Master's Degrees in Media Studies

As a student in a media studies master's degree program, you can learn how to research the opinions and habits of media consumers and craft appropriate media messages based on your findings. Read below for more information about the classes you'll likely take, graduation requirements and career prospects. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Media Studies Master's Degree Program?

Most media studies master's degree programs feature multidisciplinary course curricula. Programs will provide you with a well-balanced education in mass communications theory and media research techniques. You'll also learn about specific areas of the media, such as the Internet and media globalization.

Some schools offer master's degree programs specifically in media studies, while others will allow you to select media studies as a concentration within a mass communications degree program. Many programs will require you to begin your studies by taking core courses in mass communications theory and media research. Additional topics covered in required courses often include:

  • Mass media cultural studies
  • Public media consumption
  • Foundations of social media
  • Persuasive media
  • Mass media law
  • Content analysis
  • Audience research

Common Courses Content analysis, public media consumption, persuasive media, audience research, mass media cultural studies
Admissions Requirements Bachelor's degree, GRE scores, personal statement, writing samples
Graduation Requirements 35 to 40 credit hours, thesis
Online Options Fully online programs in media studies are rare but available; mass communications programs are also available online
Possible Careers Media planner, journalist, public relations specialist, communications researcher, media analyst

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

As with virtually all master's degree programs, you'll need a bachelor's degree and a passing score on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) for admission. Some institutions require your bachelor's degree to be in communications, media studies or a related area. Others ask for a written statement of purpose describing your background in writing and the specific qualifications that will help you excel in their programs. Some schools place a great emphasis on your score in the verbal section of the GRE. Many schools require writing samples from applicants as well.

What Are the Graduation Requirements?

In order to graduate from a media studies master's degree program, you'll generally need to complete between 35 and 40 credit hours of graduate-level coursework. If you're enrolled in a mass communications program with a media studies concentration, you'll likely take a 50/50 mix of core communications coursework and media studies classes. Since most master's degree programs are based heavily in communications research, you'll probably need to write and present a thesis on a current issue or area of inquiry in media studies in order to graduate.

Is This Program Available Online?

If you want to earn your master's degree in media studies through a distance learning program, there are a limited number of such programs available online. Most online programs allow you to earn your degree on an entirely virtual basis, requiring no campus visits. All you'll need is a computer, an Internet connection and perhaps some additional software. Alternatively, you may pursue an online master's degree in mass communications. Many mass communications programs offer numerous electives in media studies.

What Can I Do With a Master's Degree in Media Studies?

A media studies master's degree program can prepare you for a career in communications research or a position in a popular mass communications profession like journalism or public relations. Communications researchers often conduct research on mass media discourse and public opinion on behalf of public or higher education institutions. You can also work as a media planner or analyst for a variety of different private businesses.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • American University

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