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    May 29, 2024  
American University Catalog 2015-2016 
American University Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Media (MA) [SIS]

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International Media

Offered jointly by the School of Communication  (SOC) and School of International Service  (SIS), the Master of Arts in International Media offers students a unique opportunity to learn international communication theory and research while at the same time developing professional production skills. This interdisciplinary MA program allows students to take concurrent courses in the SOC and SIS that emphasize strategic communication, research, international communication, and global media. In addition, students take hands-on courses designed to hone writing skills over a broad range of media, and production classes that introduce them to filmmaking, newswriting, digital imaging, web design, photography, and strategic communication writing. The media studies component of the program gives students a strong background in research skills, broad knowledge of global economic and political issues, and a deep understanding of how the media works, especially in an international environment. The production portion of the program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical groundings to be professionally competent and literate managers/producers/commissioners.

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

  • 45 credit hours of approved graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, including 12 credit hours of core courses, 6 credit hours of professional courses, 6 credit hours of methods courses, 6 credit hours of research/capstone courses, and 15 credit hours of electives.
    • Based on application, students have a home school in either SIS or SOC and complete a total of 24 credits hours in that home school, including their research/capstone requirement. Students must complete a total of 21 credit hours in the school that is not their home school.
    • Requests for the transfer of a maximum of six graduate credits will be considered only on an exceptional basis.
  • Capstone experience: demonstration of research and writing skills through completion of the research/capstone requirement courses with grades of B or better.
  • SOC students: a paper discussing the capstone project’s relationship to the field of International Media.
  • 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

Core (12 credit hours)

Professional (6 credit hours)

Research/Capstone Requirement (3-6 credit hours)

Complete one of the following, according to home school:

SIS Students (3 credit hours)

SOC Students (6 credit hours)

Electives and Concentrations (15-18 credit hours)

Complete one of the following, according to home school:

  • SOC students: 15 credit hours in graduate coursework, including 6 credit hours from both the IC and SOC concentrations
  • SIS students: 18 credit hours in graduate coursework, including 6 credit hours from both the IC and SOC concentrations
International Communication (IC) (6 credit hours)

School of Communication (SOC) (6 credit hours)


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.

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

  • 32 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 .
  • 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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