Master's Degree in Mass Communications: Program Overview

Mass communication master's degree programs teach students about media innovations, cultural issues and managerial responsibilities among others. Learn more about the program requirements, course curriculum and options after graduation.

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in mass communications are offered in various forms by many schools, most commonly as Master of Arts in Mass Communications, Master of Science in Mass Communications or Master of Mass Communications. Possible concentrations include print journalism, photojournalism, advertising and broadcasting. Some programs are offered online and in the evening. Master's degree programs usually require about two years of full-time study.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree in communications or a related field of study and may be required to have relevant work experience. A thesis or other major project is also required.

Master's Degree in Mass Communication

The curricula of the programs are very similar, but M.A. programs most often include more liberal arts education components, while M.S. programs tend to require more theoretical and research courses. The coursework in each of the programs teaches investigative techniques, such as surveying, interviewing and directing focus groups. Throughout the program, students can acquire practical skills in researching, writing, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, speaking and presenting.

Master's degree programs often allow students to customize the majority of the coursework according to their concentration. Courses typically involve hours in laboratories or recording studios to offer practical training. Some popular course subjects include:

  • Mass communication theory
  • Research methodologies
  • Media ethics and law
  • Public affairs and opinions
  • International and intercultural communication
  • Organizational communication

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a mass communication master's degree program have several career options. Some popular job titles include:

  • Reporter
  • Broadcast news analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Advertising manager
  • Public relations manager

Continuing Education Information

Students can opt to apply to a doctoral program in mass communication. Ph.D. programs typically provide a comprehensive education, but students are expected to choose a topic within mass communication in which they'd like to develop an expertise. This degree can also qualify students for careers in research or education.

Mass communication master's degree programs familiarize students with several forms of media through courses such as mass communication theory, research methodologies and media ethics and law. Graduates could opt to pursue further studies or a variety of journalism, marketing and public relations careers.

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