This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goals

The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture prepares effective and skilled communicators through quality instruction, advising and student services, based on real-world applications. Through research, professional service and scholarship in applied communications, the school advances the knowledge and practice of a multidisciplinary and evolving media environment. The school values truth, ethics, creativity, innovation, collaboration, cultural diversity, shared governance and community engagement.

The M.S. in Mass Communications with a concentration in media leadership is designed to prepare students to work in a highly competitive and multiple-platform (print, broadcast, online/digital) news environment. The program is for recent graduates who have an undergraduate degree in journalism or a related field, or for more experienced journalists who want to upgrade their professional skills. All courses are offered online.

Student learning outcomes

Mass communications core outcomes

1. Students graduating from this program will demonstrate higher level skills in critical thinking.

2. Students graduating from this program will master written and multimedia platforms to communicate clearly and effectively to inform and engage audiences.

3. Students graduating from this program will demonstrate the ability to conduct foundational research applicable to mass communication.

4. Students graduating from this program will be able to apply tools and technologies required for mass communication workplaces.

Media leadership concentration-specific outcomes 

1. Students specializing in this concentration will demonstrate media leadership skills, including entrepreneurial, managerial and writing competencies that show they are capable of leading a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.S. Summer Mar 15

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant field or a degree in a non-related field with relevant work experience

  • A detailed resume/CV showing work and/or educational experience in the relevant field

  • Three work samples

  • Responses to five questions from the admissions committee

  • URL where committee members can learn more about the applicant

For international students, the following is required: 

  • An official transcript evaluation from a recognized foreign educational credentials evaluation service accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

  • A Test of English as a Foreign Language minimum composite score of 100 for the internet-based test or 600 for the paper-based test; or an International English language Testing System minimum score of 6.5 on the academic exam

  • A minimum score of 68 on the VCU English Language Program Compression test (Students who do not achieve a score of 68 will be placed in the appropriate level English language proficiency courses.)

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete 30 credits of core courses.

Credit hour requirements: This degree requires 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate, all of which are in the mass communication discipline. 

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Core requirements
MASC 611Communication Research3
MASC 645Digital Production3
MASC 675Leadership in Action3
MASC 676Media Law and Ethics3
MASC 694Capstone3
Concentration requirements
MASC 600Managing Your Media Career3
MASC 643Digital Management and Analytics3
MASC 679Writing Across Modern Media3
MASC 687Entrepreneurial Media Management 3
MASC 691Topics in Mass Communications3
Total Hours30

The minimum number of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 30.

Karen McIntyre
Associate professor and graduate program director
(804) 625-4929

Program website: