'Internet studies' is a term that can mean different things at different universities as it often encompasses a broad range of academic disciplines. At present it is not common for universities to offer a graduate degree specifically in internet studies. However, if you're interested in fields in which you'll spend your time studying the composition of the internet and how people use it, you might consider the following graduate programs.
Graduate Programs in Internet Studies
A degree in media studies would focus on the interpersonal communication aspect of the internet, particularly the use of mass media. General media studies coursework in a graduate setting covers topics such as digital media, media analysis, the growth and use of traditional forms of media and research methods. Some master's programs may directly address emerging media such as the internet, or may offer a related concentration. Expect graduate programs in this discipline to take about one to two years to complete.
An internet technology program will focus more on the hardware, software and infrastructure end. Coursework often includes subjects like information security, database management, cloud computing and enterprise architectures. These degree programs provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to create and manage networks and internet infrastructure for businesses and organizations. Graduate programs in internet technology usually take about one to two years to complete.
A graduate degree in data science is a good choice for students interested in collecting, analyzing and processing the massive amounts of data found on the internet. Coursework in these programs often covers statistics, data acquisition and analysis, machine learning, privacy and ethics considerations among other topics. Data science graduate programs usually take about two years to complete. Data science degrees are intensive in terms of technical knowledge and may require applicants to demonstrate a certain level of programming proficiency in a commonly used language in the field.
To make a very broad comparison, an information scientist that specializes in internet communication is something like a librarian of digital information. In addition to library science, the discipline draws on a broad variety of other fields such as computer science, linguistics and information engineering. An information scientist may build or manage online networks after obtaining a master's degree, and may do academic or technical research after obtaining a doctorate. Coursework covered in these programs often includes information retrieval, database programming, research methods and machine learning. Expect these programs to take a minimum of two years to complete.
General Admissions Requirements
Prerequisite courses and degree requirements can vary greatly depending upon the program you select. Those that are more technical in nature, such as data or information science, may require a specific related degree or some specific prior coursework. Some of the technical fields may also require that you have some knowledge of a programming language. Some programs may also set specific grade point, GRE or GMAT score requirements. An English proficiency test may be asked of international students or those whose previous academic work has taken place outside of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia or Canada.
The interdisciplinary field of internet studies presents a variety of directions to go in. Students who want to focus on the physical structure of the internet might pursue an internet technology graduate degree, while those who are more interested in data and information processing might prefer a data or information science concentration. It's even possible to go in a more sociological direction with a media studies degree program.