MS in Mass Communication

Changes to this program will take effect in the 2016–2017 academic year.

For the Master of Science in Mass Communication, each candidate must complete three courses required for the degree, a set of courses required within his or her concentration, and a sufficient number of electives to complete 48 credit hours.

Program Requirements

Required Courses

All MS candidates in Mass Communication who are enrolled in either of the two major concentrations offered within this degree program must take the following three courses:

  • COM CM 704 Contemporary Mass Communication
  • COM CM 707 Writing for Communication Professionals or COM CM 705 Writing for International Students
  • COM CM 710 Communication Theory

Major Areas of Concentration

The concentrations listed below prepare students for careers in the areas indicated or for further advanced study. Each has a set of required and elective courses.

Applied Communication Research Concentration

The concentration in applied communication research prepares students to assess client needs and solve client problems using surveys, focus groups, and other research strategies. The theory-grounded skills learned in this concentration prepare students for positions as research analysts or research managers in such fields as marketing research, advertising, public relations, political campaigning, health communication, and international communication. It combines a command of applied research designs, techniques, and writing skills with a background in one or more major professional fields. This area of occupational specialization offers many lucrative entry-level opportunities and excellent opportunities for advancement. The concentration also provides a research and theory background for those preparing for more advanced study in communication.

Required courses for the concentration in applied communication research are as follows (prerequisites are noted in parentheses):

  • COM CM 722 Communication Research
  • COM CM 723 Advanced Communication Research (COM CM 722)
  • COM CM 724 Sampling Design and Measurement Techniques
  • COM CM 824 Technical Writing for Communication Research (COM CM 722 and CM 723 and CM 724)

Communication Studies Concentration

The concentration in communication studies is recommended for those who wish to develop their command of general communication strategies and skills—written, oral, and computer-mediated—but who do not want to prepare specifically for the fields of advertising, public relations, or applied research.

General communication strategies and skills are applicable to a variety of professional roles in a number of settings. Individuals who are proficient in these strategies and skills serve as managers in various kinds of organizations, such as nonprofit groups, government agencies, publishing houses, and other commercial, educational, or industrial settings. The concentration also provides a suitable background for those who wish to go on for a more advanced degree in communication.

For the concentration in communication studies, select four courses from the following:

Required courses
  • COM CM 713 Law of Communication
  • COM CM 714 Oral Presentation
  • COM CM 750 Advanced Writing for Media Professionals (COM CM 707)
  • COM CM 508 Video Production for Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 510 Computers in Communication
  • COM CM 514 New Communication Technologies
  • COM CM 519 Interactive Marketing Communication (COM CM 708 or CM 701)
  • COM CM 523 Design and Interactive Experiences (COM CM 510)
  • COM CM 528 Organizational Communication
  • COM CM 534 Communication Strategies in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • COM CM 555 Writing for Multimedia (COM CM 707)
  • COM CM 557 Media Effects
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • COM CM 708 Principles and Practices of Advertising
  • COM CM 730 Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 809 Graduate Internship

Electives for the MS in Mass Communication

The additional courses needed to complete the minimum 48 credits for the MS degree in mass communication can be taken either within those offered by the department or elsewhere at Boston University. Electives for any student in the applied communication research concentration must be approved by his or her advisor.

Graduate Internship

Taking a graduate internship in any of the above areas of concentration is recommended as it provides valuable experience and networking opportunities. See COM CM 809 Graduate Internship.