Go to USC home page USC Logo Insert page title here
graduate bulletin index

updated 8/15/2006

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Charles Bierbauer, Dean
Shirley Staples Carter, Director
Erik L. Collins, Associate Director of Graduate Studies

Charles Bierbauer, M.A., Pennsylvania State University, 1970
Shirley Staples Carter, Ph.D., University of Missouri, 1987
M. Kent Sidel, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1976
Lowndes F. Stephens, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1975, J. Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism

Associate Professors
Kenneth Campbell, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 1990
Erik L. Collins, Ph.D., Syracuse University, 1972; J.D., Ohio State University, 1977
Bonnie L. Drewniany, M.B.A., Rutgers University, 1981
Sonya F. Duhé, Ph.D., University of Missouri, 1993
August E. Grant, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1989

Cheryl Harris, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1992
Keith R. Kenney, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1991
Bruce E. Konkle, Ed.D., University of South Carolina, 1996
Vance L. Kornegay, M.M.C., University of South Carolina, 1988
Richard C. Moore, M.A., Ohio State University, 1997
Susanna Priest, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1989
Dan Stout, Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1993
Ran Wei, Ph.D., Indiana University, 1995
Ernest L. Wiggins, M.A., University of South Carolina, 1992
Lynn M. Zoch, Ph.D., Syracuse University, 1993

Assistant Professors
John C. Besley, M.A., Carleton University, 2000
Sooyoung Cho, Ph.D., University of Missouri, 2005
Randy Covington, M.S.J., Columbia University, 1968
Cecile Holmes, M.A., University of North Carolina-Greensboro, 1994
Thomas Klipstine, Ph.D., Bowling Green University, 2004
Paul S. Lieber, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 2005
Karen Mallia, M.A.C., William Paterson University, 1999
David Scott, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1999
Laura K. Smith, Ph.D., University of Texas, 2004
Andrea H. Tanner, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2002
Sherrie L. Wallington, Ph.D., Howard University, 2005


The School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers the Master of Arts, Master of Mass Communication, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. There are no separate departments, as such, within the school, although course work is offered in electronic and print journalism, advertising, public relations, integrated communications, and a wide range of other subjects dealing with the processes and effects of mass communications.

The general regulations of The Graduate School regarding admission, residency, theses and dissertations, admission to candidacy, and comprehensive examinations apply to all graduate work in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Beyond that, the school may request additional writing samples or other evidence of creative work.

Graduate study at the M.A., M.M.C., and Ph.D. levels in the school is designed to meet the needs of three categories of students:

1. graduates in journalism and mass communications from accredited programs of journalism and mass communciations and graduates of approved colleges or universities who have received a bachelor's degree in any field and who have one or more years of professional experience in journalism and mass communications;
2. graduates of approved colleges and universities who have little or no undergraduate work in journalism and mass communications but desire to complete a program of intensive academic and professional preparation for work in the mass communications field;
3. graduates of approved master's degree programs who have two or more years of professional experience in journalism and mass communciations and who wish to obtain a doctoral degree.

Proficiency examinations may be required of applicants. Any deficiencies in an applicant's academic or professional background for the study of journalism and mass communications may require remedial course work that may not count toward the graduate degree.

Applicants for a graduate degree in journalism and mass communications who do not have professional experience or educational background for the field may be required to complete up to 15 semester hours of undergraduate work in journalism and mass communications. Each applicant's case will be evaluated individually to determine the amount, if any, of remedial work required. These remedial courses are usually designated as prerequisites for more advanced courses, numbered 500 or above, which will become part of the student's plan of graduate study. Graduate students may, with approval of the faculty advisor, enroll for some of these undergraduate courses at the same time they are enrolled in graduate courses. For example, a student enrolled in a 700-level seminar in media law may also be enrolled in an undergraduate skills course in basic news reporting; the student would earn graduate credit for the 700-level seminar but not for the 300-level news reporting class.

Applicants who cannot demonstrate a basic knowledge of statistics must complete a course from an approved list before registering for JOUR 701 or JOUR 801. Such a course should be completed early in the student's program and may count toward the graduate degree only if it is 500-level or above.


An applicant for admission to the M.A. or M.M.C. degree programs will be evaluated on a combination of factors: undergraduate grades; performance on the GRE; previous professional experience, especially if that experience is in mass media-related positions; recommendations and the written statement of objectives, in which the applicant outlines reasons for seeking a graduate degree in mass communications.

Successful applicants usually present an undergraduate grade average of at least 3.00 and a combined GRE score (verbal and quantitative) of 1000 and a 4.5 or higher on the analytical portion. The typical graduate student in the program exceeds these standards. However, applicants who are unusually promising in other ways--they have compiled solid professional experience or have overcome formidable obstacles along the way, for example--have been accepted and have done well. International students, in addition to the above, must present a score of at least 600 (250 computer-based score) or 75, according to the exam taken, on the TOEFL exam. Potential applicants who have questions about their qualifications for admission are encouraged to contact the school's director of graduate student services.

Admission to the doctoral program is voted on individually by the school's graduate council after consideration of a number of factors. These include the applicant's academic record (especially work done at the master’s level), performance on the GRE, professional experience, recommendations, and the applicant's personal statement outlining reasons for applying for doctoral study and career hopes and expectations. Preference is given to applicants with at least two years of experience as journalism and mass communications professionals. A GRE combined score (verbal and quantitative) of 1200 and a 5.0 or higher on the analytical portion is expected, though exceptions occasionally have been made for applicants with unusually strong professional backgrounds or other evidence of outstanding professional and intellectual promise. International applicants are expected to present a TOEFL score of at least 600 (250 computer-based score) or 75, according to the exam taken.

Doctoral students normally must have completed, or be in the final stages of, a master's degree. In exceptional circumstances, a student with a baccalaureate degree may be admitted directly into the doctoral program, with the understanding that the student will first complete the usual requirements for the master's degree while studying for the doctorate. In such cases, the usual doctoral requirements of 36 hours of course work beyond the master's plus a dissertation will apply. A prior master's degree need not be in journalism/mass communications, although a student whose master's degree is in another field may need additional course work.

More information is provided in the school's Guidelines for the Master's Degree Programs, which each student should consult as an unofficial supplement to the University's Graduate Studies Bulletin. Information is also available on the school's graduate Web site at www.jour.sc.edu/academics/grad/index.html.

Master of Arts

The M.A. is a traditional academic program involving a minimum of 24 semester hours of course work plus a 6-hour thesis. The thesis, an extensive and well-documented research paper, is designed to demonstrate that the student is capable of independent research on a meaningful topic under the supervision of a faculty committee. A minimum of 21 hours must be earned in graduate-level journalism and mass communications courses, including the basic M.A. core listed below. With the approval of the faculty advisor, the M.A. student may take 9 semester hours of course work outside the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The M.A. degree is especially appropriate for those students with extensive professional experience in journalism and mass communications who are interested in teaching careers or mass communications research and/or those who want to pursue a doctorate.

Degree Requirements

To earn the M.A. degree, a student must complete:

1. a minimum of 30 graduate credits;
2. the M.A. core: JOUR 701, 702, 706, 720, 749, 799;
3. 9 hours of approved elective credits;
4. the comprehensive examination, a five-hour written examination based on the M.A. core courses;
5. an oral examination in defense of the thesis.

Master of Mass Communication

The M.M.C. emphasizes media management and is designed primarily for those who wish to become professionals in some aspect of mass communications. Students enrolled in the M.M.C. program do not write a thesis but are required to complete a minimum of 36 hours of course work, including a professional practicum experience with a newspaper, magazine, television or radio station, advertising or public relations department or agency, or some other approved mass media-related organization.

Required courses include the basic M.M.C. core and a minimum of 18 hours of electives as listed below. Some of the electives are taught in the Moore School of Business.

Degree Requirements

To earn the M.M.C. degree, a student must complete:

1. a minimum of 36 graduate credits;
2. the M.M.C. core: JOUR 701, 705, 706, 762, 771, 777;
3. 18 directed elective hours from an approved list provided by the school, depending on the student's interests as approved by the student's academic advisor and the director of the master's degree program.
4. the comprehensive examination, consisting of a first-day, five-hour written examination based on the M.M.C. core courses and a second-day five-hour written examination based on the student's elective hours and practicum-related experience;
5. an oral examination in defense of the second-day examination.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. in mass communications prepares students for teaching and research careers in higher education and for research and management positions with mass communications organizations.

The doctoral program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications is small and selective, permitting students a considerable degree of flexibility in tailoring courses and areas of study to fit their special needs and career goals.

The doctoral core requirements, listed below, are designed to equip the student with a strong background in research methods and design, communications theory, ethical perspectives, historical and legal research, and teaching experience.

Degree Requirements

To earn the Ph.D. in mass communications, the student must complete:

1. a qualifying examination, administered at the beginning of the student's program, which tests master's level understanding of mass media research methods, history, law, and communications theory; this examination, largely diagnostic in nature, will help the faculty in planning the student's program of study; students showing deficiences in any of these areas may be required to enroll in appropriate 700-level courses to satisfy this requirement; doctoral students who have successfully completed the M.A. comprehensive examination and earned the M.A. degree from the school within the past five years will have satisfied this requirement;
2. the basic doctoral core: JOUR 801, 802, 803, either 804 or 806, 805, 899;
3. a second area of emphasis consisting of at least three other approved courses in mass communications;
4. a third area of at least three courses in another field of study, such as economics, business, political science, history, education, library science, or English; normally the three courses would be in the same academic discipline; however, a student interested, for example, in modern Africa might, with approval of the faculty, take one course in history, one in political science, and a third in sociology;
5. a comprehensive examination based on doctoral course work; this examination is administered in two parts: a 12-hour written examination (four three-hour sets of questions taken over a seven-day period) and an oral defense before the student's comprehensive examination committee;
6. the University's residency requirement, which means the student must be enrolled for at least 6 semester hours during three consecutive semesters;
7. an examination or appropriate course work demonstrating a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language, administered by one of the University's foreign language department;
8. a doctoral dissertation successfully defended before the student's dissertation committee.

These are minimum requirements. A doctoral student who aspires to write a dissertation in a given area may be required to enroll for additional courses in statistics or research methods, for examples.

More information is provided in the school's Guidelines for the Ph.D. Program, which each student is expected to consult as an unofficial supplement to the University's Graduate Studies Bulletin. Information is also available on the school's Web site at www.jour.sc.edu/academics/grad/index.html.

Course Descriptions (JOUR)

  • 501 -- Freedom, Responsibility, and Ethics of the Mass Media. (3) Historical development of freedom, responsibility, and ethics in the mass media, including communication theories, pressures, ownership.
  • 502 -- Advanced Radio Programming. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 325, 333, and either 434 or 452, or equivalent) Practical application to radio programming of the various skills and principles acquired in prerequisite courses. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 503, 526, and 534.
  • 503 -- Advanced Television Programming. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 326, 333, and either 434 or 452, or equivalent) Practical application to television programming of the various skills and principles acquired in prerequisite courses. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 502, 526, and 534.
  • 505 -- Language and Communications Media. (3) Effects of communicative styles on the behavior of audiences.
  • 515 -- Photojournalism II. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 337 for journalism majors; consent of instructor for nonjournalism majors) Photo essay, picture story, feature picture, and news photography; photo-journalistic history and current issues; advanced processing skills and techniques. Lecture and lab.
  • 517 -- Newspaper Photojournalism. (6) (Prereq: JOUR 515) Practice as a staff photographer and/or picture editor for publication. (For journalism majors only.)
  • 523 -- Television Directing. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 326 or consent of instructor) Theories, techniques, and principles of television directing.
  • 526 -- Advanced TV Production and Direction. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 523, 333, or consent of instructor) Technical and creative use of television video and audio equipment in public affairs, entertainment programs, commercials, public service, and promotional spot announcements. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 502, 503, and 534.
  • 527 -- Computer-Assisted Reporting. (3) (Prereq: CSCE 101 or equivalent) Fundamentals of computer-assisted reporting for print and broadcast news stories.
  • 528 -- Editorial and Opinion Writing. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 333 and 335) Content and style; writing of editorials, analyses, and commentaries.
  • 529 -- Informational Graphics for the Mass Media. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 364 and STAT 110) Visual presentation of quantitative and spatial information. Examines the planning, design, and preparation of statistical graphs, charts, timelines, diagrams, and maps. Print journalism majors must take concurrently with JOUR 533, 536, and 546 unless special permission from instructor.
  • 531 -- Public Relations Campaigns. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 328, 304, 436, and senior standing) Development of public relations campaigns for business and social institutions. Case studies of public relations campaigns and programs.
  • 532 -- Reporting Public Affairs. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 335) Concentrated analyses of reporting in special fields, particularly in the South, including coverage of government, business, labor, the arts and sciences.
  • 533 -- Newspaper Feature Articles. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 333 and 335) Feature writing under deadline conditions. Print journalism majors must take concurrently with JOUR 529, 536, and 546 unless special permission from instructor.
  • 534 -- Broadcast Journalism Practicum. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 326, 333, and 434) Production of public affairs programs. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 502, 503, and 526.
  • 535 -- Publication Advising. (3) Newspaper and yearbook advising in middle and high schools, including writing, editing, design, history, law, photojournalism, computer use, multicutural recruitment, and team building.
  • 536 -- Advanced Reporting. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 333 and 335) Special areas of writing, such as science, medicine, business, the courts, and research. Application of changing technology and new equipment. Print journalism majors must take concurrently with JOUR 529, 533, and 546 unless special permission from instructor.
  • 537 -- Contemporary Photojournalism. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor, background in basic photography and processing) Intensive study in photography for newspapers and magazines. Includes fieldwork as well as campus and lab sessions.
  • 538 -- Broadcast Announcing. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 325 or consent of instructor) Theory and practice of professional broadcast announcing. Lecture-demonstration-laboratory course in principles underlying professional performance before microphones and cameras and the various broadcast performance functions.
  • 539 -- Photo-Visual Communications. (3) Communicative visuals in journalism media.
  • 540 -- Magazine Article Writing. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 335, or 436, or consent of instructor) Researching, organizing, writing, and marketing articles for publication in general and specialized publications.
  • 541 -- International Mass Communications. (3) A comparative study of world mass communications media, with particular attention to press systems, the sources and flow of international news, and the problems and implications of world communications.
  • 542 -- Public Opinion and Propaganda. (3) Propaganda as persuasive communication; public opinion and its role in society.
  • 543 -- Telecommunications and Society. (3) Telecommunications industries, including broadcast stations, networks, cable and satellite systems; relationships with social patterns and economic and political systems.
  • 544 -- High School Journalism. (3) Restricted to nonjournalism majors and graduates. Study of the problems of high school publications and their advisors, designed especially for the high school teachers of journalism and for the advisors of junior high and high school newspapers.
  • 545 -- Advertising Campaigns. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 304, 458, 465, and senior standing) Development of advertising campaigns for business and social institutions; organization of advertising departments and agencies on local and national levels. Lecture and lab.
  • 546 -- Advanced Copyediting. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 333 and 335) Application of journalistic techniques in the production of School of Journalism and Mass Communications' publications. Lecture and laboratory. Print journalism majors must take concurrently with JOUR 529, 533, and 536 unless special permission from instructor.
  • 547 -- Directed Independent Studies. (1-6) (Prereq: consent of sequence chair and Dean's Office prior to registration) Individual mass media projects. Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department head is required for undergraduate students.
  • 548 -- Internship in Mass Communications. (1-3) (Prereq: consent of sequence chair and Dean's Office prior to registration) Supervised professional experience. Maximum of 3 hours credit. Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department head is required. Grading is Pass/Fail.
  • 549 -- Introduction to Magazine Editing. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 333) Skills required for work on magazines. Extensive preparation in all phases of magazine production.
  • 550 -- Advanced Magazine Article Writing. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 540 or consent of instructor) Writing techniques used in the preparation and marketing of major nonfiction articles for national, regional, and local publications.
  • 551 -- Newspaper Management. (3) Publishing the daily and weekly newspaper; advertising, circulation, editorials and news policy, personnel, production, and promotion.
  • 552 -- Cable/Satellite Communication. (3) Development of cable systems and satellites as instruments of mass communication; history and current practices.
  • 554 -- Telecommunications Law and Regulation. (3) Federal, state, and local regulation of electronic mass media, including broadcast, cable, satellite.
  • 555 -- Publication Design. (2) (Coreq: JOUR 555L) Current trends in publication design, including the design, production, and publication of a magazine.
  • 555L -- Publication Design Laboratory. (1) (Coreq: JOUR 555)
  • 556 -- Broadcast Station Management. (3) Development, management, and operation of radio and television stations.
  • 558 -- Advanced Creative Strategy in Advertising. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 458 or consent of instructor) Development of writing styles for print and broadcast advertising.
  • 559 -- Advanced Magazine Editing. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 549) The writing, editing, design, and production of a professional-quality magazine.
  • 560 -- Advertising Management. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 368 and senior standing) Management of advertising agencies and company advertising departments.
  • 561 -- Retail Advertising Management. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 368 and senior standing) Planning and executing advertising in the retail store; the retail store's relationship with the sales departments of communications media.
  • 562 -- The Journalism of Science and Technology. (3) Explores the role of the media in shaping perceptions of scientific issues and public policy. Emphasis on methods of communicating technical information to various publics.
  • 563 -- Topics. (1-3; 6 maximum) Topics in journalism and mass communications. Individual topics to be announced with suffix and title.
  • 563P -- Public/Civic Journalism. (3) To gain an understanding of theory and practice of public/civic journalism, seen by its advocates as socially responsible journalism that attempts to build civic participation and empower communities.
  • 564 -- Graphic Design. (2) (Coreq: JOUR 564L) Basic elements of design and their application to problem solving situations in the mass media. Emphasis on visual communication.
  • 564L -- Graphic Design Laboratory. (1) (Coreq: JOUR 564) Graphic design skills.
  • 565 -- Advanced Media Analysis. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 465 or consent of instructor) Advanced analysis of media planning concepts and approaches currently being practiced in the industry.
  • 566 -- Public Relations Management. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 328, 436, and senior standing or permission of instructor) Researching, programming, staff, budgeting, and planning public-relations programs by business, government, or consulting firms.
  • 567 -- Advertising Practicum. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 304, 458, 465, and consent of instructor) Application of advertising techniques and skills in preparation of full scale campaign.
  • 568 -- Public Relations Practicum. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 304, 436, and consent of instructor) Application of public relations techniques and skills in preparation of full-scale campaign.
  • 570 -- Newspaper in the Classroom. {=EDIT 504} (3) An intense study of daily and weekly newspapers as supplementary teaching tools in the public school classroom. Consultation with professional journalists, journalism educators, and public school teachers.
  • 571 -- Faith, Values, and the Mass Media. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 202 and upper division or consent of instructor) Faith and values influence the media. An examination of the influence, why it happens, and of religious diversity and the increased public presence of religions, including Hinduism and Islam.
  • 700 -- Proseminar. (1) Recent ideas, procedures, and techniques that aid in the conduct of professional and scholarly work in mass communication. (Pass/Fail grading)
  • 701 -- Research Methods in Mass Communication. (3) (Prereq: Statistics competency and permission of instructor) Methods and techniques of quantitative mass communications research: content analysis; survey research applications; media effects studies.
  • 702 -- Communication Theory. (3) Theoretical approaches to the study of mass communication including empirical, interpretive, and critical perspectives.
  • 704 -- Editorial Interpretation, Policy, and Management. (3) Social issues and responsibilities affecting the management of the mass media.
  • 705 -- Integrated Communications Principles. (3) Integration of advertising, public relations, and marketing communication within an organization or agency.
  • 706 -- Media Law. (3) General legal philosophy and law affecting the mass media.
  • 707 -- Contemporary Issues in Mass Communication. (3) Current issues in mass communication including control, ownership, and conflicts affecting the media.
  • 710 -- Organizational Communication. (3) Communication within organizations including theories, research, and current issues of concern in the field.
  • 711 -- Applied Mass Communication Research. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 701 or consent of instructor) Methods and techniques for designing, conducting, and analyzing research related to mass communication.
  • 715 -- Integrated Communications Strategies. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 705) The strategic planning process applied to integrated communication principles.
  • 720 -- History of Mass Media. (3) Periods, movements, and developments in mass communication.
  • 725 -- Integrated Communication Campaigns. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 705, 715) Principles and strategies of integrated communication to prepare a communication campaign for a client organization.
  • 730 -- Literary Aspects of Journalism and Mass Communication. (3) Lliterary and creative aspects of journalism and mass communication as exemplified in the works of English and American prose and verse writers.
  • 740 -- New Technologies and the Mass Media. (3) New technologies related to the mass media.
  • 746 -- Educational Broadcasting. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Hiistory, nature, production-performance, evaluation, and means of improvement of educational/instructional broadcasting.
  • 749 -- Literature of Mass Communication. (3) Methods for locating, evaluating, and abstracting information from literature relevant to the study of mass communication.
  • 762 -- Issues in Mass Communication Management. (3) Current management-related issues confronting the media, including management of creative people, budgeting, time management on deadline.
  • 771 -- Media Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 224 or consent of instructor) Media organizations as economic institutions, including microeconomic analysis, basic trends in revenues and expenditures, evaluation of financial health, and performance in covering business and economics.
  • 777 -- Practicum in Mass Communications Management. (3) Seminar and supervised professional management experience in a media organization.
  • 790 -- Topics in Mass Communication. (1-6) Specialized topics in mass communication (individual topics to be announced with suffix and title). May be repeated for credit.
  • 797 -- Project Preparation. (1-3) Individualized scholarly activity to develop and execute special projects relevant to the study of mass communication.
  • 799 -- Thesis Preparation. (1-9)
  • 801 -- Communication Research Design. (3) (Prereq: JOUR 701 and statistics competency) Principles and applications of quantitative and qualitative communication research designs.
  • 802 -- Seminar in Ethical Reasoning in Mass Communications. (3) Ethical reasoning approaches in production and consumption of media messages.
  • 803 -- Seminar in Mass Communication Theory and Theory Construction. (3) Meta-theoretical issues relevant to building theory in mass communication, concept explication, and forms of theory.
  • 804 -- Seminar in Mass Communication Historical Research Methods. (3) Application of historical research methods to the study of mass communication.
  • 805 -- Seminar in Teaching Mass Communication. (3) Teaching and learning methodologies and theories appropriate to mass communication instruction.
  • 806 -- Seminar in Mass Communication Legal Research Methods. (3) Application of legal research methods to the study of mass communication.
  • 899 -- Dissertation Preparation. (1-12)