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Communication & Media Stud…×

Full Time MA Degrees in Communication & Media Studies, USA

We have 18 Full Time MA Degrees in Communication & Media Studies, USA

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Students in this graduate program have a core set of requirements in theory and method courses, which provide foundations in three research areas. Read more

Program Areas

Students in this graduate program have a core set of requirements in theory and method courses, which provide foundations in three research areas: Communication and Culture, Organizational and Interpersonal Communication, and Rhetoric and Political Discourse. In addition, students complete their plans of study, with elective courses from among any graduate courses in the department (see link below) or outside of the department, with the approval of their academic advisors.

Visit the website https://comstudies.ua.edu/graduate-program/

COMMUNICATION STUDIES (COM)

COM 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies. One hour.
The primary goal is to orient new graduate students to the expectations and procedures of graduate study in the department. Topics covered include developing the plan of study, thesis prospectus, comprehensive examination, and choosing advisors and committees.

COM 501 Introduction to Teaching Public Speaking. No hours.
The primary goal of this course is to facilitate the instruction of COM 123 Public Speaking. Students enrolled in this course will provide lesson plans for their classes and discuss options for improving classroom learning.

COM 513 Communication and Diversity. Three hours.
Study and analysis of issues of diversity as they relate to groups in society and in communication fields. Emphasis is on the media's treatment of various groups in society. Approved as a communication and cultural diversity elective.

COM 515 African American Rhetoric. Three hours.
A historical-critical investigation of African American public discourse from the Revolutionary era to the present, exploring rhetorical strategies for social change and building community.

COM 521 Political Communication. Three hours.
An exploration of rhetorical, media, and cross-disciplinary theories and literature related to political communication as expressed in campaigns and institutional governance.

COM 525 Gender and Political Communication. Three hours.
Study of the impact of gender on political communication activities. Topics include gender differences in political messages and voter orientation, masculine ideals of leadership, women’s roles and advancement in the political sphere, and media representations.

COM 536 Independent Study. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Written permission.
Students who want to count this course toward their Plans of Study must complete the official request form and submit it for the approval of their faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director.

COM 541 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory. Three hours.
A survey of major contributions to rhetorical theory from the 20th century up to the present.

COM 545 Classical Rhetorical Theory. Three hours.
A systematic inquiry into the development of Greek and Roman rhetorical theory during the classical period (ca. 480 B.C.E.–400 C.E.).

COM 548 Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism. Three hours.
An examination of various methodological perspectives of rhetorical criticism. Specifically, the course aims to familiarize students with both traditional and alternative critical methods and to encourage students to perceive the rhetorical dimensions of all manner of public discourse, ranging from speeches, advertising, film, popular music to discursive forms in new media and the Internet.

COM 560 Group Leadership. Three hours.
An advanced study of small-group behavior, examining in detail theories of leadership as they relate to problem solving in group situations.

COM 550 Qualitative Research Methods. Three hours.
An introduction to qualitative research methods in communication, including data collection and analysis. The goals of the course are to provide exposure to a broad array of qualitative methods, help students learn to use some of these methods, and to help them to understand the role of research in our field. The course is designed to help student actually conduct research, resulting in two conference-worthy papers.

COM 555 Conflict and Negotiation. Three hours.
Negotiation is fundamentally a communicative activity. The main objective of this course is to understand processes of formal conflict management in mixed motive settings. Students will apply negotiation theory and skills to simulated negotiation cases that include buyer-seller transactions, negotiating through an agent or mediator, salary negotiations, deal making, resolution of workplace disputes, multiparty negotiations, international and intercultural negotiations, and ethical decision making and communication in negotiation. The skills and theory introduced in this course will help students manage integrative and distributive aspects of the negotiation process to achieve individual and collective goals.

COM 561 Human Communication Theory. Three hours.
A detailed review of selected theories of speech communication with a focus on the critical examination of the foundation of social scientific theories.

COM 562 Theories of Persuasion. Three hours.
A critical review of social-influence theories in the area of persuasion and human action.

COM 563 Relational Communication. Three hours.
Prerequisite: COM 220 or permission of the instructor.
Focused investigation of to communication in close personal relationships, with primary emphasis on contemporary concepts and theories of romantic relationships and friendships.

COM 565 Intercultural Communication. Three hours.
Survey and analysis of major concepts, theories, and research dealing with communication between people of different cultural backgrounds in multicultural and international settings.

COM 567 Seminar: Public Address. Three hours.
A topical consideration of individual case studies from public discourse, designed to probe problems of the nature of the audience, the ethics of persuasion, and the power of public advocacy in mass society. Topics may vary.

COM 569 Communication and Gender. Three hours.
Explores the role of communication in the construction of gender. Covers feminist theoretical approaches in communication and other disciplines, the intersections of gender with other marginalities, and the role of gender in various communication contexts. Approved as a communication and cultural diversity elective.

COM 571 Seminar in Organizational Communication. Three hours.
An introductory examination of historical and contemporary issues in organizational communication scholarship from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

COM 572 Organizational Assessment and Intervention. Three hours.
Examines the theoretical issues inherent in the study of organizational communication, the primary factors requiring assessment and intervention, the impact of on-going changes and new information techniques, current challenges facing the organizational consultant, and the practical application of communication processes for improving organizations.

COM 575 Technology, Culture, and Human Communication. Three hours.
Study of the complexity of technologically-mediated communication across cultures. This course combines literature and concepts from intercultural communication with human communication and technology and addresses the challenges of interacting with others via technology, working in global virtual teams and organizations, and participating as a citizen and consumer in the technology age.

COM 590 Internship in Communication Studies. One to three hours.
Prerequisite: Written permission from the graduate program director.
Proposal for supervised field experience in communication studies must be submitted and approved.

COM 595 Special Topics. Three hours. Topics vary by instructor.

COM 598 Professional Project. Three hours.

COM 599 Thesis Research. One to three hours.

Career Options

A Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies can offer many career options. Communication skills — oral, written, electronic — are now recognized as critical aspects in all major professions in the United States. Both in education and in the work force, there is a growing need for those who not only understand how human communication functions in its various forms, but also can analyze and advise others on ways to improve human communication. Graduates typically pursue one of three career paths: teaching public speaking, working in professional communication positions, or continuing with advanced academic study, such as in doctoral or law degree programs.

Find out how to apply here - https://comstudies.ua.edu/graduate-program/admissions/

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The master of arts programs in advertising and public relations are intended for those who wish to acquire advanced understanding of and skills in the development of highly effective persuasive communication. Read more
The master of arts programs in advertising and public relations are intended for those who wish to acquire advanced understanding of and skills in the development of highly effective persuasive communication. The programs focus on prevailing communication theories, current research findings, and advanced practical techniques. The faculty seeks to educate highly competent, focused students who will be recognized for their leadership qualities: the ability to discern issues both in the practice of their profession and in their role in society; the ability to develop and execute successful communication programs; and the ability to lead others effectively.

Two programs are offered: (1) a two-year thesis program with specialization in advertising or public relations (Plan I), and (2) a one-year professional program combining advertising and public relations (Plan II).

Visit the website https://apr.ua.edu/gradinfo/

Degree Requirements

- Plan I, the Two-Year Research Program -

The two-year master's degree program is intended for students seeking a strong research emphasis in their study of advertising and public relations. The Plan I program focuses on important problems and questions, gathering evidence, and setting standards for inference. The program specifically prepares students in the areas of (a) mastering the body of scholarly knowledge of advertising and public relations, and (b) contributing to the advancement of knowledge in these fields through basic and applied research. Students may decide to continue their studies, pursuing doctorates in advertising or public relations. Students in the Plan I program specialize in either advertising or public relations, learn the concepts and methods involved in productive scholarship, and collaborate with faculty members in conducting research.

Plan I requirements. Plan I is normally a two-year program and requires (a) a minimum of 30 hours of approved graduate courses, (b) demonstration of proficiency in research skills, (c) passing of a comprehensive written examination, and (d) completion and successful defense of a master's thesis. Students admitted to the program with little or no previous coursework in advertising or public relations may be required to take one or more undergraduate courses in the department to supplement their graduate studies.

Plan II, the One-Year Professional Program

The professional program is an intensive, professionally oriented, one-year program that combines advertising and public relations. Recognizing the increasingly close links between the advertising and public relations professions, the Plan II program provides advanced preparation in both disciplines. The program provides intensive training to meet specific objectives. Graduates will be prepared to:

- develop a thorough understanding of the institutions and processes involved in advertising and public relations, through a combined program of study

- use research both to generate communication strategies and to evaluate the success of communication programs

- write idea-driven persuasive communication

- plan, implement, and evaluate media plans for advertising and public relations programs and campaigns

The Plan II program is for recent college graduates who see the advantages of having advanced skills in advertising and public relations. The students will recognize that preparation in the liberal arts, business administration, or communication has provided them with important knowledge but has not sufficiently prepared them in the communication concepts and skills needed to be a leader.

Speaking and writing skills are emphasized in all courses, with frequent papers and presentations. One course each semester emphasizes writing skills involved in the advertising and public relations professions.

Plan II requirements. The one-year Plan II program requires (a) completion of a specific 33-hour program of graduate courses, (b) demonstration of proficiency in research skills, (c) passing of a comprehensive written examination, and (d) completion of a master's project in the course APR 598 Communication Workshop. Students admitted to the program will receive a list of critical readings and will be expected to become familiar with these materials before beginning the program. The program starts with a series of orientation sessions aimed at evaluating each student's grasp of the critical readings and ability to proceed with the program without further background study.

APR Graduate Course Descriptions

Note: Plan I and Plan II programs have different course requirements.

ADVERTISING & PUBLIC RELATIONS COURSES

APR 522. Media Planning: Three hours. Development of media objectives, strategies, and budgets and implementation of media plans for advertising and public relations. Each student prepares and presents a media plan.

APR 550. Communication Research Methods: Three hours. A survey of qualitative and quantitative methods in communication research.

APR 551. Seminar in Communication Theory*: Three hours. A study of the development of selected theories of communication as they pertain to interpersonal, public, and mass communication.

APR 570. Contemporary Advertising and Public Relations: Three hours. An advanced survey of the academic and professional literature underlying the contemporary practice of advertising and public relations.

APR 572. Persuasive Communication: Three hours. The practice of creating, writing, editing, and producing persuasive communication for advertising and public relations. Writing skills are exercised extensively in this course.

APR 582. Advertising and Public Relations Management: Three hours. Problems and decision-making processes involved in the management of advertising and public relations programs and organizations.

APR 583. Research Applications in Advertising and Public Relations: Three hours. Prerequisite: MC 550. Application of research methods and procedures for problem solving and impact assessment in advertising and public relations programs.

APR 590. Visual Communication: Three hours. The practice of developing ideas and creative strategies for professional evaluations about design and its application. Each student prepares a portfolio.

APR 592. Integrated Communication Project. A message-oriented course. Students conceptualize and execute integrated communication programs. Topics vary.

APR 596. Independent Study or Research: One to three hours. Prerequisite: consent of the academic adviser and instructor.

597. Communication Campaign Workshop I: Three hours. Research to develop an advertising and public relations campaign for a specific organization. This is the preparation stage for the major case study prepared by the student in APR 598.

598. Communication Campaign Workshop II (Master’s Project): Three hours. Development and presentation of a complete advertising and public relations plan and proposal for the specific organization studied in APR 597. Integration of theory, concepts, and techniques in a complete communication program.

599. Thesis Research: Three hours. Prerequisite: consent of the academic adviser.

Find out how to apply here - https://apr.ua.edu/gradinfo/applicationadmission/

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The Communication Arts program uses a unique blend of theory-driven and experienced-based classes where students acquire the knowledge and skills to enter the media industry. Read more
The Communication Arts program uses a unique blend of theory-driven and experienced-based classes where students acquire the knowledge and skills to enter the media industry. Fields of study include production, print media, or convergent media delivery and prepares students for further study at the graduate level.The Communication Arts Graduate program addresses the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Graduate Studies with the expectation that graduate students will:

•Display mastery of both theoretical and empirical knowledge in the field of communications.
•Demonstrate intellectual imagination and professional creativity demonstrated in individual theses and projects on various issues of communications.
•Conduct critical analysis of mediated communication in both social and cultural scopes.
•Provide articulated presentation of scholarly concepts and professional works.
•Make contribution to both academic and professional sectors in the field of communications through original research and alternative perspectives.

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The MFA program in photography and related media emphasizes a broad interpretation of photography as a conceptual art form, with the intention of inspiring and nurturing the individuality of each student as a creative, productive artist. Read more

The MFA program in photography and related media emphasizes a broad interpretation of photography as a conceptual art form, with the intention of inspiring and nurturing the individuality of each student as a creative, productive artist. The program encourages graduate study in photography and related media as a means to personal, aesthetic, intellectual, and career development.

The curriculum provides a focus of study that is continually sensitive to the needs of each student, building upon the strengths each individual brings to the program. Successful completion of the program enables students to seek careers in fields including education, museum or gallery work, or as self-employed visual artists.

PROGRAM GOALS

The program provides students with the opportunity to use the still and moving image as a means to:

  • pursue a professional career and earn a livelihood
  • enrich their personal lives and society as a whole
  • create a community of creativity, scholarship, and purpose 

PLAN OF STUDY

Distribution of work within these guidelines is subject to modification based upon the candidate’s background, abilities, and interests. An individualized course of study is prepared with the advice of the graduate faculty and made a matter of record. Modifications in this prescribed program thereafter must be approved and recorded.

Electives

Elective courses are available in areas such as, but not limited to, video, printmaking, painting, sculpture, communication design, crafts, bookmaking, graphic design, new media, computer graphics, art history, and archival preservation and conservation. A complete list of graduate electives is available through the student's adviser. There are also graduate electives offered throughout the university. Students also have opportunities to enhance their studies through independent studies and internships.

Thesis

Matriculation from the MFA program is obtained when the student has completed and mounted their graduate thesis exhibition, successfully passed their thesis defense, and submitted their thesis publication. The thesis must be an original body of work appropriate to the major commitment of the degree. The thesis publication is a professional, published presentation of the thesis project, which must be submitted, in both print and digital form. It must contain an extended artist statement and a presentation of the majority of thesis artwork. It is prepared for inclusion in the Wallace Library, the School's Archive, and the Graduate Annex Space. The verbal defense requires a public address by the student, discussion of the thesis project, and exhibition in a digital presentation format.

ACCREDITATION

The MFA program in photography and related media and the BFA program in photographic and imaging arts are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).



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The Department of Journalism offers the master of arts degree with a major in journalism. Students work closely with a faculty dedicated to the principles and practices of sound journalism and scholarly inquiry. Read more
The Department of Journalism offers the master of arts degree with a major in journalism. Students work closely with a faculty dedicated to the principles and practices of sound journalism and scholarly inquiry.

Visit the website https://jn.ua.edu/graduate-programs/

Research track

This traditional two-year master’s degree (http://jn.ua.edu/graduate-programs/research-track-2-year/) is well suited for applicants who plan to continue their graduate studies and pursue a doctorate, though many graduates have gone on to teach and/or practice journalism. The research track is designed for individuals who seek in-depth knowledge of some journalism-related topic or question, and the ability to gain this knowledge through systematic research. Topics may fall within a number of areas, including news media’s effects on society; issues or problems related to news content; problems within the journalism field or industry; journalism history; media law; and many others.

Often, individuals who pursue this track have some professional journalism background and are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or teaching. However, the track is open to recent B.A. recipients and those with no journalism background.

Read more about the department’s research track (https://jn.ua.edu/graduate-programs/research-track-2-year/).

One-year professional track

The Department’s one-year master’s program in Community Journalism (http://jn.ua.edu/graduate-programs/professional-track-1-year/) is best suited for applicants who plan to pursue or continue a career in journalism. The program emphasizes the role of news media in communities (including small towns, urban areas or other kinds of communities), and is operated in partnership with the award-winning Anniston Star newspaper. This professional track is designed for those who seek to work professionally in writing, editing, visual journalism and/or digital journalism, but who also wish to develop their conceptual knowledge of the field, as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Most who pursue this track have some educational background in journalism, but limited professional experience. However, the program is open to those with no or limited journalism education.

Read more about the department’s one-year professional track (https://jn.ua.edu/graduate-programs/professional-track-1-year/).

Job Placement

The program has an impressive record of job placements. In the first seven years of our Community Journalism program, more than 80% of our graduates were working full time in journalism or were furthering their education within six months of graduation. This rate is significantly higher than the national average over the same period, according to the Annual Surveys of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates.

Find out how to apply here - https://jn.ua.edu/graduate-programs/how-to-apply/

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Specialize in criminal justice administration, planning and regional development, human services administration, human resources management, local government management, or international development administration. Read more
Specialize in criminal justice administration, planning and regional development, human services administration, human resources management, local government management, or international development administration.

THIS PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAM IS ORIENTED TOWARD PRACTITIONERS

We assume that you seek a degree that would facilitate entrance into, or promotion within, the public or private sector. It is also viewed primarily as a terminal degree. After completion, graduates possess the needed background and skills to assume positions as public administrators at local, state, national, and international levels.

Your IUP interdisciplinary graduate degree in public affairs will differentiate you as a critical thinker and skilled analyst of political trends and management techniques. The broad base of knowledge that you acquire will give you an advantage as you seek employment in government, education, business, or interest groups.

MA IN PUBLIC AFFAIRS

-Schedule evening classes to accommodate your work schedule.
-Develop a core competence in methodology, and then choose from among six interdisciplinary specializations to further focus your career aspirations: Criminal justice administration; Planning and regional development; Human services administration; Human resources management; Local government management; International development administration
-Earn academic credit while working with a mentor in the workforce who will help you develop a meaningful internship within your field.

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The MA in Professional Communication (MAPC) provides the knowledge and training for superior oral, written, and visual communication skills. Read more
The MA in Professional Communication (MAPC) provides the knowledge and training for superior oral, written, and visual communication skills. Our program is designed for people who seek the techniques and knowledge required to be communication specialists in a wide range of fields in an ever-shifting 21st century workplace.

The program features small class sizes, personal attention and opportunities for applied research and professional engagement.

• The program’s convenient schedule of late afternoon and evening courses appeals to full-time graduate students and enables professionals to work while completing their degree.

• The MAPC includes courses that meet both on-campus and in a hybrid (on-campus/online) format for flexibility and convenience, while providing engagement with cutting-edge technology.

• Offering three concentrations, the program creates a community of professional communicators who have varied career interests.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from the program bring a thorough knowledge and skill set of advanced communication to careers in a range of sectors — including technology, government, finance, health services, academic, and many other sectors where communications skills are highly valued.

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The West Chester Master's Program in Communication Studies focuses on building better leaders by improving their communication skills. Read more
The West Chester Master's Program in Communication Studies focuses on building better leaders by improving their communication skills. Effective leaders must be effective communicators, and effective communicators need to develop a broad array of communication skills. In addition, the M.A. program is designed to provide a broad spectrum of knowledge in communication theory and methodology of the social scientific approach. Our program is intended for students in one of three vocational areas:

• New Careers
As a result of their Masters in Communication Studies, students have launched new careers in Internet Web Design, Training and Development, Community Organization, Consultation, Marketing, Association Management, Public Relations, and Teaching at the secondary, community college, small college, or university level.

• Career Development
Many students pursue their degrees while maintaining positions in the Delaware Valley's major corporations. They seek vocational advances as they acquire the conceptual foundations and professional skills for becoming a leader in their organization's communicative competence.

• Continuous Learning
Some students have used their West Chester M.A. to launch a Ph.D. in Communication Studies and now teach in Universities throughout the United States or work as researchers in the private sector.

Course Structure

• Non-Thesis/Applied Curriculum Option (36 credits)

1. Required Core (21 credits)

COM 501: Theoretical Perspectives on Human Communication (3)
COM 502: Communication Research Methods (3)
15 additional credits selected from departmental offerings

2. Applied Courses (15 credits)

These courses are to be selected from other departments or from communication studies courses. A three-credit or six-credit graduate internship (COM 598) may be selected upon successful completion of the required core but requires graduate coordinator approval.

3. Comprehensive Examinations

Non-thesis students may schedule their comprehensive written examinations in three areas during the semester that, upon completion, they are within six credit hours of completing the program. B

• Thesis option (36 credits)

1. Required Core (27 credits)

COM 501: Theoretical Perspectives on Human Communication (3)
COM 502: Communication Research Methods (3)
COM 601: Communication Studies Thesis 1 (3)
COM 602: Communication Studies Thesis 2 (3)
15 additional credits selected from departmental offerings

2. Applied Courses (9 credits)

These courses are to be selected from other departments or from communication studies courses.

3. Comprehensive Examinations

Thesis students may schedule their comprehensive written examinations in three areas during the semester that, upon completion, they are within six credit hours of completing the program. Thesis students also will defend their theses orally.

Note: students are not required to take summer classes, and students may attend as full-time or part-time student

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