This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.A., Mass Communication


The graduate program in Mass Communication presupposes strong undergraduate preparation or equivalent professional experience in the mass media. The master’s program calls for more intensive study, allows for development of individual professional skills and interests, focuses on evaluation of media performance and uses analytic and research techniques culminating in a Thesis, Graduate Project or Comprehensive Written Examination. Please see additional information regarding Classification standing under Graduate Programs.

Program Requirements

A. For Admission to Classified Graduate Status in the Program

  1. Bachelor’s degree with a major or minor in Journalism, Cinema or Television Arts, or completion of undergraduate courses assigned by the graduate admissions advisor to complement other majors or professional experience.
  2. GPA of 3.0 (“B”) in an undergraduate major and in all journalism courses taken. Candidates with outstanding professional records may seek, with substantial justification, an exception to this condition.
  3. GPA of 3.0 (“B”) for all undergraduate work and an above-average score on the verbal portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  4. Completion of general requirements for Classified Graduate Status.
  5. Presentation of an autobiographical statement or resume containing a review of past educational and professional experience and comments about educational objectives and purposes.
  6. Two or three letters of recommendation.

B. For the Degree

A minimum of 30 units of approved graduate work is required for the degree. University regulations require that at least 18 units of the program shall be 600-level courses. Students applying more than 36 units of coursework to their graduate program must take at least 50 percent of their courses in 600-level classes. The 30 minimum units are comprised of the following:

1. Required Seminars (9 units)

MCOM 600 Seminar in Research Methods (3)
MCOM 630 Seminar in Analysis of Media Performance (3)
MCOM 690 Research Practicum (3)

2. Select at least two of the following (6 units):

MCOM 610 Seminar in Specialized Reporting (3)
MCOM 620 Seminar in Media Criticism (3)
MCOM 693A-Z Selected Topics (3)
MCOM 694 Media Internship (1-6)
MCOM 699 Independent Study (1-6)

3. Required Courses (6 units)

JOUR 400 Mass Communication Law and Ethics (3)

Plus one of the following:

JOUR 480 History of the American News Media (3)
JOUR 585 Theory of Mass Communication (3)

4. Electives (3 to 6 units)

Courses in the Journalism department at the 400-to 600-level are not used to satisfy any of the requirements above or courses in related departments as approved in advance by the graduate program advisor.

5. Culminating Experience (1-6 units)

Select one of the following:
  1. MCOM 698C Thesis or Graduate Professional Project (3-6)
    Projects may include professionally oriented studies, video or audiotape documentaries of significance, or publishable works, such as investigative or in-depth articles. A thesis may probe historical, legal, ethical or practical questions through surveys, library studies or original investigation.
  2. MCOM 697A Comprehensive Written Exam (1)
    Written and oral examination in the major field (Mass Communication) and two specified fields selected with the approval of the graduate committee. One of those specialized fields may be outside the Department of Journalism.

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 30

More information

If you would like more information about this program, please contact


Chair: Linda Bowen
Manzanita Hall (MZ) 210A
(818) 677-3135

Graduate Coordinator: Melissa Wall
(818) 677-5677