Graduate Curriculum and Courses

Graduate courses at the Hubbard School focus on mass communication theory and research. Our courses refine your intellectual skills and prepare you to conduct research, teach mass communication, and/or advance your professional communication career through theoretical study of the field in which you work.

HSJMC’s graduate curriculum is interdisciplinary, allowing you to hone your interests. Many of our students combine their mass communication courses with courses in other fields, such as political science, public health, psychology, sociology, and more.

Fall 2022 Mass Communication Graduate Course Offerings 

JOUR 8502: Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

Dr. Claire Segijn, Tuesday's, 2:30-5

Advanced quantitative research methods applied to mass communication research, with a focus on experimental and eye-tracking research.


Dr. Emily Vraga, Wednesday's, 2:30-5

Mediated political communication in the digital age. How news, advertising, entertainment, and user-generated media shape political perceptions, motivate voters, and influence policy. Agenda-setting, framing, emotions, micro-targeting, social movements, social media platforms, and mobile technology.


Academic MA and PhD Courses

JOUR 8001: Studies in Mass Communication I
Introduction to key concepts, theories and methods in the study of mass communication from a social science perspective; survey of research literature utilizing individualistic and structural approaches to mass communication.

JOUR 8002: Studies in Mass Communication II
Literature on the history of the field, cultural and humanistic approaches to its study and legal and ethical issues

JOUR 8003: Digital Media Issues and Theories
Prepares entering graduate students to work in the changing media environment, emphasizing its political, social, economic, legal, ethical and technological implications nationally and globally; students produce scholarly research about changing media.

JOUR 8009: Pro-seminar in Mass Communication
Introduction and socialization into the scholarly discipline of mass communication, mass communication pedagogy, and the pathways to a successful career; developing an action plan for completing graduate school and starting a career in the academy or relevant communication industries; scholarly skills, ethical norms, awareness of funding possibilities, the art of teaching, and academic service.

JOUR 8500: Advanced Methods Special Topics
Advanced topics in mass communication research methods; addresses the theoretical, conceptual, and analytical perspectives associated with advanced methodological approaches to mass communication scholarship, which may include qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic, humanistic, historical, legal, and/or social network approaches; emphasis on application of course materials to developing, analyzing, and describing data as appropriate for mass communication scholarship.  

JOUR 8501: Research Methods in Mass Communication
Epistemological issues and overview of qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches in mass communication research, basic principles and logic of scientific research, relationship between theory and research, concept explication, measurement, instrumentation, and design issues.

JOUR 8502: Advanced Quantitative Methods in Mass Communication Research
Advanced quantitative research principles/techniques applied to mass communication research, including experimental methods, survey methods, among others. 

JOUR 8503: Advanced Qualitative Methods in Mass Communication ResearchThis class examines advanced qualitative research principles/techniques applied to mass communication research, including ethnography, interviews, focus groups, case study, qualitative content analysis, historical research. Students will learn how to develop interesting (and answerable) research questions and various ways to interpret, analyze and report on the data they have gathered. The course is designed for students who want to gain a deeper understanding of qualitative methods.

JOUR 8504: Seminar: Analyzing Media Content
Methods of analyzing media content and the application of those methods to theoretically-driven studies of media content. The course also explores conceptual and methodological issues surrounding analyzing media content in today's contemporary digital media environment, including collecting social media data and computer-aided analyses.

JOUR 8513: Seminar: Ethnographic Methods in Mass Communication Research
Theoretical foundations in anthropology/sociology. Field projects.

JOUR 8514: Seminar: Mass Communication Theory
The process of theory development as it relates to mass communication inquiry.

JOUR 8601: Seminar: Methods in Mass Communication History Research
Critical analysis of research in journalism/communication history. Research designs/methods. Development of a research project.

JOUR 8602: Seminar: History of Mass Communication
Research in history/development of U.S. mass media.

JOUR 8603: Seminar: Theories and Models in Mass Communication History Research
Literature on theory in historical research. Uses of theoretical models in historical explanations. Role of theory in historical research, debate about uses. Specific works in journalism/communication history in context of theoretical models. Development of major paper examining models/theories relevant to student’s project.

JOUR 8611: Journalism Studies Theory and Research
This graduate seminar provides an overview of journalism studies scholarship. As a survey of journalism research, students will be introduced to both classic and cutting-edge journalism research. The course explores multiple epistemic, methodological, and geographic perspectives that approach journalism as a practice, a cultural form, and an institution embedded in political and civic life. 

JOUR 8620: Seminar: Advertising Theory and Research
Advertising as persuasive communication. Current research/theory related to advertising and the consumer decision-making process.

JOUR 8621: Seminar: Public Relations Theory and Research
Study of the theoretical body of knowledge in the public relations field; diverse roles played by public relations in an organization; the current state of public relations research in regard to theory building; how theory informs the professional practice of public relations.

JOUR 8650: Psychology of Media Effects
In-depth study of psychological concepts and theories concerning individual cognitive processing of the content of both traditional and new electronic media. Students will learn how to critically evaluate the latest empirical research concerning how individuals respond to the content of both traditional mass media and the newest electronic digital media.

JOUR 8651: Seminar: Mass Communication, Audiences and Society

JOUR 8661: Seminar: Mediated Political Communication in the Digital Age
This seminar is a graduate- level overview of mediated political communication in the digital age. Specifically, it considers how news, advertising and entertainment media shape political perceptions, motivate voters and influence policy decisions. It introduces doctoral students to a wide range of theories and approaches, from such classic communication concepts as agenda- setting, priming, and framing, to the emerging debates concerning the impact of networked communications, micro-targeting and mobile technology.

JOUR 8673: Seminar: Media Management
Management issues in media organizations. Relation to dynamics of organization structure, employees, markets, and economics/ finances.

JOUR 8675: Seminar: Issues in Information Access and Communication
Societal, industrial, technological, and policy aspects/developments that affect information access, particularly through mass media.

JOUR 8678: Seminar: Constitutional Law – Theories of Freedom of Expression
Problems of constitutional/tort law affecting the press. Underlying theories.

JOUR 8679: Seminar: Research Methods in Media Ethics and Law
Research at the intersection of First Amendment and media ethics.

JOUR 8681: Seminar: Media and Globalization
Main problems/currents. Concepts, research, and policy relevant to global development. Issues of freedom/constraint, media technology, and the role of journalism in world affairs.

JOUR 8720: Health Communication Theory and Research
Theories, methods, and research that characterize the field of health communication; mass media influence on health, including the use of mass media to promote health behaviors; theoretical frameworks that inform health communication scholarship, as well as methodological approaches to studying health communication issues. 

JOUR 8721: Seminar: Communication Agencies as Social Institutions
Influences/effects of mass communication, internal dynamics of media organizations, and criticism/modes of reform. Theoretical frameworks for analysis. 

JOUR 8801: Seminar: Comparative Research in Mass Communication, a Cross-National Approach
Comparative research designs/strategies. Analysis of production, presentation, transmission, and consumption of mass media products/services (particularly news, entertainment, and information) across national borders. Theoretical concerns, empirical problems, and policy. Ethical issues involving research on form/content of mass communication within/between countries. 

JOUR 8990: Special Problems in Mass Communication
Topics specified in Class Schedule.

5xxx-level Courses

JOUR 5501: Communication and Public Opinion
Theories of communication, persuasion, and attitude change. Functions of interpersonal/mediated communication in diffusion of information and in opinion formation.

JOUR 5541: Mass Communication and Public Health
Intersection of mass media, public health, and behavior. Role of theory in understanding intended and unintended campaign effects, the state of health journalism, and decisions that inform media-based interventions.

JOUR 5552: Law of Internet Communications
Whether/how/which traditional media laws/regulations apply to the Internet. Developing law of communication on Internet and global/ethical issues.

JOUR 5601W: History of Journalism
Development of American media, from beginnings in Europe to present day. Rise of film/radio/television/Internet. Relation of communications development to political, economic and social trends.

JOUR 5606W: Literary Aspects of Journalism
Literary aspects of journalism as exemplified in and influenced by works of American/British writers, past/present. Lectures, discussions, weekly papers, and critiques.

JOUR 5615: History of the Documentary
Social history of photography, film and video. Informational, documentary, propaganda, and entertainment functions of visual communication. Rise/influence of visual media industries and of public image making.

JOUR 5725: Management of Media Organizations
Introduction to concepts/principles of media management. Strategic planning, leadership, organizational strategies, and ethical/legal issues. Working in teams. Balance sheets, income statements. Motivating/promoting people.

JOUR 5777: Contemporary Problems in Freedom of Speech and Press
Legal/constitutional derivation of freedom of press/speech. Emphasizes case law, statutes, and judicial theories. Leading cases in privacy torts, prior restraints, and news gathering/dissemination. Access to courts/government, including via the Internet. Legal-research techniques.

JOUR 5991: Special Topics in Mass Communication: Context
Topics specified in Class Schedule.