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Journalism & Mass Communications, MA

Journalist with Camera

New media needs new talent

Working professionals in the news media, corporate communications, PR, advertising or related fields can learn how to make the optimum impact using social media, online marketing and niche media as well as traditional skills.

Faculty members from across the university provide perspectives from business, organizational communications and journalism.

Program Specialization

Program Description

This program is designed for the working professional. The master’s degree enhances professional knowledge, skills, and leadership in journalism and mass communications. Interdisciplinary curriculum combines up-to-date knowledge with practical application and individualized experience.

In some courses, real-time interaction between campus and distance students provides a unique perspective on media coverage from around the globe.

Choose from three specializations

The Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications has three specializations from which to choose. You can personalize a program to meet your individual interests and needs. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

  • Integrated Media Communications: Designed to provide advertising, public relations, marketing, and communications industry professionals with skills needed in the profession and to update their knowledge about the rapidly changing media and marketing environment in which they operate. A professional project is required.
  • Media Studies: The purpose of this specialization is to gain cutting-edge theoretical knowledge about the various influences and effects of the media. A thesis is required.
  • Professional Journalism: Designed for working professionals in print and digital journalism with emphasis given to improving one's skills for the workplace. A professional project is required.

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change in July of each year.

Rates shown are for students taking only online/distance courses. Students enrolled in a combination of In Person/On Campus Courses and Online/Distance Education Courses should visit Student Accounts for complete tuition and fee information.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$325.50$25.00$11.00$4.00$365.50
3 credit hour$976.50$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,096.50


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$609.00$25.00$11.00$4.00$649.00
3 credit hour$1,827.00$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,947.00

Note: Students will be charged a $20 registration fee per semester.

The courses for this program are dependent upon the specialization chosen by the student.


Integrated Media Communications non-thesis track (option III):

A minimum of 36 semester hours of credit, at least 18 of which must be in courses open exclusively to graduate students (800 or 900 level without 400 or lower counterparts).

The program must include no fewer than 18 hours in the major. Capstone project and intensive coursework in place of a minor. 15 hours of coursework is required and students select 21 hours of electives. 

This specialization is a cooperative program between the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The journalism (JGRD) and advertising (ADPR) courses are offered online through UNL and the marketing (MKT) and speech communications (SPCH) courses are offered online through UNK.

Required Courses ADPR 881, 884; JGRD 830 and 992 12 credit hours
Minor and Electives  Students must choose one or two minors: Marketing and/or Communication Speech. Each minor consists of 9 credit hours. If students choose marketing and speech communication: MKT 838, 857, 860; SPCH 851, 852, and 856. If students choose one minor, the remaining nine credit hours can be accumulated from elective courses 6 credit hours

For full course descriptions, visit the Integrated Media Communications specialization page > 

Media Studies thesis track (option 1) :

This track requires a minimum of 30 semester hours with a thesis.

This consists of 9 required hours of course work in the major, 9 hours of electives and either a 6-hour professional project or 6 hours of advanced coursework in the major, and a 6-hour thesis.

Eight credit hours in addition to the thesis must be earned in courses opened exclusively to graduate students.

Required Courses JGRD 915, 919, 954, and 899 or 992 21 credit hours
Elective Courses Choose from courses outside the college or the student's area of specialization 9 credit hours 

For full course descriptions, visit the Media Studies specialization page >


Professional Journalism non-thesis track (option III) :

A minimum of 36 semester hours of credit, at least 18 of which must be in courses open exclusively to graduate students (800 or 900 level without 400 or lower counterparts).

The program must include no fewer than 18 hours in the major. Capstone project and intensive coursework in place of a minor. 

Required Courses JGRD 901, 902, 903, and 992 15 credit hours
Elective Courses     21 credit hours

For full course descriptions, visit the Professional Journalism specialization page >


Rick Alloway, Associate Professor

Tim Anderson, Associate Professor

John Bender, Ph.D., Professor

Charlyne Berens, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Professor

Ruth Brown, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Sue Burzynski Bullard, Associate Professor

Trina Creighton, Associate Professor

Michael Goff, Senior Lecturer, Advising Coordinator

Frauke Hachtmann, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Stacy James, Senior Lecturer

Gary Kebbel, Professor

Carla Kimbrough, Professor

Phyllis Larsen, APR, Senior Lecturer

Barney McCoy, Associate Professor

Nancy Mitchell, Ph.D., Professor, Director of General Education

Mary Kay Quinlan, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Jerry Renaud, Professor

Linda Shipley, Ph.D., Professor

Joe Starita, Associate Professor

Amy Struthers, Assistant Professor

Laurie Thomas Lee, Ph.D., Professor, Graduate Chair

Bruce Thorson, Associate Professor

Larry Walklin, Ph.D., Professor

Joe Weber, Associate Professor

Scott Winter, Assistant Professor

John R. Wunder, Emeritus Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications or related area from an accredited institution


Application Checklist

  1. Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
  2. Apply and be admitted to the College of Journalism and Mass Communications:

    • GRE
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Statement of goals and objectives
    • Resume
    • Portfolio of work
    • If your native language is not English, demonstrate English proficiency by one of the following*:

Paper-based TOEFL 600 or higher Internet-based TOEFL 100 or higher IELTS 6.0 or higher

*These program minimum scores are higher than the minimum scores required for admission to Graduate Studies.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester February 1
Spring Semester September 1



Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
Phone: 402.472.2875




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