Mass Communications MA

Program Purpose


The MA in Mass Communications is designed to promote critical thinking and research with a particular focus on the interface between media and society. Our goals include 1) preparing students for additional graduate work (typically doctoral work), 2) producing scholar-disciples whose work advances the mission of this institution and improves the quality of life for all individuals on this planet, 3) training individuals to be competent and critical thinkers in industry and the professional world, and 4) preparing individuals to become the next generation of communication faculty at BYU. Our program focuses on the application of theory and sound scientific research methodologies to understanding and responding to significant social issues and cultural concerns. Our goal is to produce scholars and industry leaders who adhere to the values of our faith.

Learning Outcomes


Our graduates will be capable of using and applying relevant social theory to explain and understand the role of media in our society and how individuals, families, and institutions are impacted and influenced by media industries. Graduates of our program will be scholars capable of conceptualizing, designing, and carrying out valid and reliable research of significance and importance. Our graduates will be prepared to successfully step into the top doctoral programs in our discipline or move into senior leadership positions in the fields of journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing communications, and other communicaiton-based industries.

Understanding The Role of Media in Society

Students will be able to correctly explicate theories from the fields of communication, sociology, psychology, and cultural anthropology and correctly apply them to significant media questions and issues facing individuals, families, and broader social institutions.

Courses that Contribute: COMMS 600 COMMS 602 COMMS 604 COMMS 607 COMMS 610 COMMS 611 COMMS 612R COMMS 616 COMMS 619 COMMS 621 COMMS 622 COMMS 623 COMMS 624 COMMS 625 COMMS 627 COMMS 691R
Linked to BYU Aims: Quantitative reasoning, Competence
Conducting Scientific Research

Students will be able to produce valid and reliable research in the form of theses, projects, conference papers, and peer-reviewed journal articles. Students will be able to use appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods to answer significant and relevant questions. Students will be able to formulate testable research questions and hypotheses and select the appropriate methodological design to answer their research questions and test their hypotheses. Students will be able to analyze their data using approporiate multivariate statistical tests and arrive at the appropriate conclusions based on those tests. Students will be able to explain the basic ontologoical and epistemological differences that undergird the quanitative and qualitative research paradigms. Students will be able to develop and execute rigorous qualitative research strategies leading to the application and development of grounded theory.

Courses that Contribute: COMMS 600 COMMS 602 COMMS 604 COMMS 607 COMMS 610 COMMS 611 COMMS 612R COMMS 621 COMMS 622 COMMS 624 COMMS 625 COMMS 627 COMMS 691R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Communicating Effectively

Students will learn to plan communication that serves audience needs and advances the goals of the organizations served by our graduates. Students will be able to apply theory and research to the needs of their employers. Students will increase their capacity to be competent professional communicators.

Courses that Contribute: COMMS 600 COMMS 602 COMMS 604 COMMS 607 COMMS 611 COMMS 612R COMMS 619 COMMS 621 COMMS 622 COMMS 623 COMMS 624 COMMS 625 COMMS 627 COMMS 691R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Developing Scholar-Disciples

Students will understand the nexus between faith. scholarship and character.  This program follows the AIMS of a BYU Education, to offer an educational experience that is spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, character building, and that leads to lifelong learning and service.

Courses that Contribute: COMMS 600 COMMS 602 COMMS 604 COMMS 607 COMMS 610 COMMS 611 COMMS 612R COMMS 619 COMMS 621 COMMS 622 COMMS 623 COMMS 624 COMMS 625 COMMS 627 COMMS 691R
Linked to BYU Aims: Gospel knowledge, Human knowledge

Evidence of Learning


Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement