Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Mass Communications, M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications 


  • Media Literacy and Analytics
  • Strategic Communication Management


Graduate study in the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications offers a comprehensive and flexible program that combines practical and scholarly approaches to examine rapidly evolving and information-intensive fields of media, advertising, and strategic communication. The M.A. in Mass Communications offers two concentrations designed for students seeking advanced studies for professional and/or academic careers through theoretically-informed research and applied projects The M.A. program prepares students to critically engage media, produce visually-appealing content, and construct strategic communication approaches for effective storytelling. 

The Media Literacy and Analytics concentration emphasizes concepts, applications, and influences of media and its cross-cultural impact on individuals and society. The Strategic Communication Management concentration emphasizes the integration of public relations, advertising, and marketing perspectives to influence and further an organization’s mission through communication.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • GRE with preferred scores of 153V (61th percentile), 144Q (17th percentile) 
  • A CV or resume
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one academic recommendation required)
  • A strong letter of intent that aligns with the program offerings
  • Students who lack an appropriate background in the selected concentration may be required to take additional courses to meet concentration minimums.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 36 Credit Hours

  • Core – 9 Credit Hours
  • Concentration – 21 Credit Hours minimum
  • Thesis or Applied Research Project – 6 Credit Hours

Concentration Requirements (21 Credit Hours)

Students select from the following concentration options:

Media Literacy and Analytics

The Media Literacy and Analytics concentration exposes students to the structure, function, content, and effect of media and its evolving role in society. Students analyze media through mixed methods approaches to critically and empirically examine and understand the influence and use of media in contemporary culture. Learning outcomes include media literacy, analysis and critique of media systems, and the social and cultural effects on audiences. 

Students complete the following 12 hours: 

Strategic Communication Management

The Strategic Communication Management concentration provides an integrated approach to the management of communication in an organization, emphasizing theoretical perspectives from public relations, advertising, marketing, and management, among other disciplines. Students will develop understanding of formal research and data analysis for campaign formation and evaluation, gain expertise in strategic messaging, and learn how to effectively manage the communication function at all levels of the workplace and across all types of organizations.

Students complete the following 12 Credit Hours:

Comprehensive Exam

Requires successful defense of the thesis or the applied research project in lieu of a comprehensive exam.

Thesis or Applied Research Project (6 Credit Hours)