Explore. Discover. Shape what’s next. Emerging Media Studies
The Master’s Program in Emerging Media Studies at Boston University College of Communication is one of the nation’s first graduate programs to focus primarily on a subject that grows more critical to our world every day: emerging media.
Take the next step.
Navigate and analyze a constantly Evolving Industry.
In our program, we look at these technologies and processes from the viewpoint of what is new, but also what has been consistent over time. For millennia, people have been trying to figure out how to deal with information and the environment around them, and how to most effectively interact with others. Of course, in today’s world the situation is much more complex. An in-depth understanding of issues ranging from human behavior to organizational communication to large data analysis is important to be successful on many social, personal, and professional levels.
Students in this 10-month master’s program will gain novel insights about emerging media and the way it affects our lives, families, and businesses. The program has both a practical and theoretical dimension, so the background history of social media will be examined. The psychology of users and the co-creation process, as well as the regulatory structure within which emerging media exist, are topics that are brought into sharp focus in the curriculum. Students will also become adept at conducting and using social science research concerning emerging media. They will have an opportunity to participate firsthand in research, and develop a portfolio of meaningful research outcomes that can be shared with future potential employers once the degree is obtained.
Who should apply?
The Master’s Program in Emerging Media Studies is open to all individuals with a bachelor’s degree that have a desire to more deeply understand the world of social media, emerging media and communication. Students may come directly from their undergraduate career or from professional work experience. Prior course work in communication is not required. Check out our degree requirements.
Program at a Glance
What you will learn
- The latest research and thinking on emerging media technologies & services, big data, analytic techniques for social media, and the role of public policy for optimal deployment of new communication technology.
- Attention is also given to user perspectives and their interactions with social media and newer emerging media technologies (VR/AR, streaming content, robotics, AI & personal assistants).
- Emerging media; new communication technologies; big data; data analysis and visualization; analysis software.
- Intro to Emerging Media, Social Data Analysis and Visualization, User-producers & interactivity, “Collaboratory”- group research project in which students work with real world clients such as health and governmental agencies, the Boston Mayor’s office, America’s Test Kitchen, and Jack Morton on specific media challenges in doing research.
- Electives include: Design, Psychology of Emerging Media, Gamification, Web App Development, Data Analysis, Experimental Design and Effects Measurement.
All Emerging Media Studies students contribute to the annual #ScreentimeBU conference. This exciting conference provides an opportunity for EMS students to present their research in the field of digital communication and society as well as exchange their views with peers and field leaders concerning important contemporary issues. By showcasing the fruits of their research, EMS students share their ideas with the general public and industry leaders. In addition, the conference provides an opportunity for students to develop their public communication capabilities and get input from industry experts in a professional setting.
Big data refers to the tools and processes used to understand enormous volumes of data, much of which is automatically collected and available for analysis. In the context of emerging media, it is necessary to develop and apply analytic techniques where the researcher is nearly equal parts social scientist and algorithmic artist. Those with math phobia are welcome since what we focus on is the logic of what is going on, while we let the computers do the calculating for us. A priority of this program of study is that students will be trained in the use of tools for data mining, with the expectation they will not only apply a specific skillset but also demonstrate the ability to creatively unearth patterns and trends individually. The emerging media studies graduate programs teach big data as an investigative framework where students themselves are innovators and emergent experts.
Collaboratory:Extended Group Research Project
A unique component of the Master’s Program in Emerging Media Studies is a year-long collaborative project that blends practical skills with social science insights. As part of a team, you’ll take on a media challenge from a real client, addressing the problem through research, analytics, and critical thinking. For example, you might work with a nonprofit seeking to build community awareness or a media start-up trying to identify prospective users. With guidance from faculty, you’ll learn the processes and craftsmanship of research and analysis. At the end of the project, your team will present a comprehensive report on the problem, process, and solution.
The extended group project is an intensive, long-term experience. It is designed to prepare you not only for a career in new media but also for a workplace where collaboration is an increasingly important skill. At the end of the program, you will have a finished portfolio of your completed project—a distinctive way to present your individual and group achievements to potential employers.
Communication Research Center
The Communication Research Center, COM’s research hub, is an integral part of the MA in Emerging Media Studies experience. Researchers at COM use the most advanced theory and methods to examine communication phenomena. Addressing both theoretical and applied problems through a range of quantitative and qualitative perspectives, faculty and students engage in the most cutting-edge developments in communication research that provide an extraordinarily fertile ground for innovation and science.
The CRC newsletter is a great resource for learning more about the innovative research taking place at the CRC. You can view our newsletters here.