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2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
    
 
  Sep 15, 2019
 
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Journalism and Mass Communications, M.A.


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The M.A. is a traditional academic program involving a minimum of 24 semester hours of course work plus a 6-hour thesis, for a minimum of 30 graduate hours. The thesis, an extensive and well-documented research paper, is designed to demonstrate that the student is capable of independent research on a meaningful topic under the supervision of a faculty committee. A minimum of 21 hours must be earned in graduate-level journalism and mass communications courses, including the basic M.A. core listed below. With the approval of the faculty advisor, the M.A. student may take 9 semester hours of course work outside the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The M.A. degree is especially appropriate for those students with extensive professional experience in journalism and mass communications who are interested in teaching and/or research careers in mass communication and those who may want to pursue a doctorate.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate a familiarity with research designs, data collection methods and sampling techniques and should be able to organize and conduct basic market research and audience measurement studies. The students also should become familiar with and understand current journalism and mass communications research studies in scholarly journals. 
  • Students will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of mass communications theory. Students will become familiar with contemporary scholarship involving major mass communications theories. 
  • Students will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of mass media law. Students will demonstrate a familiarity with current trends in and interpretations of mass media law, including such areas as libel, privacy, access to public information, regulation of commercial speech, copyright and related matters, as well as an understanding of the philosophical considerations involved in free speech issues. 
  • Students will demonstrate effective writing and critical thinking skills and the application of those skills in journalism and mass communications scholarship. 
  • Students will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of mass communications history and will demonstrate an understanding of the mass media as social institutions. Students should be able to relate mass communications processes and effects to politics, culture and society in general.   

Degree Requirements (30 Hours)

To earn the M.A. degree, a student must successfully complete:

2. Electives (9 Hours)


  • 9 additional hours of approved elective credits

3. Comprehensive Examination


  • A five-hour written examination based on the M.A. core courses.

4. Master's Thesis Defense


A master’s thesis defended before the student’s thesis committee.

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