MA in Mass Communication

The MA in mass communication is a research-based, academic program designed to prepare students to conduct scholarly research in the field of mass communication. Every year, our graduate students present research at major conferences, have work published in leading journals and books, receive recognition from academic organizations, and work for major media organizations.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2024 Admissions Update: Applications for Fall 2024 Admissions are no longer being accepted for the Mass Communication M.A. and Ph.D. graduate programs. The program will begin to accept applications for Fall 2025 admissions in September 2024 and this page will reflect our program requirements for Fall 2025 admissions. Fall 2025 Admissions Deadline: Our program admissions deadline for the Mass Communication M.A. and Ph.D. graduate programs will be December 15, 2024. If you have additional questions about the application process, please email [email protected].



Program Curriculum 

While our curriculum's interdisciplinary nature allows you to develop unique research projects tailored to your individual interests, most students center their study within several broad areas, including:

  • Advertising
  • Communication law and regulation
  • Health communication
  • History of mass communication
  • International mass communication
  • Journalism studies
  • Mass media structures, processes, and effects
  • Political communication
  • Public relations

Your Career Path

Upon graduation, you are prepared to begin a career in communication policy or research, within communication industries, or as an educator at the community college level. You also have the option to fashion a sequence of courses to your MA degree to form the initial stages of doctoral study.

Degree Requirements

You must complete a minimum of 25 graduate credits, 10 thesis credits, and a thesis as outlined in the curriculum and courses for the program. All course work must be taken on an A-F grading basis.

MA Degree Requirements

1. Required Mass Communication Core (7 credits)

  • JOUR 8001: Studies and Theories of Mass Communication (3 cr)
  • One more theory course inside the HSJMC (e.g. JOUR 8514) (3 cr)
  • JOUR 8009: Pro-seminar in Mass Communication (1 cr)

2. Required Methodology Core (6 credits)

  • JOUR 8501: Research Methods in Mass Communication (3 cr)
  • One additional method course inside or outside of the HSJMC (3 cr)

3. An additional 12 credits of course work. Minimum 6 credits of these additional credits must come from HSJMC.
4. Minimum 6 credits of minor or supporting program courses are also required as part of the total required 25 course credits. This can be achieved by any combination of theory, method, and topic seminar courses taken outside the HSJMC.
5. Master's thesis credits (10 credits)
6. Approved thesis
7. Final oral examination


View curriculum & courses

Master’s Thesis Process

All MA candidates complete a master’s thesis at the end of the program. The thesis is a piece of independent and original scholarship that demonstrates your ability to conduct mass communication research. MA candidates work closely with their faculty advisors during the formative stages of writing their theses. A list of recent MA theses can be found here. Once students complete their thesis, they meet with their thesis committees for a final oral examination. 

Change of Status to the PhD Program

MA students who wish to pursue a PhD in mass communication can apply for change of status during your second year of study in the MA program. Applications for change of status are due December 15 and are reviewed by the graduate faculty during the PhD admissions process. The admissions process for the PhD degree is competitive, and PhD admission is not guaranteed. MA coursework ordinarily counts toward completion of the PhD program will. Change-of-status students must complete their MA thesis by the end of their first semester in the PhD program.

Learn more about the PhD in Mass Communication.


Transferring Credits

With the approval of their advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), students may bring a limited number of credits with them from other graduate programs.

Learn more about transferring credits

Interested in earning your MA in Mass Communication?

How to Apply