Jun 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

Journalism and Mass Communication (M.A.)

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Master of Arts

The Master of Arts program in journalism and mass communication is designed to provide intellectual growth and advanced training for persons already engaged in mass media or public information work. Students wishing to specialize in a particular area, such as marketing communication or international business journalism, sociological or political communication, are encouraged to design a sequence of elective courses that best meets their interests.


Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. For students who have been out of school for some time work experience or other relevant criteria may be considered in lieu of a lower than 3.0 GPA. Students who have below a 3.0 cumulative GPA from their bachelor’s degree may still be considered for provisional admission and should provide an explanation of extenuating circumstances and/or a demonstration of outstanding work experience.

Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in a mass communication major from AUC may be asked to complete a set of readings and/or a program of undergraduate prerequisite courses completed with grades of B or higher.

In addition to the general requirements established by the university, the applicant must demonstrate a proficiency in English at an advanced level and obtain an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (currently frozen).

Students are also required to submit two recommendation letters from relevant, credible sources and a personal statement of purpose, which is evaluated for its clarity of expression, creativity, and persuasiveness in arguing that:

  • The applicant has the necessary record of preparation and performance to succeed in the program.
  • The applicant’s goals can be served by the program’s courses and experiences.
  • The program itself can benefit from the applicant’s experiences.

Applicants are also to submit an updated curriculum vitae, official transcripts of all university degrees, and samples of professionally published or broadcast work if available.

An academic writing sample (in English) that demonstrates the potential to write clearly and critically is also required. If the student has graduated within the last three years, an academic paper from the undergraduate (or M.A.) coursework will suffice. Examples of academic writing samples include a term paper, a chapter from an Honors or M.A. thesis, or a conference paper. If the student has graduated more than three years ago, he/she should include an essay of 500-700 words about a recent local, regional, or international communication issue that he/she deems important. The essay should demonstrate clarity of thinking, updated knowledge of the field, and the ability to use academic sources efficiently. Please note that newspaper or trade magazine articles, blogs, TV scripts, links to videos, etc., do not count as academic writing samples.

Applicants may be required to take an entry exam administered by the department to measure their writing skills and their overall awareness of the communication field and the word around them. Applicants may also be required to sit through a personal interview.

Admission Checklist:

  • GRE Scores (frozen)
  • Official transcripts
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Samples of published/broadcast work
  • Academic writing sample



A minimum of 27 graduate credit hours is required, including the following four core courses. Note that the four core courses should be taken as early after admission to the program as possible.


Students should complete the following courses as early after admission to the program as possible.

Additional Requirements

Additional coursework should come from the following list of Master of Arts courses, or because of the interdisciplinary scope of mass communication, students may, with adviser approval, take and apply up to three 500-level courses (9 hours) from other disciplines. A maximum of six credit hours of 400-level coursework may be approved and counted toward the required credit hours.

Comprehensive Examination

Master of Arts students must complete the following courses in preparation for the comprehensive examination. The examination procedure is described in the “General  Requirements” section. An oral examination may be required in addition to the written examination. Students must pass comprehensive examinations before being permitted to begin work on their theses.


A thesis is required for all students. The department’s thesis committee must approve the thesis topic after the student, in consultation with an advisor, submits a formal proposal. Written in English, the thesis must be defended by the student before faculty members, and must conform to current university requirements, policies and procedures.

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