The master of arts (MA) degree in media communications is for students who have both an interest and background in communications.
All students entering this program are required to consult with a media communications academic advisor prior to registration. Qualifications and required prerequisite courses will be discussed at this time. Qualifications include a strong educational background in their intended area of graduate communications study or professional experience in their area of interest. Students without a strong educational background or experience in the communications field are required to enroll in 6 credit hours of prerequisite course work. The selection of prerequisites will depend on each student’s area of academic interest in communications. Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in the prerequisite courses before they are allowed to enroll in graduate courses. The prerequisite courses are not counted toward the 36 credit hours required for the degree, nor are they considered as part of the credit hours required for advancement to candidacy.
This degree is also available online. Online courses require excellent organizational skills, self-direction, and motivation to master the challenges of this learning environment.
Successful graduates of this program will be able to:
- Understand the breadth of media communications;
- Examine media using multiple perspectives;
- Examine media in multiple contexts: cultural, economic, political, etc.;
- Look at media as product, process, and commentary;
- Apply qualitative and quantitative research methodologies;
- Apply research strategies to analyze media.
The 36 credit hours required for the MA in media communications degree must include the following courses (21 credit hours):
|MEDC 5000 Media Communications (Requisite Course)||3 hours|
|MEDC 5310 Media and Culture||3 hours|
|MEDC 5350 Media Organization and Regulations||3 hours|
|MEDC 5360 International Communications||3 hours|
|MEDC 5400 Media Production Management||3 hours|
|MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications||3 hours|
|MEDC Elective–One additional core course from MEDC electives, as determined through consultation with an academic advisor|
In addition to the seven core courses, students can choose elective courses offered in the other School of Communications majors. Courses from program curricula outside the School of Communications may be considered, if appropriate and approved in advance using a program option request form. Students taking courses that are a part of their approved curriculum and that are from outside of the School of Communications should verify prerequisites with the appropriate school or college.
MEDC 5000 Media Communications is the requisite course in the media communications program. It examines communications theory and its application to mass media, as well as introduces students to the graduate program, describes program expectations, and discusses academic preparation for MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications. Therefore, students must take this course even if they have academic and/or professional experience in media communications.
The required courses and electives listed may be taken as directed studies, subject to the conditions stated in the Directed Studies section listed under Academic Policies and Procedures and approved by the director of Graduate Studies and the dean of the School of Communications.
JOUR 4200 Teaching Scholastic Publications (3)
This course provides an overview of teaching beginning journalism and advising high school publications. Topics discussed include: press rights and responsibilities; gathering, reporting, and editing the news; photo and electronic journalism; mass media and society; design techniques; management and business skills necessary for advising publications; and evaluation techniques necessary for grading students involved in school publications. Students learn how to write lesson plans for daily use in their journalism classes, and each student is required to submit a lesson plan including activities, tests and projects on teaching the First Amendment. Each student submits a sample staff manual, which he/she adapts to the school publication that he/she will be advising. This course applies to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education certification of teachers of journalism in secondary education. Prerequisite: Admission to teacher post-baccalaureate certification program through the School of Education.
JOUR 4250 Methods of Teaching Secondary Publications/Journalism (3)
This course provides the instruction necessary for the teacher to aid in the publication of the high school newspaper, yearbook, or broadcasting medium. Students learn the process of writing bids for selecting the printing company, and techniques needed to publish the school paper or yearbook. Students learn classroom organization, photography (both digital and darkroom procedures), assigning beats, the public relations of scholastic journalism distribution and mailing of publications, press freedom and mass media in society, advertising and business skills for teaching journalism, and newspaper and yearbook production. This course applies to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education certification of teachers of journalism in secondary education. Prerequisite: Admission to teacher post-baccalaureate certification program through the School of Education.
JOUR 5345 News Writing and Reporting (3)
Writing for journalism is intended to give the student an understanding of the various genres of journalistic expression, including the hard-news story, feature story, and investigative story, as well as interpretive and explanatory journalism. Additionally, students are introduced to the trends of journalistic writing, from yellow and tabloid journalism to muckraking and the new civic journalism. Students can expect a number of writing/reporting assignments in this course. Cross-listed with MEDC 5345. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
JOUR 5350 Communications Law (3)
The student examines the legal structure of the media communications industry. The course focuses on the formation, rationale, and implications of policies that form the basis of media law and regulation. Cross-listed with MEDC 5350. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
JOUR 5352 Scholastic (High School) Publications (3)
This course provides preparation for instructing and advising in the area of publication production. The course will provide knowledge of publishing houses and the printing business; knowledge in content and style of contemporary publications; knowledge of available texts and teaching aids; and knowledge of legal and ethical issues in journalism. The course is designed specifically to prepare journalism teachers at the high school and elementary level for Missouri state certification. Prerequisite: Admission to teacher post-baccalaureate certification program through the School of Education.
JOUR 5360 Teaching Journalism Topics (3)
Designed as a seminar, this course will provide an overview of teaching and advising publications. Topics to be discussed include: press rights and responsibilities, news gathering and reporting, design, photojournalism, copyediting, communication law, electronic journalism, management and business skills necessary for advising publications. Participants will receive hands-on experience that can be used in the classroom. The course is designed specifically to prepare journalism teachers at the high school and elementary level for Missouri state certification. Prerequisite: Admission to teacher post-baccalaureate certification program through the School of Education.
MEDC 5000 Media Communications (3)
Students examine communications theory and its application to mass media. The course introduces students to the graduate program and describes program expectations as well as introduces research methodologies used throughout the program and discusses academic preparation for MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications. Therefore, students must take this course even if they have academic and/or professional experience in media communications. Prerequisite: Students should have an educational background or professional experience in media communications, or they must enroll in 6 credit hours of additional preparatory undergraduate coursework, as determined by an academic advisor.
MEDC 5200 Directed Studies in Media Communications (3-6)
Under faculty supervision, students examine an area of specialty not currently offered in the media communications curriculum. The student and instructor develop a written course proposal. Requires approval of the director of Graduate Studies and the dean of the School of Communications. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs, not to exceed 6 credit hours.
MEDC 5290 Issues in Media Communications (3-6)
Current and significant issues in media communications are examined. The course focuses on existing theories and practices, with emphasis given to new and emerging topics in the field. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs, not to exceed 6 credit hours.
MEDC 5300 Strategic Communications (3)
This course is taught from a top-management perspective regarding the strategic role of communications, and the communications manager, in achieving the company mission and measurable bottom-line results. It introduces students to an integrated approach to managing all communications functions, including all direct and indirect communications requirements for both internal and external audiences and intermediaries, such as customers, suppliers, distributors, employees, shareholders, competitors, politicians, analysts, journalists and lobbyists. It encompasses the functional areas of marketing communications, organizational communications, media relations, investor relations, government relations and corporate branding. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5310 Media and Culture (3)
This course examines the mass media as it reflects and influences the attitudes, values, behaviors, myths, and preoccupations that define a given culture. The course considers the functions of mass media in society and the effect on the individual. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5332 Media Communications Production: Graphics (6)
This course is composed of two elements. First, the student is introduced to the prepress environment, which includes the production process, the current utilization of offset lithography in conjunction with advanced digital technology, and the production controls necessary for timely development of printed materials. The second element of the class is a hands-on production deployment of a prepress project using advanced print-ready techniques. The course will analyze the use of color, budget impacts, and new advances in printing and information distribution technology. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5343 Writing for Media Communications: Scriptwriting (3)
This course helps students develop several styles of nonfiction video scriptwriting for broadcast and non-broadcast media, including corporate scriptwriting, news-feature writing, and documentary-style scripting. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5345 Writing for Media Communications: Journalism (3)
Writing for journalism is intended to give the student an understanding of the various genres of journalistic expression, including the hard-news story, feature story, and investigative story, as well as interpretive and explanatory journalism. Additionally, students are introduced to the trends of journalistic writing, from yellow and tabloid journalism to muckraking and the new civic journalism. Students can expect a number of writing/reporting assignments in this course. Cross-listed with JOUR 5345. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5346 Writing for Media Communications: Interactive Scriptwriting (3)
Development of the script in adherence to the planning vehicle requires a thorough understanding of the primary and secondary tasks of the interactive environment. This script must provide full detail for execution of the planning vehicle. Scripting for computer-based training, point of information, point of sale, and other deployments are discussed in this course. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000, MEDC 5600, and MEDC 5343
MEDC 5350 Media Organization and Regulations (3)
The student examines the legal structure of the media communications industry. The course focuses on the formation, rationale, and implications of policies that form the basis of media law and regulation. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5360 International Communications (3)
This course focuses on the history, issues, and future of international communications. The class considers individual media systems, including different understandings of the role of the media, freedom of press and information in different areas of the world; parity between distribution of news and the shaping of the public mind; international stereotyping; and international propaganda. The course also examines the relationship between national and global media systems and the role of international communications in the development of the new world order. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5390 Practicum (3)
Students undertake, with the supervision of a qualified professional, an approved internship in a media-related setting. The course includes work and academic experience. The work experience involves professional media duties. The academic experience involves written assignments and attendance at seminars. The outline of duties and evaluative methods are established by the student and the internship mentor and approved by the mentor prior to initiation of the program. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 21 credit hours in the MA in media communications program, including MEDC 5000 Media Communications; meeting program criteria; and permission of the internship coordinator and the director of Graduate Studies. Note: Internships should be directly relevant to students’ course of studies and majors.
MEDC 5400 Media Production Management (3)
The student applies theories of how communications campaigns work in a real-world environment. Students will critically examine all aspects of the strategic campaign planning process, including research, budgeting, planning, writing and evaluation. The course focuses on how corporate communications, such as public relations, internal communications, advertising and marketing all work together to achieve organizational objectives. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5401 Media Production Management: Interactive (3)
This course prepares students to manage the variety of disciplines involved in the development and production of interactive media. Students learn to manage projects from the concept and script, video, audio, and screen design to programming and testing. Budgeting, invoicing, scheduling, flowcharting, treatment, presentation, and delivery platforms are examined. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000, MEDC 5600, and MEDC 5615
MEDC 5430 Media Communications Technology (3)
The student explores new technologies in mass communications and the choices that these technologies present in the area of media communications. Course content focuses on the impact of computer technology, artificial intelligence, and wireless technology on business and government and the increasing reliance on the management and communication of information. Future applications, active media technology, E-commerce and Web services, and Web-based social networks are also considered. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5460 Media Research (3)
This course introduces students to the major research methodologies, communication theories, and topics of study within media research. Theories, models, and methods are applied toward the development of research projects. Students discuss and examine qualitative and quantitative methods of media research employed by various aspects of the media. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 MEDC 5310 strongly recommended
MEDC 5500 Professional Seminars (1-3)
Students may supplement the core and elective courses in media communications with professional seminars designed to examine contemporary issues in this field. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs. Graduate students may apply a maximum of 3 credit hours of these seminars as electives to meet the credit-hour requirements for graduation. This course may not be completed by directed study. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Undergraduate seniors require approval from their academic advisor.
MEDC 5550 Topics in Media Communications (3-6)
This course offers a variety of topics to address emerging theories, practices, and applications in the field of communications. Topics are timely and of interest to professionals currently working in or pursuing media-related careers. Classes may focus on such topics as campaign strategy and political power; video and media literacy; ethical issues in the media; applications for podcasting and blogs; creating cultural change through organizational communications; etc. Prerequisites may vary by topic. May be repeated once for credit if content differs and is appropriate for student's course of study, not to exceed 6 credits.
MEDC 5600 Introduction to Interactive Communications (3)
A practical introduction to interactive media, this course addresses concept, design and production strategies, technical aspects of production and publication, and practical applications of interactive media in educational, commercial, and public environments. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5610 Video for Interactive Communications (3)
The production of short segment video bytes for interactive applications differs significantly from conventional video production. Video production for nonlinear access is discussed, and tools and methods are examined. Students are responsible for the planning and development of a series of video shorts. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5600
MEDC 5615 New Media Tools
Students learn about a variety of media used in electronic and digital environments, from the World Wide Web to DVD. Topics include streaming video and audio on the Web, compression, and equipment or tools necessary to use an interactive program or Web site. Students study examples of existing interactive programs (e. g. Web sites, CD-ROM, DVD) as well as develop strategies to solve real-world problems. Note: This is not a production course. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000
MEDC 5620 Audio for Interactive Communications (3)
Students learn how to develop and produce the audio component for a variety of interactive programs. The students will learn how to work with sound engineers and composers, how to record sound in the studio and the field, and how to use ProTools software. Students will also explore different compression techniques and study a variety of delivery systems/environments. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5600
MEDC 5630 Visual Design for Interactive Communications (3)
Integration of traditional commercial art techniques into dynamic interactive modules is the focus of this course. Proper visual cues for response, efficient use of color, and logical design of decision points are examined in detail. Still-frame images from live video are used in combination with graphic design. Human factor issues in the development of interactive media are analyzed. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5600
MEDC 5631 Interactive Media Applied to the Internet (3)
MEDC 5640 Interactive Programming (3)
The multitude of programming platforms is investigated, reviewed, and their many uses are discussed. Advantages, disadvantages, and suitability for particular markets (i.e. consumer, industrial, educational, remote link) are examined in detail. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5600
MEDC 5650 Special Topics in Interactive Media (3-6)
This course addresses current and significant issues in interactive media and interactive communications. The course focuses on existing theories and practices, with emphasis on new and emerging topics and technologies in this field. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5600 recommended. Can be repeated once for credit if content differs, not to exceed 6 credit hours.
MEDC 5690 Interactive Project Management (6)
The interactive project represents the integration and implementation of all previous interactive courses. This project is composed of two elements: the interactive project itself, and the planning and production documents associated with the project. The project culminates in a demonstration and presentation to the project review faculty. Prerequisites: Completion of all required interactive courses and permission of the instructor.
MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications (3)
In this course, students create a capstone research project. Students are expected to synthesize and integrate the learning experiences acquired in the curriculum and to evaluate current media communications research topics relative to a particular area of interest. Students should seek to add to the body of media communications knowledge with all capstone research projects. Papers used in previous courses cannot be resubmitted or repackaged in order to meet the requirements of this course. However, it is acceptable to continue researching ideas which students may have pursued during their degree program, building on them to complete the large, comprehensive paper required in this capstone course. Students are encouraged to have their capstone research project topics approved prior to the start of class. Prerequisite: Completion of all other graduate courses in program. This should be the last course taken before graduation. Any exceptions must be approved prior to registration by submitting a program option request to be signed by the director of Graduate Studies and the dean of the School of Communications.
MEDC 6250 Thesis Project in Media Communications (3-6)
The student synthesizes and integrates the learning experiences from all previous media communications courses and researches a specific topic to complete a thesis project relevant to the student's media communications major. The student must submit a written project proposal. Prerequisite: Completion of all other graduate courses and approval of written project proposal by the director of Graduate Studies and the dean of the School of Communications. The written project proposal must follow current thesis guidelines and include appropriate graduate thesis forms.