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Media and Communication, M.S.

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The dynamic Media and Communication master’s program has a slogan: A time to reflect, a time to advance. Whether the goal is to become a professor, conduct research, or enhance a media career, graduate studies can be tailored to suit each student’s needs. Master’s candidates can choose either a thesis or a professional project track whether for a traditional approach to scholarship or for working professionals seeking to further their careers. Within the thesis track, MTSU is one of the few universities that offers either a qualitative or quantitative focus. Members of the nationally and internationally recognized faculty have a wide range of professional and academic experience. Offerings include specializations in journalism, management, public relations, advertising, health communication, international communication, traditional/new media, and media law. Students are encouraged to think critically and develop creatively with support from peers, guidance from faculty, and resources for research and production. The relatively small size of graduate classes allows for individualized attention to students. Assistantships are available, as well as awards, fellowships, and other financial support.


What We're Doing

Dr. Katie Foss

Professor examines epidemics and media – at a safe distance

Dr. Katie Foss has spent the last few years tracing media’s coverage of epidemics in U.S. history. In her latest book project, Foss explores the construction of outbreaks – from smallpox in colonial newspapers to the March of Dimes campaigns for polio research – highlighting how such impactful events have been remembered and forgotten in collective memory. Foss, a professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, routinely brings this research into the M.S. program in Media and Communication, where she teaches Healthcare Communication, Qualitative Methods, and TV Culture and History and advises master thesis students.

Foss is the author of Breastfeeding and Media: Exploring Conflicting Discourses That Threaten Public Health (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism (Lexington Press, 2014). She is the editor ofBeyond Princess Culture: Gender, Marketing, & Media (Peter Lang, 2019) andDemystifying the Big House: Exploring Prison Experience and Media Representations(Southern Illinois University Press, 2018).

Dr. Sanjay Asthana

International media and youth practices dominate Asthana’s research

Since 2005, Dr. Sanjay Asthana has been researching children and youth media practices in the Global South. That research resulted in the publication of a monograph for UNESCO, numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, policy-oriented reports, and several books. The research dealt with a set of interlinked themes around questions of the capacity of children and youth to give an account, narrate, and resist, even under difficult socioeconomic situations wrought by global capitalism. In March 2007, he presented the research work in Saudi Arabia at an international media education workshop. A year later, Asthana was invited by the United Nations and the Prime Minister of Spain to participate at the First Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid. Building upon these scholarly interests, he researched youth media projects from the United States, South Africa, India, Israel, and Palestine and published a book in 2012.

Asthana recently published another book entitled India’s State-run Media: Broadcasting, Power, and Narrative, in which he analyzed broadcasting in colonial and postcolonial India, as well as India’s complex state-run media outlets and the ways in which radio and television were instituted and the ways in which people encountered them. “In the current scenario, where broadcast seems to be losing relevance and broadband on the ascendant with the rise of over-the-top streaming media, it is imperative that we understand how radio and television came to be, and the potential continuities and discontinuities between broadcast and broadband. Although there is a growing body of work on Indian media in general and television in particular, I felt that there is more to be explored and studied, hence this book.”


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The Media and Entertainment M.S. program has a successful placement record for students. The MTSU master’s degree also has a national reputation for preparing students for doctoral study at prestigious programs throughout the nation. Some potential professional careers include

  • Advertising executive
  • Content manager
  • Designer account executive
  • Director of communication
  • Director of marketing
  • Director of management
  • Editor
  • Health care communication
  • Media expert
  • Professor
  • Public relations executive
  • Reporter
  • Researcher
  • Writer (professional/technical)

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Apple
  • Bohan Advertising
  • Bone McAllester Norton
  • Courthouse News Service
  • Dupuch Publications
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Emeril's Homebase
  • Jarrard, Phillips, Cate, & Hancock
  • Sherwin-Williams Paints
  • The Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union
  • The Tennessean
  • TNA Impact Wrestling
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • University of Illinois
  • Washington State University
  • WESTMARC

Graduate

The College of Media and Entertainment offers the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Media and Communication, designed for students seeking an advanced degree in mass media theory and methods of research or for those wishing to advance in their professional field. The degree is appropriate for students who wish to become researchers or pursue a doctoral degree or for media professionals already in the field who seek a broader understanding of the field of media and communication and to develop research and management skills for decision-making in media-related businesses.

A graduate minor in Mass Communication is also available.

Applicants to the M.S. in Media and Communication program must have

  • an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college with official transcripts;
  • an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all coursework completed;
  • acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)—a  combined score of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE is usually required.
  • a 500-word Statement of Purpose outlining academic interests and professional goals;
  • three letters of reference

Through the Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s (ABM) program, qualified undergraduate Journalism students can complete the requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in as little as a year more than the bachelor’s program takes.  Required are a GPA of at least 3.25, completion of at least 75  hours toward the undergraduate program, and for transfer students, two semesters full-time at MTSU. Get started by completing the application.

All students in the Media and Communication graduate program must take MC 6000 and 6010 among their first year of coursework.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS  tab above.

Apply Now!

Media and Communication, M.S.

Jason Reineke, Program Director
(615) 494-7746
Jason.Reineke@mtsu.edu

The College of Media and Entertainment offers the Master of Science degree in Media and Communication. A graduate minor in Mass Communication is also offered.

The degree is designed for students seeking an advanced degree in mass media theory and methods of research. The degree is appropriate for students who may wish to become researchers or as a prerequisite for pursuing a doctoral degree. The degree is also relevant to media professionals in fields such as advertising, electronic media, journalism, public relations, publishing, or recording industries seeking to broaden their understanding of the field of mass communication and to develop skills relevant to decision making in media-related organizations.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science in Media and Communication requires

  1. an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college;
  2. an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all coursework completed;
  3. acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)-a score of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) combined on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE is usually required for admission to the degree program.

NOTE:Students may take up to 6 hours (two courses) before being admitted to the program but must do so as non-degree seeking students. Enrollment in these courses requires the permission of the graduate director.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  3. submit a 500-word essay;
  4. submit three letters of recommendation;
  5. submit acceptable GRE scores.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Media and Communication requires completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. complete either the thesis or non-thesis curriculum as detailed below in the Curriculum section;
  2. submit and defend either a written thesis or a professional project concentrating on an area of particular interest by exhibiting in-depth independent research. The thesis results in the production of traditional academic research; the professional project results in the application of research knowledge to a professional production or other project;
  3. pass a written comprehensive examination.

Curriculum: Media and Communication

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements. Candidate must complete the thesis or non-thesis course of study.

Non-Thesis (36 hours)

Required courses (21 hours)

 

  • MC 6000 - The Science of Communication

    3credit hours

    Quantitative and qualitative research dealing with the uses and effects of mass communication.

  • MC 6010 - Cultural Studies in Communication

    3credit hours

    Relationship of communication to culture with particular emphasis on the everyday life contexts of media audiences.

  • MC 6110 - Quantitative Research Methods  3 credit hours  
    (required research tool)(required research tool)  dotslash:(required research tool) title:(required research tool) 
    (required research tool) 

    MC 6110 - Quantitative Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6000. Techniques of communication research emphasizing survey and experimental methods. Sampling, questionnaire construction, data gathering, and statistical methods.

  • MC 6120 - Qualitative Research Methods  3 credit hours  
    (required research tool)(required research tool)  dotslash:(required research tool) title:(required research tool) 
    (required research tool) 

    MC 6120 - Qualitative Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6010. Techniques of communication research emphasizing participant observation, ethnography, and focus groups. Interviewing, observation, problems of generalization, ethics of fieldwork.

  • MC 6300 - Media Law and Ethics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. An overview of the laws relating to the media. Ethical and social dimensions of law. Emphasis on case studies.

  • MC 6650 - Professional Project  1 to 6 credit hours  
    (6 credit hours)(6 credit hours required)  dotslash:(6 credit hours required) title:(6 credit hours) 
    (6 credit hours required) 

    MC 6650 - Professional Project

    1 to 6credit hours

    Completion and execution of a professional project under the direction of a faculty advisor and graduate committee. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's project each semester until graduation. S/U grading.

Electives (9 hours)

  • MC 6200 - Media Management  3 credit hours  

    MC 6200 - Media Management

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Application of the case study method to understanding the role of management and managers in the delivery of media to the marketplace. Application of management and organization theory to the problems of the mass media.

  • MC 6230 - Media in the Marketplace

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. The use of various forms of audience research in media organizations. Social and ethical conflicts related to marketing.

  • MC 6250 - Media Organizations

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Examines the structure of media organizations. Roles of creators, producers, distributors, publics, institutional frameworks.

  • MC 6260 - Health Care Communication

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Introduces the practice and study of communication as it relates to health care, including mastery of sociocultural considerations and the intersection of the health care industry with government, public, corporate, and private entities.

  • MC 6320 - Mass Media and Public Opinion

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6000. Theories of democracy, the nature of a "public" and of "public opinion." Readings in the classics on mass media and democracy and in public opinion research.

  • MC 6380 - News, Culture, and Democracy

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6010. Critical examination of the news process with attention to the relationship of economic, cultural, and political constraints.

  • MC 6400 - Communication and Technology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Readings in the cultural history of media technology explore technological change and social development as a system of interrelated social relations and practices.

  • MC 6430 - Special Topics in Communication

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. An in-depth analysis of one or more current issues or subdisciplines. Topics will vary from semester to semester.

Approved Electives (6 hours)

  • taken inside or outside the College of Media and Entertainment as benefits research orientation; no more than 3 credits may be taken at the 5000 level

Thesis Option (33 hours)

Required courses (18 hours)

  • MC 6000 - The Science of Communication

    3credit hours

    Quantitative and qualitative research dealing with the uses and effects of mass communication.

  • MC 6010 - Cultural Studies in Communication

    3credit hours

    Relationship of communication to culture with particular emphasis on the everyday life contexts of media audiences.

  • MC 6110 - Quantitative Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6000. Techniques of communication research emphasizing survey and experimental methods. Sampling, questionnaire construction, data gathering, and statistical methods.

  • MC 6120 - Qualitative Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6010. Techniques of communication research emphasizing participant observation, ethnography, and focus groups. Interviewing, observation, problems of generalization, ethics of fieldwork.

  • MC 6300 - Media Law and Ethics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. An overview of the laws relating to the media. Ethical and social dimensions of law. Emphasis on case studies.

  • MC 6640 - Thesis Research  1 to 6 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours required)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours required) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    MC 6640 - Thesis Research

    1 to 6credit hours

    Under the direction of a faculty advisor and graduate committee, the student will plan and execute an original research or creative project. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Electives (9 hours)

  • MC 6200 - Media Management  3 credit hours  

    MC 6200 - Media Management

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Application of the case study method to understanding the role of management and managers in the delivery of media to the marketplace. Application of management and organization theory to the problems of the mass media.

  • MC 6230 - Media in the Marketplace

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. The use of various forms of audience research in media organizations. Social and ethical conflicts related to marketing.

  • MC 6250 - Media Organizations

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Examines the structure of media organizations. Roles of creators, producers, distributors, publics, institutional frameworks.

  • MC 6260 - Health Care Communication

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Introduces the practice and study of communication as it relates to health care, including mastery of sociocultural considerations and the intersection of the health care industry with government, public, corporate, and private entities.

  • MC 6320 - Mass Media and Public Opinion

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6000. Theories of democracy, the nature of a "public" and of "public opinion." Readings in the classics on mass media and democracy and in public opinion research.

  • MC 6380 - News, Culture, and Democracy

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MC 6010. Critical examination of the news process with attention to the relationship of economic, cultural, and political constraints.

  • MC 6400 - Communication and Technology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. Readings in the cultural history of media technology explore technological change and social development as a system of interrelated social relations and practices.

  • MC 6430 - Special Topics in Communication

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate director. An in-depth analysis of one or more current issues or subdisciplines. Topics will vary from semester to semester.

Approved Electives (6 hours)

  • taken inside or outside the College of Media and Entertainment as benefits research orientation; no more than 3 credits may be taken at the 5000 level.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.



Thesis and Professional Project Information

Thesis 
The thesis option is designed for the student seeking to concentrate studies in a particular area and to experience in-depth independent research. The thesis results in the production of traditional academic research.

Professional Project 
A professional project is an opportunity for a graduate student to produce work that is both researched and theorized but that also has a professional component.

FAQs

Q: How long does it take to complete the M.S. degree?

A: The program requires completion of 12 courses (designated for the option or concentration the student is seeking) and is designed to be completed in two years for full time students taking three courses for each fall and spring semester. Students taking two courses in the fall, spring and summer semesters, can potentially complete the degree in two years (12 courses). You can have up to six years to complete the degree.

Q: Where do I send my application materials?

A: Admission forms can be found in the Graduate Catalog or online at the College of Graduate Studies. Send admission forms and fees, transcripts, and three letters of reference and statement of purpose to the MTSU College of Graduate Studies, 121A Sam Ingram Building, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

Q: May I enroll in classes before being formally admitted into the program?

A: Yes. MTSU is an open enrollment university, which means that you may enroll in one course in the Mass Communication program before being formally admitted into our program. However, only certain classes are permitted for students not formally admitted and require a permission of department to enroll. You must be admitted to the program in the semester after you apply for admission into the Mass Communication program in order to continue taking courses in the program.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Yes. Limited numbers of graduate teaching assistantships and scholarships are available in addition to other forms of aid. Applications may be obtained from the College of Graduate Studies or from the academic department. Those seeking an assistantship must meet requirements for admission to graduate school and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. A student who is conditionally admitted cannot be considered for a Graduate Assistantship until the student has met the requirements of the conditional admission. The Student Financial Aid Office in Student Services & Admissions Center, Room 150 has information on various kinds of financial aid.

Contact Information

Dr. Jason Reineke (Graduate Director)
615-494-7746
Mass Comm 266
Jason.Reineke@mtsu.edu

Graduate Secretary
615-898.5420
Mass Comm 271D

Who is My Advisor?

Dr. Jason Reineke (Graduate Director)
615-494-7746
Mass Comm 266
Jason.Reineke@mtsu.edu

Graduate Secretary
615-898.5420
Mass Comm 271D

Mailing Address

College of Media and Entertainment
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 51 
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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