The professional M.A. typically leads to careers in news and information production. In collaboration with an adviser, students construct a program of required and elective courses that emphasizes in-depth course work in a variety of non-fiction genres such as investigative reporting or literary journalism. This 30-credit degree should combine a mix of courses on practical communication skills, conceptual knowledge of journalism and mass communication and an area of specialization.
- One core class: J801 Integrated Media Storytelling: An exploration of the concepts and practice of storytelling across multiple media platforms. Students will work on projects that incorporate contemporary features of reporting, writing, and publishing in low-production media formats. The course will explore concepts related to audience uses of varying media, efficacy of alternative story-telling techniques and questions of journalistic and other kinds of communicative credibility.
- One “concepts” class that explores the relationship between journalism and major social institutions and the public. Examples of “concepts” courses are:
- J559: Law of Mass Communication
- J560: History of Mass Communication
- J561: Mass Communication and Society
- J614: Communication and Public Opinion
- J666: Professional Responsibility
- J669: Literary Aspects of Journalism
- J675: Topics in Government and Mass Media
- Minimum of 12 graduate credits in Journalism and Mass Communication
- Minimum of 6 graduate credits outside of Journalism and Mass Communication that focus on developing an area of specialization.
- A multimedia portfolio to be presented to faculty and peers.
- Maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA in all graduate course work.
- Proposal due end of second semester of course work
- Portfolio due at end of course work
Criteria for Satisfactory Progress
- Master’s students must earn a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average by the end of the second semester in residence and must maintain that GPA for the duration of the degree program. Grades in courses numbered 300 and above count toward the GPA.
- Master’s students who earn grades of “incomplete” must remove those grades in the semester following their occurrence. A request for a waiver of this rule may be granted in rare cases. Waiver requests should be submitted to the Journalism and Mass Communication Graduate Committee.
- Master’s students must maintain steady progress toward completion of the degree. Full-time master’s students can expect to spend 1.5 to 2 years earning the degree. The time to degree completion varies for part-time students.
- Master’s students must satisfy all Graduate School degree requirements.
The Journalism and Mass Communication Graduate Committee constitutes the Review Board for the M.A degree. The Review Board is charged with final decisions regarding satisfactory progress. A review is made of each student’s progress at the end of each semester and, in cases where student performance has not met satisfactory progress criteria, a letter is sent to the student and faculty advisor. Students who receive this letter have a maximum of four weeks to provide a written response concerning any special reasons or circumstances relevant to their failure to meet the satisfactory progress criteria. The Review Board will examine all cases involving lack of satisfactory progress to determine appropriate action. A finding of “unsatisfactory progress” by the Review Board may be grounds for a one-semester probation, suspension of funding (if applicable) or dismissal from the graduate program, at the Review Board’s discretion.