MAMC – Mass Communication Law

The College of Journalism and Communications offers a Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a specialization in Mass Communications Law.

This specialization, which requires the successful completion of a scholarly thesis related to communications law, is designed for students considering:

  • A career within the field of communications, law and policy;
  • Earning a law degree in the future; or
  • Specializing at some point as an attorney in the field of media law or First Amendment law.

Students who are interested in this specialization should, prior to applying, contact Prof. Clay Calvert for further information.

Other faculty members in the College of Journalism and Communications specializing in the area of communications law include Prof. Laurence Alexander and Prof. Sandra Chance.

In addition to the MAMC specialization in Mass Communication Law, the College of Journalism and Communications and the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida offer a joint degree JD/MAMC program culminating in both a Juris Doctor degree, awarded by the Levin College of Law, and a Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree, awarded by the College of Journalism and Communications. Entrance to this joint degree program entails, among other things: 1) two completely separate application processes (one to the College of Journalism and Communications and one to the Levin College of Law), with admission into one program not guaranteeing admission into the other; 2) taking both the LSAT and the GRE; and 3) successful completion of a thesis in mass communication. More information on this program can be found at: JD/MAMC Joint Program.

In addition, students who are considering applying to the joint JD/MAMC program must contact the Assistant Dean of Students in the Student Affairs Office at the Levin College of Law who coordinates its joint degree programs at 352-273-0620 or student.svc@law.ufl.edu to inquire about other details, requirements and limitations imposed on this particular joint degree program by the Levin College of Law.

General information provided by the Levin College of Law on its joint degree programs can be found at: Law Joint Degree Programs.

Sample Courses

Legal Problems of Mass Communication

This course covers First Amendment constitutional interpretation as it relates to the mass media. The course uses a discussion format to cover the assigned readings and materials. A major goal of the course is to give students a greater comprehension of media law issues through more in-depth review and analysis of the law. To assist in this endeavor, students will be required to do a full-length legal research paper on a pre-approved topic and a class presentation on it. The course lists as a prerequisite MMC 5206 Advanced Law of Mass Communications, which is designed to give students an introduction to legal research methods. Students must have some proficiency in legal research or see the professor about doing what is necessary to achieve it.

Seminar in First Amendment Theory

This seminar focuses on important theories regarding the protection of both speech and press in the United States. Theories examined include, among others, the marketplace of ideas, democratic self-governance, self-realization and the Fourth Estate model. In addition, theories of access to the media and government-intervention in media ownership are discussed. Students must complete a research paper in which they apply theories to a current, real-life legal controversy.

Mass Communication Theory

This course includes a survey of some core journalism-focused mass media theories and examines contributions of other disciplines to media theory. Additionally, it includes an introduction to the fundamentals of academic research.

Research Methods in Mass Communication

This course provides an overview of common mass communication research methods. Specifically, we will discuss content analysis, experiments, surveys and focus groups. You will learn the benefits and shortcomings for each method. In addition, you will also be introduced to SPSS, a software program used to analyze data.

Mass Communication and Society

The purpose of this course is to give students in journalism, advertising, public relations, telecommunications, and other mass communications fields the opportunity to explore issues in the interaction between mass media/mass communication institutions and society. The course is aimed at helping students to develop a critical perspective on mass media as they consider different ways in which media institutions and media content affect — and are affected by — individuals and society. In particular, students are expected to engage in evaluation and discussion of the responsibilities media practitioners and media organizations have toward the larger society and how those responsibilities should be translated into individual behavior and organizational (or governmental) policies. Because the focus of the course is on contemporary issues and problems involving mass media institutions and professions, readings tend to be drawn from recent works rather than classic or seminal ones, although the classic works certainly may sometimes inform the debate.

Electives

Typical elective courses taken by students in the Mass Communication Law specialization include Advanced Law of Mass Communication (MAMC 5206), New Media and a Democratic Society (MMC 6612), and Telecommunication Regulation (RTV 5702). In consultation with and upon the approval of their faculty advisor in the College of Journalism and Communications, students may take other relevant graduate-level courses as electives.

In addition, students in this specialization may be able to take elective courses at the Levin College of Law in areas such mass media law, First Amendment law, copyright law and privacy law, provided that they receive the advance permission of: 1) their faculty advisor in the College of Journalism; and 2) the course instructor at the Levin College of Law. Students in the MAMC Mass Communication Law track may not, however, take courses required of law students at the Levin College of Law unless they also have been admitted to the Levin College of Law. This limitation on required law school courses is imposed by the Levin College of Law, and students who have questions about it should contact the Assistant Dean of Students in the Student Affairs Office at the Levin College of Law who coordinates its joint degree programs at 352-273-0620 or student.svc@law.ufl.edu.

Degree Plan

MAMC- Mass Communication Law – Thesis

Tuition

Tuition and fees are determined by the University of Florida for in-state and out-of-state graduate students.

Apply

Deadlines

Fall Semester
  • Domestic application deadline is April 1. Applications may be considered after the April 1 deadline for domestic applicants only, if space is available.
  • International application deadline is January 30.
  • Assistantship/Fellowship applications deadline are March 15 (each begins in Fall semester, good for one year).
Spring Semester
  • Domestic application deadline is September 15.
  • International application deadline is July 15.

Minimum Requirements for Acceptance

  • Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree
  • 2 years of relevant professional communications experience
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better

The Graduate School, University of Florida, requires both a minimum grade average of 3.0 for all upper-division undergraduate work and a minimum verbal-quantitative total score on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants are expected to have received a minimum grade average of 3.0 for all core courses within the Journalism and Mass Communications area and their area of special interest.

Admission is determined by several factors beyond the application material including space availability, and supervisory availability particularly in specialized areas. Meeting the minimum application requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

Direct admission to the Graduate School is dependent upon presentation of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Two copies of the official undergraduate transcript should accompany all applications—one for the department and one for the Registrar. These transcripts must be received directly from the registrar of the institution in which the work was done. Official supplementary transcripts are required as soon as they are available for any work completed after application for admission has been made.

Professional and respectful treatment of our admissions and other staff members, faculty and administrators is required.  Unprofessional or disrespectful treatment will result in denial of admission.

Test Score Requirements

GRE

Scores prior to August 2011

550 Verbal/550 Quantitative

Scores after August 2011

156 Verbal/146 Quantitative

GRE scores are valid for five years. Exceptions are considered based on entire packet of application materials. Some applications with scores slightly below the minimum will be considered. GRE writing scores are subject to consideration.

TOEFL
550 Paper-based
80 Internet-based
IELTS
6

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years.

The GRE codes are 5812 for the University of Florida and 4503 for the College of Journalism and Communications. The TOEFL code is 83.
To obtain information on the GRE or to request that official scores be sent to the university, write:

Educational Testing Service
CN 6004
Princeton, NJ 08541-6004

How to Apply

Print friendly checklist

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide complete documentation to the Office of Admissions AND the intended department. Failure to submit forms to the correct offices will delay application processing.

Important Addresses:

Address #1:
University of Florida
Office of Admissions
201 Criser Hall
PO Box 114000
Gainesville, FL
32611-4000
Address #2:
Div. of Graduate Studies
College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida
2013 Weimer Hall
P. O. Box 118400
Gainesville, FL 32611-8400
  • Graduate Application: Online Submission - When submitting application online, notify Sarah G. Lee at sglee@jou.ufl.edu so she can be looking for it. You must submit contact information for references during online application process. References will be automatically contacted and letters of recommendation will be requested by the Graduate Admissions Office. In the specialization field, please list Mass Communication Law.  
      • Letters of Recommendation: Three Letters of Recommendation – University forms are required (Download form). Written letters should be on letterhead and attached to the forms. The same letters of recommendation may be used for both admission and financial aid applications. Ask authors of your letters of recommendation to send them directly to Address #2 or send as a pdf file to sglee@jou.ufl.edu. If you submitted your recommenders’ e-mail addresses on the online application, they do not have to send hardcopies.
      • Statement of Goals:  You will need to submit your statement of goals during the online application process. Describe your career plans following completion of your master’s degree. Tell what experiences have led to your goals and how you think graduate study will help you prepare for the career. Minimum length is 300 words. Please do not center text. Title this document “Statement of Goals” and be sure to include your name and date. Send to Address #2. or send as a pdf file to sglee@jou.ufl.eduIf you submitted your statement of goals on the online application, you do not have to send a hardcopy.
  • Supplemental Application for College of Journalism:  (Download form).  Send to Address #2.
  • $30.00 Application Fee: Make Check or money order payable to the University of Florida. Send your application fee to Address #1. Please used Fee Payment Cover Memo (Download form) if paying by check or money order.
  • Official Transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions: Contact all colleges and universities you have attended and listed on your application form and have them send certified official transcripts in your original language as well as translated into English. An average grade of “B” for the last two years of undergraduate studies is required. Send one original to Address #1 and one original to Address #2.
  • Official GRE (Graduate Record Exam) Scores: Contact the Educational Testing Service and have them send your official report. A verbal score of 550/156 and a quantitative score of at least 550/146 are strongly preferred. Some applications with scores slightly below the minimum will be considered. Applications with GRE verbal scores below 400/140 will not be processed. Self-reported scores are accepted temporarily to help speed up processing. GRE scores are valid for five years.   Send to Address #1.
  • Resume: List all work positions held. Include names, addresses, and telephone numbers of supervisors. Also, remember to include your name, email address, mailing address, and telephone number(s). Send to Address #2. or as a pdf file to sglee@jou.ufl.eduIf you submitted your resume on the online application, you do not have to send a hardcopy.
  • Application for Graduate Assistantship: This is optional. This is only for those applicants seeking financial assistance (Download form). Send to Address #2.
  • Samples of Your Work: This is optional. Send to Address #2.

International Applicants Only

  • Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score reportContact the Educational Testing Service and have them send your official report. A score of at least 550 (paper-based), and 80 (internet-based) is required to be considered for admission. We also accept IELTS scores with minimum of “6.” This requirement applies only to applicants from countries in which English is not the official language and includes U.S. territories and protectorates where English is not the primary language. You will not be required to submit a TOEFL score if you have spent at least one academic year at a college or university in a country where English is the official language. Intensive English language programs are excluded from the year of study provision. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years. Send originals to Address #1.
  • Certification of Financial ResponsibilityAll admitted International students who have accepted our admissions offer, are required to submit this form. The International Student Services Office will send you the form via email with instructions. Without it, the University of Florida will not issue an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility). (Do not send CFR form and bank documents to our office. The International Student Services office will contact you via email with instructions.)
  • English proficiency for Graduate Assistantships:  To be considered for a graduate assistantship, a score of 28 or higher on the TOEFL iBT speaking portion is required for those applicants from countries or territories where English is not the official language.  Florida law requires a demonstration of oral proficiency in English before students are allowed to teach.  An equivalent score of 55 or higher on UF’s SPEAK test can be used as a substitution; however, IELTS scores cannot be used as a substitution for this requirement.

Contact Sarah G. Lee at sglee@jou.ufl.edu or 352-392-6557 if you have any questions regarding your application.

Begin your application here →