Aug 05, 2021  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 [Archived Catalog]

Journalism - MS

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Degree Title: Master of Science

Program Name and Number: Journalism - MS6931, (*MS6927 - Reserved for students participating in the Hong Kong Baptist Transfer Program)

Department/Unit: E. W. Scripps School Journalism

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus. Some elective classes may be offered online.

Terms of Entry: Fall Spring Summer

Program Mission: The program provides opportunities to study professional journalism or prepare for further academic work by blending professionally oriented classes with mass communication principles, theory and research. Courses are available in broadcast journalism, magazine journalism, news writing/editing, public relations, advertising, and multimedia (with Media Arts and Studies and Visual Communication).

Program Learning Objectives:

  • Learn and apply the principles of mass communication research and theory.
  • Master mass communication skills.
  • Learn to write academic research papers of a quality to be presented at a conference or published in an academic journal.
  • Prepare for application to a PhD program (optional).

Program Overview:  The master’s degree program in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is one of the nation’s elite graduate study programs. It is designed for (1) students with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication who wish to further their studies before entering the workforce; (2) students with an academic background outside journalism/mass communication who wish to gain an advanced degree and a solid foundation in journalism/mass communication skills; (3) journalism/mass communication professionals who wish to add skills in additional communication platforms; (4) professionals who seek a graduate degree to expand career opportunities; and (5) excellent students who wish to prepare for admission to a PhD program with a goal of teaching journalism/mass communication at the university level.

Link to Program: Contact Graduate Director Dr. Michael S. Sweeney at

Graduation Requirements:

  • Thesis: Optional.
  • Comprehensive exams: No.
  • Expected time to graduation: Two years.
  • 38 semester hours (except for readings option), including 35 semester hours in classroom work, sometimes referred to as classroom credits. Three of the 38 credits will be thesis or professional project, and will not require classroom work.
  • Financial aid available for up to four semesters. Offers of financial aid will be made competitively to the top applicants each year.
  • Classes are 3 credit hours (5000 to 7000 level) and 4 credits (8000-level).
  • Students must take two topics seminars and one advanced research techniques class, or one topics seminar and two advanced research techniques classes.
  • Students have the capstone option of a thesis (3 credits), professional project (3 credits), or readings option (1 credit plus additional coursework). Students choosing the readings option must take at least 36 classroom credits and must take at least two 8000-level classes beyond those in the core and in the topics and advanced research requirements.
  • Masters students who have successfully completed an undergraduate law or ethics class in the five years prior to starting their MS degree at OU may waive the class. All others must take 5100 (Communication Law) and 8130 (Ethics, Internet and Society), with those classes counting toward the credits needed for the degree.
  • A new 1-credit class, 5020 Thesis Proposal, is required for all students in their second semester. It will be supervised by one professor. Successful defense of the thesis or professional project proposal is required for CR credit.
  • Admitted students may apply for acceptance into the Double Master’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at Ohio University and Leipzig University. For more information, see below or contact Dr. Bernhard Debatin at

Culminating Experience:

Master’s students must complete one of the following three options:

  • Thesis. The student will research, write, and defend a work of original scholarship related to the mass media. The thesis must be supervised and approved by a committee of three faculty members.
  • Professional project. The student will research, write, and defend an original work demonstrating mastery of some set of mass communication skills. Examples of projects include video documentaries, magazine feature stories, public relations campaigns, web page designs, etc. The professional project must be supervised and approved by a committee of three faculty members.
  • Readings option: The student must take two extra classes at the 8000-level beyond the requirements of the thesis or professional project option. The student chooses a mass media topic to investigate and reads a series of books related to that topic assigned by a three-member faculty committee. The student defends a written synthesis/response to the readings.

Admission Requirements: Minimum qualifications for admission are a four-year bachelor’s degree; a score of 300 on the GRE (verbal plus quantitative); TOEFL of 100 or its equivalent for non-native-English speakers; and a GPA of 3.0. Applicants do not need journalism or other mass communication experience or classes to apply.

Double degree with the University of Leipzig:

  • The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism offers a double-degree with the University of Leipzig in Germany. The double degree is particularly attractive for students with an interest in a professional career in international journalism and global mass communi­cation, as well as for students who want to become scholars in scholars in journalism and mass commu­nication.
  • Students can complete the double master’s degree program within the normal 2-year period that the master’s program takes, with their third semester as the study abroad semester at Leipzig University (language of instruction: English).
  • Students must first be admitted into our master’s program and then apply separately for the double degree program, which provides up to five spots per year for selected students.
  • Students who receive funding from Ohio University (stipend and tuition waiver) will keep these benefits during their semester in Leipzig, while students who pay for their master’s program will save money because Leipzig University does not require tuition.

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