Graduate Programs in MDIA
The School of Media Arts & Studies offers a Ph.D. in Mass Communication and an MA in Media Arts & Studies. Graduate programs in the School of Media Arts & Studies stress research, theory-making, and professional development. Students may choose to emphasize either the social science or humanities traditions and will become acquainted with both qualitative and quantitative communication research methods.
Earning a graduate degree in the School provides students with the opportunity to explore specialized areas of interest, while participating in an enriching and an internationally diverse academic community. Areas of specialization include international media; media management and policy; and media studies, technology and culture. At the Master’s level, a specialization in public media is also available for returning mid-career students with at least three years of professional public media experience.
The Ph.D in Mass Communication
The School of Media Arts & Studies and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism jointly offer doctoral programs in Mass Communication. Applicants apply to one of the two schools depending on their research interests. Media Arts & Studies faculty and doctoral students conduct research using a range of approaches, including quantitative, qualitative, and critical/cultural. Significant scholarship focuses on such areas as media technologies and culture, international and comparative media studies, media audience behavior, media industry studies, and development communication. For students preparing for careers in teaching and mass communication research, the program provides rigorous theoretical and methodological education and the opportunity to gain teaching experience and work with faculty mentors on research projects. Admission and funding are highly competitive, with only 5–8 students admitted to each school per year
The doctoral degree requires 90 credit hours (students may transfer up to 36 hours from a master’s program) and is a three-year course of study. Doctoral students work closely with their advisers and other members of their program guidance committee to develop their program of study and research specialization. In the first year, students primarily focus on a core set of mass communication theory and research courses, and begin coursework in their area of specialization. The second year consists of directed research and additional courses in the student’s area of specialization, along with coursework in the minor area and research tools courses. This work reflects a continuing refinement of each student’s program focus and objectives. At the conclusion of the second year, the student completes the comprehensive examination before moving to formal approval of a proposed topic of dissertation research. The third year is devoted to dissertation research and writing.
The M.A. in Media Arts & Studies
Masters programs in the School of Media Arts & Studies focus on theory making, research, and stress the non-technical aspects of electronic media. The programs are geared towards preparing students to enter or continue working in media, related fields such as advocacy or policy, and for doctoral studies. The non-thesis option requires students to complete 36 hours of coursework and to pass a set of comprehensive exams under the guidance of a faculty adviser and committee. A thesis option exists for students with particularly strong interest in academic research.
The School jointly administers the Public Media master’s program with the WOUB Center for Public Media. The Center includes the University’s PBS and NPR stations. After completing the Public Media master’s program, students are prepared to return to public broadcasting careers with specialized skills and experiences gained through their coursework and its professional application, working for WOUB during their studies.
The Communication and Development master’s program is jointly administered by the School of Media Arts &Studies and the Center for International Studies. With a focus on communication strategies and implementation for positive social change, the Communication and Development program is unique in its approach to the study of international development.
Applications will be accepted only for fall semester entry. Admission to graduate study in Media Arts &Studies requires a baccalaureate degree for the master’s program and a completed master’s degree for the Ph.D. program. For master’s applicants, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected, although other factors will be considered. Doctoral applicants are expected to present academic credentials of a particularly high academic standard.
Applicants are required to submit the University’s graduate application form, three letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller’s Analogies Test (MAT) scores, writing samples, and transcripts of all university academic work.( For applicants whose first language is not English, a TOEFL or IELTS result may be substituted for the MAT or GRE.) Applicants should have prior professional or academic experience in media or closely allied fields of communication. However, academic and professional potential as documented in application materials can offset the lack of a strong background in the field.
All application materials must be received no later than February 1 for applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents. However, international applicants should ensure that all materials are received no later than December 31 to allow time for international transcripts to be evaluated.