Research and Theory Master's


The Master of Arts in Mass Communication – Journalism program in the UF College of Journalism and Communications combines study of the academic literature on the societal role and effects of mass communication in general and journalism in particular with courses designed to improve students’ practice of the journalism craft. Students work closely with faculty members who have a broad range of professional backgrounds in journalism as well as intellectual interests in journalism as a craft and as an institution in modern society. Adjunct faculty and guest speakers further broaden students’ exposure to professional practices and ideals.

The Journalism specialization at the master’s level is designed for students interested in all areas of non-broadcast journalism (i.e. newspapers, magazines and online publishing). Those who have an educational and /or professional background in journalism can enhance their understanding of the role of journalism in society, as well as improving reporting and writing skills. However, the program is also well-suited for students with a long-term interest in college-level journalism education, who can pursue the master’s degree as preparation for entry into a doctoral program.

The specialization normally requires two years for completion and students are accepted during the fall, spring and summer sessions. Students in the journalism track are encouraged to complete a master’s thesis, where they conduct original research into a topic of interest. They may also choose to complete a professional project (i.e. producing a series of in-depth articles on a complex topic or developing a prototype magazine, complete with business plan) [31 credit hours minimum].

For more information, please contact Dr. Ron Rodgers.

MAMC – Journalism (Specialization in Communications Law)

Students seeking to earn a specialization in communications law within the MAMC in Journalism must, subject to the discretion of their faculty advisor and the Sr. Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research: 1) take and complete MMC 5206 within Section B (Journalism Courses), regardless of whether they have successfully completed a prior media law class with a B- or higher; 2) take and complete MMC 6665 and MMC 6666 within Section C (Electives); and 3) complete a master’s thesis (not a project-in-lieu of a thesis) on a communications law topic. This specialization, which requires the successful completion of a scholarly thesis related to communications law, is designed for students considering: a) a career within the field of communications, law and policy; b) earning a law degree in the future; or c) specializing at some point as an attorney in the field of media law or First Amendment law. Students who are interested in the communications law specialization within the MAMC in Journalism should, prior to applying, contact Prof. Clay Calvert for further information.

In addition to the MAMC specialization in communications law within the MAMC in Journalism, 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 on a communication law topic. More information on this program can be found at Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Mass Communication Joint Degree 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 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

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.

Issues and the Press

This is an applied theory course examining the influence of the press and internal and external pressures that may have impact on the news product. Particular emphasis will be placed on current issues and how the media define and shape public concern. Students will be required to create class presentations and a research proposal. Doctoral students may take the class for advanced-level credit.

New Media and a Democratic Society

This course examines the relationships between communication technologies and democracy, not only in the United States but elsewhere as well. New communication technologies, such as the Internet, will not automatically lead to or improve democracy, but they do contribute to changes in the society as a whole. We will examine how changes related to communication media might enhance or curtail democracy, with a particular emphasis on the relationships among the press, the public, and the government in a democracy. Please note that the press includes TV, Internet, and other media. NGOs (nonprofits) also play a role in today’s democracies. This is not a course in political communication per se.

International Communication

The course is centered on the analysis and discussion of issues and challenges in international communication. By participating in the course, students become more informed about the institutions and practices that structure the form and content global communications. Students demonstrate their mastery of international issues, institutions and networks of international communication, through written reports, oral presentations, discussions, and a final paper or project.


The program regularly offers electives such as Legal Problems of Mass Communication; Content Analysis Methods; Survey of Political Communication and Seminar in First Amendment Theory. Examples of other elective courses in the College include: Qualitative Research; Race, Class, Gender and Media; Science and Health Communication; Survey of Electronic Publishing; History of Journalism; and Content Analysis.  Many other electives are offered.  Please check ISIS and work with your advisor to select appropriate options.

Degree Plan

MAMC: Journalism – Thesis or Project


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