Academic Catalog 2020–2021

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Master of Arts in Multimedia Journalism

Overview

The MA in Multimedia Journalism caters to experienced journalists who want to elevate their multimedia abilities and digital innovation skills, as well as newcomers to the journalism profession and media research, and those seeking a career in university-level teaching in media studies or preparation for doctoral studies.

The MA program offers a regional and global scope, focusing on Arab media and society and instilling principles of freedom of the press, objective and responsible journalism, global citizenship, and civic engagement.

The MA degree offers two tracks: a research and a professional track.

During the first year, students take common courses that enhance professional multimedia journalism and digital innovation skills, build a strong grounding in media research and theory, and prepare them for college-level teaching and doctoral studies.

During the second year, students in the professional track take additional courses and culminate with a professionally-oriented project, while those in the research track attend theoretical and research-oriented courses and conclude with a thesis. Additionally, students in the professional track undergo a professional internship, while those in the research track take part in a research apprenticeship. Students in both tracks are required to complete a university-level teaching apprenticeship that qualifies them to teach university-level media courses right after they graduate.

Students also get the chance to participate in study abroad programs and engage with faculty in scientific research.

International students interested in building expertise in Arab media are especially encouraged to apply. Students with extensive journalism experience or a BA in Multimedia Journalism may waive some basic courses and replace them with more advanced electives. 

Mission

The MA in Multimedia Journalism offers advanced instruction in evolving forms and methods of multimedia journalism, digital innovation, and media research and teaching. The specialized and multidisciplinary program is rooted in the liberal arts tradition and balances theory, research, professional practice, critical inquiry, and pedagogical training. It caters to current journalists who want to elevate their abilities and skills, newcomers to the profession and field, as well as those seeking preparation for doctoral studies and a career in university-level teaching and research in media studies. The program seeks to prepare students to become innovative, professional, and ethical multimedia journalists, teachers and researchers ready to thrive in a rapidly evolving area. It offers a regional and global scope, focusing on Arab media and society and instilling principles of freedom of the press, objective and responsible journalism, global citizenship, and civic engagement.

Program Objectives  

The MA in Multimedia Journalism program aims to:

  1. elevate students’ multimedia journalism production, media design, and digital innovation skills to the highest professional levels,
  2. build students’ scientific research abilities in communication and media studies,
  3. develop students’ theoretical knowledge in the field,
  4. sharpen students’ critical skills and their discernment of the relationship between media and society, and
  5. prepare students for teaching and doctoral studies in the field of communication media education.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. report, write, edit and publish using text, pictures, audio, video, and data to tell multimedia stories effectively at a professional level,
  2. design, produce and assess professional-level multimedia content and innovate journalistic forms,
  3. design, implement, analyze, write and publish scientific research using qualitative, quantitative, mixed and digital research methodologies and various data forms,
  4. discuss various theoretical traditions within journalism and media studies,
  5. apply theoretical frameworks in research and professional practice, 
  6. understand the intersection between news, digital innovation, computer programming, and media design in today’s evolving journalism and media field,
  7. achieve a high level of media literacy by discerning the cultural, economic, and political contexts that affect news media and digital production processes in the Arab region and globally,
  8. apply university-level pedagogical approaches and methods in journalistic teaching and curricular development, and
  9. demonstrate requisite theoretical, research and pedagogical knowledge and skills for doctoral studies in the field.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MA in Multimedia Journalism are not required to take a GRE or similar exam. For details on English proficiency, please visit the graduate admissions page.

A strong applicant to the program would demonstrate good undergraduate academic standing, ideally a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a credible interest in the field, and/or some professional experience working in the news or media industry. Students with weaker GPAs but extensive professional experience, demonstrated interest in the field, and strong recommendation letters may be accepted on a case-by-case basis, especially if their GPA relates to a different field of study.

Applicants to the MA in Multimedia Journalism program must hold a bachelor’s degree or a minor in journalism, communication arts, media studies or a related field. Students with no prior education or degree in this field may be admitted with the condition of taking remedial undergraduate courses to fulfill prerequisite requirements. If a student holds no bachelor’s degree or minor in journalism, communication arts, media studies or a related field, the minimum requirement is a B+ average in the following undergraduate remedial courses: 

  • JSC220 News Reporting and Writing OR JSC228 Arabic News Writing and Reporting
  • JSC226 Multimedia Journalism Basics
  • JSC312 Media and Society
  • JSC419 Media Law and Ethics

Relevant undergraduate courses and/or extensive professional experience in the field may be considered on a case-by-case basis toward waiving some or all of these undergraduate remedial courses.

Qualified students may benefit from graduate assistantships (scholarships) that cover part of their tuition fees, and the chance to work closely with a faculty member on research. Application for a graduate assistantship (scholarship) is part of the admission application.

Curriculum

Research Track     

Required Core Courses (23 credits)

  • JSC601 Advanced News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.)1 OR JSC602 Advanced Arabic News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.)1
  • JSC603 Multimedia Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)1
  • JSC604 Data Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)1
  • JSC610 Media Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • JSC611 Seminar in Media Theory and Digital Culture (3 cr.)
  • JSC612 Digital Innovation (3 cr.)
  • JSC613 Media Education and Pedagogy (3 cr.)
  • JSC677 Research Apprenticeship (1 cr.)
  • JSC679 Teaching Apprenticeship (1 cr.)
  • JSC699 Thesis (6 cr.) 

Elective Courses (9 credits)

  • JSC614 Digital Methods and Basic Programming (3 cr.)
  • JSC620 Web Development for Media Professionals (3 cr.)
  • JSC630 Arab and International Media (3 cr.)
  • JSC680 Global Media Literacy (3 cr.)
  • JSC681 Global Change, Cooperation and News (3 cr.)
  • JSC687 Digital Media Workshop (1-3 cr.)
  • JSC688 Seminar in Media Studies (1-3 cr.)
  • INA825 Comparative Politics (3 cr.)
  • INA826 Comparative Politics of the Middle East (3 cr.)
  • INA831 International Political Economy (3 cr.)

Professional Track

Required Core Courses (20 credits)

  • JSC601 Advanced News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.) OR JSC602 Advanced Arabic News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC603 Multimedia Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC604 Data Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC610 Media Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • JSC611 Seminar in Media Theory and Digital Culture (3 cr.)
  • JSC612 Digital Innovation (3 cr.)
  • JSC613 Media Education and Pedagogy (3 cr.)
  • JSC678 Professional Internship (1 cr.)
  • JSC679 Teaching Apprenticeship (1 cr.)
  • JSC698 Project (3 cr.)

Elective Courses (12 credits)

  • JSC614 Digital Methods and Basic Programming (3 cr.)
  • JSC620 Web Development for Media Professionals (3 cr.)
  • JSC621 Advanced Programming for Media Professionals (3 cr.)
  • JSC630 Arab and International Media (3 cr.)
  • JSC680 Global Media Literacy (3 cr.)
  • JSC681 Global Change, Cooperation and News (3 cr.)
  • JSC687 Digital Media Workshop (1-3 cr.)
  • JSC688 Seminar in Media Studies (1-3 cr.)
  • INA825 Comparative Politics (3 cr.)
  • MKT841 Marketing Management (3 cr.)
  • MKT845 Digital Marketing (3 cr.)

1 Students may substitute these courses with an elective from the respective lists above if they completed their undergraduate equivalent with a B+ grade or higher and/or can demonstrate extensive professional experience in these areas. Substitution of these courses will be done through a petition. The undergraduate equivalents are as follows:

Graduate Course Undergraduate Equivalent
JSC601 Advanced News Writing and Reporting Lab JSC236 Advanced News Writing and Reporting
JSC602 Advanced Arabic News Writing and Reporting Lab JSC328 Advanced Arabic News Writing and Reporting
JSC603 Multimedia Journalism Lab JSC432 Multimedia Feature
JSC604 Data Journalism Lab JSC434 Data Journalism

 

Recommended Study Plan

While the typical full-time program is two years long, some students may complete it in one and a half years, while others may opt for part-time enrollment and complete it in three years or more. Below is a typical two-year study plan.

Research Track

Year One

Fall (8 credits)

  • JSC601 Advanced News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.) OR JSC602 Advanced Arabic News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC603 Multimedia Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC610 Media Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • JSC611 Seminar in Media Theory and Digital Culture (3 cr.)

Spring (7 credits)

  • JSC604 Data Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC612 Digital Innovation (3 cr.)
  • JSC613 Media Education and Pedagogy (3 cr.)

Summer (2 credits)

  • JSC677 Research Apprenticeship (1 cr.)        
  • JSC679 Teaching Apprenticeship (1 cr.)

Year Two

Fall/Spring (15 credits)

  • JSC699 Thesis (6 cr.)
  • Elective (3cr)1
  • Elective (3cr)1
  • Elective (3cr)1

 

Professional Track

Year One

Fall (8 credits)

  • JSC601 Advanced News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.)
    OR 
  • JSC602 Advanced Arabic News Writing and Reporting - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC603 Multimedia Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC610 Media Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • JSC611 Seminar in Media Theory and Digital Culture (3 cr.)

Spring (7 credits)

  • JSC604 Data Journalism - Lab (1 cr.)
  • JSC612 Digital Innovation (3 cr.)
  • JSC613 Media Education and Pedagogy (3 cr.)

Summer (2 credits)

  • JSC678 Professional Internship (1 cr.)
  • JSC679 Teaching Apprenticeship (1 cr.)

Year Two

Fall/Spring (15 credits)

  • JSC698 Project (3 cr.)
  • Elective (3cr)1
  • Elective (3cr)1
  • Elective (3cr)1
  • Elective (3cr)1

1 Some electives may be taken during the first year or in summer.