Mass Communication and Media Arts

Main Content

The College of Arts and Media (CAM) offers four interdisciplinary graduate programs at the college level associated with graduate education in the School of Media Arts and the School of Journalism. 

  • M.A. in Media Theory and Research
  • M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts
  • M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies
  • Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts

These programs develop teaching, research, and creative work that interrogates the construction, reception, and social impact of mass media forms and texts. The work uniquely blends methods from the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Students study historical, theoretical, and critical approaches to mass communication. The faculty seek to nurture an intellectual and creative community attuned to global social changes, as we respond to new ways of creating and analyzing written, aural, and visual media.

To support the graduate programs, the College of Arts and Media houses multimedia computer labs and state-of-the-art design, video, audio, animation, and editing software in a suite of work rooms called the New Media Center. The college has a wide variety of cinema, photography, print media, radio-television and video production facilities.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or have completed all undergraduate degree requirements prior to the beginning of the classes for the term for which admission is sought. Applicants may begin the admissions process when they need no more than 32 credit hours beyond the credit shown on their transcript at the time of application to complete all requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Applications

All requirements for admission to the Graduate School at Southern Illinois University Carbondale must be met. Applicants must submit completed application forms, transcripts of all post-secondary studies, and a personal statement describing their objectives for study in the program to which they are applying, career goals and interests. Applicants must arrange for three references to send letters of recommendation to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. Students should contact the College of Arts and Media.

The graduate programs require a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to Graduate Study in Mass Communication and Media Arts (M.A., M.S., M.F.A., Ph.D.). Applicants must pay this fee by credit card.

Applicants to our graduate programs must meet the English language requirements stipulated by the Graduate School. The English language requirement may be waived if an applicant was awarded a Master's degree at an accredited college or university in the United States and has been in residence in the United States continuously prior to application to the graduate program at SIUC. The student must not have been out of the United States for more than one calendar year. Alternatively, the requirement may be waived if the applicant has a minimum of 60 graded (A, B, and C) credit hours of recent coursework completed at an accredited college or university in the United States with continuous residence in the United States prior to application to the graduate program at SIUC. Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, or Proficiency credit is not acceptable. English language requirements vary according to the individual situations of applicants. What will satisfy the requirement is always determined by the Graduate School Admissions Office, not the faculty or staff of the programs.

Retention

In addition to the retention policies of the SIUC Graduate School, each master’s degree student must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4) and each Ph.D. student must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.25 (= 4). Upon falling below this average, students will be allowed only one full academic term (excluding J-term and/or summer session) to bring their average up to the minimum; failing this, they will be dropped from the program and will not be allowed to re-apply.

All graduate students will undergo an end-of-the-year faculty review of their progress toward their degree that includes course progress and/or creative or scholarly work. After the review, students will be notified of any deficiencies to be resolved. Students failing to rectify those deficiencies by the end of the next semester (excluding summer) will be permanently suspended from the graduate program.

All graduate students who have completed their course work and the minimum number of credit hours required for projects, thesis or dissertation must enroll in MCMA 601, Continuing Research Enrollment, each semester until the completion of their degree programs. Exceptions to the continuing enrollment rule are allowed only for students who are required to be away from SIUC full-time by the United States or the State of Illinois government.     

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Media Theory and Research

The graduate programs in the College Arts and Media develop teaching, research, and creative work that interrogates the construction, reception, and social impact of mass media forms and texts. Our work uniquely blends methods from the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Students study historical, theoretical, and critical approaches to mass communication. The faculty seek to nurture an intellectual and creative community attuned to global social changes, as we respond to new ways of creating and analyzing written, aural, and visual media.

The M.A. degree in Media Theory and Research introduces graduate students to the research traditions in the fields of mass communication and media studies. Students learn theory and research in a college which emphasizes the importance of global communication for understanding the 21st century. Graduates of the program will be well trained for department-level leadership in the mass media industries, professional media commentary, and teaching. The degree may lead toward doctoral studies.

Program Admission

Students whose preparation is lacking in certain areas may be required to take undergraduate courses that will not be counted towards the M.A. in Media Theory and Research degree. International Students must have a TOEFL of at least 550 (paper score) or 80 (internet score) or an IELTS score of 6.5 to be admitted. All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Generally applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4) for their last two years of undergraduate work. Other factors will also be considered including professional and academic accomplishments, examples of professional work, awards and honors, graduate examination scores or evidence of scholarship such as research papers.

Retention

No course in which the grade is below B- shall count toward the degree or fulfillment of any requirement, but the grade will be included in the grade point average. The College of Arts and Media allows a maximum of three years from the date of enrollment in the M.A. in Media Theory and Research program to the completion of the degree. The program generally takes two years to complete.

Procedures

All M.A. in Media Theory and Research students will undergo a faculty review at the end of Year 1. This process allows faculty to deliver formal feedback regarding the student’s progress toward their degree that includes performance in courses and scholarly production outside of the classroom.

By the end of the third semester in residence, each M.A. in Media Theory and Research student will be required to form a three-member graduate faculty committee. The student must complete the proposal hearing and thesis defense within one year of finishing coursework and three years of beginning the program. The student publicly defends both the thesis proposal and completed thesis in an oral examination with the graduate faculty committee.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate competence in at least one mass communication research method.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in at least one theoretical area of media studies.
  • Students will learn to conduct original research as befits a scholar in the field.
  • Students will contribute new knowledge to the field via the writing of a thesis.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate and synthesize appropriate theoretical perspectives and existing literature in the field to their own work. 
  • Students will demonstrate via writing and oral presentation knowledge of theory and research in the field.
  • Students will demonstrate in writing and oral presentation the ability to evaluate their own work in relation to other research in the field. 

Curriculum

Candidates must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours including 7 credit hours of core requirements: MCMA 537: Introduction to Mass Communication Research (3 CH) and 4 credit hours of MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium taken over the first two semesters.

Core (7 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 537: Introduction to Mass Communication Research (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)

Emphasis Area (12 Credit Hours)

Students take a minimum of four elective courses (12 CH) selected in consultation with the faculty thesis committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. The program culminates in a scholarly, research-based thesis, MCMA 599B (3 CH) M.A. in Media Theory and Research Thesis. Students are required to present at the graduate research symposium in Spring Year 2. Students may not take any credit hours at the 400-level to count toward their progress in the M.A. in Media Theory and Research program. Other graduate-level SIUC courses (MCMA or from other graduate programs) will count for M.A. in Media Theory and Research electives, as deemed appropriate by the student, thesis advisor, thesis committee members, and Director of Graduate Studies.

Students are required to take one research methods course from the following list:

  • MCMA 531: Critical Research Methods in Media Arts (3 CH)
  • MCMA 532: Quantitative Research Methods (3 CH)
  • MCMA 534: Qualitative Research Methods (3 CH)

In Fall Year 2, students are required to take more advanced courses, MCMA 508: Conceptual Foundations of Research Strategy and MCMA 514: Theories of Mass Communication and Media.

Sample Curriculum Map

Fall Year 1 (8 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 537: Introduction to Mass Communication Research (3 CH)
  • One elective or research methods course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)

Spring Year 1 (8 Credit Hours)

  • One elective or research methods course (3 CH)
  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)

Fall Year 2 (9 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 508: Conceptual Foundations of Research Strategy (3 CH)
  • MCMA 514: Theories of Mass Communication and Media (3 CH)
  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)

Spring Year 2 (6 Credit Hours)

  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 599B: Thesis (3 CH)

There is a required presentation at the graduate student symposium in Spring Year 2.

Preferred M.A. in Media Theory and Research Electives 

  • MCMA 500: Mass Media as Social Institutions
  • MCMA 506: Law and Policy in Mass Communication
  • MCMA 507: Media Management
  • MCMA 509: Media Ethics
  • MCMA 535: Topics in Textual Analysis
  • MCMA 538: Critical Discourse Analysis
  • MCMA 552: Special Topics in Media
  • MCMA 553: History and Theory of Media Arts
  • MCMA 561: Communication and Social Change
  • MCMA 563: Globalization & Media
  • MCMA 564: Political Economy of Media
  • MCMA 565: Strategic Advertising Management
  • MCMA 567: International Advertising
  • MCMA 576: Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Media
  • MCMA 577: Topics in Race and Media
  • MCMA 585: Pedagogy and the Profession
  • MCMA 587: Critical Social Media Studies

However, other MCMA graduate-level courses are allowed, as deemed appropriate by the student, faculty committee, and Director of Graduate Studies. We also encourage students to work with their faculty advisors to seek out graduate-level coursework in other programs where different perspectives will enhance our MCMA students’ learning.

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Mass Communication and Media Arts

The Master of Fine Arts in Mass Communication and Media Arts provides substantial advanced study for a small number of highly talented individuals. The program emphasizes the artistic development of the individual student and the creation of quality artistic works in photography, film, video, sound, new media, and/or interdisciplinary media. Degree requirements are 60 credit hours. The program generally takes three years to complete.

This terminal degree program is unique in its balance of coursework in media arts practices with art, media history and theory, individual mentorship, and interdisciplinary work in other programs throughout the university. The faculty awarding a successful student the M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts is an acknowledgement of creative and intellectual achievement within the media arts. This achievement is accomplished through the development of an innovative individual practice that culminates with the creation of a body of work in video, film, sound, installation, new media, or inter-media, accompanied by a written thesis. The program prepares students for careers in the contemporary media arts as a media artist, artist, video or filmmaker, designer, theorist, educator, and other future professions which will require creativity and artistic acumen.

While mastery of craft within media arts is a vital component of the M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts, the program's philosophy is that graduate study should expand the student’s breadth as an artist and encourage interdisciplinary study. Available course work in production, criticism, theory, history, and combined media studies emphasizes the interwoven character of traditional and contemporary approaches and technologies in the 21st century.

Additional course work can be pursued through the School of Art and Design, the School of Music, and the Department of Theater as well as programs in English, Anthropology, and Communication Studies. A distinguished faculty of artists and scholars, excellent facilities, and a variety of curricular offerings allow students to individually tailor their programs of study.

Admission

All requirements for admission to the Graduate School at Southern Illinois University Carbondale must be met. Applicants must submit the Application for Admission to Graduate Study forms, certified transcripts of all post-secondary studies as well as three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate their potential for graduate studies. Applicants must also submit a resume outlining educational and professional experience, as well as a personal statement describing their objectives for study in the program, career goals and interests.

Prospective students must present evidence of exceptional talent and/or potential in one or two media pursuits in the degree program. Applicants should include an example of work that demonstrates their competency. This evidence will ordinarily consist of a portfolio of photographs or digitally generated art works, one or more films, videos, sound works, multimedia productions, web art projects, or other evidence of artistic potential. Applicants must clearly indicate their role(s) in any project submitted. An interview with faculty in the program is highly recommended, particularly for applicants with minimal course work in the field.

Acceptance into the program and continuing enrollment are at the discretion of the College of Arts and Media and the Graduate School. Generally, applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 = A) for their last two years of undergraduate work. International students whose native or first language is not English, or those with fewer than 100 graded hours of college credit at a U.S. college or university, must take the TOEFL and score at least 550 (paper score) or 80 (internet score) or have an IELTS score of 6.5 to be admitted. Students whose preparation is deemed lacking in certain areas may be required to take undergraduate courses to attain competency. These will not be counted toward the M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts degree.

Retention

No course in which the grade is below B- shall count toward the degree or fulfillment of any requirement, but the grade will be included in the grade point average. The M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts program generally takes two years to complete.

Procedures

All M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts students will undergo a faculty review at the end of Year 1. This process allows faculty to deliver formal feedback regarding the student’s progress toward their degree that includes performance in courses and creative and scholarly production outside of the classroom. The possible outcomes of this review are Pass, Provisional Pass, and Fail. Failure of this review will result in termination from the program. Students who receive a Provisional Pass in this review will receive a letter outlining the areas in which they must improve and be assigned a faculty mentor for this process. Failure to demonstrate improvement will result in termination from the program.

By the end of the third semester in residence, each M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts student will be required to select, in consultation with the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, a committee chair and a committee of two additional graduate faculty members. The faculty committee and the student develop a specific plan of study, considering the requirements of the Graduate School, the degree program, and the goals of the student.

The M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts degree culminates in an intensive Creative Thesis that must be publicly presented. The exact nature of the student’s project and presentation will be determined in consultation with the committee. The committee chair supervises the thesis. An oral examination by the faculty committee will take place in conjunction with the public presentation of the thesis and will focus on an evaluation of the project. The M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts electronic thesis document consists of a formal paper describing the Creative Thesis, its historical precedents, contemporary context, and theoretical underpinnings with embedded media files that document the public exhibition/screening. It must be filed with the SIUC Graduate School. The University reserves the right to retain a portfolio or samples of each student’s work.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an analytical understanding of critical contemporary media discourses.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to write critically about media arts in a fashion attuned to interdisciplinary relationships between the various legacy media forms.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery in one or more media production practices.
  • Student will demonstrate critical understanding of research methods in media arts.
  • Students will demonstrate a disciplined, critically informed artistic practice in the media arts.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research into areas of formal and topical concern to develop compelling creative artworks.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to explain fundamental technical and conceptual concepts in the field of mass communication and media arts.
  • Students will synthesize their creative work with theoretical understanding of such work.

Curriculum

  • Students must take 9 credit hours of MCMA 559: Studio Arts Practice and Critique during all three Fall semesters of residency in the program.
  • Students must take 4 credit hours of MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium in Fall Year 1 and Spring Year 1.
  • Students must take 12 credit hours of MCMA 584: Supervised Independent Studio during the first four semesters of residency in the program.
  • Students must take two media studies courses: MCMA 553: History and Theory of Media Arts and MCMA 531: Critical Research Methods in Media Arts.
  • Students must take 6 credit hours from this menu of “Studio Practice Courses”
    • MCMA 522: Sound Art Studio
    • MCMA 516: Networked Art
    • MCMA 521: Expanded Cinema
    • MCMA 540: Critical Documentary Practices
    • MCMA 582: Game Narratives  
    • MCMA 523: Topics in Studio Practices
  • Students must take 6 credit hours of MCMA 524: Topics in Interdisciplinary Practices
  • Students must take at least 12 credit hours of electives.
  • Students must take at least 5 credit hours of MCMA 599A: MFA Thesis during their third year in residency in the program.
  • Students may not take any credit hours at the 400-level to count toward their progress in the M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts degree program.

Sample Curriculum Map

Fall Year 1 (11 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 559: Studio Arts Practice & Critique (3 CH)
  • MCMA 584: Supervised Independent Studio (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)
  • MCMA 553: History and Theory of Media Arts (3 CH) -OR-
  • MCMA 524: Topics in Interdisciplinary Practices (3 CH)

Spring Year 1 (11 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 584: Supervised Independent Studio (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)
  • Studio Practice Course (3 CH) -OR-
  • Elective Course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 531: Critical Research Methods in Media Arts (3 CH) -OR-
  • MCMA 524: Topics in Interdisciplinary Practice (3 CH)

Fall Year 2 (12 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 559: Studio Arts Practice & Critique (3 CH)
  • MCMA 584: Supervised Independent Studio (3 CH)
  • Studio Practice Course (3 CH) -OR-
  • Elective Course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 553: History and Theory of Media Arts (3 CH) -OR-
  • MCMA 524: Topics in Interdisciplinary Practices (3 CH)

Spring Year 2 (9 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 584: Supervised Independent Studio (3 CH)
  • Studio Practice Course (3 CH) -OR-
  • Elective Course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 531: Critical Research Methods in Media Arts (3 CH) -OR-
  • MCMA 524: Topics in Interdisciplinary Practices (3 CH)

Fall Year 3 (8 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 559: Studio Arts Practice & Critique (3 CH)
  • MCMA 599A: MFA Thesis (2 CH)
  • Elective Course [3 credits]

Spring Year 3 (9 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 599A: MFA Thesis (3 CH)
  • Elective Course (3 CH)
  • Elective Course (3 CH)

Preferred M.F.A. in Mass Communication and Media Arts Electives

  • MCMA 511: New Media Production
  • MCMA 517: Multiplatform Storytelling
  • MCMA 535: Topics in Textual Analysis
  • MCMA 543: Media Arts Studio Seminar
  • MCMA 549: Professional Documentary Practice
  • MCMA 552: Special Topics in Media Studies
  • MCMA 568: Social Media Practice
  • MCMA 576: Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Media
  • MCMA 577: Topics in Race and Media
  • MCMA 585: Pedagogy and Professorial Skills

However, other MCMA graduate-level courses are allowed, as deemed appropriate by the student, faculty committee, and Director of Graduate Studies. We also encourage students to work with their faculty advisors to seek out graduate-level coursework in other programs where different perspectives will enhance our MCMA students’ learning.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Professional Media and Media Management Studies

The M.S. degree in Professional Media and Media Management Studies provides students with an interest in professional media practice with an intellectual background in theory and critique of the communication industries. The faculty train students with varied professional interests to establish careers in these industries. The program produces intelligent, socially aware, and flexible graduates primed to become leaders in the communications industry.

The curriculum is designed to expose students to a broad foundation in media studies. In consultation with their committee, composed of three faculty members, students explore in detail through a series of electives one facet of professional media studies or creative practice. Students finish their program of study with the construction of a Research Report or Media Project on a topic of their choosing from within their emphasis area. CAM allows a maximum of three years from date of enrolling in the M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies program for completion of the M.S. degree. This program generally takes two years to complete.

Program Admission

All requirements for admission to the Graduate School at Southern Illinois University Carbondale must be met. Applicants must submit the Application for Admission to Graduate Study forms, certified transcripts of all post-secondary studies, as well as three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate studies. Applicants must also submit a resume outlining educational and professional experience, as well as a personal statement describing their objectives for study in the program, and how such study will allow them to pursue their interests and career goals. Applicants should include an example of work that demonstrates their competency, preferably professional work, although prior academic work is acceptable. Work samples might take the form of print articles, video or audio tapes, DVDs, URLs or CDs. Applicants must clearly indicate their role(s) in any project submitted.

Generally, applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 = A) for their last two years of undergraduate work. International students whose native or first language is not English, or those with fewer than 100 graded credit hours at a U.S. college or university, must take the TOEFL and score at least 550 (paper score) or 80 (internet score) or have an IELTS score of 6.5 to be admitted. Students whose preparation is deemed lacking in certain areas may be required to take undergraduate courses to attain competency. These will not be counted toward the M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies degree.

Retention

No course in which the grade is below B- shall count toward the degree or fulfillment of any requirement, but the grade will be included in the grade point average. The College of Arts and Media allows a maximum of three years from the date of enrollment in the M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies program to the completion of the degree. The program generally takes two years to complete.

Procedures

All M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies students will undergo a faculty review at the end of Year 1. This process allows faculty to deliver formal feedback regarding the student’s progress toward their degree that includes performance in courses and scholarly and creative activity production outside of the classroom.

By the beginning of the third semester in residence, each M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies student will be required to form a three-member graduate committee to oversee the capstone Research Report or Media Project. The committee must be selected this early such that the student may register for the required professional media preparation course in which the student will work closely with the faculty committee to initiate work on the final project. The student publicly defends the final project in an oral examination with the committee, generally in the middle of the fourth semester.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to identify and articulate an issue, debate, or controversy in a relevant media field.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to independently synthesize existing research into a focused, analytical study of media communication.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to execute a professional media production project.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to write articulately about media.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to speak articulately about media.

Curriculum

Candidates must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours including two core courses (one in mass communications research and the other in multi-platform storytelling) and the capstone Research Report or Media Project.

Core (10 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 537: Introduction to Mass Communication Research (3 CH)
  • MCMA 517: Multi-platform Storytelling (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (to be taken both Fall and Spring semester of the first year in the program) (2 CH)

Emphasis Area (15 Credit Hours)

A minimum of five courses selected in consultation with at first the Director of Graduate Studies and then the student’s three-person faculty committee supervising their research paper or media project. Topics of study include media management, strategic advertising, digital documentary production, multimedia reporting, and new media production. No 400-level undergraduate courses are allowed to count for credit in the 30 credit hours M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies program.

Research Report or Media Project Sequence (5 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 586A or MCMA 586B: Professional Media Preparation (2 CH)
  • MCMA 589A: Media Project or MCMA 589B: Research Report (3 CH)

Sample Curriculum Map

Fall Year 1 (8 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 537: Introduction to Mass Communication Research (3 CH)
  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)

Spring Year 1 (8 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 517: Multi-Platform Storytelling (3 CH)
  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)

Fall Year 2 (8 Credit Hours)

  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)
  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 586A: Professional Media Preparation – Pre-production for Media Project (2 CH) -OR-
  • MCMA 586B: Professional Media Preparation – Preparation for Research Report (2 CH)

Spring Year 2 (6 Credit Hours)

  • One M.S. Elective course (3 CH)
  • MCMA 589: MS Report/Project (3 CH)

There is a required presentation at the graduate student symposium in Spring Year 2.

Preferred M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies Electives 

  • MCMA 500: Mass Media as Social Institutions
  • MCMA 506: Law and Policy in Mass Communication
  • MCMA 507: Media Management
  • MCMA 509: Media Ethics
  • MCMA 511: New Media Production
  • MCMA 516: Net. Art
  • MCMA 540: Critical Documentary Practice
  • MCMA 543: Media Arts Studio Seminar
  • MCMA 549: Professional Documentary Practice
  • MCMA 552: Special Topics in Media
  • MCMA 553: History and Theory of Media Arts
  • MCMA 565: Strategic Advertising Management
  • MCMA 567: International Advertising
  • MCMA 568: Social Media Practice
  • MCMA 576: Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Media
  • MCMA 577: Topics in Race and Media
  • MCMA 582: Game Narratives
  • MCMA 587: Critical Social Media Studies

However, other graduate-level courses in the college are allowed, as deemed appropriate by the student, faculty committee, and Director of Graduate Studies. We also encourage students to work with their faculty advisors to seek out graduate-level coursework in other programs where different perspectives will enhance our students’ learning.

M.S./M.B.A. Concurrent Degrees

Separately, the M.B.A. in the College of Business and Analytics (COBA) requires completion of 33 credit hours of coursework; the MCMA M.S. in Professional Media and Media Management Studies requires 30 credit hours of coursework. The concurrent degree program entails completion of 21 credit hours of MCMA approved courses and 24 credit hours of COBA-approved courses, for a total of 45 hours. This is a savings of 18 credit hours over pursuing both degrees separately. COBA accepts nine credit hours of MCMA-approved coursework and MCMA accepts nine credit hours of COBA-approved coursework. Students wishing to be admitted to the concurrent program must apply and be accepted to the MCMA M.S., as well as, apply and be accepted into the M.B.A program in the College of Business and Analytics. This initiates the process to pursue the concurrent degrees.

Applicants for the concurrent degree program who have not already earned a graduate degree must also earn a satisfactory score on the GMAT or GRE to be admitted to the M.B.A program. Students must also successfully complete the College of Business and Analytics Foundation Workshops offered during the summer semester break, if they have not previously completed the 10 foundation business courses (or their equivalent) required for admission into the M.B.A program.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mass Communication and Media Arts

The doctoral program engages students in the interdisciplinary study of global media. Students learn to compare and contract concepts and methods drawn from various research traditions in the field. Students are not only encouraged to think broadly about the discipline, but also develop mastery in a particular specialization in order to produce original research in that specific area.

Admission

Students applying for doctoral study must have a master’s degree and a graduate GPA of at least 3.00. International students must have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper score) or 80 (internet score) or have an IELTS score of 6.5 to be admitted. All applicants must submit currently valid Graduate Record
Examination (GRE) scores. Other factors considered include professional and academic accomplishments, examples of professional work, awards and honors, evidence of scholarship such as research papers and published articles, and prior full-time teaching in the mass communication and media arts area. A visit to SIU and interview with faculty is recommended.

Students whose preparation is lacking in certain areas may be required to take undergraduate courses that will not be counted towards the Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts degree.

An accelerated entry option to the Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts program is offered in exceptional cases to students who have been admitted to the M.A. in Media Theory and Research program. To be eligible, the student must: 1) possess a master’s degree; 2) have qualified for admission to the MCMA Ph.D. program initially; 3) complete at least nine credit hours but no more than 18 credit hours in the M.A. in Media Theory and Research degree; 4) have a minimum 3.25 GPA in the M.A. in Media Theory and Research program with no incomplete or deferred grades. The student may petition the Director of Graduate Studies for the accelerated entry option during the semester in which the student will begin taking the ninth credit hours of graduate courses, but must petition before earning the 18th credit hours of course work in the M.A. in Media Theory and Research program. If approved, the student will be enrolled in the Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts program the next semester. Up to 18 graduate credit hours earned in the M.A. in Media Theory and Research program will count toward the Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts degree if the accelerated entry option is approved by the MCMA Graduate Committee. Once the student is admitted to the Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts program, all requirements of the Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts program apply. Exceptions to any of these rules must be appealed to the MCMA Graduate Committee, which has final authority to approve or reject the petition.

Retention

No course in which the grade is below B- shall count toward the degree nor fulfillment of any requirement, but the grade will be included in the grade point average. Students in the program cannot take 400-level courses for graduate credit.

Procedures

All Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts students will undergo a faculty review at the end of Year 1. This process allows faculty to deliver formal feedback regarding the student’s progress toward their degree that includes performance in courses and scholarly production outside of the classroom.

By the end of the third semester in residence, each Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts student will be required to select, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, a committee chair. The faculty committee chair and the student develop a specific plan of study, considering the requirements of the Graduate School, the degree program, and the goals of the student.

In the beginning of the third year, after the Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts student has completed coursework, the student must pass rigorous comprehensive written and oral examinations. These exams are chaired by a graduate faculty member in MCMA, and administered by three other faculty members. After successfully completing the comprehensive written and oral exams, the student advances to candidacy to complete and defend a dissertation based on scholarly research and independent thought that adds to the body of knowledge in the field.

Under the guidance of a dissertation committee chair, the doctoral student forms a dissertation committee and prepares a dissertation proposal. A public oral defense of the proposal must be made before the dissertation committee and approved within one year of reaching candidacy. The College of Arts and Media allows a maximum of seven years from the date of original enrollment for completion of the doctoral degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to master a specific research tradition in mass communication studies
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to think critically about the interdisciplinary nature of mass communication studies.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to write a dissertation which breaks new ground in the disciplines of Mass Communication and Media Arts.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to speak articulately about Mass Communication and Media Arts.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to understand the important global and international nature of mass communication.

Curriculum

The Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, including 10 credit hours of foundation courses, 9 credit hours of research methods courses, 18 credit hours of electives, and a 24-credit hours dissertation. All course work counting towards the degree must be at the 500-level.
 
A maximum of two independent study courses (MCMA 591, MCMA 594, and/or MCMA 596), for six credit hours total, can be counted toward the doctoral degree.

Foundation (10 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 508: Conceptual Foundations of Research Strategy (3 CH)
  • MCMA 514: Theories of Mass Communications and Media (3 CH)
  • Two semesters of MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium

Research Methods Courses (9 Credit Hours)

Nine Credit Hours of research methods courses must be taken. These required courses are:

  • MCMA 531: Critical Research Methods in Media Arts (3 CH)
  • MCMA 532: Quantitative Research Methods (3 CH)
  • MCMA 534: Qualitative Research Methods (3 CH)

Electives (18 Credit Hours)

Six elective courses must be taken, selected in consultation with the student’s doctoral committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students must pass a first-year review after a formal presentation at the Graduate Student Research Symposium in Spring Year 1.

Students must sit for, and pass, comprehensive exams with four faculty members, and then pass an oral defense of the written answers. Generally, these exams are taken in Fall Year 3.

Dissertation (24 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 600: Dissertation (24 CH): Proposal and Defense

Students are required to form a doctoral committee of five members (one of whom must be from outside of the college) in front of whom they must pass an oral defense of a dissertation proposal. Students then write a dissertation which they also must defend at a final meeting of the doctoral committee.

Sample Curriculum Map

Fall Year 1 (8 Credit Hours)

  • MCMA 508: Conceptual Foundations of Research Strategy (3 CH)
  • MCMA 514: Theories of Mass Communication and Media (3 CH)
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)

Spring Year 1 (8 Credit Hours)

  • One or Two Research Methods Courses -AND/OR-
  • One or Two Ph.D. Elective Courses
  • MCMA 588: Graduate Colloquium (2 CH)

Fall Year 2 (9 Credit Hours)

  • One Research Methods Course (3 CH)
  • Two Ph.D. Elective courses

Spring Year 2 (9 Credit Hours)

  • One or two Research Methods Courses -AND/OR-
  • One or two Ph.D. Elective course

There is a required presentation at the graduate student symposium in Spring Year 2.

Preferred Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts Electives

  • MCMA 506: Law and Policy in Mass Communication
  • MCMA 507: Media Management
  • MCMA 509: Media Ethics
  • MCMA 535: Topics in Textual Analysis
  • MCMA 538: Critical Discourse Analysis
  • MCMA 552: Special Topics in Media
  • MCMA 553: History and Theory of Media Arts
  • MCMA 561: Communication and Social Change
  • MCMA 563: Globalization & Media
  • MCMA 564: Political Economy of Media
  • MCMA 565: Strategic Advertising Management
  • MCMA 567: International Advertising
  • MCMA 576: Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Media
  • MCMA 577: Topics in Race and Media
  • MCMA 585: Pedagogy and the Profession
  • MCMA 587: Critical Social Media Studies

However, other MCMA graduate-level courses are allowed, as deemed appropriate by the student, faculty committee, and Director of Graduate Studies. We also encourage students to work with their faculty advisors to seek out graduate-level coursework in other programs where different perspectives will enhance our MCMA students’ learning.