Mar 21, 2018  
American University Catalog 2017-2018 
American University Catalog 2017-2018

Communication: Journalism and Public Affairs (MA)

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Offered by the School of Communication .

Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) grade point average in last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. International students whose first language is not English should take the TOEFL examination to demonstrate proficiency in written as well as spoken English. All applicants must earn a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General (verbal, quantitative, and analytical).

Previous professional or campus experience in communication is useful but not required. However, all applicants are required to show evidence of professional commitment and career direction related to the specialization and track they choose. Official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 1,000-word essay on the applicant's commitment to pursuing graduate study in the program are submitted with the application. If available, samples of published professional or college news writing, scripts, or tapes should also be submitted.

A limited number of graduate fellowships and assistantships are awarded on the basis of merit as well as school and program needs.

Admission to the program is for the fall semester. Students are generally expected to complete the program in ten months.

Qualified undergraduate students may apply to a combined bachelor's/MA program and use up to 6 credit hours of 500-level courses to satisfy the requirements of both degrees.

Degree Requirements

  • 33 credit hours of approved graduate work, as advised by the faculty, including 12 credit hours of core courses, 9 credit hours in a specialization, 9 credit hours of electives, and a 3 credit hour capstone experience (COMM-720  or COMM-725  with a grade of B or better).
    • Most students are required to take COMM-624 Boot Camp for Journalists (3)  and receive a grade of B or better.
    • Students who have earned a B or better in a news-media law course within five years of enrollment may petition to be exempted from COMM-601 Communication Law (3) . International students are normally exempted from this course.
  • Specializations: Investigative Journalism, International Journalism, or Broadcast Journalism.
  • Continuous full-time enrollment.
  • A grade point average of 3.00 maintained during all work toward the degree.

Course Requirements

Specialization (9 credit hours)

Complete 9 credit hours from one of the following specializations:

Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)

Complete one of the following with grade of B or better:

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