May 22, 2022  
2021-22 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2021-22 Graduate Bulletin

Mass Communication, MA


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The MA in mass communication is an online degree comprising 12 hours of required courses that include Media Research Methods (MCOM 5310), Media Theory (MCOM 5305), Media and Society (MCOM 5300), and Media Law and Ethics (MCOM 5315).

In addition, students will select from 24 hours of elective courses that are designed to enable the student to concentrate in advertising and public relations, journalism or broadcasting. The courses offered as electives include Media History (MCOM 5320), Media Sales (MCOM 5325), Management Problems in Media (MCOM 5330), Media and Politics (MCOM 5335), International Media (MCOM 5340), Seminar in Advertising (MCOM 5350), Seminar in Public Relations (MCOM 5355), Seminar in Journalism (MCOM 5360), Seminar in Broadcasting (MCOM 5365), Topics in Mass Communication (MCOM 5175), Independent Study in Mass Communication (MCOM 5185), Thesis Writing (MCOM 5190) and Media Project (MCOM 5395).

Students are required to complete 36 hours of total coursework and must choose from one of three options: 1) nonthesis, 2) thesis 3) or media project. Students may take six to nine hours of electives outside of the Department of Mass Communication  with the academic advisor’s approval.

 

Non-Thesis (Six Hours)


For students who want to advance as media professionals: Thirty-six (36) hours of coursework plus the successful completion of a comprehensive examination. In consultation with and approval of the graduate program coordinator, students may take six to nine hours of electives outside of the department. The comprehensive examination will be administered under the direction of a committee of at least three mass communication faculty members chosen in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. All students in the program are in the Non-thesis Option unless they declare their intentions to pursue the thesis or media project in writing to the graduate program coordinator prior to completing 18 hours in the degree. See the Thesis and Media Project requirements.

Thesis (Six Hours)


For students who wish to continue their graduate studies: Thirty (30) hours of coursework plus six (6) hours of thesis credit for a total of thirty-six (36) hours. The thesis will be designed and written under the direction of a graduate committee of at least three mass communication faculty members chosen in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. Under certain circumstances, a faculty member from another academic discipline may serve on the student’s graduate committee.

  • In consultation with the assigned academic advisor, the student will identify a suitable topic to explore from a theoretically and methodologically sound perspective.

To choose the Thesis Option, the student must make the formal declaration in writing to the graduate program coordinator prior to completing 18 hours in the degree. Before completing 18 hours in the degree, the student must enroll in an Independent Study in which significant progress toward the develoment of and partial completion of the proposed thesis is accomplished.

Media Project (Six Hours)


For students who want to advance as media professionals: Thirty (30) hours of coursework plus six (6) hours of media project credit for a total of thirty-six (36) hours. The media project will be written, designed and/or produced under the direction of a graduate committee of three mass communication faculty members chosen in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. Under certain circumstances, a faculty member from another academic discipline may serve on the student’s graduate committee.

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • a major digital media project
  • a management plan for a media organization
  • an advertising campaign for a national client, including research, target-market definition, branding, print, broadcast, new media, related material, and a narrative explaining sources, problems and theoretical basis
  • a public relations campaign for a national client, including branding, press releases, annual report, event management, related material, and a narrative explaining sources, problems and a theoretical basis
  • and investigative reporting for a print or online publication, including feature stories, news stories, editorials, columns, photos, and a narrative explaining sources, problems and a theoretical basis.

To choose the Media Project Option, the student must make the formal declaration in writing to the graduate program coordinator prior to completing 18 hours in the degree. Before completing 18 hours in the degree, the student must enroll in an Independent Study in which significant progress toward the developemnt of and partial completion of the proposed media project is accomplished.

Admission Requirements


  • Students must have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.5 for all undergraduate work or 2.8 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work completed. The GRE is not required.
  • Students must provide an essay to the program’s graduate coordinator via email indicating why they wish to pursue the degree and their future goals and expectations from the program.
  • Students who are seniors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, in the major, may start graduate level classes in the last semester of the undergraduate degree.

Admission to Candidacy


The M.A. in mass communication program will be individually designed to meet the specific objectives of each student. It will take into consideration the nature of previous undergraduate work and post-graduate work completed, as well as any professional and related occupational experience. The proposed graduate program must be approved by meeting with the graduate faculty after the student has completed 12 semester hours and before the student completes 18 semester hours before being considered a candidate for the M.A. in mass communication. The admission to candidacy period is when the student chooses the capstone project.

Degree Map


First Year


Students are required to successfully complete MCOM 5300, MCOM 5305, MCOM 5310, and MCOM 5315 in the first two non-summer semesters to remain in the program.

Fall


Any MCOM Elective Credit(s): 3


Spring


Any MCOM Elective Credit(s): 3

Second Year


Fall


Any MCOM Elective Credit(s): 3

Any MCOM Elective Credit(s): 3

Any MCOM Elective Credit(s): 3

Spring


Any MCOM Course Elective  Credit(s): 3

Any MCOM Course Elective  Credit(s): 3

Any MCOM Course Elective Credit(s): 3

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