Journalism & Mass Communications, MA (Professional Journalism)

Master of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications with a Specialization in Professional Journalism

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Fully Online
  • 36
    Credits
  • $357.00
    In-State
  • $676.00
    Out-of-State

Program Overview

The online Journalism & Mass Communications, MA with a specialization in Professional Journalism degree is designed to build and enhance professional knowledge, skills and leadership in journalism and mass communications.

Students choose this program because:

  • They are currently working in the journalism field and seeking to enhance their journalism skills and knowledge in the digital media world. 
  • They wish to learn how to produce and analyze news and information across multiple platforms  
  • They are interested in an individualized experience tailored to their journalistic and educational experiences 
  • A non-thesis option is available.

The Professional Journalism specialization is one of two 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. 

Career Outlook: As traditional media has evolved into different mediums, the journalism profession has evolved. Journalists nowadays have to be proficient in areas such as social media, online publishing and multimedia as well as strong copywriting skills. 

Upon completion of the specialization in professional journalism, students can apply the knowledge they have learned to a multitude of career paths including:

  • News Reporter 
  • Correspondents 
  • Broadcast News Analysts 
  • Multimedia Journalist 
  • News Anchor 
  • Sports Reporter 
  • Editor 
  • Social Media Reporter 
  • Communications 

Admissions and Requirements

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. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. A written personal statement

    State your goals and objectives

  5. 3 letters of recommendation

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  7. Portfolio of work

  8. 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:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for Graduate Studies
  2. Pay $50 application fees
  3. Submit separate application to academic department

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

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

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
JGRD 992Professional Project3
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.)
JGRD 902Multi-platform Journalism3
Skills and technologies involved with multi-platform journalism and management. (Open to graduate students only.)
JGRD 903Media Management3
Current issues in business management related to the media environment. (Open to graduate students only.)
JGRD 901Mass Media Issues & Ethics3
Ethical framework for exploring current issues in mass communications. (Open to graduate students only.)

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
JOUR 407/807Investigative & Computer-Assisted Reporting3
Conduct investigative and in-depth reporting by using documents and computer databases, interviewing and field research to write compelling stories.
JOMC 486/886Mass Media Law3
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).
JOUR 414/814Government Controls of Information3
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).
JGRD 809Seminar in Media Law3
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).
JOUR 406/806Digital Photojournalism II3
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.
BRDC 472/872Advanced Reporting3
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 462/862Advanced Production3
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.
JGRD 954Mass Media & Government3
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).
JOUR 401/801Depth Reporting3
Long-form writing, interviewing, computer-generated research, refined writing and teamwork in the creation of a single-subject project.
JOUR 490/890Global Multimedia Photjournalism Project3
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.
BRDC 473/873Broadcast Documentary3
Depth reporting and advanced production techniques necessary for the preparation of a broadcast documentary program.
JOMC 422/822Race, Gender & Media3
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).
BRDC 469/869Advanced Cinematography/Videography3
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.
JGRD 915Mass Media Theory3
Process and effects of mass communication. (Open to graduate students only.) Offered online synchronously (students and instructor meet in real-time).
JOUR 404/804Digital Photojournalism I3
News, feature, sports and picture-story journalism. Student work in JOUR 404/804 will appear on student news website.
JOMC 487/887Mass Media & Society3
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).
JOMC 408/808Politics and the Media3
Current issues in media and politics, domestically and internationally.
JOUR 489/897Nebraska News Service3
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 891Special Topics1 - 4
Topics vary each term.
JGRD 811Seminar in Media History3
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).
JOMC 412/812Literature of Journalism3
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).
JGRD 919Methods of Mass Media Research3
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).
JOUR 467/867School Publications3
Problems and procedures involved in producing school newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines and radio and/or video projects.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour

Tuition
$357.00
Fees
$52.25
Total
$409.25

3 Credit Hours

Tuition
$1071.00
Fees
$156.75
Total
$1227.75

Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour

Tuition
$676.00
Fees
$52.25
Total
$728.25

3 Credit Hours

Tuition
$2028.00
Fees
$156.75
Total
$2184.75
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.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterFeb 01
  • Spring SemesterSep 01