Apr 27, 2018  
American University Catalog 2017-2018 
American University Catalog 2017-2018

Global Media (MA) [SIS]

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Offered jointly by the School of Communication  (SOC) and School of International Service  (SIS), the Master of Arts in Global Media offers students a unique opportunity to integrate study of global communication theory and media production skills. This interdisciplinary program offers both conceptual and applied courses designed to help students master strategic global communication, research methods, and global media tools and frameworks. Students also learn writing skills over a broad range of media, and take production classes that introduce them to filmmaking, newswriting, digital imaging, web design, photography, game design, campaign management, and strategic communication. The program is committed to creating a diverse learning environment to make personal and professional connections across the globe. Students take away a deeper understanding of communication platforms and global economic and political issues, as well as the skills, knowledge, and ethical groundings to be professionally competent international journalists, media producers, visual media makers, campaign managers, or international communication strategists.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale. Some background knowledge of communication studies, or media/journalism professional experience, or international studies and international work experience is recommended.

All applicants are required to submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In addition, international applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A strong TOEFL score is necessary to ensure that students can fully benefit from the media production courses and analytical courses. All applicants must also submit two letters of reference evaluating undergraduate academic performance and suitability for graduate study in international affairs and communication.

Students apply to either SOC or SIS. Applications will be reviewed jointly by SOC and SIS, with both schools agreeing on student admission.

Degree Requirements

  • 39 credit hours of approved graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, including 9 credit hours of core courses, 6 credit hours of professional courses, 6 credit hours of research methods/theory courses, 3 credit hours from a capstone course, and a 15 credit concentration
    • Both SIS and SOC students have the same required courses (24 credit hours) based on pedagogic goals of the program. Both SIS and SOC have 15 credit hours of electives, with the practice of the student's home school having 3 more credit hours
    • Requests for the transfer of a maximum of six graduate credit hours are considered only on an exceptional basis
  • Capstone experience: demonstration of research and writing skills through completion of the research/capstone requirement course with grade of B or better
  • Evidence of professional experience in the field: Relevant internship or work experience must be certified
  • Proficiency in a modern foreign language: Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student's career objectives must be certified

Course Requirements

Research Methods/Theory (6 credit hours)

Complete one of the following, according to home school:

Capstone Requirement (3 credit hours)

Complete one of the following, according to home school:

School of Communication Area Concentrations (6-9 credit hours)

SOC home students: complete 9 credit hours from the following concentrations; SIS home students: complete 6 credit hours from the following concentrations

School of International Service Area Concentrations (6-9 credit hours)

SIS home students: complete 9 credit hours from the following concentrations; SOC home students: complete 6 credit hours from the following concentrations

In addition to the list below, students can choose electives from across SIS's program offerings, including regional courses.

Intercultural Relations

Public Diplomacy

Global and Social Media, Technology and Policy

Transnational/International Education


A dual master's degree program is offered by the School of International Service  and Kogod School of Business .

Admission to the Program

Applications are submitted to both SIS and Kogod. Students must be admitted separately to each program. While students are encouraged to apply for admission to both programs simultaneously, students can apply to the second program after admission and matriculation in the first program. Students must be admitted to the second program and begin their studies prior to conferral of the degree from the first program. Applicants to the MBA program must also have completed two undergraduate courses, one in micro and one in macro economics (or the graduate equivalent), prior to entering the program.

The full-time MBA is a cohorted two-year program. During the first year of the MBA students complete 26 or 29 credit hours in Kogod, and during the second year of the MBA students, including the MBA capstone in the spring semester. Sequencing and timing of SIS coursework depends on the chosen program. Generally, dual degree students begin their academic programs at Kogod, but this is not required. The dual degree between SIS and Kogod may not be completed in conjunction with any other dual degrees at AU.

SIS Degree Requirements

  • Dual degree students may count up to 9 credit hours from their Kogod degree requirements toward their SIS degree requirements with approval of the SIS program director. This typically includes the 6 credit hour methodology requirement and the 3 credit hour elective. Students must otherwise complete all requirements as listed for the SIS graduate degree. The SIS MA degrees are built around a multidisciplinary curriculum focused on preparing students for a wide variety of careers in global service, including public, private, and non-profit semesters. MA/MBA students can specialize in areas at SIS that include international development, security,  global governance, conflict resolution, global environmental policy, regional studies, U.S. foreign policy, and public diplomacy. Students select a specialized concentration that allows them to tailor their studies to their individual interests. See relevant SIS degree requirements for more information.

MBA Degree Requirements

  • 31 credit hours of approved graduate coursework that includes required business core courses, capstone course, and an electives course
  • Capstone experience: KSB-613 Strategic Decision Making (3) 
  • All students are required to participate in the full-time MBA orientation prior to the start of the program
  • The MBA degree will be conferred no earlier than the semester in which the SIS graduate degree is completed

Course Requirements

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