Graduation requirements and regulations for every academic program are provided in this catalog. Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. In most cases, you will use the catalog of the year you entered KU (see your advisor for details). Other years’ catalogs»

Graduate Admission

Admission is based primarily on the student’s undergraduate record, references, and writing samples. Applicants who have baccalaureate degrees in journalism, as well as those with no academic or professional background in journalism, are eligible to apply for the Mass Communications Program on the Lawrence Campus or the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) course of study on the KU Edwards Campus.

Applicants for the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) course of study are also evaluated on their professional experience.


Application Deadlines

The School has a "rolling admission process." Students may enter the Mass Communications program in fall or spring semesters. Students interested in Graduate Teaching Assistant positions, scholarships and awards should apply by January 1.

Students may enter the Integrated Marketing Communications program year-round; fall, spring, or summer. Applicants to the Integrated Marketing Communications program may apply for fall admission by the deadline of June 1. The priority application deadline for the spring, which begins in January, is the preceding November 1. The priority application deadline for the summer, which begins in June, is the preceding February 1.

Application Materials

Applications can be considered only after these items have been submitted:

  1. A completed online graduate application.
  2. An official transcript of all college-level courses from each college or university attended.
  3. Three letters of reference from persons familiar with the applicant’s abilities. At least one academic reference is preferred and required for those who graduated within the past five years.
  4. A written, 250-word statement of the applicant’s academic and professional objectives.
  5. A current résumé.
  6. Applicants for the Mass Communications program must include two writing samples.
  7. Applicants for the Integrated Marketing Communications course of study must include three samples of professional work that reflect the applicant’s years of experience.
  8. Nonrefundable application fee payable online to the University of Kansas.
  9. Students whose native language is not English must follow the policy for English Proficiency Requirements for Admission to Graduate Study.
  10. International students must submit proof that they have the financial resources to cover annual expenses.

Submit your graduate application online. Applicants to Mass Communications and the M.S. in journalism/J.D. program should send official transcripts of all college and university course work to Graduate Admissions ( or to the school:

The University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Stauffer-Flint Hall
Attn: Graduate Advisor
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Applicants to the Integrated Marketing Communications course of study may send official transcripts of all college and university course work to the KU Edwards Campus program:

The University of Kansas Edwards Campus
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Integrated Marketing Communications
Attn: Graduate Program
12600 Quivira Road
Overland Park, KS 66213

M.S. in Journalism

The Journalism School offers four M.S. options: Mass Communications (Lawrence campus), Digital Content Strategy (Online), Integrated Marketing Communications (KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park), and the Joint M.S.-J.D. degree.

Mass Communications

This track is focused on deeper, theoretical understanding of the professions of the media. Students with an interest in professional performance may take 2 courses in which they design 1 or more professional projects. To earn the degree, a student must complete 37 graduate credit hours with at least a B (3.0) average. Each student must complete and pass a general examination of the thesis. The thesis defense constitutes the final general examination.

Major Components of 37-Hour Requirement

The student entering the program takes

  • 16 hours in core courses in First Amendment, Finance and Leadership, Mass Media, and Mass Communications and Methodology, including statistics.
  • 6 hours in JOUR 840 seminars.
  • 6 hours in a concentration (such as Sports Management, Health Communications, or Communication Studies) either inside or outside the school. The student may elect to design and produce 1 or 2 professional projects (such as a series of in-depth news stories or media business cases) as a concentration.
  • 1 additional 3-hour elective.

The student also completes an acceptable project/thesis (JOUR 899) for 3 hours.

Core Course Requirements

The core graduate courses help students develop strong research and critical-thinking skills. 4 courses and 1 lab are required:

EPSY 710Introduction to Statistical Analysis3
EPSY 711Lab for Introduction to Statistical Analysis1
JOUR 801Media Communication Theories 3
JOUR 802Media Communication Methods3
JOUR 803Research in Action 3

Concentration/Professional Skills Requirements

The student develops an area of concentration of 6 hours either inside the Journalism School or in another school or department with the consent of the student’s advisor and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies (ADGS), for example, 2 courses in sports management, or communication studies and psychology.

Alternatively, the student may enroll in JOUR 851 and JOUR 852 (Professional Skills). The student develops and produces a master’s-level professionally based project or projects with the approval of the advisor and ADGS. The projects help the student expand and advance professional skills.

For example, one of the following:6
Sport Finance
and Organizational Behavior in Sport
Military and the Media
and History of Journalism and Mass Communication
Professional Skills I
and Professional Skills II

Advanced Course Requirements

The student completes 2 JOUR 840 seminars, 1 graduate-level elective, and an acceptable project/thesis:

JOUR 840Seminar in: _____3
JOUR 840Seminar in: _____3
JOUR 899Master's Project/Thesis3

General Examination

Each student must pass an oral examination of the thesis, which constitutes the final general examination. That examination must cover the totality of the student’s master’s experience. The examination will be given and evaluated by a committee of 3 graduate faculty members who serve on the student’s thesis committee.

Enrollment Requirements after Completing Course Requirements

There is no requirement for continuous enrollment after courses are completed and prior to completing the thesis. Students must be enrolled in at least 1 hour of credit in the semester in which they graduate.

A student must complete the M.S.J. degree within 7 years of admission.

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

The Integrated Marketing Communications course of study is offered on the KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, KS 66213, 913-897-8416. For more information contact and

Course Requirements

A student must complete 30 hours of credit with at least a B (3.0) average. A student takes 12 hours of core courses and 18 hours of professional courses. A student must complete the master’s degree program within 7 years of admission.

Core Course Requirements
JOUR 820Marketing Fundamentals for Communicators3
JOUR 828Financial Fundamentals for Communicators3
JOUR 829Marketing Communications Research (prerequisite JOUR 820 or permission of instructor)3
JOUR 850Capstone in Marketing Communications (Prerequisites: JOUR 820, JOUR 828, JOUR 829 and 30 hours toward the degree, or with permission of instructor)3

Professional Course Requirements

Those who hold the master’s degree from KU are expected to be able to perform professional tasks. Students therefore must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of professionally oriented courses.

JOUR 819Writing for Marketing Communications3
JOUR 821Integrated Marketing Communications and Sales Strategies3
JOUR 822Database Development and Management3
JOUR 823Branding in Marketing Communications3
JOUR 824Creative Process3
JOUR 825Relationship Marketing3
JOUR 826Innovation in Management of Communications3
JOUR 827Marketing Ethics3
JOUR 831Technologies in Marketing Communications3
JOUR 832Leadership and Management in Marketing Communications3
JOUR 833Social Media and Integrated Marketing Communications3
JOUR 834International and Multicultural Marketing Communications3
JOUR 840Seminar in: _____3

Outside Courses

A student may take up to 6 credit hours outside the school. Any student who wants to take an elective course outside the school must have permission from the instructor of the course, the school offering the course, and the graduate director of the journalism school prior to enrolling in the course. The student should be prepared to indicate how the course contributes to the master’s program. Submission of a course description or syllabus from the course may be required for approval.

Final General Examination

Each student must pass a final general examination before graduating. This examination is part of the capstone course. The examination occurs during the oral presentation before the client and faculty.

Online Digital Content Strategy


  • Application Deadlines: Priority – October 1 | Late – February 1 
  • One official transcript of all college-level courses. (from each college attended) Expected GPA: 3.0 or above. Submit to
  • A current resume
  • Two letters of reference from persons familiar with the student’s academic or professional work or potential for graduate study
  • Applicants must also submit two writing samples or samples of professional work that reflect your years of experience
  • Students whose native language is not English must follow the policy for English Proficiency Requirements for Admission to Graduate Study.
  • International students are required to submit evidence of financial support

Our new online Master's Program in Digital Content Strategy trains graduates to find, use and analyze information and data to solve organizational problems. You will build skills you can use immediately while broadening your thinking and encouraging a mindset for adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape.

With certificates in Social Media Strategy and Data Interpretation and Communication, you can become the information expert in your organization. As a digital troubleshooter, you will be able to bridge the gap between those with big ideas but little understanding of how to turn those ideas into reality and those with technical skills who lack the broader vision needed to move beyond the status quo.

Program Requirements

The online program is divided into two certificates. The master's degree is earned by completing both certificates, but students may choose to earn just one certificate. Students may work on either of these certificates independently, building credentials even before they complete a master’s degree. All classes are online. The program requires 30 hours of coursework to earn a master's degree.

  • The program starts with Information Insight I, which introduces students to online learning, explores the concepts, problems and opportunities in digital content strategy, and lays the foundation for further program work, including work on a possible capstone project. All students must take this course.
  • After completing the introductory course, students take courses in the social media sequence, the data communication sequence, or both. All courses are eight weeks.
  • After completing both certificates, students enroll in Information Insight II, an eight-week summer course in which they complete a capstone project.
JOUR 860Information Insight I3
JOUR 861Data Collection I3
JOUR 862Data Collection II3
JOUR 863Data Analysis3
JOUR 864Data Visualization and Presentation3
JOUR 865Analyzing Audiences3
JOUR 866Social Media Strategy3
JOUR 867Social Media Metrics 3
JOUR 868Information in Context3
JOUR 869Information Insight II3

Joint M.S.J.-J.D.

The joint M.S. in journalism and J.D. degree program combines into approximately 3½ years of full-time study the Master of Science in journalism and the Juris Doctor programs offered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the KU School of Law. The joint degree program offers students academic grounding in both disciplines to prepare them for the professional practice of journalism, law, or media law.

For more information, please contact:

University of Kansas
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Faculty Development
William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7515

Assoc. Dean Tien Lee (
and Graduate Advisor Jammie Johnson (

You may also contact:

University of Kansas School of Law
Green Hall
1535 W. 15th St.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7540