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ACADEMICS: Graduate Program


Graduates

SIUE offers a Master of Science degree in Mass Communications, designed for those who wish to concentrate in media studies or professional media practice.

The Graduate Student Handbook

The Gradute Student Handbook has been designed to assist our masters candidates and prospective students with any questions they might have and to provide a comprehensive overview of the program while providing information on a range of topics. Below is a list of the information you can find in the graduate handbook:

Program Overview

The Department of Mass Communications offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Science degree in mass communications. Our MS is designed for students who wish to concentrate in Professional Media Practice (media message design, and media policy and management) or Media Studies (media and politics, media influence, media ethics, media literacy, transnational media, and media and representation). These concentration areas reflect the expertise of the department's graduate faculty, and thus enable students to attain high levels of competence in pragmatic considerations in media, theoretical sophistication and research design. Recent graduates from the program have applied their degree professionally in television journalism, advertising, public relations, sports marketing, and public policy, as well as gone on to pursue law and doctoral degrees.

The MS program is comprised of 30 credit hours (9 hours of core coursework, 15 elective hours, and 6 hours of thesis or professional project).

The Mass Communications' MS program maintains an enrollment of about 30 students. This size assures small class sizes (normally about 8-15), personalized program advising from the Graduate Program Director based on your career goals, and well as a close working relationship with your graduate thesis/final project committee.

Students typically begin courses in August at the beginning of the fall semester and can finish their program as early as the following fall. However, admission to the program is open all year and applications are assessed for acceptance as they arrive. To assure that students will be able to apply the degree to their professional and intellectual goals, the program stresses a foundation in:

  • Mass Communication Theory
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods of Mass Communication
  • Design, Production and Application of Media Messages

These core foci of our curriculum are pivotal for both what practitioners in the field might need as well as what doctoral program selection committees look for when evaluating students for their programs. In short, these three core areas of curriculum concentration combine to foster:

  • Critically thinking
  • The ability to communicate clearly, both written and oral;
  • Understanding the relations between theory and research, and its application;
  • The development of independent and original research;
  • The analysis of issues relevant to investigation.

Application/Admission Process

To apply to the MS in Mass Communications, please submit all of the following to:

Graduate Admissions
Box 1047
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1047

  1. A completed Graduate Admission Application form and fees
  2. Official transcripts
  3. A completed Mass Communications Graduate Program Application
  4. Statement of Purpose
  5. Three letters of Recommendation
  6. Assistantship Application (optional-only for those seeking an Assistantship).

For more information, visit Graduate Admissions website: http://www.siue.edu/graduatestudents/apply/admission-information.shtml

To submit an online application, visit: https://www.siue.edu/apply/index.shtml

Applicants are notified by the Graduate School of their acceptance to the program. Following admission, each student should make an appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies for an initial advisement appointment. Please consult the material in the Advisement Information section of this handbook prior to meeting with the director.

Download PDF Applications - Adobe Acrobat Reader Required To Open.
PDFMasters in Mass Communications Application
PDFGraduate Assistantship Application

Thesis Information

Thesis or Project?

To complete the Master's degree, each student must develop and complete a thesis or project. Which option the student chooses is contingent upon their future goals, and is elaborated in conjunction with a graduate committee of three professors (four is optional). At least two of those committee members should be from the Department of Mass Communications, and the Committee Chair must be a Mass Communications graduate faculty member.

Thesis

A thesis involves identifying a problem, issue or trend within the field and investigating it by drawing on relevant theory and applying appropriate research procedures. This option is usually selected for those students wishing to extend their graduate studies (e.g. doctoral program) or that wish to pursue a research problem in depth.

Project

A project can be developed that blends theory, research methods, and a professional skill to an applied problem. For example, this might involve developing an information campaign for a hospital, an audio or video documentary about a media related issue, or a media literacy curriculum for a secondary school. Six hours credit may be earned for the Thesis under MC599 or Professional Project under MC 598. Before beginning work, each student should be familiar with Guidelines for the Preparation of Thesis or Project, issued by the Graduate School.

Preparation For Thesis

The preparation of a thesis proposal involves the following steps:

Step 1: Before beginning a proposal, students should discuss their topic area with the chairperson of their graduate committee in order to determine if the topic is appropriate, and to get helpful research advice.

Step 2: Students should prepare a complete proposal and set up a proposal meeting with their committee. Thesis proposals normally include Sections I, II, and III of "A Brief Guide for the Preparation of A Research Study" (See Table of Contents). The chairperson of the graduate committee will then schedule a committee meeting to approve or disapprove the proposal. Students must register thesis and project titles with the Graduate School as soon as the proposal is approved. Please note that the Graduate School requires that a title be registered two semesters prior to a student’s anticipated graduation.

Step 3: Once the proposal has been accepted by the committee, students may complete their Thesis with the help and advice of their graduate advisors. NOTE: Each Thesis must relate to the theories of mass communication taught in MC500 and use, as appropriate, the research methods taught in MC501.

Preparation For Professional Project

Six hours of credit may be earned for the project under MC598.

The preparation of a project involves the following steps:

Step 1: Before beginning a thesis proposal, students should discuss their topic area with the chairperson of their graduate committee in order to determine if the topic is appropriate, and to get helpful research advice.

Step 2: A student should prepare a project proposal that includes: (1) An overview of the project; (2) A summary of relevant theory and research; (3) Overview of methodology to be used, and (4) A statement of the signifi- cance of the project.

Step 3: Once the proposal is accepted, a student may complete his/her project with the help and advice of the graduate committee.

Certificate Program in Media Literacy

The Media Literacy Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is designed for teachers of secondary education who wish to address questions of media impact in their curriculum. The certificate provides these teachers with a foundation of theoretical, analytical and applied approaches to current trends in mass media. Issues such as the emergence of new technologies; growth of multinational media conglomeration and their impact on politics; questions of race, class, gender and representation; and the effects of media violence are focused on. In addition, certificate program students can also learn and/or sharpen media production skills through elective courses. This certificate should be particularly useful for teachers of high school courses such as , social studies, contemporary concerns, political science, English, media studies, etc.

Required Courses (9 hrs):
• MC 500 Media Interrelationships
• MC 503 Media Critical Theory
• MC 504 Social Responsibility in the Media

How To Apply

Thank you for your interest in our Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Media Literacy at Southern Illinois University. We are very excited about offering the first and only one in the area! The mission of our program is to prepare educators with ways to integrate media-related issues into the classroom. Our curriculum is designed to foster analytical thinking and a sensitive understanding of the interrelationships between technological, economic, cultural, ethical and political issues of media and society. The program allows certificate students to take a wide variety of media theory and skill-based courses. The program's structure is designed with one basic premise: by teaching people how to critically analyze and learn to create their own messages (in print, audio, video and multimedia), educators can foster sophisticated and active citizens rather than merely more consumers for our media saturated society. To make this experience accessible for educators and other working professionals, we offer many night courses. We also offer many courses during the summer.

Graduate Faculty

Dr. Gary Hicks - Professor
Dr. Elza Ibroscheva - Department Chair, Professor
Dr. Musonda Kapatamoyo - Associate Professor
Dr. Suman Mishra - Graduate Director, Associate Professor
Dr. Jason Yu - Associate Professor
Dr. Undrah Baasanjav - Assistant Professor
Dr. Mark Poepsel - Assistant Professor
Dr. Shi Li - Assistant Professor

PDFDownload the Graduate Student Handbook

Frequently Asked Questions

This link (http://www.siue.edu/graduatestudents/faqs.shtml ) has answers to many of the frequently asked questions we get.