Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Mass Communication M.A.

School of Journalism & Mass Communication
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 111 Murphy Hall, 206 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-9824; fax: 612-625-9525)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 35
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The master's degree in mass communication emphasizes the theoretical study of mass communication and analysis of media systems and effects. The degree is intended for those who wish to pursue PhD degrees or teaching and research careers, as well as those who seek communication-related positions. The general master's program is not designed to provide professional skills training in journalism. Individuals with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication or with strong social science or liberal arts backgrounds in areas such as political science, psychology, sociology, history, and English are encouraged to apply. Individuals with extensive professional experience in mass communication are also welcome. The program is suffused with the study of new communication technologies.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from the TOEFL or IELTS (academic). In addition, such students seeking teaching assistantships are required to pass the SPEAK test of spoken-English proficiency prior to appointment. Admission is considered for fall semester only; the priority application deadline is January 15, with a rolling deadline of March 1. The mass communication MA and PhD programs offer a joint degree with the Law School. Applicants to either joint degree--either the MA/JD or the PhD/JD--are reviewed separately by the Law School and the mass communication programs for admission, but are asked to identify themselves as seeking the joint degree option in their statement of intent for the mass communication application. For more information, contact
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must submit a department application; a clearly written statement of career interests, goals, and objectives; three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their scholarship and research potential; a complete set of transcripts; academic work samples in English; a resume or curriculum vita; and scores from the General Test of the GRE.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 19 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
All coursework must be taken A-F, except for JOUR 8009, which is taken S/N.
Required Mass Communication Core
JOUR 8001 - Studies and Theories of Mass Communication (3.0 cr)
JOUR 8009 - Pro-seminar in Mass Communication (1.0 cr)
One additional theory course inside or outside SJMC, chosen in consultation with the student's adviser (3.0 cr)
Required Methodology Core
JOUR 8501 - Seminar: The Process of Quantitative Mass Communication Research (3.0 cr)
JOUR 8503 - Seminar: Qualitative Methods in Mass Communication Research (3.0 cr)
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· JOUR 5xxx
· JOUR 8xxx
· Courses are chosen in consultation with the advisor.
Outside Coursework
Take 6 credits outside the major.
Thesis Credits
Take exactly 10 credit(s) from the following:
· JOUR 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
Joint- or Dual-degree Coursework:
MA in Mass Communication and JD in Law (dual degree) Students may take a total of 12 credits in common among the academic programs.
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JOUR 8001 - Studies and Theories of Mass Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to key concepts, theories, methods in study of mass communication from social sciences perspective. Survey of research literature using individualistic/structural approaches.
JOUR 8009 - Pro-seminar in Mass Communication
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction/socialization to scholarly discipline of mass communication, mass communication pedagogy, pathways to successful career. Develop action plan for completing graduate school/starting career in academy or relevant communication industries. prereq: Grad students enrolled in Mass Communication MA or PhD program
JOUR 8501 - Seminar: The Process of Quantitative Mass Communication Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Logic of social sciences research. Relationship between theory and research, concept explication, measurement, instrumentation, and design issues. prereq: 9 cr soc sci, EPsy 5260 or equiv or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in EPsy 5260
JOUR 8503 - Seminar: Qualitative Methods in Mass Communication Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Qualitative research methodology/data analysis techniques used in field of mass communication. How to conduct qualitative research to address questions related to mass communication. Ethnography, interviews, focus groups, case study, qualitative content analysis, historical research. prereq: Grad students enrolled in Mass Communication MA or PhD program or instr consent
JOUR 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required (Plan A only)