Master’s Courses

The Media Studies and Production master’s program Policies and Procedures contain detailed information about the course work and other requirements of the program.

All students are required to take foundation courses 5011, 5114, 9845 and either 5021 or 5041 (note that similarly numbered or named courses in other departments or programs may not be taken for requirement equivalencies).

Overwhelmed? View an example Program Timeline.

5011. Introduction to Communication Concepts. (3 s.h.) Introduction to media studies through an examination of core concepts, theories and areas of study.

5114. Communication Research Methods. (3 s.h.) The underlying philosophy and overview of research methods as tailored to media issues. Topics include market research, rating systems, polling, surveys, depth interviews, content analysis, focus groups, ethnography, and field and laboratory experiments.

5021. Media Institutions. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite MSP 5011 & 5114. History and societal role of the mass media with an emphasis on the internal structure and workings of the mass media industries and their interaction with government and the public.

5041. Communication Content and Behavior. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5011  & 5114. Research and theory on mass media artifacts and their socialization functions.

5655. Communication in Organizations. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5011 & 5114. Review of theories of organizational structure, their relationship to media processes, and current practices and underlying communication systems.

5701. Graduate Producing/Directing. (4 s.h.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Learning radio, television and computer technologies to produce content for a variety of commercial and non-profit venues.

5887. Graduate Radio Workshop. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Students design and produce radio announcing and talk show projects.

5788. Television Production Workshop. (8 s.h.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Development of weekly half hour television programs exploring Philadelphia.  Focuses on meeting professional standards in content, form and technical quality. Summer only.

5110 & 5310. Introductory Topics in Media Studies and Production. (3 s.h.)

8221. History of Electronic Communication. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5021. Examination of the social, political and technological history of communications in the U.S., from forerunners of the telegraph through the modern mobile devices and integrated services of digital and broadband networks.

8310. Intermediate Topics in MSP. (4 s.h.) “Your Rights in the Digital World.” This online course examines citizenship in the online environment with an emphasis on digital activism, First Amendment freedoms, the culture of Facebook and blogging, and intellectual property/public domain rights.

8471. Global Media. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5021. Study of the economic policy and technology of the emerging global communication system. Specific issues include transborder data flows, international organizations, and issues of cultural and national sovereignty.

8446. Psychological Processing of Media. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5041. Research and theory concerning the contemporary psychological significance of media. Topics include attention, memory, comprehension, emotional response, arousal, picture perception, unconscious processing and person perception as they relate to traditional (radio, TV, print, film) and emerging (virtual reality, teleconferencing) media.

8657. Current Issues in Media Management. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5655. Marketing strategies for networks, stations and cable systems. Topics include relationships with government, networks, employee groups and ownership; personnel policies and supervision, budgets and reports.

8110 & 8310. Intermediate Topics in Media Studies and Production. (4 s.h.)

8252. Law & Ethics of Digital Media. (4 s. h.) Discussion of the legal and ethical issues facing the media in an online environment, including First Amendment controversies, copyright law and privacy.

8473. Information Society. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5011 & 5114. Examines origins of the information society, information as a commodity, micro and macro economics of information, globalization, identity and community online, privacy, security, intellectual property and new media, democracy online and how to think about the future.

8441. Mass Media and Children. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5011 & 5114. Examines roles of the media in children’s development. Includes problems of studying socialization effects, media usage patterns, functions of the media, effects on family interaction, social class and race, political socialization, sexual behavior, consumer behavior, music, and aggression.

8254. Public Information Campaigns. (3 s.h.) Prerequisite: MSP 5011 & 5114. Exploration of techniques and issues in information campaigns regarding health, energy conservation, environmental protection, and other topics, and campaigns’ effects on public knowledge and behavior. Students conduct an actual campaign on campus.

8741. Cybermedia Workshop. (3 s.h.) Hands-on development of content using new media forms. Students are involved in the design, scripting and production of one or more programs. Projects may include interactive programs, “edutainment” games, multimedia presentations and other digital content for distribution to business, schools or consumers.

9845. M.A. Colloquium. (1 s.h.) Current issues and opportunities in the field, discussions and presentations of current research, and guest lectures by senior scholars.

9985. Internship. (1-4 s.h.) Open only to MSP MA students with at least 21 semester hours completed. Students work as unpaid interns at compatible media industries and organizations. Enrollment limited to availability.

9983. Directed Readings in Communication. (1-4 s.h.) Tutorial course supervised by a specific MSP faculty member. Obtain required form from SMC Graduate Office (344 Annenberg Hall).

9991. Directed Projects in Communication. (1-4 s.h.) Tutorial course supervised by a specific MSP faculty member. Obtain required form from SMC Graduate Office (344 Annenberg Hall).

9996. M.A. Thesis/Project. (6 s.h.) Open to MSP M.A. candidates. No more than six credits may be counted toward the degree. See MSP Policies and Procedures.

Program Timeline

By February 15 for fall admission
Submit application materials (GRE scores, official transcripts, TOEFL [if required], letters of reference, statement of purpose)

Semester 1 (Fall)
(Suggested: 7 credits)
Take three core courses: MSP 5011, MSP 5114 and MSP 9845
Meet with academic advisor
Submit Petition for Transfer Credit form [if appropriate]

Semester 2
(Suggested: 9 or more credits)
Take remaining required course: MSP 5021 or MSP 5041—and two or three other courses

Semester 3
(Suggested: 9 or more credits)
Take three or more courses
Meet with academic advisor to discuss Thesis, Project, or Comprehensive Examinations

Semester 4
(Suggested: 9 credits)
Take two courses, including possibly Master’s Thesis or Project
Submit application to graduate (deadline is typically early in semester; contact the Graduate Office for details)
Prepare for and take Comprehensive Examinations if you are not doing a Thesis or Project

*Remember that 36 credits are required in order to graduate. Students must take either a Thesis or Project OR take Comprehensive Examinations with no Thesis or Project.