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

Our deadline has passed for Fall 2022 admissions. Our next application period will be for Fall 2023 admissions and the application will be open in September 2022. The next application deadline for Fall 2023 will be December 15, 2022. 



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

  1. MA candidates work closely with their faculty advisors during the formative stages of writing their theses. Instructions for preparation of the thesis (e.g. margins) are available from the Graduate School. 
  2. Once your faculty advisor approves your thesis as ready for review, students can download their graduation packet, and they will be able to access their Reviewers Report form in the packet to complete online electronically. Committee members should have at least two weeks to review your thesis before your final examination. Students and committee members must complete the Reviewers Report Form prior to their final exam.  
  3. Students then can complete the Final Exam form prior to their exam in the graduation packet, and the chair of the committee will complete the final exam form online after the exam is completed. 

Final Oral Examinations

A final comprehensive oral examination is required of all MA candidates and may be taken during your final semester of coursework (if your thesis has been completed by that point). MA oral examinations focus on the Plan A thesis in addition to your coursework. You and all members of the committee are expected to meet face-to-face for the examination in every circumstance possible. When a faculty member of the graduate committee cannot be present for an examination, special arrangements must be made well in advance with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Complete information about the MA thesis and the final oral examination can be found in the Hubbard School Graduate Studies Customs and Rules book you receive at orientation, which is also posted on the intranet.

Change of Status

If you are interested in research or teaching at the University level and wish to pursue a PhD in mass communication, you can apply for a change of status during your second year of study in the MA program. If the Hubbard School graduate faculty and the Graduate School approve the change of status application, you continue into the mass communication PhD program once the MA degree is completed. Applications for a change of status are due January 15 and are acted on during the spring semester, when all applications for admission to the graduate program are reviewed. The admissions process for the PhD degree is highly competitive, and only students who have excelled during the first year of their MA program should consider applying for a change of status.

If your MA degree program has been planned well, the coursework for that degree will ordinarily apply in full toward completion of the doctoral degree, allowing you to make steady progress toward achievement of your graduate education goals. If you are a change-of-status student, you must have your MA thesis completed by the end of your first semester in the PhD program.

Learn more about the PhD in Mass Communication.


Transferring Credits

With the approval of your 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