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Journalism & Mass Communications, MA (Professional Journalism)

Master of Arts

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Course Delivery
    Fully Online
  • Total Credits
    36
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
    $346.00
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit
    $609.00

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Get the same diploma as on campus students

This program is designed for the working journalist. The world of media and journalism is constantly changing. This 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. You can personalize a program to meet your individual interests and needs. The non-thesis option is available. 

The Professional Journalism specialization is designed for working professionals with emphasis given to improving one's skills across multiple platforms. A professional project is required and is intended to be related and immediately of use in your career.

The Professional Journalism specialization is one of three specializations offered within the Master of Arts in Journalism & Mass Communication online program. Upon completion of the program the specialization will appear on your diploma and transcript indicating specific expertise in this area. 

Joe Weber
Associate Professor

Joe Weber, worked in magazines and newspapers for 35 years. He spent most of that time, 22 years, reporting and writing for BusinessWeek, starting as a correspondent in Dallas and then running the magazine's bureaus in Philadelphia, Toronto and Chicago. He took on the role of chief of correspondents for the organization in early 2006, serving until the summer of 2009.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Degree in journalism and mass communications or related area from an accredited institution

  2. 2.50 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the GRE

  4. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  5. A written personal statement

    State your goals and objectives

  6. 3 letters of recommendation

  7. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  8. Portfolio of work

  9. Resume

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  • Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Pay the non-refundable $50 application processing fee
  • Submit one set of official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to Office of Graduate Studies
  • Apply and be admitted to the department
Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
February 1
Spring Semester
September 1

Under this degree option you will earn a minimum of 36 semester credit hours, at least 18 of which must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 or 800 level with no 400 level counterpart)

The program includes a minimum of 18 credit hours in the major. Students complete a capstone project and intensive coursework in place of a minor. 

Fifteen hours of core coursework is required and 21 credit hours are open to elective credit. 

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
JGRD 901Mass Media Issues & Ethics3

Course Number: JGRD 901

Ethical framework for exploring current issues in mass communications. (Open to graduate students only.)

JGRD 902Multi-platform Journalism3

Course Number: JGRD 902

Skills and technologies involved with multi-platform journalism and management. (Open to graduate students only.)

JGRD 903Media Management3

Course Number: JGRD 903

Current issues in business management related to the media environment. (Open to graduate students only.)

JGRD 992Professional Project3

Course Number: JGRD 992

Development of thesis topic may come from JGRD 992. JGRD 992 is designed for increasing competency in professional practice and depending on goals, may be concentrated in ADVT, BRDC, or NEWS. Translation of social, political and economic affairs to mass audiences in both print and electronic media. (Open to graduate students only.)

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
BRDC 462/862Advanced Production3

Course Number: BRDC 462/862

Produce multiple long-form, edited television programs to be distributed to a mass audience. Directing a weekly, live, thirty-minute television studio newscast. Advanced operation of studio equipment, graphics software and non-linear editing equipment. Prepare demo materials for a professional portfolio.

BRDC 469/869Advanced Cinematography/Videography3

Course Number: BRDC 469/869

Production of single and double system sound films. Production of videotapes for television. BRDC 469/869 is a continuation of BRDC 359 and 371. Prereqs: BRDC 359 and 371.

BRDC 472/872Advanced Reporting3

Course Number: BRDC 472/872

Produce multiple live weekly newscasts with anchors (news, sports, entertainment, social media) to be distributed to a mass audience. Advanced reporting skills, knowledge of graphics software and non-linear editing equipment. Prepare demo materials for a professional portfolio. Prereqs: BRDC 371, BRDC 370, and JOUR 202.

BRDC 473/873Broadcast Documentary3

Course Number: BRDC 473/873

Depth reporting and advanced production techniques necessary for the preparation of a broadcast documentary program.

JGRD 809Seminar in Media Law3

Course Number: JGRD 809

Reading, discussion and research on current issues in mass media law or theoretical bases for freedom of expression. (Open to graduate students only.) Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JGRD 811Seminar in Media History3

Course Number: JGRD 811

Readings and discussion of major issues, events, and people in the history of mass media in the United States. (Open to graduate students only.) Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JGRD 915Mass Media Theory3

Course Number: JGRD 915

Process and effects of mass communication. (Open to graduate students only.) Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JGRD 919Methods of Mass Media Research3

Course Number: JGRD 919

Research concepts and procedures with emphasis on methodology and research techniques in mass communication. Development of competency in consumption and interpretation of research combined with an introduction to research design, analysis, and decision making. (Open to graduate students only.) Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JGRD 954Mass Media & Government3

Course Number: JGRD 954

Process and effects of regulatory information control procedures of federal, state, and local government. (Open to graduate students only.) Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JOMC 408/808Politics and the Media3

Course Number: JOMC 408/808

Current issues in media and politics, domestically and internationally.

JOMC 412/812Literature of Journalism3

Course Number: JOMC 412/812

The roles and effects of mass media and major works exemplifying the practice of journalism. Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JOMC 422/822Race, Gender & Media3

Course Number: JOMC 422/822

Multicultural and gender diversity issues within the mass media. Broadcast news, print, and advertising media messages of racial, ethnic, and gender based minorities including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and women. Open to non-College of Journalism and Mass Communications majors. Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JOMC 486/886Mass Media Law3

Course Number: JOMC 486/886

The legal basis for freedom of speech and press. The limitations imposed upon rights by statute, common law and court decisions. Resolving conflicts between those rights and other constitutional rights. Enhancing critical-thinking and writing skills. Roles, rights, and responsibilities of mass media in a free society through analysis of cases. Offered online asynchronously (students and instructor do not meet in real-time).

JOMC 487/887Mass Media & Society3

Course Number: JOMC 487/887

Interrelationships between the American mass media and society, integrating ethics, theories and contemporary issues. Offered online asynchronously (students and instructor do not meet in real-time).

JOUR 401/801Depth Reporting3

Course Number: JOUR 401/801

Long-form writing, interviewing, computer-generated research, refined writing and teamwork in the creation of a single-subject project.

JOUR 404/804Digital Photojournalism I3

Course Number: JOUR 404/804

News, feature, sports and picture-story journalism. Student work in JOUR 404/804 will appear on student news website.

JOUR 406/806Digital Photojournalism II3

Course Number: JOUR 406/806

Building visual skills to recognize action, reaction and/or emotion, and incorporating them into the shootings and pictures. Work in JOUR 406/806 will appear on the student news website.

JOUR 407/807Investigative & Computer-Assisted Reporting3

Course Number: JOUR 407/807

Conduct investigative and in-depth reporting by using documents and computer databases, interviewing and field research to write compelling stories.

JOUR 414/814Government Controls of Information3

Course Number: JOUR 414/814

Laws, regulations and practices by which federal, state and local government enhance or retard access to information about the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).

JOUR 467/867School Publications3

Course Number: JOUR 467/867

Problems and procedures involved in producing school newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines and radio and/or video projects.

JOUR 489/897Nebraska News Service3

Course Number: JOUR 489/897

The Nebraska News Service functions as a statehouse news bureau for client news organizations throughout the state, generating original spot news and enterprise stories as well as responding to specific story requests from news service clients.

JOUR 490/890Global Multimedia Photjournalism Project3

Course Number: JOUR 490/890

Research and then visit a selected country and produce a multimedia story dealing with an emerging country in which there is need. Spend eight weeks conducting story research then travel to the country either during winter break or in May. Spend three weeks in the country while working on the story then finish writing and editing upon your return home.

JOUR 891Special Topics1-4

Course Number: JOUR 891

Topics vary each term.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $346.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $398.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1038.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1194.75

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $609.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $661.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1827.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1983.75

Questions about tuition? We can help.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Quality learning experience

    The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes wherever is convenient to you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. You aren’t tied to a specific class time.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at the University of Nebraska have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. An academic adviser will guide you along your journey, library services are available to help you excel in your program and career services are available when you are ready to take your next step. These are just a few of the services in place to help you succeed.

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