Program Notes

  • No GRE required.
  • Merit scholarships available, with no additional application required.
  • International students: This program is eligible for the OPT STEM extension.

The Boston University Master of Arts in Emerging Media Studies is the nation’s first graduate program in emerging media and the critical role it plays in daily modern life. It offers 10 months of practical and theoretical instruction covering human behavior, social media analysis, organizational communication, and Big Data.

As a student of emerging media, you analyze the world of emerging media using the latest research and ideas on emerging technologies and services, analytic techniques for social media, and the role of public policy for new communication technology. Emerging Media Studies at COM integrates coursework with research experience, culminating in a conference where students present their research and exchange views with peers and leaders in the field. You also help real-world clients solve business and societal challenges through a semester-long research project.

Students who earn their MS in Emerging Media Studies leave with cutting-edge ideas, solutions to real media challenges, and a portfolio to prove it. You’ll join a global alumni network that is shaking up the media landscape around the world. COM graduates are highly sought for a range of careers in the tech industry and data sciences as well as creative media, marketing, and public relations firms. Others pursue opportunities to continue to Ph.D. programs.

Leading Researchers and Thinkers

EMS graduate students are taught and mentored by leading researchers and thinkers in the field.  The faculty make full use of the most advanced theories and methods to examine communication phenomena — from social media, streaming content, and AR/VR to Big Data and AI. They bring this knowledge into the classroom with readily understandable approaches.

Under faculty guidance, students learn how to conduct and analyze social science research concerning all types of emerging media and how to apply these skills to the pressing problems that are being faced by industry, government and other fields.

Hands-On Learning 

COM graduate students get ready for careers by rolling up their sleeves for hands-on research. Through project participation, you are trained in human relations and leadership skills.

All EMS students participate in an extended group research project, a unique component of the program that blends practical skills with social science insights. As part of a team, you take on a media challenge from a real client, addressing the problem through research, analytics, and critical thinking. For example, projects might help a local 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, before presenting your findings and solutions in a final report.

Communication Research Center

Established in 1959, CRC is the college’s hub for research into, among many topics, physiological responses to media.

All Emerging Media Studies students contribute to COM’s annual #ScreentimeBU conference, an opportunity 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 your research, you’ll share their ideas with the general public and industry leaders. Additionally, the conference provides an opportunity for you to develop your public communication capabilities and receive input from industry experts in a professional setting.

EMS students also take advantage of research opportunities at COM’s Communication Research Center, COM’s primary research hub, and the state-of-the-art technology offered at the Zimmerman Family Social Activation Center, that puts in-depth social media analytics at your fingertips.

Benefit from Boston

One of BU’s greatest resources is its location. Consistently ranked among the most livable cities in the world, Boston is “America’s college town,” a city rich in history while remaining on the forefront of culture and innovation. Boston is a Top 10 U.S. media market, and home to some of the world’s best creative agencies, media companies and leading employers — offering boundless opportunities for internships and careers.

Purpose Driven

COM stands out from our peers. Our faculty offers a mix of researchers and practitioners who endorse a cross-discipline, hands-on approach to learning. Our location lies at the heart of an electric, media-savvy city.

But it may be COM’s shared values that matter most. We believe that communication requires diversity, critical thinking, and creative expression. We believe that communication must be grounded in truth, authenticity, effectiveness, and purpose. We believe that communication builds understanding among people and across society.