Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) for the Master of Arts in Communication Program
CHED Memorandum Order No. 027-11

September 5, 2011


SUBJECT : Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) for the Master of Arts in Communication Program

In accordance with the pertinent provisions of ("Policies and Standards on Graduate Education"), CMO No. 9, s. 2003 ("Addendum to CMO No. 36, s. 1998 Policies and Standards on Graduate Education"), and by virtue of CEB Resolution No. 208-2011, dated August 22, 2011 and for the purpose of rationalizing the graduate degree programs in Communication in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country, this set of Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) is hereby adopted and promulgated by this Commission.



SECTION 1. Rationale and Background. The Master of Arts in Communication (MA in Communication) program provides students with higher order and advanced communication competencies needed in professional practice, teaching and communication studies. The curriculum is responsive to the demands of the changing communication media landscape and the broader socio-political and economic environment. The program prepares students to take a more active, strategic and critical role in shaping the direction of Philippine communication. Students are expected to exercise leadership in the communication profession; undertake research and evaluation in the discipline; and become effective instruments in articulating the needs and aspirations of the Filipino people.

The MA in Communication program is linked with related advanced communication programs in journalism, broadcasting, development communication, and allied programs such as multimedia (digital) arts/studies, public relations and advertising. This graduate program is enriched by various disciplines from the social sciences, humanities and the arts.


Authority to Operate

SECTION 2. All Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), both private and public (State Universities and Colleges SUCs and Local Colleges and Universities LCUs), intending to offer graduate degree programs in communication must secure proper authority from the Commission on Higher Education in accordance with existing rules and regulations.


Program Specifications

SECTION 3. Degree Name. The degree name shall be Master of Arts in Communication (MA in Communication).

SECTION 4. Program Description/Objectives. The MA in Communication program is an integrated, comprehensive approach to the study of communication. It aims to enhance creative and critical thinking; upgrade competencies in communication planning, management, education and training, and research and development; and promote adherence to ethical standards and responsibility. DacASC

SECTION 5. Specific Professions/Careers/Occupations that Graduates of this Program May Go Into. Individuals who earned a degree in MA Communication are expected to occupy middle to top management positions in communication-related occupations in any of the following settings: corporate communication, public information, public relations and advertising, mass media, communication education, and research and development. They are also expected to be equipped to pursue new and emerging career options as communication consultants, knowledge managers, multimedia content managers, or planners/designers of alternative learning systems.

SECTION 6. Allied Programs. Allied programs refer to academic programs that provide similar or related competencies and skills to MA Communication graduates. These programs can also trace some of their disciplinal or theoretical roots to communication.

MA Communication allied programs are Journalism, Broadcasting, Development Communication, Multimedia (Digital Media) Arts/Studies, Public Relations and Advertising.


Competency Standards

SECTION 7. Graduates of MA in Communication are expected to have attained a higher level of competency in as many of the following areas:

1. communication policymaking;

2. planning and management of communication programs and campaigns;

3. planning and designing communication learning systems;

4. conducting communication and media research (including monitoring and evaluating communication programs/projects and outputs); and

5. communication teaching and training (including curriculum planning and learning materials development).



SECTION 8. Curriculum Description. The MA in Communication curriculum reflects a holistic approach to the study of communication. It expands the students' understanding of the strategic use of communication in various contexts and settings, by allowing them to take courses in the various areas of communication.

It has a total of thirty-six (36) units, of which six (6) units are Basic Courses, twelve (12) units are Required Courses, six (6) units are Electives and six (6) units are Thesis or Special Project.

SECTION 9. Curriculum outline.

No. of Units Per Total
Courses Course Units
Basic Courses
Communication Research
Statistical Applications in Communication
Required Courses
Communication Theory
Communication Media Laws and Ethics
Communication and Management
Information and Communication Technology
Communication Policies and Planning
Political Economy of Communication
Educational Communication Systems Management
Public Information and Public Relations Campaigns
Communication in the Asian Context
Knowledge Management
The student may take any six units of courses from
any of the disciplines in the social sciences and the
humanities, including the following: sociology,
anthropology, psychology, political science,
economics, public administration, art studies, linguistics,
speech and drama, and other related disciplines.
Comprehensive Examination
A student must pass the comprehensive examination to
be given upon completion of all academic units/
requirements prior to thesis writing.
Thesis or Special Projects
Summary of Units
Basic Courses
Required Courses
Thesis or Special Projects
Total No. of Units

SECTION 10. Sample Program of Study.

Year 1
First Semester Second Semester
Course Unit Course Unit
Communication Theory 3 Communication Research 3
Statistical Applications in Communication 3 Communication and Management 3
Cognate (Social Science/Humanities) 3 Communication Media Laws and Ethics 3
Cognate (Social Science/Humanities) 3
Total 9 Total 12
=== ===
Year 2
First Semester Second Semester
Course Unit Course Unit
Information and Communication Technology 3 Thesis/Special Project 6
Elective 1 (Communication) 3
Elective 2 (Communication) 3
Comprehensive Examination *
Total 9 Total 6
=== ===

*Comprehensive examination is taken after completion of all academic requirements

Note: The institution is free to enhance and to follow different patterns and modalities based on the needs of its clientele.

SECTION 11. Teaching-Learning Approaches. The use of non-traditional teaching-learning approaches and tools to complement classroom lectures is encouraged. These approaches/tools include CD-ROMs, Internet (e-group, e-mail), chat groups, web applications (websites, blogs, webcast/podcast, message boards), and videoconferencing, among others.

SECTION 12. Thesis/Special Project Requirements. Upon completion of all academic requirements and prior to doing the thesis or special project, the student must pass a comprehensive examination. A student who fails to pass the comprehensive examination a second time will no longer be allowed to pursue the program.

The thesis proposal must have prior approval of the student's thesis adviser. The thesis will be defended before a panel consisting of at least three (3) faculty members of the College, including the adviser, reader and panel member(s).

A research-based special project may be any of the following. a) radio, TV, film, and multimedia production where the student-proponent plays a major role in the technical and creative aspect of the production; b) training or instructional modules on any aspect of communication; c) communication campaign plan; or d) any similar project that the proponent should present to a graduate committee for its approval.


Description and Specification of Courses

SECTION 13.For description and specification of courses, please refer to Annex A.


Other Requirements

SECTION 14. Program Administration. The MA in Communication program shall be administered by a full-time Dean and/or a Department Chair, Head, and/or Coordinator with appropriate qualifications specified below.

1. Qualifications. The Program Administrator of a college or school to which the graduate programs belong must have a Doctorate degree with at least three (3) years of teaching and administrative experience.

2. Functions/Responsibilities:

a.Provides over-all directions in the attainment of the objectives of the program.

b.Recommends the appointment of qualified faculty members.

c.Provides administrative support to the institution.

d.Sits in department meetings upon invitation.

e.Ensures that the syllabus of each course in the program is fully implemented within the term.

f.Reviews periodically the curriculum along with the department faculty.

g.Convenes regular and special faculty meetings.

h.Schedules classes and assigns faculty-teaching load.

i.Ensures that student grades are submitted on time by the faculty.

j.Supervises student evaluation of faculty.

k.Monitors progress of students.

1.Fulfills all other functions as may be explicitly required by the institution. DTaSIc

SECTION 15. Faculty.

1. Qualifications. A graduate of a Masters degree in any communication program or related field from a recognized HEI, with at least three (3) year teaching experience.

2. Percentage of Full-time Faculty. There shall be at least five (5) full-time faculty members who are at least master's degree holders and should have additional professional experience and/or training in the specialization or major area being offered. At least one (1) of the full-time faculty members should have a doctorate degree.

3. Teaching Load. Full-time Maximum load of 36 units, including teaching load in the undergraduate program in one (1) academic year. Part-time Maximum of 9 units in one (1) semester.

SECTION 16. Library. Every college/institution/department offering MA in Communication program shall have an adequately equipped library that will provide all the basic textbooks, as well as reference materials for research and other scholarly purposes, as well as resources for current trends.

1. Librarians. The following are the minimum staff requirements:

a.A college/institution/department library should have a full-time librarian who is a holder of Master in Library and Information Science degree with a valid license.

b.There should be one full-time librarian for the first 500 students enrolled, and for an enrollment of 1,000, two (2) full-time librarians shall be required.

c.Library assistant/s must be a holder/s of Bachelor of Library and Information Science degree.

2. Library Holdings. Library holdings should conform to CHED-existing requirements for libraries.

a.The library must provide at least five (5) book tides per course found in the curriculum. These titles must have been published within the last five (5) years.

b.The HEI is likewise required to subscribe to at least two peer-reviewed or refereed journals and periodicals in communication and allied programs that are published locally and/or internationally. The subscriptions may be for hard or electronic copies of the journal.

c.The library must have at least 100 audio-visual materials in the forms of tapes, films, records, CDs and DVDs. Fifty percent of the collections should have been published/produced within the last ten (10) years.

d.The library must provide internet access to faculty members and students for research and other academic activities.

e.The library must provide access to electronic library materials such as CD-ROMS.

SECTION 17. Facilities and Equipment.

1. Classroom Requirements. The class size in every course of a higher education institution shall be determined by the institution itself, taking into account the total capacity of its facilities, the level of instruction, the nature of the course, and such other factors that promote a conducive teaching-learning process.

2. Laboratory requirements. For courses that require the use of the computer, a 1:1 computer student ratio is required.

SECTION 18. Admission and Retention.

1. Admission. The applicant must be a holder of a baccalaureate degree, preferably in communication, mass communication, or a related program (especially social sciences), from a recognized HEI.

The applicant must have at least two (2) years of work experience, preferably in communication, media or its allied fields, except in extremely meritorious cases when a shorter period of work experience is warranted.

The applicant must have obtained a general weighted average (GWA) of at least 2.25 or its equivalent in his/her undergraduate studies.

As part of the evaluation procedures of the applicant, an essay and/or interview will be conducted, primarily to determine the preparedness of the applicant for graduate studies, as well as his/her research and career plans.

2. Retention. The student must have a GWA of at least 2.0 by the end of each school year.

SECTION 19. Prerequisites. Graduates of non-communication programs may be required to take additional graduate courses based on the recommendation of the graduate admission committee and/or program adviser:

1.Introduction to Communication

2.Introduction to Communication Theory

3.Introduction to Communication Research

4.Any graduate level foundation course in communication studies designed/developed by the department.

Note: The prerequisites are not part of the total no. of required units.


Transitory Provisions

SECTION 20.All HEIs, including SUCs and LUCs, with existing authority for graduate communication programs are hereby given a period of three (3) years from the effectivity thereof to fully comply with all the requirements in this CMO.



SECTION 21.For violation of this Order, the Commission may impose such administrative sanction as it may deem appropriate pursuant to the pertinent provisions of


Separability and Repealing Clause

SECTION 22.Any provision of this Order, which may thereafter be held invalid, shall not affect the remaining provisions.

All CHED issuances or part thereof inconsistent with the provision in this CMO shall be deemed modified or repealed.


Effectivity Clause

SECTION 23.This Order shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Quezon City, Philippines September 5, 2011.

For the commission:




MA Communication

Description and Specification of Courses

Ma Communication

Basic Courses
Course Name Communication Research
Course Description Development of research design; application of qualitative
and quantitative research methods; problems of
measurement; data collection, processing, analysis and
interpretation. Preparation of the research report form,
content, and style. Lessons on the use of computer software
in conducting and processing research data.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Overview of Communication Research
o Nature and functions of communication research
o The synergy of communication theory and research
o Development of communication research as a field
of study
The Ethics and Politics of Research
o Ethical issues involving research subjects
o Basic principles of ethical social research
o Factors that shape the politics of research
The Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to
Communication Research
o The quantitative approach
- the quantitative tradition of communication
- quantitative methods and tools
o The qualitative approach
- the qualitative tradition of communication
- qualitative methods and tools
The Communication Research Process
o Identification of topic, problem, and objectives
o Review of related literature
o Study framework
o Research design
o Data gathering
o Data synthesis and processing
o Use of SPSS and similar software
o Data interpretation and write up
o Data utilization
e-Research Methods, Strategies and Issues
o e-Research methods, i.e., online interviews, online
FGDs, e-surveys, content analysis of online
documents, etc.
o Quantitative data gathering and analysis on the net
o Ethics and related issues on e-Research
Net-based dissemination
Course Name Statistical Applications in Communication
Course Description Basic statistical principles useful in communication media
organizations are presented. Topics include statistical
sampling, probability theory, statistical estimation,
hypothesis testing, regression, and correlation analysis and
chi-square application. It relates statistics with
communication theory and development communication.
The use of computer for statistical analysis and computation
(e.g., SPSS) is introduced.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Review of Key Concepts in Data Processing
Basic Data Analysis and Presentation
Measures of Central Tendency and Variability
Measures of Association and Correlation
Inferential Statistics
o Types of variables
o Types of samples
o Procedure for hypothesis-testing
Nonparametric Tests
Parametric Tests
Selected Software Programs Used in Communication
o Powerpoint
o Excel
o Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS)
Integration: Statistics and the Research Design
Required Courses
Course Name Communication Theory
Course Description Theories and models of the communication discipline
examined in terms of established genres and traditions;
comparison of the eastern and western theories; impact of
ICT, globalization and other megatrends on theory building;
basic concepts in theory construction and model building;
and intertwining of theory and research.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Review of Communication as a Social Science Discipline
Overview of theory and models definitions, uses and
Seven traditions in the field of communication theory
o Socio-psychological
o Cybernetic
o Rhetorical
o Semiotic
o Socio-cultural
o Critical
o Phenomenological
Five genres of communication theory
o Structural & functional
o Cognitive & behavioral
o Interactional & conventional
o Interpretative
o Critical
Communication theories: Eastern perspective
Model building and theory formation
The relationship of theory and research
Application of communication theories in
communication campaigns, development
communication programs, etc.
Course Name Communication Media Laws and Ethics
Course Description Legal principles, laws and policies affecting mass media,
telecommunications and electronic media (including the
internet). In addition to laws on press freedom, libel,
obscenity and pornography, among others, the course will
also include intellectual property rights, public domain,
e-commerce. Regulations adopted by self-regulatory bodies
and professional organizations such as the KBP, PPI and
Adboard will also be discussed. Ethical principles in the
practice of communication media.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Access to Information of Public Concern
o Limitations to Right to Information
Doctrine of Prior Restraint
Libel and Defamation
Obscenity and Pornography
Media Coverage of Court Proceedings
o Sub Judice and Contempt
Special Laws Affecting the Mass Media
Intellectual Property Rights
o Copyright
o Plagiarism
o Public domain
o Fair Use
Media Industry Self-Regulatory Policies
Ethical Issues in Communication Media Practice
International Protocols on Communication Media
o UN, e.g., UN Declaration on Human Rights,
International Convention on Civil and Political
UNESCO Declarations
Course Name Communication and Management
Course Description Concepts and techniques of communication as applied in the
management of public and private organizations.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Introduction to Communication Management
o Basic Definitions
o Traditional, emerging managerial roles
o M's of management
Essential Concepts in Management
o Management Functions
o Management Roles
o Management Skills
Environmental Scanning
o Baseline Communication Research
o SWOT/SPEC analysis
o Inventory of Existing and potential resources
Strategic Communication Planning
o Situation Analysis
o Goal and Objective setting
o Strategy Formulation
o Activity Setting
o Resource Requirements
o Monitoring and Evaluation
Organizing and Staffing
o Organization and functional charts
o Recruitment and selection
o Performance and evaluation
o Team building
Directing and Controlling
o Leadership and delegation
o Management controls
o Training and motivation
o Discipline
o Rewards and incentive
Networking and Alliance Building
Organizational Communication
o Theories, principles, concepts
o Methods, tools and procedures
Conflict resolutions
Course Name Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Course Description Inventory of ICT resources; issues in planning the use of
ICT: ownership and control, digital divide, technology
transfer, regulation/deregulation, multimedia, convergence
and intellectual property rights; application of ICT in
various development areas; and impact of ICT on lifestyles
and work styles.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Overview of ICT
o Definition of ICT
o Classifying ICT
- Traditional media (mass media)
- Telecommunications
- Electronics/digital media
- Multimedia and convergence
Scanning the new media landscape
o Inventory of new and emerging ICTs
The Emergence of Knowledge Society
o From Information Society to Knowledge Society
o Factors which facilitated the emergence of KS
o Features of a Knowledge Society
Issues in ICT and their impact on individual and society
o Digital Divide (including access and participation)
o Technology transfer and appropriate technology
o Regulation, deregulation and self-regulation
o Public domain, open source and proprietary
o Globalization & multilingualism
o Cultural homogenization or cultural globalization
Application of ICT in Development
o Education, e.g., e-learning, online learning
o Health, e.g., e-health
o Governance, e-governance
o Agriculture
o Trade and industry, e.g., e-commerce
o Disaster management
o Others
Technology transfer and change management
o Change management concepts
Change communication strategies and tools
Course Name Communication Policies and Planning
Course Description Communication policymaking and planning frameworks,
processes and stakeholders; areas for policymaking and
planning; inventory of communication media policies and
plans; issues in communication policymaking and planning,
e.g., regulation vs. deregulation/self-regulation.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Communication Policies and Plans
o Definition of communication policies and plans
o Types of communication policies and plans
o Rationale/uses of communication policies and plans
o Areas for policymaking and planning
o Policymaking and Planning Frameworks
Policymaking and Planning Actors
o Government executive and legislative agencies
involved in communication policymaking and
o Role of business and industry, civil society
organizations, academe, etc. in policymaking and
planning process
Policymaking and Planning Process
o Phases of Policymaking Process
- Agenda setting
- Policy formulation
- Policy adoption
- Policy implementation
- Policy assessment
o Phases of Communication Planning
Review of international, national and sectoral
communication-related policies and plans
Review and critique of bills on communication, mass
media, ICT, etc.
Issues in Policymaking and Planning
o Role of Supranational organizations i.e., World Bank
and WTO
o Impact of globalization and ICT convergence
o Regulation vs. deregulation and self-regulation
Policy advocacy (including lobbying)
Course Name Political Economy of Communication
Course Description A critical analysis of global and national socio-cultural,
economic and political environments and how these affect
the communication media structures and processes through
policies, ownership structures, content, production and
delivery mechanisms, among others. Similarly, how the
communication media sector impacts on its broader
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Media and society linkages
Media environment: political, economic and cultural
o The traditional paradigms: political theories of the
mass media
o The media as businesses
o Media as culture
Media and social reality
o Audience theory and research traditions
o Popular culture
Media management and organization
Media globalization
o Changing media and information landscape
o Mass media and the second millennium
Special issues in mass media and society
Course Name Educational Communication Systems Management
Course Description Planning, design, and management of educational
communication systems (formal and non-formal education)
using traditional and new media; principles on the use of
technology in teaching-learning situations; alternative
learning systems including distance learning and online
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Review of basic concepts
o Educational communication
o General system theory
o Media organization as system
Designing an educational communication system
o Formulating the rationale: vision and mission
o Developing system objectives: logical framework
o Identifying audiences/users: stakeholder analysis
o Conceptualizing the organization structure: system
o Determining resources: human and non-human
o Planning for institutionalization: implementing
o Evaluating effectiveness and efficiency: system
Management needs of educational communication
o Definition of and approaches to management
o Functions of management
o Tools of management: management by objectives
(MBO); PERT-CPM; strategic planning; zero-base
o Leadership and administrative skills: managerial
o Communication and motivation: team building
Evaluation and monitoring: project evaluation,
problematique analysis, performance appraisal
Course Name Public Information and Public Relations Campaigns
Course Description An advanced course on the principles and practices in
planning, designing and managing public information and
public communication campaigns and programs.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Persuasion: The Foundation of Public Communication
o Ethical Framework of Persuasion
o Legal Framework of Persuasion
o Persuasion and the Various Publics
Public Information: Communication in Government
o The Relationship between Leadership and
o Communication and the Public Organization
o Public Consultation and Issue Management
Public Relations
o Worldviews: Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical
o Organizational Models
Social Responsibility and Ethics in Public Relations
Crisis Communication
o Various Types of Crises
o Crisis assessment
o Crisis Communication Strategies
o Crisis Communication Technologies
Image Building and Reputation Management
o Understanding Interest Groups
o Communicating Key Messages
o Developing a Tactical Plan
Developing a Research Framework for Public
o The Inductive Approach
o The Deductive Approach
Methodologies for Conducting Public Communication
Course Name Communication in the Asian Context
Course Description Study of the Asian communication environment with
emphasis on the unique geographical, socio-economic,
cultural and political factors affecting communication
process and institutions.
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Discussion on Asia; communication theories
Dominant paradigms of communication in Asia today
Development and political democracy
Aspects of traditional Asian culture are affected by
communication media
Clashes between "traditional" and "modern" Asia
Traditional values and attitudes that may prevent
Entertainment-education and Asian development
Course Name Knowledge Management
Course Description A course on the systematic and organized use of knowledge
within an organization to transform its ability to generate,
source, and use knowledge to improve organizational
performance. The course focuses on the knowledge
management principles and processes; applications and
Course Credits 3 units
Contact Hours/week 3 hours
Prerequisite None
Suggested Course Overview of Knowledge Management (KM)
KM, Intellectual Capital and Related Concepts
Rationale and Objectives of KM
Principles of KM
The Knowledge and KM Process
Approaches to Developing a KM Strategy
Knowledge Audit Framework, Methodology and Tools
Case studies of KM in different organizational settings
Thesis/Special Project
Course Name Thesis/Special Project
Course Description A course on the systematic and organized use of knowledge
within an organization to transform its ability to generate,
source, and use knowledge to improve organizational
performance. The course focuses on the knowledge
management principles and processes; applications and
Course Credits 6 units
Contact Hours/week By arrangement
Prerequisite Completion of course work
Suggested Course As relevant to the research topic