MS in Media Science

The MS in Media Science curriculum is meant to provide core, structured learning in the study and application of media theory, media and content design, and media and content evaluation. In the general MS in Media Science curriculum, students will specialize in how to create, distribute, and strategically evaluate media messages and will be able to pursue careers in the following strategic media areas: media design and content creation, message development and dissemination, analysis and evaluation, and social media management. Also, these students will be able to pursue doctoral study in the field of communication, with particular foci on media effects and processes, health communication, political communication, marketing communication research, and media and message design and evaluation. In the specialized Marketing Communication Research concentration, students will be prepared and qualified for positions as research analysts and research managers in marketing research companies or in the research departments of firms specializing in media, advertising, public relations, marketing communication research, political campaigning, health communication, and international communication.

Learning Outcomes

MS in Media Science students will:

  • Obtain advanced media-related knowledge, skills, and proficiencies for strategically creating, managing, and evaluating media performance.
  • Utilize theory and cutting-edge research findings in developing and executing strategic media strategies and evaluation approaches for media content and practices.
  • Demonstrate research and professional knowledge, skills, and proficiencies that lead MS students to excel in the following areas pertinent to professional careers: strategic media planning, content creation, media design, media message development and dissemination, and analysis and evaluation of media messages and media campaigns.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive media-related knowledge, skills, and proficiencies that prepare MS students for advanced academic study—particularly at the doctoral level—in the field of communication, with specialized foci on media effects and processes, health communication, political communication, marketing communication research, and media and message design and evaluation.

MS students in the specialized Marketing Communication Research concentration will:

  • Understand all the phases involved in the execution of a scientific research project and describe the tasks associated with each phase.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to develop, validate, and use measuring instruments that are suitable for capturing audience and media-user characteristics.
  • Utilize advanced mainstream statistical computations and analyze relationships among factors that influence media consumer values, beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to transform numerical findings into recommendations to which a client can relate and act upon.
  • Be prepared and qualified for a position as a research analyst or research manager in a marketing research company/consumer insights company or the research or consumer insight department of firms specializing in media, advertising, public relations, marketing communication research, political campaigning, health communication, and international communication.

Curriculum

Requirements: The MS in Media Science program consists of a minimum of 12 courses/48 credits. Students in Media Science and in Media Science: Marketing Communication Research must complete a final degree requirement.

Requirements (8 total courses; 32 credits):

  • COM CM 535 Political Campaigns OR COM CM 539 Health Campaigns OR COM CM 730 Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 501 Design Strategy and Software
  • COM CM 703 Basic Media Writing*
  • COM CM 707 Writing for Media Professionals
  • COM CM 710 Media Theory
  • COM CM 713 Media Law and Policy
  • COM CM 722 Communication Research Methods
  • COM CM 739 Social Media Management 

*All students in Media Science will take COM CM 703 in the fall semester and COM CM 707 in the spring semester. There is one exception—students who are waived out of COM CM 703 will take COM CM 707 in the fall semester. These students who are waived from COM CM 703 will be required to take an additional 4 credits of electives to meet the overall requirement of 48 credits.

Electives (students must choose 16 credits)*:

  • COM CM 510 Media Expression and Communication
  • COM CM 523 Design and Interactive Experiences
  • COM CM 529 Design Strategy and Software II
  • COM CM 531 Media Disruption
  • COM CM 535 Political Campaigns OR COM CM 539 Health Campaigns**
  • COM CM 555 Advanced Media Writing
  • COM CM 557 Media Effects
  • COM CM 714 Professional Presentation
  • COM CM 723 Advanced Communication Research Methods
  • COM CM 724 Sampling Design and Measurement Techniques
  • COM CM 730 Marketing Communication OR COM CM 738 Global Marketing Communication [London only] OR CM 526 Integrated Marketing Communication***
  • COM CM 750 Advanced Writing for Media Professionals
  • COM CM 809 Graduate Internship
  • COM CM 831 International Communication
  • COM CM 909 Professional Project [London only]  

*Students in Media Science must take four electives (i.e., 16 credits). At least eight of these 16 credits must be from this list. The other 8 credits can be from this list or can be other 500-level or higher courses at BU.

**If students take COM CM 535 as a requirement, they can take COM CM 539 as an elective. Also, if students take COM CM 539 as a requirement, they can take COM CM 535 as an elective.

***Students in Media Science can take ONLY one of these three courses, whether it counts as a requirement or as an elective.

Specialized Marketing Communication Research concentration:

Requirements (8 total courses; 32 credits):

  • COM CM 703 Basic Media Writing*
  • COM CM 707 Writing for Media Professionals
  • COM CM 710 Media Theory
  • COM CM 722 Communication Research Methods
  • COM CM 723 Advanced Communication Research Methods
  • COM CM 724 Sampling Design and Measurement Techniques
  • COM CM 730 Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 824 Technical Writing for Communication Research

*All students in the Specialized Marketing Communication Research concentration will take COM CM 703 in the fall semester and COM CM 707 in the spring semester. There is one exception—students who are waived out of COM CM 703 will take COM CM 707 in the fall semester. These students who are waived from COM CM 703 will be required to take an additional 4 credits of electives to meet the overall requirement of 48 credits. 

Electives (students must choose 16 credits)*:

  • COM CM 523 Design and Interactive Experiences
  • COM CM 526 Integrated Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 531 Media Disruption
  • COM CM 535 Political Campaigns
  • COM CM 539 Health Campaigns
  • COM CM 501 Design Strategy and Software
  • COM CM 714 Professional Presentation
  • COM CM 739 Social Media Management
  • COM CM 809 Graduate Internship
  • MET CS 544 Foundation of Analytics
  • MET CS 555 Data Analysis and Visualization
  • MET CS 688 Web Analytics and Mining 

*Students in the Marketing Communication Research concentration must take four electives (i.e., 16 credits). At least 8 of these 16 credits must be from this list. The other 8 credits can be from this list or can be other 500-level or higher courses at BU.

Optional Data Analytics Certificate

Students who plan to complete the following sequence of classes through BU’s Metropolitan College may apply to receive a Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics in addition to the Master of Science degree in Marketing Communication Research: MET CS 544 Foundations of Analytics with R; MET CS 555 Data Analysis and Visualization with R; MET CS 688 Web Analytics and Mining; MET CS 699 Data Mining. The graduate certificate application is available online. A maximum of two graduate-level courses (8 credits) taken at BU’s Metropolitan College before acceptance into the program may be applied towards the certificate. A minimum passing grade for a course in the certificate program is a C (2.0), but an average grade of B (3.0) must be maintained to be in good academic standing and to be eligible for certificate completion. Please contact csinfo@bu.edu for more information. Once the graduate certificate is completed, students may submit the certificate program completion form.

In addition to the Bulletin, master’s students should refer to the College of Communication Graduate Handbook for a comprehensive guide to policies, academic regulations, and resources.