GRADUATE PROGRAM IN
PUBLIC INTEREST MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION
Socially Responsible Media – Socially Relevant Research
The Public Interest Communication Master’s combines the best skills of an MFA in Film Production with the research skills of a traditional Master’s program, preparing students to create AND evaluate the media that is going to change the world.
The Public Interest Media and Communication Master’s program combines the best of an MFA in Video Production with the best elements of a traditional research Master’s in Media and Communication Studies. This program prepares students to create visual messages AND evaluate their impacts. PIMC is grounded in science-based, strategic communication designed to train effective communicators working to create positive change on a broad range of social, political, and environmental issues.
PIMC students learn foundational skills in 4K video production, built from the bottom up with no previous film or video experience necessary. Focusing on documentary, advocacy, and reality based visual storytelling, students learn to produce compelling moving images designed to address a range of social issues. Classes in research methods, social media campaigns, persuasion, and media theory teach students how to target specific audiences and how to evaluate the effectiveness of their visual messages, complimenting their video production skills.
PIMC students find work in non-governmental organizations such as environmental, human rights and other social service groups as well as governmental agencies addressing issues such as public health, education and youth services, hunger and nutrition, environmental protection, and other social needs. This program recognizes the need for skilled communicators who can harness the power of visual communication in an effort to change the world into a more humane, sustainable place.
News from the School
The Master’s in Public Interest Media and Communication is a hybrid (36 credit hour) professional/research degree that prepares students to work in the communication areas of non-governmental organizations, political campaigns, government agencies, and social service groups. The program also may serve as preparation for doctoral work in communication, leading to a teaching or research position.
In this Master’s program, students will be introduced to practical digital media production skills, as well as theory and research methods. The program prepares students to:
- Create effective digital media/video
- Harness the power of social media distribution networks
- Analyze data to determine how messages are being received and acted upon
- Use communication theory to guide media creation and evaluation
By the conclusion of this master’s program, students will have knowledge and experience in:
- Creating digital video media content
- Evaluating audience reception of media campaigns
- Applying communication theory in the development of media campaigns
- Tailoring media messages to specific audiences and responding to audience feedback
The Public Interest Media and Communication Master’s program offers a capstone experience that enables students to:
- Explore a research area of interest in a thesis
- Produce a creative project
- Applying communication theory in the development of media campaigns
- Complete additional coursework
|Program Completion Options (Choose one)|
|Creative Project or Thesis||Course-Only|
|Specialized Content Area||6||6|
|Residency or Additional Course||3||3|
|Capstone Project||6||6 (2 additional courses)|
* Of the 36 required credits, a minimum of 24 must be letter-graded.
** Of the 36 required credits, a minimum of 27 must be letter-graded.
Technology: 9 hours required
These courses provide the technical skills to create multimedia communication campaigns. (2 required, Choose 1 more from this list).
- *COM 5364 – Foundations of Digital Media Production (*Required)
- *COM 5565 – Social Media Campaigns (*Required)
- RTV 5325 – Documentary Video production (*COM 5364 is prerequisite)
- VIC 5006 – Visual Communication
- Com 5365 – Computer Graphics and Animation
Research Methods: 6 hours required
These courses provide the foundation for research and evaluation of communication campaigns. (1 Required, Choose 1)
- COM 5312 – *Research Methods in Communication (Required OR COM5348)
- COM 5316 – Statistical Methods in Comm. Rsch. (prerequisite COM5331)
- COM 5348 – *Qualitative Methods in Communication Research (Required OR COM5312)
- COM 5331 – Computers in Communication Research
- COM 5340 – Historical Critical Methods
- COM 5314 – Measurement of Listener and Viewer Attitudes and Response
- LIS 5426 – Grant Writing, Evaluation and Administration.
Please see graduate bulletin for specific course descriptions.
Theoretical Foundation: (6 Credits)
These courses provide a foundation in current communication theory. (Choose 2).
- COM 5401 – Analysis of Communication Theory
- COM 5426 – Media, Culture and the Environment
- COM 5446 – Political Communication
- COM 6015 – Gender and Communication
- MMC 5646 – Political Economy of Media
- MMC 6469 – Diffusion of Innovations
- MMC 5600 – Communication Theory and Effects
- SPC 5545 – Studies in Persuasion
- COM5911 — Supervised Research
Public Interest Communication Residency: (Optional – 3 credits).
Applying the coursework to real world settings is a valuable way to connect theory and practice. Students are encouraged to complete a residency during the program. A course from any of those listed above or another graduate level course may be substituted for the residency option.
Specialized Content Area: (6 Credits).
Students will be asked to declare their SCA by the end of their first semester in the program. Faculty will assist students in finding appropriate courses but students must identify a SCA.
Students are required to pursue a specialized content area that relates to or enhances the program of study. While this requirement can be fulfilled within the School of Communication, students are also encouraged to explore areas in other departments across the university. These six hours of coursework should be related to one another but can come from different departments. Several possible cognates are listed below.
Any course offered at the 5000- or 6000-level across the university may be taken with committee approval. Up to two letter-graded, 4000-level courses may be taken in the master’s program with committee approval. Students may discuss with the committee the possibility of exercising this option in pursuit of the cognate.
Possible Specialized Content Areas:
Classical Greek Studies
Criminology & Criminal Justice
Geographic Information Systems
Integrated Marketing Communication
Peace & Conflict Studies
Project Management Certificate
Sociology of the Family
Studies in Aging
Capstone Project: (6 credits) – 3 Options:
Students will complete the PIMC program by selecting either the course-only option or by choosing one of two options for a final, capstone experience in the master’s program.
- Thesis (6 credits)
- Creative Project (6 credits)
- Coursework Only – Choose 2 additional, 3-credit courses from those listed above, including residency.
Both capstone options — the thesis and the creative project — are six-hour experiences. Because this degree option requires a total of 36 hours, the capstone option will determine how many concentration hours must be taken. 24 hours of the 36 required hours for this option must be letter-graded (not S/U). Requirements and guidelines for completing each option are available from committee members.
- Thesis Option: COM5971 Master’s Thesis (6 hours, also requires COM8976 Master’s Thesis Defense [0 hours])
- Creative Project Option: COM5955 Capstone Creative Project (6 hours)
Students who do not wish to complete a capstone experience can complete the degree by taking an additional 6 hours (above the required technology, methods, theory, and specialized content area) of coursework in media and communication studies. Students in the course-only option thus need to take at least 18 hours of methods or MCS faculty-taught courses (12-15 in the technology, research ad theory areas plus 6 for additional coursework). 36 hours of coursework are required for the course-only option. 27 hours of this coursework must be letter graded.
Fall admission — July 1
Spring admission — November 1
Summer admission — March 1
Please see the section below titled “Additional requirements for international students” for a list of other requirements
All applicants for master’s and doctoral programs in FSU’s School of Communication must satisfy university requirements as well as departmental requirements.
Florida State University Graduate Admission Requirements
- Complete and submit the University Admissions Office’s Online Application Form.
- Pay a non-refundable application fee of $30. Application packets will not be reviewed until the fee has been paid.
- Submit a completed Residency Affidavit. All applicants must submit this form, which is completed online.
- Arrange for two copies of official transcripts to be sent from each college or university attended. These must come from the schools; student copies of unofficial transcripts are not acceptable.
- Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and request scores to be sent to FSU. We will accept the general GRE test, including the verbal and quantitative sections, if it was on file with the FSU’s Admissions office by January 1, 2003. Otherwise, you must take the new GRE test, which contains verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Go to the Educational Testing Service Web site for more information.
School of Communication Graduate Admission Requirements
In addition to the university requirements listed above, all Communication graduate program applicants must meet the School of Communication requirements listed below. You do not need to submit a separate School application; your university application specifies a program within the School of Communication to which you are applying. Admission is competitive; meeting the following requirements does not guarantee admission, only consideration.
- An excellent undergraduate academic record, from accredited universities, to include a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). In addition, doctoral applicants should have a minimum of a 3.3 in their master’s degree work.
- Verbal and Quantitative GRE scores.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- A personal statement to be evaluated for its clarity of expression, creativity and persuasiveness in arguing that (1) the applicant has the necessary record of preparation and performance to succeed in the program; (2) the applicant’s goals can be served by the program’s courses and experiences; (3) the program itself can benefit significantly from the applicant’s talent and experiences; and (4) the applicant will enrich the diversity of students in his or her program. In making these arguments, please address the following questions specifically:
- What are your career goals; that is, what do you plan to be doing in five years and in 10 years?
- Why have you chosen to apply to our master’s or doctoral program?
- What experiences and competencies make you a strong candidate for our program (research skills, computer literacy, teaching experience, awards, etc.)?
- A resume or writing sample (optional for master’s students; required for doctoral students).
These documents are to be submitted with your online university application. Instructions for submitting supporting documents. (pdf 31.38 kB)
Additional requirements for international students:
- Provide proof of proficiency in both spoken and written English language: An international applicant whose native language is not English, or who has not completed a degree at an English-language university, must have taken the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam within the past five years. The Educational Testing Service administers this test. For more information: ets.org/toefl
- Provide Certification of Financial Responsibility. This required form may be downloaded online or requested from the university.
NOTE: The completed CFR is submitted to the International Center. Instructions and address are on the form.
Need more information?
Questions about School Admission Requirements:
Natashia Hinson-Turner, Graduate Coordinator
School of Communication
Suite 3100, University Center C, FSU
P.O. Box 3062664
Tallahassee, FL USA 32306-2664
Questions about University Admissions Requirements:
Office of Admissions
The Florida State University
P.O. Box 3062400
Tallahassee, FL USA 32306-2400
Questions about Communication Graduate Programs:
Betsy Crawford, Graduate Recruiter
College of Communication & Information
To give students a sense of how a concentration area might be developed, we offer a few sample programs. Students can combine courses in other clusters as well.
|Specialized Content Area
|COM5364 Foundations of Digital Video Production*||COM 5312 Research Methods in Communication* OR COM 5348 Qualitative Methods in Communication Research*||COM5546 Political Communication||PUP 5607 Politics of Health Policy|
|COM5565 – Social Media Campaigns*||LIS5426 Grant Writing, Evaluation and Administration||COM5426 Media, Culture, and the Environment||SYO5405 Health Institutions and Social Policy|
|RTV5325 Documentary Video Production||SPC5545 Studies in Persuasion|
* = Required Course