Communication Campaigns
  • COM 564 - Media Metrics & Analytics
  • COM 595 - Special Topics in Communication Theory & Methodology
  • COM 641 - Political Communication
  • COM 642 - Communication and Technology
  • COM 645 - Strategic Messaging and Communication
  • COM 660 - Strategic Communication
  • COM 670 - International Negotiation Strategy and Practices
  • COM 695 - Seminar in Communication Theory and Methodology

Exit Options (3-6 Credits)

Students have four exit options: thesis, project, collaborative research, and comprehensive examination. For the thesis option, students take twelve credit hours of electives and six credits of thesis. For the collaborative research project, comprehensive examination, and research project, students take fifteen hours of electives and three hours of their chosen exit option.

  • COM 689 - Collaborative Research Project
  • COM 697 - Comprehensive Examination
  • COM 698 - Research Project
  • COM 699 - Thesis
Did You Know?

A degree in Applied Social Research gives students great flexibility in their future job searches.


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Career Outcomes

  • Graduates are working in business, non-profit, activist organizations, academic, business, social service, and government settings. 
  • Positions graduates commonly obtain include data analyst, market researcher, economic analysts, GIS analyst, GIS technician, public sector research, private sector research, evaluation and assessment specialist, policy researcher, public relations official, and human resource specialist. 
  • These are some of the local companies that are hiring CSU grads: Marcus Thomas, Case Western, State of Ohio Jobs, Newry Corp, ACCEL Schools, TRC Companies, CBRE, Spectrum, and Avery Dennison.