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Admission Requirements - Graduate Program in Media Studies

Students admitted to the Media Studies M.A. program must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Three letters of recommendation addressing applicant's academic competencies
  • TOEFL score of at least 550 for students whose native language is not English. The Test for Spoken English will also be required.
  • GRE score TBA

Admissions evaluations employ criteria with emphasis on the applicant's, academic records, professional skills or potential, and personal characteristics. Admission is offered to those candidates who demonstrate the combination of experiences and interests, intellectual capabilities, and personal qualities that are important for success in graduate school. Diversity is viewed as an essential goal for the college community, and differences in age, life experiences, education, extracurricular activities, and racial, ethnic, and/or cultural background are valued in the admissions decision. Meeting stated academic requirements are necessary for consideration, but do not automatically assure admission. Admission is granted on a case-by-case basis by the Media Studies Program Admissions Committee.

Students will be admitted to graduate program in Media Studies as regular students if they present an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 and a GRE score of at least 950 (verbal & quantitative combined). An applicant who doesn't meet the minimum GRE and/or GPA requirement(s) may be accepted only if the low GPA or GRE scores are offset by other factors. Excellent recommendations, unusual grading patterns (e.g., a steady rise of grades), an outstanding statement of purpose, or examples of professional accomplishment sometimes can offset low GRE scores or a low GPA. Students not meeting minimum admissions criteria may also be provisionally admitted to the program. Provisional students must be re-classified as regular students no later than the completion of the 12th graduate credit hour. This is accomplished by maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average.

Provisional admission may also be granted to during the last semester of a student's baccalaureate program. While it is preferred that applicants hold a Baccalaureate degree in the humanities, the fine arts, or social sciences (preferably with some coursework in communications, film, videography, computer science, or Media Studies), applications are sought from graduates in any discipline who can demonstrate a serious and committed approach to the subject. Some undergraduate remediation may be necessary for students with minimal computer literacy and/or no previous coursework or experience in such areas as filmmaking, video production and mass media theory.

Students interested in taking specific classes but not enrolling in the degree program must still complete an application but need not submit GRE scores or letters of recommendation. Complete graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be on file prior to enrollment. Permission to take courses without enrolling in the degree program may be granted by the Media Studies Program Coordinator. Non-degree students may not enroll in more than 12 hours of graduate credit without applying for program admission.

Performance Standards:

A normal full-time student course load is nine to twelve semester hours in the fall and spring semesters. The requirements for graduation include completion of the program requirements, completion of the capstone course in Media Systems Management, and successful completion of required comprehensive assessment (thesis or project). All students must complete course work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00. Students must complete all requirements within a period of seven years following the date of enrollment in the first graduate course to be used in the program. The Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities may extend these limits upon recommendation of appropriate program faculty.

Media studies students will create a Graduate Advisement Committee by the end of the first semester of study or after completion of 12 hours of graduate course work. The Committee will be comprised of at least two faculty members from the Department of Communications and one faculty member from an appropriate program in another department. The Committee advises and guides the student's elective course selection and course sequencing. With the guidance and approval of the Graduate Advisement Committee, students design and conduct a thesis/project appropriate to their course of study and to their career goals.

The department will produce a series of seminars and presentations that will feature graduate student research, M.A. projects, and symposia. All graduate students are expected to participate in this program, which will be directed by a communications department faculty member.

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