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The Masters Degree

Master's programs in the School of Media Arts and Studies focus on theory and research and stress the non-technical aspects of electronic media. Coursework is geared towards preparing students to enter or continue working in media industries and related fields, and for doctoral studies. Master's students can select from a broad range of specializations including international media, media industries leadership and management, and emerging media and culture. In addition, the school also is home the communication and development program.

Communication and Development Studies Master's

The Communication and Development program is jointly administered by the School of Media Arts and Studies and the Center for International Studies. With a focus on communication strategies and implementation for positive social change, the Communication and Development program is unique in its approach to the study of international development. For more information, please visit the program’s home page.

Master's examination and thesis options
In addition to course requirements, students in the master’s program must successfully complete either a comprehensive examination or a thesis.

Information for Applicants

M.A. Typical Program of Study Outlines (36 CREDIT HOURS)

COMPREHENSIVE EXAM OPTION
Fall Semester (13-17 credit hours total)

  1. MDIA 6000, Introduction to Graduate Study (1 credit hour)
  2. MDIA 6010, Introduction to Mass Communication Research
  3. plus 8-12 additional credit hours (two to three additional courses) from a student's area of specialization and/or appropriate courses outside the School

Spring Semester (12-16 credit hours total)
Course work in a student's area of specialization and outside the School as approved by their committee

Summer Semester (9-12 credit hours total)

  1. Courses as needed to fulfill any remaining requirements in student's area of specialization (minimum of 24 credit hours required) or outside area (minimum of two courses required).
  2. Completion of the comprehensive exam

THESIS OPTION

Fall Semester

  1. MDIA 6000, Introduction to Graduate Study
  2. MDIA 6010, Introduction to Mass Communication Research
  3. MDIA 7700, Mass Communication Theory*
  4. 3-8 additional credit hours (one to two additional courses) from a student's area of specialization and/or outside the School

Spring Semester

  1. MDIA 6020, Quantitative Research Methods; OR MDIA 6030, Qualitative Research Methods
  2. MDIA 7720, Critical-Cultural Theory*
  3. plus 7-12 additional credit hours (two to three additional courses) from a student's area of specialization and/or outside the School

* Thesis option requires one Theory course (either MDIA 7700 or MDIA 7720) and one Methods course (either MDIA 6020 or MDIA 6030)

Summer Semester

  1. MDIA 6950, Thesis (4-9 credit hours)
  2. Courses as needed to fulfill any remaining requirements in student's area of specialization (minimum of 12 credit hours required) or outside area (minimum of two courses required).

Master's Advisory Committee

During the first semester of study, master’s students select a faculty member from the School of Media Arts and Studies to serve as their advisor and chairperson of their Program committee. The committee includes a minimum of two other members, one of whom must be a MDIA faculty member with the appropriate credentials and expertise to fit the student’s interest and serve on a graduate committee. The chair assists in laying out program goals and the selection of courses in the program of study. The committee must approve the student’s program of study; and will also provide the questions and evaluate the comprehensive examination or approve the thesis proposal, conduct the defense of the thesis, and approve the final draft.