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Graduate Catalog 2015-16


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Contact: Graduate Program Director

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Application Deadlines:
For domestic classified status, the deadline is approximately a month before the start of classes (Definite dates are on the application itself). International students, please see the FAQs #16 for your deadline.


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 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 a student's career goals, and well as a close working relationship with the 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 Qualitative Research Methods of Mass Communication

- Design, Production and Application of Media Messages

These core foci of our curriculum are pivotal for 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 it application;

  • The development of independent and original research;

  • The analysis of issues relevant to investigation.

The Mass Communications' graduate program is able to mentor students who wish to specialize in:

  • Media cultural studies

  • Media campaigns

  • Media management

  • Media law & ethics

  • History of mass media

  • Documentary media

  • International media

  • New Media and Technology

For more detailed information about the program or to obtain application materials, see our website at:


In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, students applying to the graduate program in Mass Communications must have the following: Undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), three letters of recommendation, Department of Mass Communications application, and a statement of purpose.

Students with undergraduate majors in fields other than mass communications will be considered for admission, provided that their statement of purpose, as contained in the Mass Communications Department Graduate Program Application, shows the relationship between the undergraduate major and MS program in mass communications. Students lacking sufficient undergraduate preparation (as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies), will be required to take up to three prerequisite courses (nine hours) that will not count toward the graduate degree. With permission from the Director of Graduate Studies, these courses may be taken concurrently with those toward the M.S. degree.

Following admission, each student should make an appointment with the graduate program director for an initial advisement appointment.


Thirty semester hours of graduate credit are required for the degree. No credit will be accepted for a C or lower in the Mass Communications Graduate Degree; students may retake courses one time to improve a grade.

Required courses (9 hours): MC 500, 501, 502.

Electives (15 hours): selected in consultation with the student's graduate adviser. No more than six hours may be taken outside the Department of Mass Communications.

Thesis or Project (6 hours): MC 599 (Thesis) or MC 598 (Final Project).


After the thesis or project is submitted and evaluated by the student's advisory committee, the student must successfully complete an oral examination conducted by the committee. The oral examination will focus primarily on the defense of the thesis or project but may also cover the student's program of study.



The 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.


Core Courses (9 hours):

MC 500 Mass Communication Theory

MC 503 Media Critical Theory

MC 504 Special Topics in Mass Communication

Elective Courses (9 hours)

All other Mass Communications courses.

No more than three semester hours can be taken in independent readings, directed research, or other similar courses. No waiver of courses and/or completion requirements is permissible. See Mass Communications website for details and application materials at

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