Communication and Media Studies Master’s Program Courses

Ready to become a master of media theory? You’ll need to complete at least 46 credits (including 24 graded credits at the UO) covering a mix of media concepts and theory, research methodology courses, and graduate-level electives in your areas of interest.

To see the order that most students take these courses and complete other benchmarks, view our sample schedule. Consult the UO Class Schedule to find out when these courses are offered and register. Note that students will either complete a thesis or a terminal project.

To review the full list of available courses, consult our course catalog. Graduate students may enroll in 500- and 600-level courses, and offerings vary from year to year.

J503 Thesis (9 credits)
This is a substantial document that presents original research addressing questions about media and society. It typically includes a review of relevant literature, an appropriate research method, and an analysis of your findings.

J601 Research: [Topic] (1-6 Credits)
Repeatable for maximum of 16 credits.

J604 Internship: [Topic] (1-6 Credits)
Repeatable for maximum of 12 credits.

J605 Readings: [Topic] (1-12 Credits)

J607 Seminar: [Topic] (1-5 Credits)

J608 Workshop: [Topic] (1-6 Credits)
Repeatable for maximum of 16 credits.

J609 Terminal Project (6 credits)
A terminal project differs from a thesis in one major way: Instead of contributing to the scholarly literature, it contributes to the communication professions with a creative accomplishment or applied research. It’s more than a class assignment and will require as much research as a thesis. Final projects have included magazine or newspaper article series, video productions, practical guides for working journalists, and applied research projects.

J610 Experimental Course: History and Theory of New Media (4 credits)
This course will introduce students to the history of the new media as well as to the key theoretical issues that have emerged in their wake. During the term we will address some of the key categories that are specific to new media: computation, information and data, networks, machines & the artificial, digital capitalism as well examine how new media processes and practices have impinged upon and reconfigured crucial areas of social life

J610 Experimental Course: Political Communication (4 credits)
This course examines some central controversies, theories, and research questions about the role of the media in elections and in governing. Some key questions we will consider are: How do political actors attempt to manage the news, and how does that matter? What framing and persuasion strategies do politicians employ to shape public opinion and voter behavior? How do standard routines for covering politics affect the quality of the news the public receives and the ability of political officials to lead? And how have elite strategies and news coverage been transformed by the rise of today’s “hybrid” media system? This course will focus more on the supply side of political communication than the demand side—that is, on the actors, organizations, and systems that shape the political messages people receive. We will also focus primarily on media and politics in the United States.

J610 Experimental Course: Visual Theory (4 credits)
Visual theory examines the power of seeing as a way of knowing and living. Grounded in cross-disciplinary theory, the seminar explores how images emerge from and affect our understanding of the world, our perceptions of the real and the illusory, and the processes of living and doing. We will examine ways we interweave galleries of the mind with external media forms to express meaning and shape stories of the self and others.

J611 Mass Communication and Society (4 credits)
Review the literature of mass communication and get an introduction to graduate study in journalism and communication.

J612 Media Theory I (5 credits)
This is the first course of a two-part sequence introducing students to media theory, you will focus on the social scientific tradition. Sequence with J613, J614.

J613 Media Theory II (5 credits)
This is the second course in a two-part sequence focuses on critical approaches. Sequence with J612.

J617 Media and Identity (4 credits)
Within critical/cultural-oriented media studies, the subject of identity and its relationship to media representation, production, and use is inevitably related to issues of power, agency, and resistance. This course uses a survey of research primarily focused on Black American media representation, production, and fandom to introduce students to various theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of media and identity. Through weekly discussions, students will engage in scholarly analysis and critique of the assigned readings and think through how specific theories and/or methods of research can be applied to their own research projects.

J629 Media and Communication Ethics: [Topic] (4 credits)
This course explores ethical issues facing media workers and media users in culture and society today. Topics may include digital ethics, strategic communication ethics, visual ethics, and global media ethics.

J641 Qualitative Research Methods (4 credits)
Get an introduction to qualitative research methods including traditional historical inquiry, oral history, ethnography, and participant observation.

J642 Quantitative Research Methods (4 credits)
Learn about and analyze quantitative research methods in terms of design, measurement, inference, and validity, with a focus on conceptualization in communication research.

J644 Philosophy of Communication (4 credits)
Explore the philosophical foundations of communication in the United States, including political philosophies that range from Milton to McLuhan.

J646 Political Economy of Communication (4 credits)
Get an introduction to the political economy of communication. This course includes such issues as ownership and control patterns, and the role of the state, labor, intellectual property rights, and international markets.

J648 Cultural Approaches to Communication (4 credits)
Examine communication and mediated communication as cultural processes in the production and reproduction of social systems.

J649 International Communication (4 credits)
Examine global communication structures and processes and their consequences. Topics include new technologies, news and information organizations, cross-cultural uses of Western media, and information policies.

J660 Advanced Research Methods: [Topic] (4 credits)
Explore specific qualitative or quantitative communication research methods. Topics may include discourse analysis, oral history, historical methods, legal methods, content analysis, survey methods, document analysis, ethnography, advanced qualitative methods, and experimental design. Repeatable when topic changes.


Need some guidance? Here are a few options:

  1. Download our graduate handbook for more details about program requirements and resources.
  2. Contact Amy Boutell, director of graduate affairs and student experience, with questions about the program, the application process, and admission.