Media Studies and Production MA


Learn more about the Master of Arts in Media Studies and Production.

About the Program

The master's program in Media Studies and Production provides graduate students with both scholarly and professional training. Many students concentrate wholly on the department's scholarly curriculum as excellent preparation for doctoral training. Others desire professional media training. This may involve preparation for a number of career options, including corporate communication, marketing and research, mass media and new media production, media management, and media publicity and advertising.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Interdisciplinary Study: Departmental courses must constitute a minimum of 19 of the 36 credits required to graduate. Provided this requirement is met, students are free to take courses in other departments and pursue an interdisciplinary focus.

Affiliation(s): Department faculty members and students regularly present research at established communications associations, such as the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Eastern Communication Association (ECA), International Communication Association (ICA), and National Communication Association (NCA).

Study Abroad: Students can register for the Summer program at Temple London.

Areas of Specialization: The program focuses on three areas of interest:

  1. Communication Scholarship covers the history, economics, law, regulation and policy pertaining to broadcast, cable and new technology industries in both national and international contexts; social processes such as the psychology, sociology, cultural study and politics of both media and communications technology, particularly as related to their impact on everyday life; and the analysis of the behavior and management of communications systems, particularly in terms of the media, telecommunication industries, digital platforms and institutions.
  2. Media Business covers corporate communications; media management, marketing, and research; and media publicity and advertising.
  3. Media Production covers TV, radio, digital platforms, multimedia production and emergent communication technologies.

Job Prospects: Given that all institutions engage with media in today’s society, graduates find positions in academia, the corporate sector, government/public service, nonprofit organizations and private media.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students are encouraged to begin with introductory and required courses. If accepted to the program, those courses may be applied toward the degree program, provided grade requirements have been met. Consistent with Graduate School policy, students are permitted to take up to 9 credits before deciding whether to apply formally to the program.

Financing Opportunities: Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis by the admissions committee.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 15

Applications are processed through the deadline.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty, professional supervisors or others familiar with the applicant's academic or professional competence. At least one letter should be from an academic reference.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree in Communication, Media Studies, or the Humanities or Social Sciences is required.

Statement of Goals: In approximately 1,000 words, explain:

  • How the MA in Media Studies and Production will advance your research goals, career goals and intellectual objectives; and
  • Your interests, experiences, and academic or research achievements that you bring to the program.

This statement is used to assess your institutional fit, i.e., how you will benefit from our program and what you will contribute to our learning community. Toward this end, please review the descriptions of our program, curriculum and faculty, and incorporate this content into your statement. The strongest statement integrates your answers to the above prompts into a coherent essay.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional. Scores that are submitted are preferred to be at least 60% verbal and at least 25% quantitative. A writing score of at least 3.5 is recommended.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 100
  • IELTS Academic: 7.0
  • PTE Academic: 68

Resume: Current professional resume or curriculum vitae is required.

Writing Sample/Production Portfolio: If you elect to not submit GRE scores, you are required to submit one of the options below so that your readiness and ability/potential to engage rigorously with graduate-level work can be assessed:

  1. A formal academic paper from your undergraduate work that represents your best academic writing. Please include a cover sheet on which you indicate:
    1. your name,
    2. the institution where you took the course for which the paper was produced,
    3. the course number and title of the course for which the paper was written,
    4. the professor for whom you wrote the paper, and
    5. the term in which you took the course.
  2. Professional writing samples that you produced in a professional capacity, such as published news articles or press releases. Please include a cover sheet indicating in what publication and on what date the material was published.
  3. A production portfolio that includes professionally or academically produced video, audio or web material. Please submit an academic essay that explains how theory and research inform the production portfolio, indicating your role in the production, where the material was produced, and the date.

Transfer Credit: Up to 8 credits of graduate coursework may be transferred into the master's program, subject to the approval of the department's Graduate Faculty. To request the transfer of credits, a student must complete and submit a "Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within “University Forms,” to the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication's Graduate Office during the first term of matriculation so that her/his future curriculum can be properly planned. Additional details on credit transfer are available in the MA manual. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 8.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 36

Required Courses:

Core Courses
MSP 5011Introduction to Communication Concepts3
MSP 5114Communication Research Methods3
MSP 9845Masters Colloquium1
Select at least one of the following:3
Media Institutions 1
Media Technology and Culture
Courses in Area of Interest 220
Research Course6
Master Colloq/Comp Exam
MA Thesis/Project
Total Credit Hours36

Proposed Plan of Study Outlined by Year and Term

It is recommended that full-time students adhere to the following timeline for degree completion:

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
MSP 5011Introduction to Communication Concepts3
MSP 5021Media Institutions13
Or one course in area of interest2
MSP 5114Communication Research Methods3
MSP 9845Masters Colloquium1
 Term Credit Hours10
MSP 5042Media Technology and Culture33
Select two courses in area of interest47
 Term Credit Hours10
Year 2
Select three courses in area of interest410
 Term Credit Hours10
Select one of the following:6
Master Colloq/Comp Exam 
MA Thesis/Project 
 Term Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours: 36

Culminating Events:
Master's Thesis or Project:
Students can elect to complete a thesis or master's project.

Comprehensive Examinations:
Upon completion of all or most coursework and all other requirements, the student who elects not to complete a thesis or master's project must take comprehensive examinations. The comprehensive examinations are a set of written tests on several subjects, that may, if necessary, be followed by oral discussions. As the student nears coursework completion, s/he should discuss with the advisor the constitution of the Comprehensive Examination Committee and the topics of the examinations. During this period, the student is also advised to check with prospective faculty members concerning their willingness and ability to serve as members on the committee. This should be done sometime during the student's third term of study. The comprehensive exams are taken during the final term of study.

The examinations cover the discipline of media and communication, not the precise coursework taken by a given student. The student is examined in three areas that s/he determines in conjunction with her/his committee. Each area is represented by the question(s) of one committee member. The questioner in each examination area may be understood to be the lead or main reader for that area. The three areas are chosen from Communication Behavior, Communication History, Communication Institutions, Communication Message Systems, Communication Research Methodology, Communication Theory and an optional area.

The form of the examinations is determined by the student and the Comprehensive Examination Committee. Each of the three examinations can be taken either in office or at home, either with or without the use of notes and/or books, and for a period of a few hours to a week. In all cases, the written portion of the examination must be completed within a 14-day period. In-office examinations may not exceed four hours.

The student must answer every question on the examination in order to be evaluated. Evaluators look for an understanding of core concepts, application of relevant materials, informed responses and careful writing. Additional standards may be applied by individual faculty members. All members of the Comprehensive Examination Committee evaluate each answer and convey their assessments to the committee chair within three weeks of receiving the examinations. First, each content area is graded on a pass/fail basis. To pass in a given area, the majority of committee members (i.e., no fewer than two) must accept the answer(s). Included in this majority approval must be that of the area examiner (i.e., the lead reader). Second, to pass the comprehensive examinations, the Comprehensive Examination Committee must also determine that the overall written (and oral, if required) performance across all questions and areas is adequate. Thus, it is possible that a student may discharge each area just passably but have such a weak overall performance that s/he fails the comprehensive examinations.

The examinations are scheduled by the student and her/his committee members. The student must complete all of the examinations within the 90 days following the approval of the student's Comprehensive Examination Committee. If 90 days elapse from the approval-of-committee date without completion, the process must be started again from the beginning. Examinations may be scheduled any time during the regular academic term, either Fall or Spring.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Lew Klein College of Media and Communication

Office of Research and Graduate Studies

2020 N. 13th Street, 344 Annenberg Hall

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6015


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:

Director of Graduate Admissions:

Kaitlin Pierce, EdD


Graduate Chairperson:

Clemencia Rodriguez, PhD



Matthew Lombard, PhD