• Media Studies
    Exploring the influence of
    on society opens fascinating avenues of research
  • Media Studies
    Students choose from a variety of courses that examine the media
  • Media Studies
    Analysis and discussion
    play key roles in Media Studies
  • Media Studies
    At MTSU, class participation
    is part of learning

Media Studies

Interested in thinking and writing about media, but don’t want to be a journalist? The new Media Studies concentration in Journalism is designed for students who enjoy discussing, analyzing, and writing about film, TV, advertising, and other media. The degree is ideal for those interested in a liberal arts approach to mass communication, especially if planning to pursue graduate studies. Students will participate in academic media research and writing. Majors examine media messages in historical and contemporary media, plus critique visual images and their impact on society. They also explore how and why media influence audience perception and behavior.

MTSU Poll gauges public opinion in the region

The once-a-semester MTSU Poll measures opinions of Tennesseans on hot-button issues. Over the past decade, state residents have been sampled on such subjects as gay marriage, teacher tenure, illegal immigration, Muslims’ religious rights, political races, and the budget gap. Students learn from taking part in data analysis and interpretation. Responses are analyzed, and findings released to media. Two professors in the Media Studies program are highly involved: Dr. Ken Blake, operations director of the MTSU Poll, and Dr. Jason Reineke, associate director.

Majors study media from various perspectives

Courses for this conceptual concentration of Media Studies challenge students to think about the interplay between media and society. Topics include diversity such as race and gender, as well as global media systems and perspectives. Majors choose a course in media criticism from film, television, or mass communication. Students can pick three electives from options that include advertising and social media, sexuality and gender in adversity, mass media law, ethics, and healthcare communication. Media Studies majors also get to conduct a senior research project in an area of their own interest.

A degree in Media Studies gives students an academic background to prepare for a variety of career paths in the field of communications, including research. In particular, students may want to seek a graduate degree in mass communication or other areas such as law. Here are some potential occupations

  • Advertising agent
  • Broadcaster
  • College professor
  • Communications associate
  • Community relations director
  • Corporate trainer
  • Digital/social media manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Filmmaker
  • Lawyer
  • Marketing analyst/manager
  • Media buyer
  • Media critic/TV or movie reviewer
  • Media manager
  • Political campaign director
  • Pollster
  • Producer
  • Public relations manager
  • Reporter/writer
  • Researcher
  • Screenwriter/scriptwriter

Employers of MTSU alumni

Because this degree program is quite new, employer information is still being compiled.

MTSU's School of Journalism offers work leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Mass Communication. Concentrations are available in

Undergraduate or graduate students outside the College of Media and Entertainment may choose to minor in Mass Communication with an emphasis in any of the School of Journalism’s concentrations. 

A Master of Science (M.S.) degree is available in Mass Communications, and a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Recording Arts and Technologies.

The sample schedule below is based on the current undergraduate catalog. It is not a substitute for academic advisement. Contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements or consult the undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years. (Refer to the scholarships website for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.)

NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map. Missing milestones could delay your program.

This map is still in development. For more information, please contact the department at 615-898-5465.

Dr. Sanjay Asthana


Dr. Kenneth Blake
Associate Professor


Dr. Dwight Brooks
Professor | Director


Dr. Katherine Foss
Assistant Professor


Dr. Jane Marcellus
Associate Professor


Dr. Jason Reineke
Assistant Professor



JOUR 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 1020/RIM 1020.) The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society, its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

JOUR 2710 - Media Writing
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020 or equivalents. Theory and practice of writing for print and electronic media according to the techniques, styles, and formats of various media. Laboratory required.

JOUR 3000 - Introduction to Motion Pictures
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 3000.) Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. The development and role of motion pictures in America, including the history of films and filmmakers, the influence of film on American culture, and film criticism.

JOUR 3050 - Principles of Health Communication
3 credit hours

Introduces students to fundamental issues in Health Communication. The development of health communication, the role of interpersonal communication in health care, the design and challenges of public health campaigns, intended and unintended health messages in news and popular media, the structure of health care organization, and key ethical issues in creating and disseminating health messages to diverse audiences. 

JOUR 3070 - Introduction to Social Media Practice
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 3070.) Prerequisites: EMC 2500 and EMC 3060. Introduces social media history, approaches, and practical application. Overview of social media usage within and on behalf of organizations and institutions through a practical analysis approach that focuses on the application of social media techniques.

JOUR 3090 - Reporting
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: JOUR 2710. Corequisite: JOUR 3091. Theory and practice of basic journalism skills, including content gathering, storytelling, evaluating, writing and processing of news. Three hours lecture and one two-hour laboratory where hands-on instruction acquaints journalism students with the technology and techniques used in multiplatform media convergence and establishes a base for more advanced reporting, writing, and editing courses.

JOUR 3091 - Reporting Lab
0 credit hours

Corequisite: JOUR 3090. Three hours lecture and one two-hour laboratory.  

JOUR 3100 - Introduction to Popular Music Studies
3 credit hours

(Same as RIM 3100.) Prerequisite: RI majors - admission to candidacy; others - permission of instructor. Introduces students to different academic and theoretical approaches to popular music as a social and cultural phenomenon. A discussion oriented class that is both reading and writing intensive.

JOUR 3450 - Editing
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy; JOUR 3090 with minimum grade of C. Theory and practice in the art of copy editing, including editing, language skills, newspaper style, news judgment, headline writing, photo editing, cutline writing, and page design.

JOUR 3510 - Media History and American Culture
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 3510.) Development of American journalism and the mass media from Colonial times to the present, including the role and influence of mass media on American culture, technical advances, and contributions of individual personalities.

JOUR 3520 - Special Topics in Professional Issues
3 credit hours

(Same as ADV/PR/VCOM 3520.) Prerequisites: JOUR 3090 and admission to candidacy. Special topics in journalism, advertising, public relations, and visual communication focusing on practical applications. Topics change each semester and have included investigative, environmental, sports, and political reporting; visual editing; international public relations; and advertising account management. May be repeated up to 6 credits.

JOUR 3530 - Feature Writing
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy or permission of instructor. Theory and practice of writing feature stories for newspapers and magazines. Assignments in writing for professional publications as well as the student newspaper.

JOUR 3580 - MC Practicum
1 to 3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; junior standing; permission of instructor. Practical experience in an on-campus mass communication setting. Note: Total credit for practicum and internship courses cannot exceed 3 credits. Pass/Fail.

JOUR 3590 - Magazine Writing and Editing
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; JOUR 3530. Types of magazines and editorial needs; practice in magazine article writing.

JOUR 3600 - Digital and Media Literacy
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 3600). Prerequisite: EMC 1020/JOUR 1020/RIM 1020. Enables students to develop an informed and critical understanding of media messages and media culture as well as their social, cultural, and political contexts and implications. Students develop the critical thinking skills and methods of analysis necessary to interpret media content in a digital age. Offers ways to think critically about media as they relate to citizenship and democracy.

JOUR 3650 - Free Expression, Mass Media, and the American Public
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 3650/RIM 3650.) A general introduction to the issues surrounding free expression and its relationship to mass media in contemporary America. Comprehensive analysis of the history, philosophies, cases, and controls associated with freedom of expression.

JOUR 4000 - MC Internship
1 to 3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; upper-division standing; permission of the internship coordinator. Advanced students gain practical experience in a professional setting. Note: Total credit for internship and practicum courses cannot exceed 3 credits. Pass/Fail.

JOUR 4210 - Mass Communication and Society
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4210.) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Theories of the process of mass communication, how media affect society, the evolution within a social and cultural context, ethical and social dimensions. Extensive reading in theory, history, and research. Media-content emphasis varies depending on instructor's expertise.

JOUR 4240 - Television, Culture, and History
3 credit hours

Examines television as a cultural product, communication tool, "mirror on the world," and as an agent for social change. Explores censorship, sponsorship, ethics, and the impact of context on content. Focuses on role that television has had and continues to have on constructing notions of gender, race, class, and difference.

JOUR 4250 - Mass Media Law
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4250.) Prerequisites: JOUR 1020; junior standing. Examination of legal guarantees and restrictions on the flow of information using the case study method. Focus on libel, privacy, obscenity, and the special restrictions placed on advertising, broadcasting, cable TV, and the Internet.

JOUR 4300 - Reviewing and Criticism
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy or permission of instructor. Theories and practice of reviewing and criticism in the mass media. Overview of current trends in film, theatre, music, books, and other entertainment media. Practice in critical and analytical writing.

JOUR 4440 - Advanced Reporting
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; JOUR 3090. Advanced theory and practice in news reporting, emphasis on coverage of governmental affairs and other public affairs-related assignments, including an introduction to interpretive and investigative reporting techniques.

JOUR 4660 - Scientific Approaches to Media
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4660.) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Provides a critical overview of the historical, intellectual, and theoretical foundations of scientific inquiry with specific emphasis on quantitative research methods. Introduces major theories and methods of scientific inquiry in the field of communication including psychological and sociological perspectives, survey research, content analysis, experiments, observational research, and statistical analysis. Explores audience analysis, media effects, message testing, campaign evaluation, political communication, public opinion, and new media technologies.

JOUR 4670 - Cultural Approaches to Media
3 credit hours

Provides a critical overview of the historical, intellectual, and theoretical foundations of cultural studies with specific emphasis on research methods. Explores popular culture, comparative media systems, global media flows, and new media technologies, among other topics pertinent to media and journalism.

JOUR 4700 - Mass Media and National Security
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Junior/Senior standing or permission of instructor. Examines the role of the mass media in maintaining national security. Topics include history, legal, and operational concerns from both media and the government perspectives. Discusses the tension between maintaining national security and American traditions of civil liberties and the role of both the media and government in these discussions.

JOUR 4780 - Media and Markets
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Junior standing. Approaches to understanding media audiences. Examines tensions between the business and public functions of media, and social and ethical conflicts related to media marketing.

JOUR 4790 - Global News and World Media Cultures
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4790.) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Systems and philosophies associated with gathering international news and news coverage in different regions. Looks at global communication systems and ownership; examines how cultures shape news and the role of the individual in reporting news internationally. Includes discussion of development issues and role of global advertising and public relations.

JOUR 4800 - Seminar in Media Issues
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4800.) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Examination and critical evaluation of issues relevant to the operation and functions of mass media, including their relationships to each other and to government, advertisers, consumers, and other publics. May be repeated up to 6 credits.

JOUR 4810 - Global Comparative Media Systems
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4810.) A close comparative study of chosen media systems in regions of the world. Examines print, broadcast, entertainment, and new media in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim Region, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Media interactions with an influence on the geographic, demographic, linguistic, cultural, economic, and political structures of countries.

JOUR 4820 - Race, Gender, and Class in Media
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4820.) Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or permission of instructor. Critical examination of diversity in mass communication with particular emphasis on media representations of race, gender, and class. Also examines audience interpretations of media texts.

JOUR 4850 - Ethics and Mass Communication
3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4850.) Prerequisite: Junior standing. Examination of ethical concerns of media practitioners illuminated by study of selected current ethical issues and an overview of the cultural and philosophical basis of socially responsive mass media.

JOUR 4900 - Independent Study In Mass Communication
1 to 3 credit hours

(Same as EMC 4900.) Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; permission of instructor. Independent study projects or research related to media issues or professions.

JOUR 4910 - Research in Media Issues
3 credit hours

Students work on developing good writing skills while conducting original research in their areas of interest. Students will critique each other's writing in a peer-workshop environment, as they edit and revise their own writing--building to a journal-quality research paper presented to the class in a conference-like setting.