Master of Mass Communication | LSU Manship School of Mass Communication

Master of Mass Communication

About our Program

The Manship School emphasizes the intersection of media and public affairs, as well as the rapid digital transformation of media industries. Our classes foster transferable skills to boost your success throughout your career. Our Master of Mass Communication program is a two-year degree.

All MMC students complete core classes covering research methods, the role of media in a democratic society and other theoretical concerns. Beyond this, students develop customized plans of study focused on their own professional goals. A comprehensive guide to our MMC program can be found in our Master of Mass Communication Policies and Procedures Handbook

Students can pursue any of these specializations as part of the Dual J.D./MMC we offer in conjunction with the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Learn creative storytelling and the skills you need to produce stories across technologies: digital, print and broadcast. Journalism graduate students have an array of hands-on journalism opportunities: covering Louisiana government in our Statehouse Reporting program, 21 NCAA Division 1 sports teams at LSU, our award-winning Cold Case project investigating murders from the Civil Rights era and many others.

Our journalism course offerings include: Public Affairs Reporting; Mass Media, Sports and Society; Crisis Communication; and our practical Field Experience class, where students' work is published in news organizations through the Manship School News Service.

Develop skills for advertising campaigns and public relations for a product, service or cause. We focus on problem-solving and strategic planning. Students learn audience analysis, with courses on crunching numbers and conducting focus groups or interviews. Strategic communication graduate students use our cutting-edge research facilities, especially the Media Effects Lab (MEL) and Social Media Analysis & Creation Lab (SMAC), which monitors global social media in real-time.

Strategic communication classes include: Foundations of Strategic Communication; Strategic Communication Campaigns; Advertising Problems; and Strategies for Public Relations and Social Media.

Engage directly with politics, elections and the policy issues that shape our times. Political communication graduate students learn the tools of journalism and strategic communication applied to the world of public affairs. The Manship School enjoys a rich partnership with the LSU Department of Political Science and has as faculty former political professionals who can help guide students into political careers, including public service, issue advocacy and law.

Political communication classes include: News Media and Governance; Political Communication Writing; Case Studies in Campaigns and Elections; and Race and Gender in Political Communication.

Graduate Assistantships

Earlier applicants have a higher probability of success in obtaining an assistantship–because funding is both competitive and limited, most positions are offered to qualified applicants between January and April for fall. These include an $11,500 stipend per academic year and a tuition exemption (students must pay some mandatory student fees).

Graduate assistantship deadlines for fall and spring semesters are the same as our application deadlines: June 30 for fall and Nov. 15 for spring (domestic students); April 15 for fall and Oct. 1 for spring (international students). Limited number of assistantships are available to spring applicants.

Degree Requirements

The total number of hours required for Master of Mass Communication degree is 34 hours. Detailed degree requirements can be found in our MMC Degree Requirements Guide.

Students who did not receive a strong foundation in statistics or media law are required to take introductory courses in both before beginning certain parts of the degree.

I. Core Required Courses (13 hours)

  • MC 7000: Proseminar in Mass Communication (1) *Offered Fall Only
  • MC 7001: Research Methods in Mass Communication (3) (Satisfy Statistic foundation before taking MC7001)
  • MC 7002: Mass Communication Philosophy and Principles (3)
  • MC 7005: Public Opinion and Public Affairs (3) (Take 7001 before taking 7005)
  • MC 7021: Mass Communication Theory (3)

II. Track Courses (9 hours)

  • Courses on the professional track are considered professional skills courses. Courses on the scholarly track are more academically focused. In a few instances a class is a hybrid, which means it could count on either track because it is relevant and practically designed to serve both interests.
  • Professional Track (skills-based, professional) courses include:
    • MC 7040: Crisis Communication
    • MC 7041: Political Communication Writing
    • MC 7042: Foundations of Strategic Communication
    • MC 7043: Strategic Communication Campaigns
    • MC 7044: Visual Communication
    • MC 7220: Issues and Public Affairs Reporting
    • MC 7971: Independent Research: Mass Communication
    • MC 7999: (Professional skill-focused) Special Topics in Mass Communication
  • Scholarly Track (scholarly-focused) courses include:
    • MC 7004: The News Media & Governance
    • MC 7012: Survey Research Methods
    • MC 7014: Qualitative Research Methods
    • MC 7033: Race & Gender in Political Communication
    • MC 7034: Breaux Symposium
    • MC 7036: Seminar in Media & Public Affairs
    • MC 7201: Advanced Research Methods
    • MC 7202: Experimental Design in Mass Communication Research
    • MC 7971: Independent Research: Mass Communication
    • MC 7999: (Scholarly focused) Special Topics in Mass Communication
  • Courses that will count on either track:
    • MC 7019: Emerging Media: Theory, Application & Effects
    • MC 7031: Media Effects
    • MC 7032: Health and Science Communication
    • MC 7999: Special Topics in Mass Communication
      * Graduate students should limit the number of 4000-level courses they pursue. There are certain criteria that must be met for a 4000-level course to be applicable to a student’s graduate program. Always check with the Associate Dean before enrolling in a 4000-level course.

III. Electives (6 hours)

  • Students should choose elective courses in consultation with a faculty advisor to identify courses most appropriate either to their professional or their scholarly interests. Courses may be selected from the track lists above (note that some courses may have prerequisites). In addition to the courses listed above. professional track students may also count MC 8001 as an elective.
  • Elective courses may come from the School of Mass Communication, Political Science or from another School with approval of the associate dean for graduate studies.

IV. Thesis, Professional Project or Comprehensive Exam (6 hours)

  • Thesis: complete 6 hours of MC 8000 (Thesis Research)
  • Professional Project: complete 6 hours of MC 8002 (Professional Project)
  • Comprehensive Exam: there is no course to enroll in for the comprehensive exam. Instead, students will choose 6 hours of additional electives. Details can be found in our MMC Comprehensive Exam Guide.

Admission 

*Note: The GRE is not required for fall 2022 or spring 2023 admission. You may submit your scores, but they are not mandatory. 

To be considered, you must have the following:

  • A cumulative 3.0 undergraduate GPA (transcripts from all undergraduate institutions must be submitted)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample
  • Resume

When you complete the online application:

  • Make sure you choose Mass Communication as your degree program (NOT Communication Studies).
  • The LSU institution code for the GRE* and TOEFL is 6373.
  • Encourage your recommenders to submit letters to the online system. If they insist on paper, they can mail letters to: Attn: Graduate Program, Manship School of Mass Communication, Journalism Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

*Note: The GRE is not required for fall 2022 or spring 2023 admission. You may submit your scores, but they are not mandatory.

Domestic and Non-Degree Students:

  • Fall Admission: June 30
  • Spring Admission: Nov. 15
  • No summer admission
  • We accept applications on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. 

International Students: 

  • Fall Admission: April 15
  • Spring Admission: October 1
  • No summer admission
  • We accept applications on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. 

 Start Your Online Application Today!

Assessment

The Manship School Graduate Program follows an assessment plan that covers discipline specific accreditation standards set by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The plan includes student leaning outcomes (SLOs) tied to the curriculum. These outcomes include: mastery of professional skills, mastery of theory, mastery of research and writing, and mastery of core values and competencies. A detailed three-year plan can be found in our 2021-2024 MMC Assessment Plan.

Want to learn more about our master's program?

For further information, contact msand@lsu.edu or ManshipGrad@lsu.edu.