Graduate Studies

The Master of Arts Degree:

The Master of Arts in Mass Communication program is located within the School of Mass Communication (SMC) and emphasizes critical thinking about journalistic media content and its effects on the public. It also teaches students how to analyze and conduct scholarly research in Mass Communication and how to write up and present the results of such research to both scholarly and non- scholarly audiences. Although the program does not emphasize the teaching of journalistic writing skills, it does offer limited opportunities to earn graduate credit in advanced skills course work in Mass Communication and public relations.
The program is open to students with undergraduate majors or minors in Mass Communication, to working journalists, and to those without Mass Communication backgrounds who are willing to complete several undergraduate Mass Communication skills courses, as determined by the program coordinator upon admission.
Most of the program’s graduate courses are offered during the evening and in the early morning for the convenience of the working professional. Generally, these courses meet once a week for approximately three hours.

The Mass Communication graduate program offers two tracks: thesis and professional. A comprehensive project and at least 33 hours of study at UALR are required of all students. Each student’s program is subject to an adviser’s approval.

Most of the program’s graduate courses are offered during the evening or early morning for the convenience of the working professional. Generally, these courses meet once a week for approximately three hours. Also there are few online courses.

 

Degree Requirements

The Mass Communication graduate program offers two options: thesis and professional. A comprehensive project and at least 33 hours of study at UALR are required of all students. Each student’s program is subject to an adviser’s approval.

All courses usually are taken in the School of Mass Communication; however, up to nine approved cognate graduate hours may be taken in other graduate areas. In some instances, courses from another area can form a concentration area. Only six hours with grades of C can count toward the degree.
If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, that student may enroll for only three credits per semester until the GPA rises to 3.0 or higher. The Mass Communication graduate program coordinator may make exceptions to this rule, if circumstances warrant them.

Students who have not studied Mass Communication at the undergraduate level or who do not have sufficient professional Mass Communication experience to master basic news writing, reporting, and editing skills will be required to complete any or all of the following courses:
MCOM 2350 Techniques of Writing for the Mass Media
MCOM 3320 Reporting Principles
Two of the following courses may be required for graduate credit:
MCOM 5350 Design and Production
MCOM 5352 News Media and the First Amendment
MCOM 5358 Reporting of Public Affairs
Students without an undergraduate background in Mass Communication should take MCOM 5352, News Media and the First Amendment. This class should be completed, either at the graduate or undergraduate level, before taking MCOM 7330, Seminar in Mass Communication Law. Students without a solid knowledge of mass communication history should consult with the Mass Communication graduate program coordinator about how to overcome that weakness.

 

Mass Communication: Master of Arts Program Options:

>> Thesis Option
Requires 33 graduate credit hours, including MCOM 7300 and 7305, 7335, 7340, and a 6-hour thesis with oral defense (MCOM 8300 or 8600).

>> Professional Option
Requires 33 graduate credit hours, including MCOM 7300, the student’s choice between 7335 or 7340 and an approved professional project (MCOM 7180, 7280, 7380).

Transfer Credit
Up to six graduate hours with grades of B or greater may be transferred from an accredited institution, if approved by the Mass Communication graduate program coordinator.

For more Information

Questions about UALR’s Master of Arts Program in Mass Communication should be directed to Kwasi Boateng, Ph.D. at kxboateng@ualr.edu