Graduate Catalog
Journalism

DAVID ARANT, Ph.D.
Chair
Room 300, Meeman Journalism Building
(901) 678-2401

JOSEPH HAYDEN, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
(901) 678-4784
E-mail: jhayden@memphis.edu

http://www.memphis.edu/journalism

I. The Department of Journalism offers the Master of Arts degree in Journalism. In addition to the residential master’s program, the Department offers its MA in Journalism online to distant students.

All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.

II. MA Degree Program

Students in the MA program may take courses in advertising, news, new and emerging media, public relations, and visual communication in keeping with their needs and interests. The  curriculum is designed for undergraduates interested in advanced study, practicing professionals looking to deepen their knowledge and sharpen their skills, workers changing careers, and those who anticipate completing doctoral programs. Students should consult with the coordinator of graduate studies and with faculty advisors in designing individual course plans.

Program objectives are: (1) understanding and application of First Amendment principles and the law appropriate to professional practice, the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications, and the diversity of groups in relationship to communications; (2) understanding the concepts and being able to apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information; (3) developing the ability to work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity; (4) developing the ability to conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work; and (5) cultivating the ability to write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, their audiences, and the purposes they serve.

A. Program Admission and Prerequisites

Applicants to the program are evaluated three times a year on or around March 1, October 1, and June 1. Students may be admitted for the fall or spring semesters or for the summer session. Admission to the journalism program is competitive. Multiple criteria are considered and include official GRE or MAT scores, cumulative grade point averages, relevant employment history in the form of a resume, and a personal goal statement.

B. Program Requirements

  1. Courses and credit hours. Students may complete their degrees with (a) a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit including a thesis, or (b) a minimum of 33 hours of graduate credit including a professional project, or (c) a minimum of 36 hours of graduate credit with the acceptance of a paper for publication in a refereed scholarly journal or for presentation at a refereed academic or professional conference. All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the graduate faculty of the department. Student work must be completed at a level of performance satisfactory to the graduate faculty. Students must complete all journalism courses with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Course work taken outside the department must be approved by the student’s advisor.  No more than 9 credit hours of coursework may be taken at the 6000-level. 

    Students with graduate credit earned at another institution may petition to have it applied toward their degree requirements at the University of Memphis. Such credit is not transferred automatically and must be approved by the graduate faculty. A maximum of nine semester hours, including up to six hours of journalism credits, earned at another regionally accredited university may be applied toward the master’s degree requirements at the University of Memphis. The Graduate School will not accept courses that have been used to earn a previous degree.

  2. Required Courses. All students are required to complete a 12-hour core consisting of JOUR 7050, 7075, and 7100 plus one writing course chosen from JOUR 7015, 7350, or 7420. In addition, students must complete a one-hour pro seminar (JOUR 7001) by the end of their first semester. While the course provides essential orientation to the program, the one credit hour will not count toward the degree. 

    Students are encouraged to prioritize the core courses, and complete them as soon as possible. No more than three hours in either JOUR 7700 or JOUR 7800, but not both, may be applied to the degree. No more than three hours in either JOUR 7600 or JOUR 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 JOUR 6700, 6702 and JOUR 7000.

  3. Master’s Thesis (JOUR 7996, Thesis). Students who anticipate continuing with doctoral study or who are interested in academic research should 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 mass communication. 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 his or her field. The student must defend both the thesis proposal as well as the final document. He or she is responsible for assembling a committee, which should consist of at least 3 faculty members (a minimum of 2 from Journalism).

    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 assistantship.

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

    Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write the thesis.

  4. Professional Project (JOUR 7998, Professional Project). 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. He or she is responsible for assembling a committee, which should consist of at least 2 Journalism 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.

  5. Courses-only option. Students who elect to complete the 36-credit-hour plan must have a culminating experience. Qualifying experiences are the acceptance of a paper for publication in a refereed scholarly journal or for presentation at a refereed academic or professional conference.

III. Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism

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

Objectives of this program include:

1)      To prepare students for today’s media landscape, which is undergoing unprecedented disruption as new digital technologies and changing economic realities have upended the practices and the business models of traditional media organizations. Students need to be able to understand this upheaval and be equipped to recognize opportunities for new businesses and ways traditional organizations can evolve to meet evolving demands.

2)      To equip students with the skills they need not only to start their own media-related businesses but also to work as “intrapreneurs” within existing companies and to initiate and sustain change initiatives. They will learn startup fundamentals such as how to turn ideas into business plans, assess customer needs, pitch investors, and develop marketing, public relations and advertising strategies.

3)      Students will hone their ability to use social media and a variety of cutting-edge digital tools necessary to market and create content for new media businesses.

A. Program Admission

To apply to the Entrepreneurial Journalism Certificate Program, students must submit the following:

  1. Cover letter expressing interest in the program and qualifications
  2. Resume/CV
  3. BA or BS degree transcript

B. Program Requirements

Completion of 12 semester hours distributed as follows:

Required Courses: Total of 6 credit hours

  • JOUR 7100 Entrepreneurial Media (3)
  • JOUR 7300 Social Media Theory and Practice (3)

Electives: 6 credit hours chosen from the following:

  • UNIV 7110 Launch Memphis 48 Hour Launch (2)
  • UNIV 7110 LaunchMemphis BarCamp, SocialCamp, MobileCamp (2)
  • UNIV 7110 Business Plan Boot Camp (1)
  • UNIV 7110 Launch Memphis ad hoc mentoring (3)
  • JOUR 7650 Startup Journalism Practicum (3)
  • MGMT 7270 Venture/Bldg/Sustaining a Successful Enterp (3)
  • FIR 7648 - Evaluating/Finance New Projects (3)
  • ACCT 7412 - Legal/Accounting Aspects of Entrepreneurship (3)

C. Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the certificate students must:

1. Complete Certificate Program course requirements within a period of six years with a B or above average.

2. In the semester of graduation, the student must submit the Intent to Graduate form to the Graduate School and a Graduate Certificate Candidacy form to the College Director of Graduate Studies by the deadline specified by the Graduate School. 


JOURNALISM (JOUR)

In addition to the courses below, the department may offer the following Special Topics courses:
JOUR 6800-09. Special Topics in Journalism. (3). Intensive study of a single critical issue or current topic. Topics may vary. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.

JOUR 7200-09–8200-09. Special Topics in Journalism. (1-3). Topics are varied and announced in online class listings.

 


JOUR 6120 - Advanced Reporting (3)
Writing and reporting news and in-depth feature stories about topics, such as government, courts, education, science, trends and community-wide issues. The emphasis is on using public records and national sources as well as key local sources.

JOUR 6124 - Comptr Assistd Reportng (3)
Advanced use of computer technology and investigative techniques to access, analyze, and develop database information in combination with traditional news reporting.

JOUR 6140 - News Design (3)
Advanced skills and techniques for design of printed media, including magazine and newspaper design. Emphasis on story and page design, graphics, headlines and other display typography. Approaches to print design presentation on digital platforms.

JOUR 6301 - Event Management/HPRM & PR (3)
(Same as HPRM 4301). Development, execution and evaluation of events that support strategic communication practices; emphasis on advertising and public relations tactics for non-profit, for profit and communitybased initiatives and organizations. PREREQUISITE: students must have completed 60 hours of coursework.

JOUR 6328 - Strategic Adv Campaigns (3)
Development of an integrative campaign and its execution in include all advertising and promotion applications. (Sp).

JOUR 6421 - Crisis Comm in Public Relation (3)
Explores theories and research related to public relations communication before, during and after a crisis; examines the fundamentals of organizational communication, crisis management and strategic planning. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 4410.

JOUR 6431 - Music Promo/Public Relations (3)
Examines publicity and promotion of artists and events within the music industry. Focuses on music journalism; advanced writing of collateral material, hosting events, planning, preparing and working events for artists in various capacities. PREREQUISITE: students must have successfully completed 75 credit hours.

JOUR 6440 - Public Rel Campaigns (3)
Application of theory, research data, and problem-solving techniques in development of comprehensive public relations strategies.

JOUR 6500 - Web Publish I: html/CSS (3)
Introduction of web design software of Dreamweaver; development of website projects; incorporation of target audience analysis and web usability; presentation of website projects from servers.

JOUR 6526 - Advanced Digital Imaging (3)
Advanced skills and photojournalism techniques for still photography and video; emphasis on action, sports, fashion, food, and portraits. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3526.

JOUR 6550 - Web Publish II/: html/CSS (3)
Creation and development of website projects; systematic training in writing html codes; focused learning of cascading style sheet (CSS); final production of a multimedia project. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 6500.

JOUR 6560 - Interactive News (3)
Creation and development of interactive news story for web using Flash and its ActionScript; integrating writing, reporting, designing and presenting audio, video, slideshows elements in production of multimedia story. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 4500.

JOUR 6700 - Mass Communication Law (3)
Origin and development of legal principles affecting freedom of expression and provisions of laws of libel, slander, copyright, and other statutes limiting communication in fields of publishing and broadcasting.

JOUR 6702 - Mass Media/Diversity/Society (3)
Advanced study of critical problems faced by mass media, with exploration of complexities that cause them.

JOUR 6708 - Mass Media Ethics (3)
Classical approaches to ethics presented with their application to the day-to-day considerations that journalism, public relations, and advertising professionals must face in working with employers, local publics, and a larger society dependent on a free flow of accurate information.

JOUR 6712 - Mass Media & Cultures (3)
International communication, flow of news and propaganda; role in national development and international affairs; growth and impact of global journalism, television news, advertising, and public relations; comparison of media systems.

JOUR 6900 - Multimedia VisualCommunication (3)
Planning, development, design and execution of a project for print and digital display, including data visualization, illustration, branding, video and photography. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3900, or permission of instructor.

JOUR 6920 - Data Visualization (3)
Visual presentation of quantitative and spatial information. Examines the planning, design, and preparation of statistical graphs, charts, timelines, diagrams, and maps. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 3900.

JOUR 7000 - Media Writing/Editing (3)
Information gathering, writing, and editing skills necessary for any field within journalism and mass communication through lectures, discussions, and exercises that meld theory to technique; both laboratory writing and field assignments.

JOUR 7002 - Pro Seminar (1)
Self-paced, online orientation for incoming master's students, addressing skills and issues relevant to graduate studies in mass communication. Grades of S/U, IP will be given.

JOUR 7015 - Advanced Media Writing (3)
Designed to help students become more precise as well as versatile writers by diagnosing their writing, polishing their grammar and editing skills, and teaching them to write with clarity, cohesiveness, and conciseness.

JOUR 7025 - Law Mass Communication (3)
Laws and regulations affecting mass media with attention to social and political forces that shape the law; exploration of First Amendment theories as well as the constitutional framework of the legal system; in-depth legal research in the student's selected area of interest.

JOUR 7050 - Mass Comm Theory (3)
Key concepts and development of theories offered to explain operation and effects of mass communication media; multidiscipline overview of theories dealing with advertising, broadcasting, print, and public relations messages, media, and effects.

JOUR 7075 - Mass Comm Res Methods (3)
Familiarization with content analysis, survey research, data analysis, and field studies as practiced by reporters, editors, and public relations decision makers; modern research techniques and class project using computer analysis. PREREQUISITE: JOUR 7050

JOUR 7100 - Entrepreneurial Media (3)
Examines business models and new media tools that can encourage entrepreneurial thinking and planning in various fields of mass communication, as well as the theory and practices of traditional media management. Subjects will include assessment, organization and strategy, budgeting, decision-making, and other functions in advertising, news, and public relations.

JOUR 7125 - Research in Mass Comm. History (3)
Examines the scholarship surrounding the major events, personalities, and issues that have shaped the development of mass media, with special emphasis on the history of American journalism/mass communication.

JOUR 7209 - Meeman 901 Strategies Advanced (3)
Student members of Meeman 901 Strategies, the student-run public relations firm, will gain hands-on expereience by developing creative projects for campus and community clients at the U of M Crews Center for Entrepreneurship. Lecture/Lab. PREREQUISITES: this course is available to select journalism majors from advertising, news and public relations concentrations. by permit only.

JOUR 7300 - Mass Comm Literature (3)
Review of scholarly publications, books, periodicals, and databases in advertising, public relations, and news media.

JOUR 7320 - Mass Media & Diversity (3)
Research and analysis of the relationship among mass media, women, and minorities.

JOUR 7330 - Social Media Theory & Practice (3)
Examination of research and theory on the impact of social and new media on journalism, public relations, and advertising, and applying these core concepts to the real-world use of digital tools. Active use of blogs, RSS feeds, Twitter, widgets, social bookmarking, mapping, and other Web 2.0 tools to produce and curate content and interact with other professionals in the field.

JOUR 7340 - Advertising Management (3)
How to articulate the strategic process of advertising management, to understand the factors influencing media management decisions, to strategically evaluate functioning advertising management strategies, and identify, formulate and defend advertising decisions grounded in media management issues.

JOUR 7350 - Advanced Multimedia Reporting (3)
Recent research findings in news reporting, writing and editing principles; practical experience in preparing finished news reports suitable for publication or dissemination in professional-level mass medium.

JOUR 7375 - Integrated Communication (3)
Integration of advertising, direct mail, public relations, and other strategic communication tools to produce a singular message that reaches every target audience segment; emphasis on application of theories to a particular case study.

JOUR 7400 - PR Principles & Issues (3)
Contemporary social trends, public relations roles and responsibilities, and applicable public relations theory.

JOUR 7420 - Strategic Publc Reltns Writing (3)
Examination of strategies and forms of public relations communication, including traditional publicity, owned media, shared media, paid media and promoted media.

JOUR 7440 - Orgnztnl Public Reltns (3)
How organizations maintain rapport with their publics and the mass media by effectively communicating long-range goals.

JOUR 7450 - Public Relations Mgmt (3)
Development and management of public relations practice, department, or consultancy through study of planning and decision-making techniques; aspects of public relations practice that differ significantly from other enterprises; development of proposals and presentations; and management of financial and human resources.

JOUR 7460 - Health News and Promotion (3)
Advanced seminar that examines and critiques the literature on health communication in two specific areas: news about health and its impact on individuals, and health promotion campaigns.

JOUR 7600 - Media Internship (3)
Work in practical assignments at a media organization under supervision of qualified practitioners. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the department's coordinator of graduate studies. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7650 - Journalism Startup Practicum (3)
Students will engage in a semester-long project that will involve building a business plan, developing prototypes or products, creating content, and/or making advertising or public relations materials and strategies for media-related startups. Project will be determined in consultation with instructor. PREREQUISITE: permisssion of the department's coordinator of graduate studies.

JOUR 7700 - Individual Research (3)
Projects on non-thesis related topics of special interest to the student, ending in a completed research article or report. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7800 - Directed Indiv Readings (3)
Preparation of literature review for master's thesis with extensive bodies of writing in topic areas. May be taken to prepare scholarly papers on subjects of individual interest. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7996 - Thesis (1-6)
Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 7998 - Professional Project (1-6)
Completion of supervised professional project in student's area of expertise. Repeatable to maximum of 6 hours; only 3 hours applicable to degree. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 8025 - Law Mass Communication (3)
Laws and regulations affecting mass media with attention to social and political forces that shape the law; exploration of First Amendment theories as well as the constitutional framework of the legal system; in-depth legal research in the student's selected area of interest.

JOUR 8050 - Mass Comm Theory (3)
Key concepts and development of theories offered to explain operation and effects of mass communication media; multidiscipline overview of theories dealing with advertising, broadcasting, print, and public relations messages, media, and effects.

JOUR 8075 - Mass Comm Res Methods (3)
Familiarization with content analysis, survey research, data analysis, and field studies as practiced by reporters, editors, and public relations decision makers; modern research techniques and class project using computer analysis.

JOUR 8100 - Entrepreneurial Media (3)
Examines business models and new media tools that can encourage entrepreneurial thinking and planning in various fields of mass communication, as well as the theory and practices of traditional media management. Subjects will include assessment, organization and strategy, budgeting, decision-making, and other functions in advertising, news, and public relations.

JOUR 8125 - Research in Mass Comm. History (3)
Examines the scholarship surrounding the major events, personalities, and issues that have shaped the development of mass media, with special emphasis on the history of American journalism/mass communication.

JOUR 8300 - Mass Comm Literature (3)
Review of scholarly publications, books, periodicals, and databases in advertising, public relations, and news media.

JOUR 8320 - Mass Media & Diversity (3)
Research and analysis of the relationship among mass media, women, and minorities.

JOUR 8330 - Social Media Theory & Practice (3)
Examination of research and theory on the impact of social and new media on journalism, public relations, and advertising, and applying these core concepts to the real-world use of digital tools. Active use of blogs, RSS feeds, Twitter, widgets, social bookmarking, mapping, and other Web 2.0 tools to produce and curate content and interact with other professionals in the field.

JOUR 8340 - Adv Advertisng Practice (3)
Planning and design of advertising campaigns and tactics with primary emphasis on implementation.

JOUR 8350 - Adv News Practices (3)
Recent research findings in news reporting, writing and editing principles; practical experience in preparing finished news reports suitable for publication or dissemination in professional-level mass medium.

JOUR 8375 - Integrated Communication (3)
Integration of advertising, direct mail, public relations, and other strategic communication tools to produce a singular message that reaches every target audience segment; emphasis on application of theories to a particular case study.

JOUR 8400 - PR Principles & Issues (3)
Contemporary social trends, public relations roles and responsibilities, and applicable public relations theory.

JOUR 8420 - Strategic Publc Reltns Writing (3)
Examination of strategies and forms of public relations communication, including traditional publicity, owned media, shared media, paid media and promoted media.

JOUR 8440 - Orgnztnl Public Reltns (3)
How organizations maintain rapport with their publics and the mass media by effectively communicating long-range goals.

JOUR 8450 - Public Relations Mgmt (3)
Development and management of public relations practice, department, or consultancy through study of planning and decision-making techniques; aspects of public relations practice that differ significantly from other enterprises; development of proposals and presentations; and management of financial and human resources.

JOUR 8460 - Health News and Promotion (3)
Advanced seminar that examines and critiques the literature on health communication in two specific areas: news about health and its impact on individuals, and health promotion campaigns.

JOUR 8700 - Individual Research (3)
Projects on non-thesis related topics of special interest to the student, ending in a completed research article or report. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

JOUR 8800 - Directed Indiv Readings (3)
Preparation of literature review for master's thesis with extensive bodies of writing in topic areas. May be taken to prepare scholarly papers on subjects of individual interest. PREREQUISITE: Permission of instructor. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

Apply Now

Graduate School
Administration Building 215
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: 901/678-2531
Fax: 901/678-0378

Graduate Admissions
200 Wilder Tower
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: 901/678-3685
Fax: 901/678-5023

U of M White Pages
Campus Map

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Last Updated: 4/10/15