May 15, 2021
The Master of Science degree program with an emphasis in public relations communication integrates research and theory into a broad-based curriculum designed to prepare recent graduates and experienced professionals for doctoral studies, professional advancement, and personal enrichment. The graduate faculty combine applied knowledge with communication theory and work to engage students while challenging them to think critically as they address communication practices and issues. Courses examine how public relations creates, sustains, and changes political, corporate, non-profit, and cultural institutions, and society at large.
- Undergraduate transcripts from an accredited university with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate study.
- Applicants without an undergraduate degree in mass communication must present evidence of general knowledge of the field and basic skills in newswriting (including AP style) and design.
- Such evidence may include courses taken post graduation and professional portfolios.
- If applicants do not have sufficient evidence of a background in mass communication, they may be required to complete specified undergraduate courses concurrently or before entering the program. In most cases, these course include:
- MCJ 102 -- Media Writing
- MCJ 203 -- Reporting
- MCJ 300 -- Multimedia storytelling
- Graduate Record Examination scores.
- Scores in verbal and quantitative sections should be near or above the average of about 150 on the quantitative portion and 150 on the verbal portion.
- Admission decisions are not solely based on test scores. Exceptional undergraduate work and/or professional experience are also taken into consideration and may offset low scores.
- At least three letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources addressing academic preparation and readiness for graduate work.
- A statement of purpose, indicating why the candidate wishes to pursue a master's degree at USM.
- A current resume.
- A writing sample.
- Writing samples may include academic research papers or professional communication materials such as news articles or background papers. It is not required, but students may submit more than one sample. When doing so, please combine all samples into one document for the application upload.
- International students must submit scores of at least 79 on the TOEFL exam or 6.5 on the IELTS exam.
See Admission Requirements and Procedures for other requirements.
Program Requirements and Academic Policies
- A 3.0 GPA and no grade below a "C" are required for graduation.
- Students may re-take 1 course to remove grades below "C" or to improve the GPA.
- A minimum of 18 semester hours must be in courses numbered 600 or above.
- A total of no more than 12 hours of work earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward a master's degree.
- A total sum of no more than 12 semester hours of transfer work and non-degree work may be applied toward a master's degree.
- At least 18 hours must be taken at the 600 level or above.
- Candidates must pass a comprehensive written examination
See General Degree Requirements and General Academic Information for other requirements and procedures.
Course Requirements (30 hours)
Research electives may include but are not limited to: