Graduate Curriculum

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Earn a M.S. degree in Mass Communications at San José State University – just down the road from Adobe, Google, Apple and scores of leading and emerging media companies. Our practical approach to teaching multimedia communication – which emphasizes emerging media and cross-platform storytelling – attracts students from around the globe. Revised in 2019, our program prepares students to work together with Silicon Valley mentors to create multimedia or strategic communication projects. Whether your future is in Advertising, Journalism, Public Relations or Marketing Communications, the journey begins in San José, California!

Master’s Requirements (30 units in total)

Core Courses (15 units)

Master’s Requirements (30 units in total)

MCOM 210 - Media and Social Issues 3 unit(s) (GWAR)

Selected readings and group discussions of significant published works dealing with mass communications: history, biography, and appraisals; law and ethics of the print and broadcast media, advertising, and public relations; public opinion and propaganda.

MCOM 215 - New Media Visionaries 3 unit(s)

Class lecture series by visiting Silicon Valley leaders on the development of new media products, including such topics as idea generation, intellectual property, funding, design, development, and integrated communication strategies.

MCOM 284 - Advanced User Experience 3 unit(s)

Students work in teams to create, develop, and implement hypothetical Web and mobile applications while living the role of the interactive project manager, design manager, and development manager. The class focuses on the rapidly changing creative and technological base of interactive Web and mobile application development.

MCOM 285 - Web Design and Development 3 unit(s)

Introduction to website design, creation, and maintenance. Popular web design and graphics programs including content management systems (WordPress), and Adobe XD.

MCOM 295 - Mass Communications Research 3 unit(s)

Methodologies of research in mass communications: historical, descriptive, and empirical with emphasis on statistical aspects of data processing and interpretation.

Electives (9 units)

Nine units of electives are approved by the graduate advisor. 100- or 200-level courses in the School or other departments, related to the candidate’s career objective and culminating experience topic. You can take up to 15 additional units (5 classes) towards your degree. Full list of available electives.

Culminating Experience (6 units)

All students in this program follow Capstone Project for their culminating experience. Students take 3 units of MCOM 298A and MCOM 298B in consecutive semesters. Capstone Project requires the successful completion of a professionally-oriented project employing multiple media and an oral presentation to a faculty-student audience. Projects should reflect the values of journalism, advertising, or public relations. Projects are designed and completed in a two-semester sequence.

MCOM 298A - Master’s Project I 3 unit(s)

Development of master’s project literature review and proposal. Identify and work with professional mentors. Collaborative teamwork as appropriate to project goals.

MCOM 298B - Master’s Project II 3 unit(s)

Completion of master’s project meeting professional standards in Advertising, Journalism, or Public Relations. Presentation and constructive feedback to peers.

Suggested Roadmap to Graduation

JMC admits both during the fall and spring semesters, below you can find suggested road maps to graduating. Electives are based on your interests and what your main focus of study will be these can be but are not limited to, Public Relations, Advertising, UX Design, Immersive Media, or Journalism. Students need to take a minimum of 9 units of electives but have the option to take up to 15 units of electives. 

Students are encouraged to be full-time, which would be taking three classes a semester. However, if you are working full time the recommended class load is two a semester. Please also note that only certain classes are offered per semester, so plan accordingly.

Below are suggested roadmaps to graduation. Other roadmaps to graduation are possible but will require consultation with the program coordinator. Please contact Diana Stover ( for more information.