Skip to the page content Skip to primary navigation Skip to the search form Skip to the audience-based navigation Skip to the site tools and log-in Information about website accessibility

School of Mass Communication

Graduate Studies

The School of Mass Communication offers Master of Arts Degree in the following areas:

Journalism: Master of Arts Program Options:

>> Thesis
>> Non-thesis
>> Professional Project


Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in journalism. With the state’s first accredited undergraduate journalism program and Arkansas’ first and largest master’s program in journalism, UALR’s master’s program in journalism is a leader in journalism education in Arkansas.

Part of UALR’s School of Mass Communication, the master’s program in journalism offers an academically strong program that incorporates enough flexibility to accommodate the individual needs of students. We welcome students with undergraduate degrees in journalism and/or professional media experience, as well as those just starting to study journalism and mass communication.

The MA in journalism is designed to help students grow intellectually while broadening writing and research skills. The program will give students an understanding and appreciation of the mass media’s social role, as well as the professional skills and research tools for career enhancement or for doctoral study.

The journalism provides professional writing and research competencies for a wide range of media, communications and related fields. It focuses on a continuing inquiry into the theory and practice of mass communication (broadcast and print media and the public information profession) and its relationships, both past and present, with other social institutions. Students work with the journalism graduate program coordinator to chart a program of study to meet individual goals of professional advancement or personal enrichment.

The graduate program has three tracks. Whether a student pursues the thesis, non-thesis or professional option depends on career goals and personal interests. With its high ratio of faculty to number of students, UALR’s journalism master’s degree offers each student individual attention.
The School of Mass Communication provides state-of-the-art computerized news writing and editing laboratories. Most courses in the journalism MA program are offered in the evenings, with some on-line electives, for the convenience of the working professional.

Graduate faculty members in journalism are committed to academic excellence and their standards reflect the highest professional and educational values.


The journalism graduate coordinator and the student select courses based upon the individual needs of students with consideration for having a well-rounded and complete program so that the graduate is truly a master of the discipline of journalism.

Degree Requirements

All students in the Master of Arts program in journalism must complete MCOM 7300, Proseminar in Journalism, Journalism 7305, Mass Communication Processes and Effects, and either Journalism 7335, Seminar in Quantitative Research, or Journalism 7340, Seminar in Journalism History. Other required courses are included with different course options.
Students can take a maximum of only 12 hours of 5000-level courses.
Students who have not studied journalism at the undergraduate level or who do not have sufficient professional journalism experience to master basic news writing, reporting and editing skills will be required to take some undergraduate courses as part of their program of study. These undergraduate courses will not count toward the 33 hours of the MA program.
Only six hours with grades of C can count toward the degree. A cumulative B grade average is required on an approved course of study. Students who do not achieve a 3.0 GPA within the hours required for the degree may complete up to six additional hours. If the average is not then at least 3.0, the student may not continue in the program.
Incompletes are viewed unfavorably by the graduate faculty, graduate dean and prospective employers. An incomplete (I) grade must be requested by the student and is given when the professor deems that circumstances beyond the student’s control will prevent timely completion of course requirements. A written contract, signed by the instructor and student, sets the date and condition for completing the class. Most I’s can be removed within 90 days, but all must be removed within one year. Students with excessive incompletes may be restricted in the number of hours they may take in a subsequent semester. Generally, graduate students are not permitted to take courses for CR (credit) or NC (no credit). Any exceptions must be approved before the start of the semester.
Transfer Credit: Up to six graduate hours with grades of B or better may be transferred from an accredited institution, if approved by the journalism graduate program coordinator. Transferred classes must be completed in the past five years.
Capstone options.
UALR’s graduate program in journalism has three capstone options for completing the program: 1) a thesis option 2) a non-thesis option) 3) a professional project options.

For more Information

Questions about UALR’s Master of Arts Program in Journalism should be directed to Dale Zacher, Ph.D. at

Updated 9.13.2011