Media Literacy (MA)

School of Communications

Program Description

The master of arts (MA) in media literacy provides students with a critical perspective that will enable them to decipher the information they receive through the channels of mass communications and to develop independent judgments about media content. This degree examines the cultural, political, and economic context of media, which affects media programming.

Students who earn an MA in media literacy may pursue careers in education, media literacy research, the press, public policy, community-based media, and media arts production.

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Learning Outcomes

Successful graduates of this program will be able to:

    • Identify media literacy concepts;
    • Understand the impact of the media on the individual and society;
    • Apply media literacy concepts to media and media programming;
    • Recognize media content as a cultural "text" that provides insight into contemporary society;
    • Assess qualitative and quantitative approaches to media literacy;
    • Cultivate an enhanced enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of media content;
    • In the case of media communicators, produce effective and responsible media messages.

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Program Curriculum

The media literacy degree focuses on research strategies for the systematic analysis of content and provides opportunities for fieldwork experiences in different sectors, including education, community, professional, and media arts. In the case of media communicators, the media literacy degree facilitates the ability to produce effective and responsible media messages. Finally, students in the Communications Arts (MA) program offered by the School of Education may apply approved courses toward an emphasis in media literacy.

MEDC 5000 Media Communications is the requisite course in the media literacy program. It examines communications theory and its application in mass media as well as introduces students to the graduate program, describes program expectations, and discusses academic preparation for MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications.

Therefore, students must take this course even if they have academic and/or professional experience in media communications. The required and elective courses listed may be taken as directed studies, subject to the conditions stated in the Directed Studies section listed under Academic Policies and Procedures and approved by the director of Graduate Studies and the dean of the School of Communications.

Students taking courses that are a part of their approved curricula and are from outside of the School of Communications should verify prerequisites with appropriate school or college.

The course of study for students working toward an MA in media literacy is as follows. Any variation from this curriculum should be approved in advance using a program option request form.

Core Courses (24 credit hours)

  • MEDC 5000 Media Communications (Requisite Course) (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5310 Media and Culture (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5350 Media Organization and Regulations (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5360 International Communications (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5460 Media Research (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5480 Comparative Approaches to Media Literacy (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5981 Integrated Studies in Media Literacy (3 hours)
  • MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications (3 hours)

Elective Courses

A minimum of 12 credit hours must be completed from the following with no more than 6 credit hours from the 4000-level course work:

  • COMM 5340 Language Arts Seminars (approved topics only) (3 hours)
  • COMM 5440 Integrated Language Arts (3 hours)
  • COMM 5460 Curriculum Design (3 hours)
  • JOUR 4500 Media Criticism for Publication (3 hours)
  • MEDC 4110 Media and Digital Culture (3 hours)
  • MEDC 4220 Genre Studies (3 hours)
  • MEDC 4440 Patterns of Media Ownership (3 hours)
  • MEDC 4500 Political Communications (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5010 Introduction to Graduate Studies: Advanced Thinking and Writing (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5250 Visual Communication in the Media (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5550 Topics in Media Communications: Campaign Strategy and Political Power (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5550 Topics in Media Communications: Video and Media Literacy (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5985 Media Literacy Fieldwork (3 hours)
  • PSYC 4825 Advanced Research Methods (3 hours)

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Students who are interested in applying to this certificate program should see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.

Send all admission materials to:

Office of Admissions
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

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