Media Communication Studies Graduate Courses

Overview | Courses | Sample Program | Student Work | Admissions

Courses in the Media and Communication Studies program are broken into Foundation Courses, Concentration Courses, Cognate Courses and a Capstone Experience. The program consists of 33-36 credit hours taken over two years: 33 credit hours for a program that includes a capstone experience and 36 credit hours for the courses-only option. Courses are designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in the dynamic field of communication.

The following course list is meant to give a general overview of the program. A specific plan based on student interest will be developed with an advisor after admission to the program.Students may choose to focus their program based on their personal area of interest. For an example of a typical student course load during the program, please see the sample program.

Foundation Courses

All students must take Analysis of Communication Theory (COM 5401) and then choose one of the following research courses:

  • COM 5312 — Communication Research Methods
  • COM 5348 — Qualitative Methods
  • COM 5340 — Historical Critical Methods
  • SPC 6236 — Contemporary Rhetorical Theory & Criticism

Concentration Courses

(Choose 4-5 courses)

Although most concentration courses will come from this list, it is not a comprehensive list of all courses offered. To see a how a concentration area might be developed, please see the sample program.

  • MMC 6469 — Communication and Change: Diffusion of Innovations
  • RTV 5702 — Communication Regulation and Policy
  • RTV 5325 — Documentary Video Production
  • RTV 6425 — Foundations of Digital Video Production
  • COM 6015 — Gender and Communication
  • COM 5340 — Historical-Critical Methods
  • MMC 5600 — Mass Communication Theory and Effects
  • COM 5426 — Media, Culture, and the Environment
  • RTV 5253 — New Communication Technology Theory and Research
  • COM 5546 — Political Communication
  • COM5646 — Political Economy of Media
  • SPC 6236 — Rhetorical Theory & Criticism
  • COM 5348 — Qualitative Research Methods
  • COM 5545 — Studies in Persuasion
  • MMC 5305 — Systems of Mass Communication
  • SPC 6306 — Topics in Interpersonal Communication

Please see the Graduate Bulletin for specific course descriptions.

Cognate/Minor Area

(9 hours)

Students are required to pursue a cognate or minor area that relates to or enhances their program. Students are strongly encouraged to explore areas in departments across the university. Possible areas from which to select cognate courses include the following:

  • African Studies
  • Studies in Aging
  • American Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Classical Greek Studies
  • Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Digital Video Production Certificate
  • Educational psychology/research
  • English
  • Gender Studies
  • Geography & World Systems
  • Hispanic Marketing Communication Certificate
  • Information Science
  • Integrated Marketing Communication
  • International Affairs
  • Peace & Conflict Studies
  • Political Economy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Theater Studies


Capstone Experience

Students select one of three options to complete the master’s program: Capstone Creative Project, Thesis or Courses-Only Option.


Capstone Creative Project

This creative project should represent a student’s complete mastery of the skills and knowledge covered in his or her program of studies.


Sample Creative Projects:

Sometimes a graduate student’s creative project may be closely aligned with a Graduate Certificate Program. Some examples:

  • After a student has completed the Graduate Certificate Program in Digital Video Production, the student may choose to conceptualize/write, cast, direct and edit a documentary or narrative video.
  • After a student has completed the Graduate Certificate Program in Digital Video Production, the student may choose to produce, write, and direct one or more episodes of a news or public affairs program that will be cablecast on FSU Channel 4 or broadcast on WFSU-TV.
  • After a student has completed a Graduate Certificate Program in “Arts and Community Practice,“ the student who also has an expertise in web design may create a web site for a local dance company.

Other times, the student’s nine hours of cognate courses may lead to a possible creative project. For example:

  • After completing nine hours of graduate courses in English Literature and Film, a student may desire to write a screenplay adaptation of a novel.
  • After completing nine hours of graduate courses in Women’s Studies and Performance Studies, a student may choose to work with a particular population, e.g., African-American returning female college students, and help them to compile, edit, and perform their stories for a live theatre audience.



The goal of a master’s thesis is to add to our general knowledge about communication. This goal can be reached in two ways: (1) conducting research, providing analysis or offering critical evaluation of an original topic; or (2) replicating previous research, providing a fresh analysis, or offering a new critical evaluation of a topic in light of recent developments in communication scholarship. The thesis option is highly recommended for those who intend to pursue advanced graduate studies.


Courses-Only Option

In place of the capstone experience, students may complete additional coursework in the MCS area.


Certificate Programs

Students are encouraged to consider the following certificate programs: