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Earn a Master's in Media Communication

Multimedia and multiplatform journalism. Public relations. Advertising. Watchdog journalism. Independent documentary.

Point Park University's innovative Master of Arts in Media Communication equips students with the tools to do real-world journalism, create public relations and advertising campaigns and produce compelling documentaries using cutting-edge tools and distribution channels.

Pictured is alumnus Larry Miller.

Specialize in Documentary, Journalism or Public Relations and Advertising 

Students in the M.A. in Media Communication program choose one of three specializations:

Social media. Integrated marketing. Branding and identity design. Research. Managing creative people. This is the realm of the specialist in public relations and advertising.

Students will learn the latest theory and practices in creating messages that influence the public on behalf of corporations, government, education and non-profit organizations.

Expert faculty who teach in the media communication program include current and former advertising and public relations practitioners and managers, graphic designers and social media gurus, as well as experienced researchers and theorists.

Students in this program can gain real-world examples for their portfolio by working with Wood Street Communications - Point Park's integrated marketing communication initiative - serving nonprofits throughout the region.

Students may choose to select electives from a wide range of courses or pursue one of two specific tracks.

Professional Track

Students who choose the public relations and advertising professional track undertake independent study under the guidance of one or more faculty mentors. Students may select directed readings, directed research, or they may choose to develop a project that demonstrates their skills in public relations and advertising.

Thesis Track

The public relations and advertising thesis track option provides the opportunity for students to take additional courses to prepare for admission to a Ph.D. program.

Journalism Initiative Track with Concentrations

In an ever-changing media landscape, journalists can find a career edge by developing an expertise in specific subject areas. Pursuing this journalism initiative track, you will graduate with an extensive portfolio of journalism or public relations work directly related to the concentration.

Students choosing to focus on journalism research write long-form works such as magazine-length pieces, a series of in-depth newspaper stories or a book.

Students choosing to focus on public relations complete integrated marketing campaigns of the caliber of the region's top public relations and advertising agencies.

All students have the opportunity to submit work for publication through partner news organizations and the Point Park News Service.

The concentrations within the journalism initiative track can help you gain that expertise, to complement your professional skills, in one of the following areas:

  • Environmental studies
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Business

Within the business concentration, students can further specialize in one of four areas to target their career path toward a specific industry, such as Pittsburgh's dynamic health care field:

  • Health systems
  • General management
  • International business
  • Accounting/finance/economics

Professional Track in Journalism

Students who are not looking to choose a concentration can consider Point Park's professional track within the master's program. This long-established program offers students the opportunity to design their own area of study. Students take five core courses, then select communication courses that directly relate to their areas of professional interest, including advertising, broadcast journalism, broadcast production, digital media, integrated marketing communications, media relations, photojournalism, print journalism and communication technology. Students also have the opportunity to submit work for publication through partner media organizations and the Point Park News Service.

Journalism Thesis Track

The journalism thesis track option provides the opportunity for students to take additional courses to prepare for admission to a Ph.D. program.

 

Watchdog journalism. Independent filmmaking. Documentary. Reporting. Storytelling. Social justice. In the age of Netflix, independent documentary has become one of the most effective ways to tell important stories about the world we live in.

Students with a specialization in documentary will report on political, social and cultural issues to produce compelling audio, photo and/or video documentaries and explore best practices in funding, distributing and marketing their work.

Students have the opportunity to submit work for publication through partner news organizations and the Point Park News Service.

Expert faculty who teach in the media communication program include current and former documentary producers, broadcast professionals, investigative journalists and multimedia designers, as well as experienced researchers and theorists.

Program Structure

The media communication program specializing in documentary-format journalism offers a balanced combination of course work and practical experience broken out into four parts:

  • Core courses: writing and editing in the journalistic style, communication theory, research methods, communication law and media ethics
  • Specialization requirements: courses including investigative reporting, history of documentary cinema, business of photography, documentary photography and multimedia production
  • Documentary thesis: students will spend two semesters creating documentary-format journalism with an industry professional who will guide them through the process
  • Electives: social media, broadcast copywriting, web publishing, mass communication history, international media and special topics

Equipment and Facilities

Students will have access to Point Park's professional audio, video and photographic equipment to create their documentaries. Explore our facilities and equipment.

Faculty bring industry experience to the classroom

School of Communication faculty members are proven professionals with connections to top media and communication organizations.

Meet the faculty
Pictured is Steve Hallock, Ph.D.
FACULTY SPOTLIGHT
  • More than 25 years of professional experience in newspapers as an award-winning professional journalist
  • Published six books: The Silent Treatment, Justice Delayed, In Cheesman Park, The Press March to War, Reporters Who Made History and The Dwindling Marketplace of Ideas in Today's News, and published commentaries in newspapers that include The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Director, School of Communication graduate programs; teaches journalism classes and adviser, The Globe 

News & Features