School of Journalism and Media Studies
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Mass Communication

The School of Journalism & Media Studies offers graduate study leading to the Master of Arts degree in communication with a specialization in mass communication and media studies. The degree prepares students for additional graduate work at the doctoral level, leadership positions in key communication industries and professional areas, or teaching careers at the community college level. Graduates occupy leadership positions in advertising, journalism, media and telecommunications management, digital media, public relations and telecommunications policy, as well as enter premier doctoral programs across the country.

Mass Communication Curriculum

Please visit the SDSU Graduate Bulletin for detailed information on all JMS graduate courses.

Core Theory and Methods

Students are required to take the following courses during their first semester of study:

  • JMS 600B Seminar - Research Methods in Mass Communication and Media Studies
  • JMS 600A Seminar - Introduction to Graduate Studies in Mass Communication and Media Studies

Specialization Courses

Four Courses should be selected from the following JMS courses:
  • JMS 560 - Advertising Research
  • JMS 529 - Data-driven Investigative Journalism
  • JMS 506 - Advertising and Society
  • JMS 574 - International Advertising
  • JMS 591 - Global Technology: Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Age
  • JMS 589 - Ethical Issues in Mediated Communication
  • JMS 581 - Applied Research in Public Relations
  • JMS 585 - Professional Practices in Public Relations
  • JMS 595 - Seminar in Theoretical Approaches to Public Relations
  • JMS 596 - Selected Topics
  • JMS 620 - Quantitative Methods in Media Research
  • JMS 696 - Special Topics
  • JMS 701 - Seminar in Mass Communication Problems
  • JMS 710 - Seminar in Media and Social Influence
  • JMS 775 - Seminar in Mediated Communication in International Settings
  • JMS 780 - Seminar in Advanced Theory in Public Relations
  • JMS 785 - Seminar in Advertising Research
  • JMS 527 - Advanced Topics in Journalism
  • JMS 547 - Advanced Topics in Media Studies
  • JMS 567 - Advanced Topics in Advertising
  • JMS 587 - Advanced Topics in Public Relations
  • JMS 590 - Seminar in Crisis Communication in Public Relations Management


Students completing a master’s thesis should take JMS 799, plus three elective courses. Non-thesis students should select four elective courses, two of which may be taken outside the School of Journalism & Media Studies. All electives must have the prior approval of the graduate adviser. Electives taken without approval may not be counted toward the student’s program of study. No more than six units of electives may be taken as special study (JMS 798) units.