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School of Journalism and New Media

University of Mississippi

Our Graduate Programs

The School of Journalism and New Media offers two master’s degrees — one in journalism and one in integrated marketing communications.

For the M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications, students can choose from two delivery methods — residential or online. For the M.A. in Journalism, students can choose from two tracks — professional or academic.

M.A. in Journalism

It would be hard to imagine a better place for a journalist to study the art of storytelling at the graduate level than the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. This fabled place that William Faulkner once called his personal “postage stamp of native soil” was indeed fertile soil for writers even before Faulkner began penning his stories and novels.

Famed theater critic, journalist and novelist Stark Young lived and taught here at the turn of the last century. A long list of other writers and journalists—from legendary Harper’s editor Willie Morris to CBS News White House correspondent Randall Pinkston–have contributed to the mystique of this unique and special place where storytelling, whether written, spoken or seen in vivid images, is the very core of our mission as a journalism program.

Let us show you our state-of-the-art media center and see where many generations of top journalists have learned their craft, journalists such as CNBC anchor Shepard Smith, New York Times reporter Stephanie Saul, Apple News editor Maggie Day Brito and CBS Sports producer Sellers Shy.

Our journalism graduate program features two distinct tracks—professional and academic. The professional master’s track offers courses in multimedia storytelling, documentary-making and long-form narrative writing that allow journalists to hone their craft to the highest level as they create lasting works of nonfiction, whether in print, online or on a screen. Students in the academic track can do this, too, but they will also take courses specifically designed to develop their research and theoretical skills, preparing them for a future in teaching as well as practicing journalism.

Preliminary Requirements: In addition to meeting graduate school admission requirements, applicants must submit a letter detailing their reasons for wishing to pursue the M.A. in journalism. Please send this letter directly to the School of Journalism and New Media (grad.jour-imc@olemiss.edu). Applicants also should provide three letters of recommendation, including one addressing the applicant’s mass media experience, if applicable.

Applicants who do not have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in journalism may be required to take up to 12 hours of approved undergraduate journalism. This requirement may be waived for applicants who have significant work experience in the field of journalism.

Contact Prof. Joe Atkins at jbatkins@olemiss.edu or Dr. Marquita Smith at smithms@olemiss.edu for more information.

Course Requirements for Journalism Tracks

Academic: Students take a 30-semester-hour program of study, as follows: Jour 651, 652, 654, and 655; 12 hours of elective graduate course work either in the school or in an area of concentration outside the school; and 6 hours of Jour 697 to complete a thesis or thesis project. A thesis project must be a professional work in an appropriate medium equal in scope to a formal thesis, i.e., based on a formal proposal encompassing problem analysis, literature review, method statement, and bibliography. Both the thesis and the project require pre-approval of a written prospectus and an oral examination.

Professional: Students take a 30-semester-hour program of study, as follows: Jour 578, 590, 610, and 668; 12 hours of graduate-level electives (Jour or non-Jour); and 6 hours of Jour 697 to complete a non-thesis project. A non-thesis project must be a professional work in an appropriate medium equal in scope to a formal thesis, i.e., based on a formal proposal encompassing problem analysis, literature review, method statement, and bibliography. The project requires pre-approval of a written prospectus and an oral examination. Read more about the professional track here.

"My love of sports has inspired me to dream of becoming a sports broadcaster. Before graduating TWU, I knew I wanted to pursue my master’s degree at Ole Miss. The opportunity to further my education is truly amazing."
- Avery Hillard

Graduate-level journalism courses

An analysis of politics in the southern United States; examination of the role of the press in covering social issues; techniques used to inform the public about phenomena such as protest movements and their impact on social, political, and economic change. (3)

The theory of mass communications technology in relation to media functions, responsibilities, and influence in society. (3)

Effects of language, culture, and ideology. Communication in the formation and action of crowds, masses, and publics. Mass and personal persuasion and propaganda techniques. The diffusion of ideas. Community power structures. Public opinion measurement. (3)

Formulation and discussion of professional ethics for journalists. Analysis of social forces affecting media performance. (3)

Investigative and interpretative news writing; coverage of courts and legislative bodies; use of public records. Prerequisite: Jour 377 with a minimum grade of C or professional equivalent. (3)

Development of skills in conceiving, documenting, recording, and presenting information at broadcast standards as mini-documentaries in newscasts or as 30-minute and 60-minute documentary programs. Prerequisite: Jour 378 with a minimum grade of C or professional equivalent. (3)

Perspectives on issues such as international mass communication, media and society, journalism ethics, diversity, etc. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Instructor Approval Required. (3)

Students learn effective communications using graphical content, multimedia and interactive elements, creating a deliberate blend to add value to their storytelling. They acquire “hard” as well as “soft” skills needed in an unceasing news cycle. (3)

Directed individual study or professional project. (May be repeated once for credit). Prerequisite: Consent of Department Chairperson Required. (1-3)

Expands on principles and techniques learned in Jour 590 as students marry new production skills to evolving news sensibility, producing potentially rules-bending, “out of the box” projects as selected areas of digital media are investigated in-depth. Prerequisite: Journalism 590. (3)

Introduction to basic procedures for gathering and evaluating information in mass communications. (3)

A survey of mass communication theory. (3)

Continuation of Communication Law with a concentration on specific areas of law in regard to the mass media. Prerequisite: Jour 371. (3)

Concentrated analysis and discussion of readings on media history. Prerequisite: Jour 301. (3)

Analysis of the people who report the news within the context of a time period, an ethical issue, a specific media or any other construct that provides a cohesive whole. Issues covered will range from professional problems to the human, social, and other consequences of news, news practices and news technology on the people who report the news. (3)

In-depth, non-fiction narrative writing course for print, radio and online, consisting of features, profiles, personal essays, travel writing and sports analysis. Considers the practice of narrative journalism within the context of American journalism-literary history and within the context of daily news, giving student writers an expansive platform to explore topics of interest. (3)

No grade. (1-12)

“My goal has always been to present a story unlike any other that resonates with my audience/user, and I feel strongly that by continuing my education at Ole Miss I will be able to achieve this goal.”
- Abigail Nichols

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications

For the M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication, students can choose from two delivery methods — residential or online

The IMC master’s degree provides a foundation in social science models that will help you understand how people think and feel and what motivates them to act. Just as models of the natural world help us to understand the universe, models of consumer behavior and effective communication help us to connect with a target audience.

By taking an audience-centered approach, you can create consistent and effective messages that influence audience behavior. Graduates are prepared for leadership roles in advertising and PR agencies, corporate communication, media firms, nonprofit organizations, health promotion, political communication, sports marketing, or government.

To explore the residential and online degrees in IMC, please visit our program website or contact Dr. Marquita Smith at smithms@olemiss.edu.

As you progress, you gain a strategic mindset for brand building and learn how to integrate touchpoints to forge strong connections between people and organizations. This multi-discipline approach to communications and media combines creative skills and research knowledge that is necessary to be effective in strategic communications leadership. Because of the program’s holistic approach and theoretical foundation, you learn to anticipate trends and take advantage of new developments for years to come.

When you join the program, you will learn elements of IMC. They include consumer behavior, visual design, applied research methods, and brand strategy to culminate in a capstone course that emphasizes campaign strategy. Elective courses explore many topics, including social media analytics, interactive design, account planning, content marketing, multimedia storytelling, and multicultural issues in IMC.

 

Graduate-level IMC courses

You will learn about IMC principles and understand the campaign process. This overview course serves as a gateway to other courses in the program. (3)

You will take a hands-on approach to learning the language and practice of visual design in integrated marketing communication. (3)

You will understand essential concepts in IMC research and how to apply them to campaigns. This course serves as a springboard for other courses in applied research methods. (3)

You will understand the science of influence and how it applies to strategies and tactics in integrated marketing communication. (3)

You will learn to think critically about the role that a brand plays in effective strategies. (3)

In this capstone course, you will apply theory, strategy, and skills in integrated marketing communication to develop a campaign. (3)

Certificate in Media Leadership

This 12-credit certificate in media leadership is designed to provide intensive professional development to enhance your strategic leadership skills. The program consists of four online courses, which run for six-seven weeks each. The entire certificate can be earned in as little as six months. The program includes:

• Exclusive access to industry leaders and School of Journalism & New Media faculty

• Participants from a cross-section of the industry

• Twelve academic credits that can be applied to a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)*

*Participants must make a formal application to the University of Mississippi Graduate School after completing two courses if they wish to use all 12 credits toward the Master of Science in IMC. No Graduate Record Exam required.

The Structure

Participants will take the first of four six-to-seven-week courses, beginning in late July.  The final course will be completed by the beginning of March.
Courses required include:

Provides rich insights into the current state of the media and primes you for leadership into the future.

Understand essential concepts in IMC and how to apply them to your organization’s goals.

Explore the science of influence and how it applies to strategies and tactics.

Think critically about the role that a brand plays in effective organizational strategies.

The curriculum is designed for mid-career broadcast and new media professionals who want to focus on the strategic integration of multiple media fields. This immersive learning experience will take place entirely online, so there is no need for participants to give up their hard-earned positions to return to school. The certificate will equip people to lead their organizations and create the future, while it serves as a launching pad for advancement at work or for an advanced degree – or both.

Contact Prof. Joe Atkins at jbatkins@olemiss.edu or Dr. Marquita Smith at smithms@olemiss.edu for more information.