The Master of Arts program in Mass Communication with Thesis requires 34 s.h. of graduate credit. Students who plan to continue on to doctoral studies in the school can complete the required coursework for the master’s degree, plus one additional course, and successfully pass a qualifying examination; a thesis is not required.

The M.A. program is designed to meet the needs of:

  • Journalism students who have earned a bachelor’s degree and wish to continue their education. M.A. students can continue can be considered for admission into the doctoral program after completion of all their M.A. degree requirements.
  • Experienced journalists or communicators who wish to prepare themselves for teaching by earning the M.A. degree, possibly continuing on to the Ph.D.

For more information about the program, refer to the Graduate Student Handbook, or send an email to us at

Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Master of Arts in Mass Communication, visit the UI General Catalog.

Degree Requirements
Title Hours
Humanistic Approaches to Media Communication 3
Social Scientific Approaches to Media Communication 3
Methods Area course 3
Theory Area course 3
Concentration courses 6
Additional Upper-Level Electives 6
College Teaching for Teaching Assistants 1
Additional Professionalization 2
Master’s Seminar 4
Master's Thesis (see below) 3
Total Hours 34

Important Deadlines

Application Deadline: January 10th (for Fall admission)


Admission decisions are based on prior academic performance, letters of reference, and the applicant's statement about background and purpose. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website. For more information, see the Graduate Admissions Process page.

Master's Thesis

Students who are enrolled in the M.A. Program without the intention of continuing on to the Ph.D. Program are required to complete a scholarly thesis to fulfill M.A. degree requirements. The student is required to have a thesis adviser and a thesis committee composed of two additional graduate faculty members. One member of the committee may be from outside the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.