• Nearby Nashville venues are
    places to learn and grow
  • Diverse faculty involvement
    enriches graduate study
  • Students at MTSU have myriad opportunities for real-world experience
  • Study with distinguished professors who are recognized internationally

Media and Communication, M.S.

The dynamic Media and Communication master’s program has a slogan: A time to reflect, a time to advance. Whether the goal is to become a professor, conduct research, or enhance a media career, graduate studies can be tailored to suit each student’s needs. Master’s candidates can choose either a thesis or a professional project track whether for a traditional approach to scholarship or for working professionals seeking to further their careers. Within the thesis track, MTSU is one of the few universities that offers either a qualitative or quantitative focus. Members of the nationally and internationally recognized faculty have a wide range of professional and academic experience. Offerings include specializations in journalism, management, public relations, advertising, health communication, international communication, traditional/new media, and media law. Students are encouraged to think critically and develop creatively with support from peers, guidance from faculty, and resources for research and production. The relatively small size of graduate classes allows for individualized attention to students. Assistantships are available, as well as awards, fellowships, and other financial support.

Journalism professor explores gender roles via ‘Mad Men’

Journalism professor explores gender roles via ‘Mad Men’

Dr. Jane Marcellus, professor in the MTSU School of Journalism, is author of two books on gender and labor. Her latest book (co-authored with Erika Engstrom, Tracy Lucht, and Kimberly Wilmot Voss) is entitled Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance, and Otherness (Peter Lang, 2014). The authors explore gender and women’s labor in the 1960s through the lens of AMC-TV's Mad Men. Marcellus wrote  Business Girls and Two-Job Wives: Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women (Hampton Press, 2011) and has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, American Journalism, Feminist Media Studies, and Women’s Studies—An Interdisciplinary Journal. Awards include the David Sloan Award for top faculty paper and the Maurine Beasley Award for outstanding women's history paper, both from the American Journalism Historians Association. She is faculty adviser for the MTSU School of Journalism's chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha.

Versatile Quarles studies media abroad in Australia, Cambodia

Versatile Quarles studies media abroad in Australia, Cambodia

Dr. Jan Quarles, whose experience includes professorships in both Electronic Media Communication and Journalism, has been a postdoctoral collaborative research Fulbright scholar to Australia, where she spent a year in the newsrooms of The Age, The Sun, and The Herald in Melbourne. She completed a Senior Specialist Fulbright to the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. She is a Salzburg Seminar Fellow, an AEJMC Journalism Leadership in Diversity Fellow, and an RTNDA Excellence in the Newsroom Fellow. Prior to her work at MTSU, Quarles directed the public relations program at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Victoria, Australia, and worked with the Public Relations Institute of Australia to develop accreditation of university programs. She is the co-author (with Bill Rowlings) of Practising Public Relations: A Case Study Approach (Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1993). She currently teaches and conducts research in the area of international communication.

The Media and Entertainment M.S. program has a successful placement record for students. The MTSU master’s degree also has a national reputation for preparing students for doctoral study at prestigious programs throughout the nation. Some potential professional careers include

  • Advertising executive
  • Content manager
  • Designer account executive
  • Director of communication
  • Director of marketing
  • Director of management
  • Editor
  • Health care communication
  • Media expert
  • Professor
  • Public relations executive
  • Reporter
  • Researcher
  • Writer (professional/technical)

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Apple
  • Bohan Advertising
  • Bone McAllester Norton
  • Courthouse News Service
  • Dupuch Publications
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Emeril's Homebase
  • Jarrard, Phillips, Cate, & Hancock
  • Sherwin-Williams Paints
  • The Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union
  • The Tennessean
  • TNA Impact Wrestling
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • University of Illinois
  • Washington State University


The College of Media and Entertainment offers the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Media and Communication, designed for students seeking an advanced degree in mass media theory and methods of research or for those wishing to advance in their professional field. The degree is appropriate for students who wish to become researchers or pursue a doctoral degree or for media professionals already in the field who seek a broader understanding of the field of media and communication and to develop research and management skills for decision-making in media-related businesses.

A graduate minor in Mass Communication is also available.

Applicants to the M.S. in Media and Communication program must have

  • an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college with official transcripts;
  • an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all coursework completed;
  • acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)—a  combined score of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE is usually required.
  • a 500-word Statement of Purpose outlining academic interests and professional goals;
  • three letters of reference

Through the Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s (ABM) program, qualified undergraduate Journalism students can complete the requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in as little as a year more than the bachelor’s program takes.  Required are a GPA of at least 3.25, completion of at least 75  hours toward the undergraduate program, and for transfer students, two semesters full-time at MTSU. Get started by completing the application.

All students in the Media and Communication graduate program must take MC 6000 and 6010 among their first year of coursework.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS  tab above.

Apply Now!

Thesis and Professional Project Information

The thesis option is designed for the student seeking to concentrate studies in a particular area and to experience in-depth independent research. The thesis results in the production of traditional academic research.

Professional Project 
A professional project is an opportunity for a graduate student to produce work that is both researched and theorized but that also has a professional component.


Q: How long does it take to complete the M.S. degree?

A: The program requires completion of 12 courses (designated for the option or concentration the student is seeking) and is designed to be completed in two years for full time students taking three courses for each fall and spring semester. Students taking two courses in the fall, spring and summer semesters, can potentially complete the degree in two years (12 courses). You can have up to six years to complete the degree.

Q: Where do I send my application materials?

A: Admission forms can be found in the Graduate Catalog or online at the College of Graduate Studies. Send admission forms and fees, transcripts, and three letters of reference and statement of purpose to the MTSU College of Graduate Studies, 121A Sam Ingram Building, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

Q: May I enroll in classes before being formally admitted into the program?

A: Yes. MTSU is an open enrollment university, which means that you may enroll in one course in the Mass Communication program before being formally admitted into our program. However, only certain classes are permitted for students not formally admitted and require a permission of department to enroll. You must be admitted to the program in the semester after you apply for admission into the Mass Communication program in order to continue taking courses in the program.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Yes. Limited numbers of graduate teaching assistantships and scholarships are available in addition to other forms of aid. Applications may be obtained from the College of Graduate Studies or from the academic department. Those seeking an assistantship must meet requirements for admission to graduate school and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. A student who is conditionally admitted cannot be considered for a Graduate Assistantship until the student has met the requirements of the conditional admission. The Student Financial Aid Office in Student Services & Admissions Center, Room 150 has information on various kinds of financial aid.

Contact and Student Information

Dr. Jason Reineke (Graduate Director)
Mass Comm 266

Graduate Secretary
Mass Comm 271D

Dr. Jason Reineke (Graduate Director)
Mass Comm 266

Graduate Secretary
Mass Comm 271D

College of Media and Entertainment
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 51 
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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