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Graduate Handbook

Welcome

This handbook has been prepared for students seeking a graduate certificate or degree from Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Memphis.

The Master of Arts program serves students seeking graduate degrees to support careers in advertising; print, Internet and broadcast journalism; visual media; and public relations/strategic communication.

The Entrepreneurial Journalism Certificate prepares students to start their own media-related business or bring innovation to legacy media organizations as "intrapreneurs." It emphasizes knowledge of business fundamentals, marketing, advertising and public relations strategies for new businesses, and creating digital, multimedia content for media products and promotions.

The Multimedia Storytelling Certificate prepares students with updated skills in multimedia with a focus on telling stories through various platforms including photography, audio, video and data visualization.

The Social Media Analysis and Strategy Certificate helps student learn tools in audience analysis and segmentation, analytics and evaluation, and community engagement to build and maintain a social media presence for brands and organizations. Student also earn certifications in various analytic software and programs.

The Journalism and Strategic Media faculty are committed to developing media specialists who can take leadership roles in their organizations and in the community. Our curriculum is designed to help you acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for competent professional practice or for continuation in higher education toward your Ph.D.

The full graduate catalog is at https://catalog.memphis.edu/index.php.

Program Goals

The program described on the following pages was created to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand:

1. Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press in the United States, as well as receive instruction in and understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances.

2. Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.

4. Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.

5. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.

6. Contribute to knowledge appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.

The Master's Degree: On campus or online?

The master's degree requires 33 semester hours and typically takes two years to complete. Students can earn a master's degree in journalism and strategic media in one of three ways: on-campus classes, online courses, or a combination of both. Students living out of commuting distance have a priority for seats in online sections.

On campus

Courses include applied and skills-based material, primarily at the 6000 level, as well as more theoretical courses at the 7000 level. Students who enroll in the on-campus program include recent graduates of a program in journalism or mass communication, local media professionals who attend part-time and full-time, and people who want to change careers (both full- and part-time).

Online

This department was perhaps the first in the country to offer a master's degree in journalism online. That was in 1995. The program is intended to serve two types of students: practicing journalists/media professionals with experience in the business who, for one reason or other, are unable to take classes in the traditional way; and individuals in other professions who are seeking to make a career change. The program is designed to cater both to individuals with an undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication as well as those individuals who have an undergraduate degree in another discipline.

Online graduate students meet in real time in a Web video chat room and should plan on spending about three hours a week in class, per class. Students will need an Internet connection, speakers and a mic (or a headset with a built-in mic). Headsets can be purchased for approximately $20. This form of instruction is referred to as "synchronous" and is the signature teaching method at The University of Memphis. Independent studies, internships, projects, and theses do not require fixed meetings.

Program Prerequisites and Admission

Applicants for admission to the Master of Arts in Journalism and Strategic Media program must satisfy all requirements of the University's Graduate School as set out in the Graduate Catalog. The Catalog notes: "Applicants will be selected on a competitive basis, and therefore, admission will not be granted to all applicants who meet only minimum requirements."

The admission requirements for the on-campus and online programs are the same. Online students should be comfortable with technology and be able to work easily in that environment. Online students must have a dedicated Internet connection with stable signal to support video conferencing. Students must be in a quiet place where they can fully participate in the courses.

The Graduate School collects a student's application, test scores, and transcripts and, when complete, forwards them to the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media to consider for admission to the program. The only documents you will send directly to the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media are your résumé and goal statement.

Admission to the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media is competitive. Multiple criteria are considered. These include official GRE or MAT scores, cumulative grade point average, relevant employment history in the form of a résumé and a personal goal statement. There are no minimum requirements, but applicants can expect that acceptable criteria include a 3.5 or higher undergraduate GPA along with test scores in the 50th percentile range. The goal statement should have plenty of thought, be well written, articulate, and free of mechanical errors. The résumé should show varied experiences in fields related to journalism and strategic media.

A bachelor's degree in journalism or mass communication (ACEJMC-accredited programs preferred) is helpful but not required for admission.

Admitted students who are new to the field will be required to complete, with a grade of "B" or better, one or more of the following courses at the University of Memphis:
• JRSM 6700, Media Law (on campus and online)
• JRSM 7000, Media Writing (on campus and online)
• JRSM 7320, Mass Media & Diversity (on campus and online)

Students needing conditional courses should take them within the first year.

What to send to the department

Students seeking admission to the graduate program in journalism and strategic media must submit a goal statement of 500 to 1,000 words indicating the academic program for which the applicant is applying and specifying their career goals. Applicants should explain or call attention to anything in their academic or professional records and discuss how this particular degree will help them advance in the field. Also include a résumé showing professional experience, if any. These should be sent to the director of graduate studies via either email or regular mail.

What to send to the Graduate School

Submit the graduate application at http://www.memphis.edu/graduateadmissions/index.php

Have college transcripts and test scores sent to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
The University of Memphis
FedEx Institute of Technology Building, Suite 201
Memphis, TN 38152-3520

Deadlines

Applicants should submit all materials for program admission well in advance of their intended start date. Send by June 1 for fall semester admission, by October 1 for spring semester admission, and by February 1 for the summer. The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media's admission committee will review applications at those times and may review new applications at other times.

For full consideration for competitive graduate assistantships for the fall semester, applicants should submit a graduate assistantship application by February 15. For full consideration for competitive graduate assistantships for the fall semester, applicants should submit a graduate assistantship application by October 15. Graduate assistantships provide full-time students a tuition waiver as well as a stipend for the hours worked in the assistantship. Assistantships are available in other units on campus, and applicants not selected for JRSM assistantships can asked to be considered for those positions.

Date Deadline
March 1 Application for summer admission
March 1 Graduate assistantship application for fall semester
July 1 Application for fall admission
November 1 Application for spring admission
November 1 Graduate assistantship application for spring semester

Admitting International Students

The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media encourages international applicants. International applicants should consult the section on Admission of International Students on the Graduate School's website.

In addition to the university's requirements, the department requires a minimum score of 600 on the paper version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The university will also accept the IELTS. International applicants also must meet the same GRE and/or MAT scores required of other applicants.

International students whose highest degree is from a university outside the U.S. must have their credentials evaluated by the World Educational Services. The WES fees of about $80 USD are in addition to the application fees.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates are awarded for successful completion of courses meant to help students develop a career competency in a single subject. Journalism and Strategic Media offers three graduate certificates: Entrepreneurial Journalism, Multimedia Storytelling, and Social Media Analysis and Strategy.

How to apply

Applicants for the certificate programs must satisfy all the requirements of the University Graduate School as set out in the Graduate Catalog.

The Graduate School collects applications and transcripts and, when complete, forwards them to the department to consider for admission to the certificate program. Applicants should directly submit a résumé and goal statement to the director of graduate studies. All other admissions requirements are the same as for the regular program (see above).

Continuing Beyond the Certificates

All of the classes taken in the certificate program will count if admitted to the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media's master's degree program. Students have eight years to complete the master's degree. The time starts the semester of their first graduate course.

Advising – MA and Certificate

Students are responsible for having and using advisers at all times during their program of study. Guidance and advice are available from graduate faculty in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Initial guidance is provided by the department's director of graduate studies. Students may stay with that person or select another member of the graduate faculty. Changes in advisers may be requested at any time student interests change.

Eventually, most students will likely select a different faculty member to chair a capstone committee. Advisers are necessary under the department's "no self-advising" policy, which holds students accountable for errors they commit in the absence of advising. Those mistakes could result in students having to take additional courses and/or having to delay completing their programs and receiving degrees.

Note: Students current e-mail and postal addresses and telephone number MUST be on file at all times in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Changes in address or telephone number should be reported to the department secretary at 901-678-2401 and to The University Registrar. Students who fail to comply risk forfeiting opportunities for assistantships and for part- and full-time employment.

Building an MA Degree Program

The journalism and strategic media core, most of which is completed by all students early in their programs, preferably during the first year, is required of all students:

• JRSM 7002 Pro Seminar 1 hour
• JRSM 7050 Mass Communication Theory 3 hours
• JRSM 7080 Quantitative Research Methods 3 hours
• JRSM 7085 Qualitative Research Methods 3 hours
• JRSM 7990 Media Portfolio 2 hours
• Writing course (JRSM 7015, 7124, 7350 or 7422) 3 hours

JRSM 7050, 7080 and 7085 are crucial courses that lay the intellectual foundation for capstones. So taking them early is particularly helpful.

Areas of emphasis

Students should choose one of four emphasis areas. Three are professional-track emphases — Integrated Strategic Media (18 hours), News and Storytelling (18 hours), Visual Media (18 hours) — and one Mass Media Research emphasis (18 hours, which includes a six-hour thesis).

Integrated Strategic Media

The Integrated Strategic Media emphases represents the fast-paced and exciting fields of advertising and public relations, and offers many opportunities for job growth. Advertising involves all phases of the industry, from art direction to media planning and buying. Our classes prepare you for careers ranging from working in an agency to heading a corporate ad office. Public relations is a proactive, strategic function that strives to build relationships among an organization and its publics. Together, they represent a cohesive unit communicating brand messages to internal and external audiences.

Our courses are developed to introduce key concepts to students in order to prepare them for a career in integrated strategic media. Key concepts include planning, implementing and evaluating effective communication plans; using appropriate tools and techniques to share strategic messages; creating communication tactics for internal and external stakeholders, shareholders and target audiences; and understanding the ethics of advertising and public relations in practice.

Integrated Strategic Media courses
• JRSM 7410 Advanced Crisis Comm 3 hours
• JRSM 7412 Analytics and Evaluation 3 hours
• JRSM 7414 Audience Analysis & Seg. 3 hours
• JRSM 7416 Global Strategic Comm 3 hours
• JRSM 7418 Integrated Strategic Manag. 3 hours
• JRSM 7422 Writing for Strategic Media 3 hours

News and Storytelling

News and Storytelling means seeking, interpreting and reporting information for mass and specialized audiences through journalism. The subject matter and people with whom journalists deal are as diverse as the human race. So, while coursework emphasizes specific areas of journalism, the larger purpose of the program is to prepare students to be a professional communicator. Because classes teach both theoretical and practical skills, students will have the talent, confidence and knowledge to cope with many professional communication responsibilities. In addition to journalism and mass communication skills, students will also gain a broad background and in-depth exposure to a variety of social and natural sciences, the humanities, business, and other subjects. The program is flexible to permit coursework in areas of greatest interest to students.

News and Storytelling courses
• JRSM 7015 Advanced Media Writing 3 hours
• JRSM 7124 Data Journalism 3 hours
• JRSM 7330 Social Media and Comm. Eng. 3 hours
• JRSM 7350 Advanced Multimedia Reporting 3 hours
Recommended electives
• JRSM 7100 Entrepreneurial Media 3 hours
• JRSM 7510 Information Design 3 hours

Visual Media

Visual media professionals lead the charge in strategic discussions of ideas and their execution to deliver the intended message to the target audiences. Creatives think about audiences and how those audiences will consume content. They use theories and research that show how people perceive color and type, how they engage a printed page or a digital screen, how layout and structure convey organization and importance. And they deliver a message that uses words, images, symbols, and graphics to efficiently inform and persuade that audience.

Visual Media courses
• JRSM 7330 Social Media and Comm. Eng. 3 hours
• JRSM 7422 Writing for Strategic Media 3 hours
• JRSM 7510 Information Design 3 hours
• JRSM 7530 Visual Media Theory & Practice 3 hours

Recommended electives
• JRSM 7100 Entrepreneurial Media 3 hours
• JRSM 7412 Analytics and Evaluation 3 hours

Mass Media Research

The Mass Media Research emphasis explores the theories of mass communication and the research methods used to expand knowledge about the media. Students in the Mass Media Research emphasis must complete a thesis for their capstone. A thesis is theory-based and constitutes an original contribution to the knowledge of the discipline. Students contemplating the idea of an eventual Ph.D. should strongly consider this option.

Mass Media Research courses
• JRSM 7025 Research in Media Law 3 hours
• JRSM 7125 Research in Media History 3 hours
• JRSM 7320 Media and Diversity 3 hours

Select one writing class
• JRSM 7015 Advanced Media Writing 3 hours
• JRSM 7124 Data Journalism 3 hours
• JRSM 7350 Advanced Multimedia Reporting 3 hours
• JRSM 7422 Writing for Strategic Media 3 hours

Select one recommended elective
• JRSM 7330 Social Media and Comm. Eng. 3 hours
• JRSM 7530 Visual Media Theory & Practice 3 hours

Students are encouraged to prioritize the core courses, and complete them as soon as possible. No more than three hours in either JRSM 7600 or JRSM 7650, but not both, may be applied to the degree. All requirements for the degree must be completed in eight years. Courses older than eight years will not be allowed as credit toward the master's degree. Additionally, students who entered the program without an undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication or a similar field are required to take JRSM 6700, 7000, and 7320.

Students may count up to six credit hours in combination of JRSM 7700, JRSM 7800, courses outside Journalism and Strategic Media, or experiential learning credit.

Capstone experience

Students are required to complete any of four capstone experiences. Students in one of the three professional-track emphases are recommended to complete either the professional project or the graduate media practicum experience. Students in Mass Media Research are recommended to complete either a 6-hour thesis, or the peer-reviewed published or presented research requirement.

Master's Thesis (JRSM 7996)

Students who anticipate continuing with doctoral studies, or who are interested in academic research or in college teaching should follow the Mass Media Research track and complete an independent research project culminating in a master's thesis. A thesis uses the academic research method to examine a phenomenon in mass communication, or to consider a legal, historical, or visual issue related to journalism and strategic media. It must collect original data and analyze it, and discuss how the research fits in with established knowledge. A thesis might use content analysis, survey, experiment, focus groups, in-depth interviews, document analysis, ethnography, legal analysis, historical analysis, or visual analysis.

On completion of a thesis, a student will take an oral examination with a three-person faculty committee that assesses the thesis and the student's broader awareness of theoretical and empirical issues in the field. The student must defend both the thesis proposal as well as the final document. The student is responsible for assembling a committee, which should consist of at least 3 faculty members (a minimum of 2 from Journalism and Strategic Media).

Students must take 6 credit hours of thesis credit, and cannot count more than 6 toward graduation, but may take more if needed. Graduate assistants on the thesis path may take only 6 hours of thesis credit in their final semester and remain on their assistantships.

A thesis might need approval from the Institutional Review Board, depending on the type of research. Students should familiarize themselves with the university's Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write the thesis.

Peer-reviewed published or presented research

A student may present solo-authored research at full-paper, peer-reviewed, regional, national, or international journalism, communication, or media conference, or publish research in an academic journal, in place of a thesis. In this event, the student will fill the remaining hours of the degree with elective courses.

Professional Project (JRSM 7998)

Students seeking master's degrees to enhance career progress may complete a professional project under the direction of a faculty committee. In a project, students create an original work that can be used by a professional outlet. The way a project is completed depends on the type of work being done. Students are expected to complete a project that would be useful in their careers.

A professional project can take many forms. It might be a marketing plan, business startup, a communications plan for a nonprofit organization, a series of research-based journalism articles, or a visual creative project. Students will determine the expectations and guidelines for the project with the committee chair. The quality of work in a project is expected to be equal to a thesis.

On completion of a professional project, a student will take an oral examination that assesses the project and the student's broader awareness of theoretical and empirical issues in his or her field. The student must defend both the project proposal as well as the final document. The student is responsible for assembling a committee, which should consist of at least 2 Journalism and Strategic Media faculty; additional outside members are welcome at the students' choice.

Students must take 3 credit hours of project credit, and cannot count more than 3 toward graduation, but may take more if needed.

A project might need approval from the Institutional Review Board, depending on the type of research.

Graduate Media Practicum (JRSM 7600)

Students may fulfill their capstone with a Graduate Media Practicum, and the writing of a report analyzing their practicum experience taking media theory in consideration. The report must be defended orally in front of at least two Journalism and Strategic Media faculty members. Although all graduate students are encouraged to work in internships, students may only count one for the graduate media practicum experience and may not otherwise earn internship credit. Students must write a proposal for the practicum and defend it to their committee before completing the practicum. Then, students must defend their final report to their committee to earn credit for the capstone.

Portfolio (JRSM 7990)

All graduate students are required to develop and maintain an active portfolio of their work. Students are to begin the portfolio in JRSM 7002 (Pro Seminar) and contribute to it during every course thereafter. The portfolio should contain samples of the student's work from courses and/or professional experience and should develop as the student builds skills. Further, it should include writing and/or blogs contributing knowledge appropriate to the communications professions in which the student works. Portfolios will undergo a review while students are enrolled in JRSM 7990. Portfolios will be assessed by a faculty committee and external reviewers.

Master's Degree Program Milestones

Milestone 1: Fifteen-Hour Review

The first formal milestone toward a master's degree is the 15-hour review, conducted by the director of graduate studies at the end of the semester in which the student completes 15 hours of master's-level course work.

At the time of the 15-hour review, students must:
• Have an overall grade point average not lower than 3.0, and
• Have fulfilled any requirements imposed under conditional admission to the program.

Students who find themselves unable to comply with these guidelines should petition the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media's graduate faculty in advance for exceptions. In the absence of such requests, failure to meet these standards could result in a student being dropped from the program.

Students unable to comply because of circumstances beyond their control – where, for example, the department is forced to cancel a scheduled course – are responsible for (a) immediately contacting their advisers for possible alternative courses or scheduling, and (b) if no alternative is available, addressing written requests for exceptions to this policy to the director of graduate studies.

Milestone 2: Culminating Experience or Equivalent

Another formal milestone in progress toward a master's degree is what the Graduate School calls the culminating experience.

Students will satisfy the culminating experience requirement by successfully passing the oral defense of a thesis, project, or practicum.

Students who have a paper accepted by a refereed journal will satisfy the culminating experience requirement. A refereed journal is a professional or literary journal or publication in which articles or papers are selected for publication by a panel of readers or "referees" who are experts in the field. Students must provide an acceptance letter and a copy of a back issue of the journal to the director of graduate studies for verification.

Students who have a sole-authored paper accepted in a refereed regional, national or international academic or professional association paper competition or poster session will satisfy the culminating experience requirement. Students must provide an acceptance letter and the call for papers announcement to the director of graduate studies for verification. Abstracts alone will not satisfy the requirement. Students must present the paper in person. The graduate faculty will make the final determination should a question arise about whether a paper competition or journal is refereed.

Students should inquire about receiving financial help for presenting the paper at the conference from the Graduate School or the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

Special Notes

1. 6000- & 7000-level courses.
University Graduate School rules require that a minimum of 70% of the total required hours must be taken at the 7000 level. This works out to be a maximum of three 6000-level courses allowed in all four emphases. These may be taken as part of a student's emphasis. The student's academic adviser must be consulted about 6000-level courses.

All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, and student work must be completed at a level of performance satisfactory to the graduate faculty. Courses taken outside the department must be approved by the student's adviser.

2. Independent study/Courses taken outside Journalism and Strategic Media
Students are allowed to take a total of six hours of coursework outside of the department or as independent study. These six hours may be graduate transfer credit from another institution; courses taken at the University of Memphis but outside of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media; courses that provide experiential learning credit through the University of Memphis; independent study through JRSM 7700 or JRSM 7800; or a combination of those options. No more than six hours will be approved or will count toward the student's degree progress and completion.
The student's academic adviser must be consulted about courses taken outside of the department, and the advisor must approve them. Student work must be completed to a level of performance satisfactory to the graduate faculty of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media.

3. Grades
Students must complete all journalism and strategic media courses with a grade of 3.0 (B) or better.

4. Repetition of courses
A graduate student may repeat a course to earn a higher grade only if the earned grade was a "U" or lower than a "B" (3.0). No course may be repeated more than once to improve the grade. Only the grade earned in the second attempt will be included in the computation of the cumulative grade point average. A maximum of two courses may be repeated during the student's total graduate career to improve a grade.

Students may not use or submit work from a previous course, even if it is the same course being repeated, to fulfill requirements for assignments in another course. If students wish to substantially rework the original submission, or to work with the same general idea, that may be permissible upon discussion with and written approval from the professor of the current course. All written work will be checked for policy adherence via TurnItIn.com. All creative work will be checked for policy adherence by the professor, and judged against previous submissions. The only exception to this policy is the student's online portfolio and its attendant pieces (for example, the résumé and logo).

5. Graduation
Students are responsible for filing the Intent to Graduate form within the deadline listed on the UofM Graduate School website. In addition, students are responsible for filing candidacy forms within the university's deadline. Online students should contact the director of graduate studies for help in collecting signatures. All graduate forms are at http://www.memphis.edu/gradschool/resources/forms_index.php.

6. Minimum number of courses
Students may be required to take courses beyond the minimum to ensure balance and depth in the discipline. These will be in addition to the hours needed for the degree.

7. Degree plan
All courses proposed in the plan of study need to be approved by a student's adviser. The director of graduate studies will provide students with a worksheet to monitor their progress.

8. Independent studies
Students may want to combine JRSM 7700, Directed Individual Research, or JRSM 7800, Directed Individual Readings, to address a specific area of study. For either course, students must work in consultation with a graduate faculty member.

Master's Degree theses, projects, and practicums

When students are ready to start work on their thesis or project (often at the end of the first year), they should meet with the director of graduate studies and/or the professor whom the student wishes to chair their committee to begin the process. Typically, the chair is a faculty member who shares the student's interests in the proposed topic. For more information about faculty interests and backgrounds, go to the faculty page of the department's website. Students choosing to complete a practicum should meet with their adviser to discuss options for practicum experiences and should find an internship.

Because the thesis preparation process and requirements are subject to change, thesis students should check the latest version of the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide available on the UofM Graduate Schools website.
Students must defend their thesis/project/practicum proposal by the end of the first week of the semester in which they wish to graduate. Students are encouraged to defend the proposal in the semester before they graduate.

Theses

Thesis Credit – JRSM 7996: Students may receive six hours credit for a thesis. A grade of "S" will be assigned only upon completion.

The thesis is a systematic study of a significant journalism and/or mass communication problem. The problem, its major assumptions, its significance, the methods and sources for gathering data, the analysis of the data, conclusions and recommendation should be clearly explained.

A thesis must meet the specifications of the Graduate School of The University of Memphis and the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Unlike independent studies or course projects that are encountered in undergraduate or graduate courses, theses may be developed over a year or more in several phases. Select a subject area or topic early and use course papers as a means of advancing the thesis proposal. In general, thesis students will:

Select a topic or area of interest that you can research and write about that helps to solve a problem in journalism/mass communication or fills a hole in the current literature of those fields.

Form a thesis committee. Form a three member committee to include your chair and two additional members. The chair and at least one other member of the committee must be graduate faculty in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, and one of whom may be a graduate faculty member outside of the department. Forming a committee involves the student asking faculty members directly for their help and support as a committee member. This should be a professional conversation, and the student should be able to articulate the basic idea of the thesis at that time.

Submit proposed committee membership in writing to the director of graduate studies.

Write a proposal for the thesis. This should include an introduction, a literature review, and a methods chapter. You will most likely write sample proposals in your coursework to use as guides here.

Present the written proposal to your committee chair for editing and approval. This may take multiple rounds of edits and discussion between the committee chair and student.

Then, when the written proposal is approved by the committee chair, submit the proposal to all committee members in preparation for the oral defense. Committee members must be given a minimum of two weeks in which to read the proposal and prepare for the defense. The proposal needs to be placed in a context for the committee. The defense will include a broad discussion of the work in the context of contemporary journalism/mass communication, and commentary and suggestions from the committee members on how to best move forward.
Students must defend their thesis proposal by the end of the first week of the semester in which they wish to graduate. Students are encouraged to defend the proposal in the semester before they graduate.

Complete any edits to the proposal required by the committee chair and/or members. Then the student will complete the thesis. The thesis will also be orally defended in front of the committee. The same process from the proposal, of editing and discussing with the chair first, providing the edited document to the full committee with a minimum of two weeks for them to read it, and an oral defense of the completed thesis, applies here.

Once students complete their coursework, they must continue to enroll in at least one thesis hour every semester (except summer) until the semester they complete the thesis. Students must register for at least one thesis hour in their last semester. Students who plan to complete their thesis and graduate in August must register for the summer term.

Projects

Project Credit – JRSM 7998: Students may receive three hours credit for a project. A grade of "S" will be assigned only upon successful completion and oral defense of the project.

Practicing professionals may wish to select the professional project option. A project must be a substantial professional endeavor that is usable in the student's field. Examples could include a public relations plan, an advertising campaign, a series of in-depth articles to be published in a professional print or online medium, or a documentary suitable for broadcast. The project must reflect both originality and professional quality.

Project students will: Select a topic and form of project.

Form a project committee. Form a two- to three-member committee to include the project chair and one or two additional members, one of whom may be a professional working in the student's interest area or faculty member outside of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Forming a committee involves the student asking faculty members or professionals directly for their help and support as a committee member. This should be a professional conversation, and the student should be able to articulate the basic idea of the project at that time.

Submit proposed committee membership in writing to the director of graduate studies.

Write a proposal for the project. Although each project will be different and thus each proposal will require different elements, a proposal might include a timeline for the project, a discussion of each element and how they fit together, and a brief situation of the project within the relevant literature and/or professional areas taught in the student's coursework, among other things. [Note: Elements of the proposal—a literature review, e.g.—might not appear in the final project.]

Present the written proposal to the committee chair for editing and approval. This may take multiple rounds of edits and discussion between the committee chair and student.

Then, when the written proposal is approved by the committee chair, submit the proposal to all committee members in preparation for the oral defense. Committee members must be given a minimum of two weeks in which to read the proposal and prepare for the defense. The project needs to be placed in a context for the committee. The project defense will include a broad discussion of the work in the context of contemporary journalism/mass communication, and commentary and suggestions from the committee members on how to best move forward.

Students must defend their project proposal by the end of the first week of the semester in which they wish to graduate. Students are encouraged to defend the proposal in the semester before they graduate.

Complete any edits to the proposal required by the committee chair and/or members. Then the student will complete the project and present some form of a final product to your committee. The shape of this final product, and how it will be assessed, should be decided upon at the proposal defense.

Students who want to take 36 hours of regular courses and use the project to satisfy the requirement for a culminating experience can do so without signing up for project hours, as long as the student is enrolled in classes in the term of graduation.

Practicums

Practicum Credit – JRSM 7600: Students may receive three hours credit for a practicum experience. A grade of "S" will be assigned only upon successful completion and oral defense of the practicum.

Students interested in an internship or earning credit for a current work experience may wish to select the practicum option. Students must document at least 150 hours of work to earn practicum credit. The work may be paid or unpaid.

Practicum students will: Be hired for an internship or work experience.

Complete the Graduate Student Practicum Agreement form and have their employer complete the Employer Graduate Student Practicum Agreement form and return them to the internship coordinator.

Form a practicum committee. Form a two-member committee to include the student's major professor and one additional faculty member in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Forming a committee involves the student asking faculty members directly for their help and support as a committee member. This should be a professional conversation, and the student should be able to articulate practicum experience at that time.

Submit proposed committee membership in writing to the director of graduate studies.

Write a proposal for the practicum. Follow the department's template for practicum proposals on the student resources section of the department's website.

Present the written proposal to your committee chair for editing and approval. This may take multiple rounds of edits and discussion between the committee chair and student.

Then, when the written proposal is approved by the committee chair, submit the proposal to your committee member in preparation for the oral defense. Committee members must be given a minimum of two weeks in which to read the proposal and prepare for the defense. The practicum needs to be placed in a context for the committee. The proposal defense will include a broad discussion of the work in the context of contemporary journalism/mass communication, and commentary and suggestions from the committee members on how to best move forward.

Students must defend their practicum proposal by the end of the first week of the semester in which they wish to graduate. Students are encouraged to defend the proposal in the semester before they graduate.

Complete any edits to the proposal required by the committee chair and/or member. Then students will complete the practicum experience. This process should be completed before you begin your practicum work experience.

Work at least 150 hours in the practicum.

Write the final report about the practicum. The final report will also be orally defended in front of the committee. The same process from the proposal, of editing and discussing with the chair first, providing the edited document to the full committee with a minimum of two weeks for them to read it, and an oral defense of the completed report, applies here.

Tentative Graduate Schedule (all classes offered as hybrid)

Summer: Even years

JRSM 7414 Audience Analysis & Segmentation Elective
JRSM 7600/7996/7998 (3-6 hours) Capstone; every semester
JRSM 7700/7800 Independent Studies Elective
Elective
JRSM 7990 Media Portfolio (2) Core

Fall: Even years

JRSM 7000 Media Writing Remedial
JRSM 7002 Pro Seminar (1) Core; every semester
JRSM 7050 Mass Comm Theory Core; every fall
JRSM 7085 Qualitative Research Methods Core; every fall
JRSM 7990 Media Portfolio (2) Core; every semester
JRSM 7600/7996/7998 (3-6 hours) Capstone; every semester
Electives
JRSM 7410 Advanced Crisis Elective
JRSM 7422 Writing for Strategic Media Writing
JRSM 7510 Information Design Elective
JRSM 7700/7800 Independent Studies Elective

Spring: Odd years

JRSM 7002 Pro Seminar (1) Core; every semester
JRSM 7080 Quantitative Research Methods Core; every spring
JRSM 7990 Media Portfolio (2) Core; every semester
JRSM 7600/7996/7998 (3-6 hours) Capstone; every semester
Electives
JRSM 7350 Advanced Multimedia Reporting Writing
JRSM 7412 Analytics and Evaluation Elective JRSM 7530 Visual Media Theory and Practice Elective
JRSM 7700/7800 Independent Studies Elective

Summer: Odd years

JRSM 7418 Integrated Strategic Management Elective
JRSM 7600/7996/7998 (3-6 hours) Capstone; every semester
JRSM 7700/7800 Independent Studies Elective
JRSM 7990 Media Portfolio (2) Core; every semester

Fall: Odd years

JRSM 7000 Media Writing Remedial
JRSM 7002 Pro Seminar (1) Core; every semester
JRSM 7050 Mass Comm Theory Core; every fall
JRSM 7085 Qualitative Research Methods Core; every fall
JRSM 7990 Media Portfolio (2) Core; every semester
JRSM 7600/7996/7998 (3-6 hours) Capstone; every semester
Electives
JRSM 7015 Advanced Media Writing Writing
JRSM 7100 Entrepreneurial Media Elective
JRSM 7330 Social Media & Comm Eng. Elective
JRSM 7700/7800 Independent Studies Elective

Spring: Even years

JRSM 7002 Pro Seminar (1) Core; every semester
JRSM 7080 Quantitative Research Methods Core; every spring
JRSM 7990 Media Portfolio (2) Core; every semester
JRSM 7600/7996/7998 (3-6 hours) Capstone; every semester
Electives
JRSM 7124 Data Journalism Writing
JRSM 7320 Media and Diversity Elective
JRSM 7416 Global Strategic Comm Elective

 

(Updated July 1, 2019)

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