This is the first version of the 2022-23 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Learning Outcomes

A candidate for a research master’s degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field in an appropriate timeframe.

Make a contribution to the scholarship of the field: synthesize existing knowledge, identifying and accessing appropriate resources and other sources of relevant information and critically analyzing and evaluating one’s own findings and those of others; apply existing research methodologies, techniques, and technical skills; and communicate in a style appropriate to the discipline.

Demonstrate commitment to advancing the values of scholarship: keep abreast of current advances within one’s field and related areas; show commitment to personal professional development through engagement in professional societies and other knowledge transfer modes; and show a commitment to creating an environment that supports learning through teaching, collaborative inquiry, mentoring, or demonstration.

Demonstrate professional skills: adhere to ethical standards in the discipline; and listen, give, and receive feedback effectively.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers a Master of Arts in mass communication. The M.A. program requires 34 s.h. with thesis. 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.

Students in the M.A. program in mass communication must complete the following coursework. They are required to take at least two courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication selected from the methods, theory, or electives areas.

All of these:
JMC:6100M.A./Ph.D. Seminar (must register for a total of 4 s.h.; should enroll every semester for entire program of study)4
JMC:6200Humanistic Approaches to Media Communication3
JMC:6300Social Scientific Approaches to Media Communication3
JMC:6999Dissertation (must register for at least 3 s.h.)3
RHET:5100Practicum: College Teaching and Professional Development for Teaching Assistants1
Additional Professionalization Courses2
Methods Area Courses3
Theory Area Courses3
Concentration Area Courses6
Electives6
Total Hours34

For a more detailed description of the M.A. program in mass communication, contact the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Admission to the program is for fall entry.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers research and teaching assistantships; preference is given to Ph.D. students. Students have been successful in winning competitive fellowships open to all graduate students; applicants must be nominated by the graduate committee.

This is an academically oriented degree that prepares students for doctoral studies or a career in research.

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

  • Journalism and mass communication students who have earned a bachelor’s degree and wish to continue their education; M.A. students 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., possibly continuing on to earn their Ph.D. degree.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Mass Communication, M.A.

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
34 s.h. must be graduate level coursework; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
JMC:6200 Humanistic Approaches to Media Communication 3
Methods, Theory, Concentration, or Elective course b, c 3
Methods, Theory, Concentration, or Elective course b, c 3
RHET:5100 Practicum: College Teaching and Professional Development for Teaching Assistants d 1
JMC:6100 M.A./Ph.D. Seminar e 1
 Hours11
Spring
JMC:6300 Social Scientific Approaches to Media Communication 3
Methods, Theory, Concentration, or Elective course b, c 3
Methods, Theory, Concentration, or Elective course b, c 3
JMC:6100 M.A./Ph.D. Seminar e 1
 Hours10
Second Year
Fall
Methods, Theory, Concentration, or Elective course b, c 3
Methods, Theory, Concentration, or Elective course b, c 3
Additional Professionalization course d 2
JMC:6100 M.A./Ph.D. Seminar e 1
 Hours9
Spring
Elective course c, f 3
JMC:6100 M.A./Ph.D. Seminar e 1
Final Exam g
 Hours4
 Total Hours34
a
Students must complete specific requirements in the University of Iowa Graduate College after program admission. Refer to the Graduate College website and the Manual of Rules and Regulations for more information.
b
Students are required to complete 3 s.h. of methods area, 3 s.h. of theory area, 6 s.h. of concentration area, and 6 s.h. of elective coursework.
c
Work with faculty advisor to determine appropriate graduate coursework; see the General Catalog and department website for specifics.
d
Students are required to take a total of 3 s.h. of professionalization courses including RHET:5100; consult with faculty advisor to determine which courses best align with career goals.
e
Registration required every semester.
f
Non-thesis option requires the completion of one additional course instead of a thesis.
g
Must complete the master's curriculum with one additional course instead of a thesis; successful completion of qualifying exam in the fourth semester of the program.