Online Master's Programs in Journalism & Mass Communication

Master's programs in journalism and mass communication can be found in online formats at a handful of schools. Read on for more information about course content, admissions, and career outcomes for these programs. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Earning a Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication Online

Several schools offer online programs that teach students basic and advanced topics in mass communication and journalism. Some schools allow students to major in both subjects, while others offer a major in journalism with a concentration in mass communication or vice versa. Courses in these programs feature both the development of writing and research skills and an examination of media theory.

Media Law

This course teaches students about the legal regulations that govern the media landscape. Topics commonly covered in this offering include freedom of expression, copyright statues, libel laws, and other laws that impact the publishing and broadcasting fields. Certain programs may also focus on interactions between mass media practitioners and other relevant parties such as policymakers, legal scholars, and the general public.

Diversity in Mass Media

Students who take this course have a chance to learn about the impact of diversity on mass media and communication. The course examines the relationship between media and women, minorities, and other protected classes. This offering also alternative and ethnic news outlets have impacted and altered the mainstream media landscape.

International Communication

In this course, students might learn about the impacts of globalization on the journalism and mass communication fields. Common topics of instruction include social media usage, strategic communication, audience analysis, and other topics in international communication theory. Select programs also analyze the relationship between the media and the government and the role of media in developing countries.

Media Ethics

Whereas courses in media law focus on the more rigid policies, this course introduces students to the moral and ethical dilemmas that journalists face on a regular basis. Students will explore the dynamics between journalists, employers, and society in general and the importance of accurate information. The course also gives special consideration to modern journalism and issues that contemporary journalists are currently facing.

Public Relations Campaigns

Managing public perception and establishing a reputation are both critical components of mass communication theory, and courses like these focus on both of these topics. Students often learn the theory, research methods, and problem-solving skills that dictate how organizations devise and execute public relations campaigns. Students typically use case studies to study real-world examples and enhance their understanding of how an organization can navigate a crisis.

How to Apply to an Online Master's Program in Mass Communication & Journalism

As with all graduate programs, prospective students will need a bachelor's degree to be eligible to apply. Some schools require that the undergraduate major also be in journalism or a related major, and some programs may ask for a GPA of at least 3.0.

Along with transcripts, applicants will commonly need to provide a resume, request letters of recommendation, and compose an essay outlining their plans for the program and beyond. Students who earned their undergraduate degree may be required to take English proficiency exams such as the TOEFL or IELTS.

Career Paths for Online Master's Programs in Journalism & Mass Communication

Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts

This career typically involves researching stories, interviewing sources, and composing articles. Professionals in this field need to have an education in journalism and/or mass communication that includes coursework in English, communication, and media ethics, all of which can be found in master's degree programs in mass communication and journalism.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations and fundraising managers are tasked with protecting an organization's public image and devising methods to bring in donations. Employers often prefer candidates who have a master's degree in journalism and communication because these programs teach the writing, leadership, and communication skills that are essential to the role.

Producers and Directors

Graduates with an interest in the creative arts can go on to direct and produce movies, television shows, and theater productions. In addition to knowledge of film theory and stage direction, these professionals benefit from a knowledge of business and media concepts, which can be earned in a journalism and communication program.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-28)*
Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts $43,490 per year -10% (Decline)
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $114,800 per year 8% (Faster than average)
Producers and Directors $71,680 per year 5% (As fast as average)

*Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Several schools offer master's programs that focus on topics in journalism and mass communication and can be taken online. These programs require a bachelor's degree, contain diverse curricula and allow graduates to move into a variety of careers in journalism and the creative arts.

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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