Journalism, M.A.J.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at www.marshall.edu/graduate/admissions/how-to-apply-for-admission/.

In addition:

  1. Applicants who earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better must score a minimum of 371 on the three combined sections of the GRE.
  2. Applicants who earned an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 to 2.99 must score a minimum of 396 on the three combined sections of the GRE.
    GRE scores are reported in three areas of verbal, quantitative and analytical writing. The verbal and quantitative sections are scored on a scale of 130 to 170. The analytical writing score is reported on a scale of 0 to 6. Before adding the three sections to determine if the 371 or 396 requirements have been met, convert the analytical writing score using the following scale: 
    0.5 = 14
    1.0 = 28
    1.5 = 43
    2.0 = 57
    2.5 = 71
    3.0 = 85
    3.5 = 99
    4.0 = 113
    4.5 = 128
    5.0 = 142
    5.5 = 156
    6.0 = 170
  3. International student applicants must demonstrate English proficiency according to university standards. See the Admissions section for information.

Program Requirements

Completing the core meets the requirement that half of the graduate students’ hours be completed at the 600 level. The remainder of each student’s program is determined in consultation with and approval from the graduate coordinator.

  • International students are not required to take JMC 612 Hist Mass Communications, but they must identify, with the approval of the graduate coordinator, an acceptable substitution for their plan of study and for their comprehensive assessment.
  • Plan of Study: During the first term students must plan with the graduate coordinator a detailed program of courses and discuss other requirements for the Master of Arts in Journalism degree. A Plan of Study approved by the student’s graduate coordinator must be submitted for approval to the Graduate College Dean before the student registers for his or her 12th semester hour. The Plan of Study is a student’s “blueprint” for completing graduation requirements.
  • Students are responsible for learning and for meeting all requirements, guidelines and deadlines included in the Graduate Catalog.
  • Professional track students must complete a minimum of 30 graduate hours (plus any undergraduate courses deemed by the graduate coordinator to be necessary) and the comprehensive examination.
  • Thesis track students must complete a minimum of 24 graduate hours (plus any undergraduate courses deemed necessary by the graduate coordinator), a six-credit-hour thesis, and the comprehensive examination.
  • A minor consisting of a minimum of six hours in one subject area may be approved by the graduate coordinator.
  • Students who enter the master’s program without undergraduate preparation in journalism and mass communications and also without any relevant professional experience may be permitted by the graduate coordinator to take all of their coursework in journalism and mass communications.
  • A comprehensive written examination is required. The examination is not based exclusively on the specific courses completed but affords the student an opportunity to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the major subject. The five-part examination covers proseminar, mass communications theory, research, law and ethics, and journalism and mass communications history. International students may substitute another area of concentration (approved by the graduate coordinator) for history.

Area of Emphasis in Health Care Public Relations

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers a flexible graduate program in journalism and mass communications with a health care public relations area of emphasis designed to accommodate persons with or without an undergraduate degree in journalism and with or without mass communications or professional public relations experience. Career interests should include public relations positions in health care organizations or agencies that work on public relations health care campaigns.

Area of Emphasis in New Media Studies

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers a flexible graduate program in journalism and mass communications with an emphasis in new media studies designed to accommodate persons with or without an undergraduate degree in journalism and with or without mass communications or professional public relations experience.

The M.A.J. in New Media Studies is designed to assist students in migrating to evolving digital communication technology. The degree stresses an interdisciplinary approach to the changing communications environment and accommodates professionals needing to rethink traditional media outlets. Students focus on two branches of learning, a larger branch that incorporates media and storytelling, and a smaller branch of a specific discipline selected by the student. An example could be a student wishing to develop media for the health field. The second branch of electives would then be selected from specific health courses that would benefit his or her Master’s Initiative. A science fiction writer with a B.A. in creative writing may wish to use his or her branch electives to further study a specific science. A journalist may wish to develop a digital brand and choose marketing or business courses for his or her branch elective. Students consult with a faculty advisor to determine the appropriate path of study.

The Master’s Initiative consists of developing a digital product instead of a traditional text-based thesis. The Master’s Initiative combines digital communication, storytelling and design competencies with the branch elective into a fresh and innovative product. Entrepreneurial thinking is encouraged.

The New Media Studies emphasis is a complete online degree designed to enhance careers in journalism, public relations, librarianship, publishing or business for current media professionals who desire to update their knowledge of computer-based tools or pursue the integration of emerging technologies into their work. Non-degree students are encouraged to enroll in individual courses for personal development or certification credits.

Plan of Study

A Graduate Statistics course is not required if student completed an acceptable statistics course before enrolling in the master’s program.
Statistical Methods
Inter Behavioral Stat (or another acceptable statistics course)
JMC 600Proseminar in Mass Comm3
JMC 601Theory of Mass Comm3
JMC 602Mass Comm Research & Methods3
JMC 604Law and Ethics3
JMC 612Hist Mass Communications3
Electives (or Electives and Thesis)15
Total Credit Hours30

Area of Emphasis in Health Care Public Relations

Curriculum Core
JMC 600Proseminar in Mass Comm3
JMC 601Theory of Mass Comm3
JMC 602Mass Comm Research & Methods3
JMC 604Law and Ethics3
JMC 612Hist Mass Communications3
Other Required Courses
JMC 620PR in Health Care3
JMC 539AD-PR Campaigns3
JMC 501Multi-Media Writing (required if no JMC background)3
Select one of the following: 13
Medical-Lab Terminology (CT)
Other medical terminology course approved by the graduate coordinator
EDF 676Statistical Methods3
or PSY 517 Inter Behavioral Stat
Select from the following to total a minimum of 30:
Public Relations Planning
Web Strategies for JMC
The Health Care System
The Health Care Professional
Health Care Marketing
Research and Analytics
Total Credit Hours30

Area of Emphasis in New Media Studies

Curriculum Core
JMC 604Law and Ethics3
JMC 640Design Thinking3
JMC 605Master's Network3
JMC 682Master's Initiative6
Advisor Approved Course3
Required JMC Electives
Select six hours from the following:6
Digital Imaging II
Web Design for Mass Media
Hist Mass Communications
Web Strategies for JMC
Organization Storytelling
New Media Cultures
Required Branch Electives
Select six hours with advisor's approval from available Marshall Graduate courses outside of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications program6
Total Credit Hours30