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Graduate Program in Mass
Communication and Media Studies

Department of Mass Communication & Media Studies

The Department of Mass Communication and Media Studies is known worldwide for its record of research, leadership and service to the global community. It boasts a nationally and internationally respected faculty with strong industry experience and scholarly achievements.

The Mass Communication and Media Studies program is media-centric. It offers a focus on multiculturalism, leadership and technology responding to the digital evolution that has provided considerable inequality across communities in the United States. The underrepresentation extends to the professoriate; across the globe faculty of color remain in the minority in college and university schools of communication, media and journalism.

This graduate program seeks to increase the numbers of university faculty and administrators of color as well as leaders in media and related industries who have a strong cultural tradition and understanding.


The Graduate School at Howard University offers an interdisciplinary doctoral program in mass communication and media studies (MCMS).

The MCMS curriculum builds on the media-centric curriculum in the departments in the School of Communications as well as related graduate departments across the campus.

Degrees offered have the MCMS distinction and are conferred by the Graduate School.

The Mass Communication and Media Studies program embraces diverse approaches to the study of media and society. The faculty has a deep commitment to social justice with a special interest in underrepresented groups and seeks to imbue in MCMS students a critical frame of mind and a sense of obligation to act as leaders in a global sense to promote balance and understanding of the mutual relationship between culture and media.

Dr. Carolyn M. Byerly serves as the graduate director of the MCMS program and provides the general administrative direction of the program. She is advised by the chairs of the departments and the graduate faculty who teach in the School of Communications.

For information about the MCMS program, contact Dr. Carolyn M. Byerly at cbyerly@howard.edu .



Admission Requirements

Any student with a superior academic record and a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, or any foreign student with equivalent qualifications, is eligible to apply for admission to the Howard University Graduate School. Students applying for acceptance into one of the departmental programs must submit the following documents to the Howard University Office of Graduate Admissions.

1. Completed on-line application to study in the Howard University Graduate School—download the application forms;

2. A formal, concise statement of intent providing biographical information, academic experiences, and career or professional objectives;

3. Official university transcripts from all institutions from which the applicant has received academic credit;

4. Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which must be from persons who hold the Ph.D. degree, and who are familiar with the applicant’s academic performance and potential; and

5. Results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), where applicable. Students applying for admission to the doctoral program must hold the master’s degree and have a grade point average of 3.2 or above in their master’s level work for regular admission.



Degree Requirements

Ph.D Requirements

Ph.D. Requirements (all courses are 3 credits)

Core (18 cr)

MCMS 700 Pro Seminar in Mass Communication & Media Studies

MCMS 701 Quantitative Research Methods

MCMS 702 Qualitative Research Methods

MCMS 703 Critical Studies Research Methods

MCMS 611 African-American Issues in Mass Communication

MCMS 750 Seminar in Mass Communication Theory and Research

Electives - 5 or 6 courses (15 - 18 cr.)

MCMS 722 Seminar in Political Communication

MCMS 752 Seminar in Mass Communication Effects

MCMS 753 Seminar in Mass Communication Policy and Administration

MCMS 754 Seminar in Evaluation Research

MCMS 755 Seminar in Mass Communication and Popular Culture

MCMS 756 Seminar in Mass Comm. & Development

MCMS 757 Seminar in International Communication

MCMS 758 Seminar in Mass Communication Technology

MCMS 759 Seminar in Internet and Society

MCMS 760 Seminar in Information Society and Culture

MCMS 787 Special Topics in Communication

Seminars/Electives (15 cr.)

Students will develop a Program of Study that represents a particular focus selected from graduate courses across the University that are designed to complement and enhance the student’s research agenda.

Cognate (6-9 cr.)

Two or three courses in another field of the student’s interest (6-9 credits); may also come from graduate level courses offered at Consortium universities.

Research Tool/Foreign Language (0-6 cr)

Language courses in the student’s non-native language that have demonstrated applicability to his or her research program may be credited if at the advanced level or at the level of literature as certified by the graduate language studies department.

Or – student may choose two additional methods courses that have demonstrable impact on the student’s proposed area of research (i.e. Oral History, Historiography, Qualitative-Interpretative Analysis)

Dissertation (12 cr)




Admission to Candidacy

A student should file for admission to candidacy after 60 hours of work has been completed and the student has satisfied the GSAS writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop. Forms provided by the dean should be filed a minimum of one semester before graduation and approved by the student's dissertation committee and the Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Science.




Residence Requirements

Students in the Ph.D. program are required to spend at least three semesters in full-time residence, two of which must be consecutive.




Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

Howard University Graduate School
Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
4th and College Streets, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20059





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