While our curriculum's interdisciplinary nature allows you to develop unique research projects tailored to your individual interests, most students center their study within several broad areas:
The application deadline of March 1, 2013 has passed.
For fall 2014 admission, the deadline to apply is January 15, 2014 with a rolling deadline to March 1, 2014.
You must complete a minimum of 27 graduate credits, 10 thesis credits, and a thesis as outlined below. All course work must be taken on an A-F grading basis.
M.A. candidates work closely with their faculty advisers during the formative stages of writing their thesis. Instructions for preparation of the thesis (e.g. margins, etc.) are available from the Graduate School. Once a student’s faculty adviser approves the thesis as ready for review, the student can request a Thesis Reviewers Report Form and a Graduation Packet from the Graduate School by submitting a copy of the thesis title page. The thesis may then be presented to other members of the examining committee. Committee members should have at least two weeks to review the thesis before the final examination. All committee members must sign the Thesis Reviewers Report Form to certify that the thesis is ready for defense. The student returns the signed form to the Graduate School to obtain the Final Examination Report.
A final comprehensive oral examination is required of all M.A. candidates and may be taken during the final semester of coursework if the thesis has been completed. M.A. oral examinations focus on the Plan A thesis in addition to the coursework of the student. All members of the committee and the student are expected to meet face-to-face for the examination in every circumstance possible. When a faculty member of a graduate committee cannot be present for an examination, special arrangements must be made well in advance with the Director of Graduate Studies.
Complete information about the M.A. thesis and the final oral examination can be found in the SJMC Graduate Studies Customs and Rules book.
Master's degree students are required by the University of Minnesota Graduate School to complete at least 60 percent of the coursework for their official degree programs (excluding thesis credits) as registered University of Minnesota Graduate School students.
With approval of the adviser, Director of Graduate Studies in the major (and Director of Graduate Studies in the minor, if the courses are for a designated minor), and the Graduate School, the transfer of up to 40 percent of the degree program coursework from any combination of the following is permitted:
No more than six credits of adult special, summer session, or CCE graduate-level coursework taken at the University of Minnesota before admission to the Graduate School may be used towards a SJMC degree.
Interested in other research areas? Have career goals that require additional specialties? While the majority of M.A. coursework consists of courses and seminars offered by the SJMC, you may want to consider a graduate minor. SJMC faculty members encourage students to enhance their education in communication by completing minors in subjects related to their research interests or career goals. The University of Minnesota has many nationally ranked departments with minors that complement the study of mass communication, including: sociology, history, political science, psychology, anthropology, and American studies.
If you are interested in research or teaching at the University level and wish to pursue a Ph.D. in mass communication, you can apply for a change of status during the second year of study in the M.A. program. If the SJMC graduate faculty and the Graduate School approve the change of status application, you continue into the mass communication Ph.D. program once the M.A. degree is completed. Applications for a change of status are due December 15 and are acted on during the spring semester, when all applications for admission to the graduate program are reviewed. The admissions process for the Ph.D. degree is highly competitive, and only students who have excelled during the first year of their M.A. program should consider applying for a change of status.
If your M.A. degree program has been planned well, the coursework for that degree will ordinarily apply in full toward completion of the doctoral degree, allowing you to make steady progress toward achievement of their graduate education goals. All change of status students are expected to have their M.A. thesis completed no later than the end of their first semester in the Ph.D. program.
Upon graduation, students are prepared to begin a career in communication policy or research, within communication industries, or as an educator at the community college level. Students also have the option to fashion a sequence of courses to their M.A. degree that can form the initial stages of doctoral study (see Change of Status above).