Studies of Global Media - M.A. Degree Requirements

About the Program

This program is offered by the School of Journalism. All of the courses for this degree may be taken within the program. We have partnerships with the Human Rights Practice Program, the Information School, and the International Security Studies program for students to take select electives in those programs. 


The flexible curriculum allows students to enter the program in the fall, summer, or spring semester, during the first or second sessions. The courses complement one another yet require no prerequisites. The M.A. could be earned in one year yet students generally take 18 months to two years to complete the work. Part-time students are welcome.

Course Requirements

You must complete a minimum of 31 units to earn a master’s degree in Studies of Global Media. This includes four required course, which are three credits each, and a one-credit capstone. Of the remaining credits to complete the degree, 18 are elective credits. Three of those electives (nine credits) must be in the Studies of Global Media program.

All course work will be based on graduate-level work. Credits earned in the 500-level section of a co-convened course (400/500) will be accepted toward graduate degree.

Core Courses

The capstone may be a professional portfolio, a professional project or an academic paper. Professional Portfolio allows students to compile a dossier that aggregates and adds to work from the program. This could include but is not limited to a website for prospective employers that showcases a professional biography, updated résumé or CV, and writing or multimedia samples. Professional Project allows those with professional experience in journalism to complete a journalistic project for the degree. Those with nonprofit, governmental, intergovernmental or policy work background may write a grant proposal, policy paper, global media studies course development or other major work for the capstone. Academic Paper allows those with theoretical, conceptual and methodological backgrounds to complete a small study for the capstone. Students selecting this option must have taken Global Media Theories, Concepts & Research Methods.
This course explores the concept of disinformation and theories of propaganda to contextualize contemporary issues in cases around the world. Also covered are the spread of online misinformation and disinformation, the growing issue of information security in open and closed media ecosystems, public receptiveness to correcting misinformation and disinformation, surveillance tactics targeting journalists and tools for verifying information in text, images, video and audio.
The documentary genre has long focused on social, cultural, political, economic and environmental issues. This course begins with a selective overview of the history of documentary journalism beginning in the 1920s, then takes a multicultural global perspective of documentary work by comparing and contrasting efforts from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the United States.
Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association and movement, and rights to public information among other rights are explored in global, regional and country contexts. This course provides historical, philosophical, legal, political, societal and cultural perspectives about values related to online and offline freedom of expression and access to public information in a global context.
Students explore ethics questions related to cultural bias, political and economic pressure, diverse representation, accuracy, privacy, national security and other pressures on news media. This course provides students with a framework to think critically about media’s obligations to the public. Analyses examine ethical philosophies as they relate to both citizen-driven media and journalists’ roles and responsibilities in various societies and governmental systems around the world.

Elective Courses

Students examine the strengths and weaknesses of various media systems using comparative theoretical and conceptual approaches. This course explores some of the economic, political, societal and cultural influences that contribute to both differences and similarities among news media systems. Students explore the impact of state interventions, market-oriented policies and media development initiatives on national media, as well as the influence of transnational news organizations in shaping the global news agenda.
This class examines the law of digital communications, including freedom of expression and information online, cybersecurity, surveillance, intellectual property, cooperation/collaboration, libel, privacy, hate speech and regulatory mechanisms. Students learn how to follow current law while engaging with digital communications. Also covered are historical and theoretical foundations of the law of digital communications and professional, ethical and legal decisions about digital communications in a global context.
Geographical and political boundaries have resulted in fascinating, sometimes contentious, circumstances for the peoples who live in border regions across the globe, and often become the focus of media coverage. In this course, students examine news media coverage in border regions around the world, paying specific attention to contested areas, such as the borders of Mexico/U.S., Palestine/Israel, North Korea/South Korea and Russia/Ukraine.
This course introduces the study of migrations, diasporic transnationalism and the media in Latin America. Students examine historical perspectives and contemporary trends in migrations from Latin America to Europe, Asia and North America (South-North) as well as migration news within Latin American (South-South).
This course analyzes the history of Latinxs in the United States. Students also examine the history of Latino-oriented, Spanish-language and bilingual news media, as well as news coverage of Latinos and Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.
This course investigates the history and coverage of acts of state and nonstate terror, the interplay between terrorism and societies around the world and media content about acts of terror. Students explore how news media portray terrorism and terrorists, the effects of terrorism and media portrayal of terrorism on the public and the use of propaganda by terror groups and other entities.
Students learn of the role and responsibilities of national, transnational and social media in promoting human rights and cultural understanding and in documenting human rights violations at varying levels, such as government oppression, civil or political turmoil, armed conflict, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Conversely, the course also examines the role of human rights instruments and monitoring in protecting media workers and rights to free expression.
This course examines how the global broadcast, print and digital news media cover major environmental news and issues around the world and how journalists’ investigations have led to change. The course also highlights the complicated nature of environmental reporting, including interacting with myriad stakeholders, assessing risk, interfacing with scientific uncertainty and racing against deadlines and extinctions.
Students examine the role and responsibility of global news organizations and citizen-based social media in reporting on humanitarian crises that may stem from natural disaster, climate change, the impact of globalization, conflict or social upheaval. This course explores the dynamic interaction among news producers, relief organizations, policymakers, the public and those directly affected by humanitarian crises
This course focuses on historical and contemporary issues involving news media in Latin America and the Caribbean. The class concentrates on two sides of the same coin — first, how the global news media have portrayed Latin America and the Caribbean and second, how the news media in Latin America and the Caribbean have covered global news.
Students gain an understanding of the challenges that media professionals face when reporting on a region with competing narratives, authoritarian regimes, citizen resistance, extremist movements and sporadic or ongoing conflict. This course provides an in-depth exploration of regional media organizations as both agents of social change and as reflections of their sociocultural, economic and political environments.
This course focuses on journalistic investigations and collaborations in the public interest within and across countries. Students analyze large-scale projects that have used various tools for investigations, including big data and public records. The course also examines major investigations and collaborations among news media outlets, journalists, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders.
Students explore major theories and concepts in the field of journalism studies and innovative ways they have been applied in academic and other research to news content, government documents, transcripts of discourse, social media content, visuals, audio, graphics and other media. The course delves into the growing body of literature on the “de-westernization” of theorizing and researching phenomenon in the field of journalism and media studies.
Communicating accurate information to the public about science, health and medicine is more important now than ever. This course examines how misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and cultural cognition influence science and medical news, creating a knowledge gap between the public and our scientific and medical experts. Learn how this knowledge gap was created and what can we do about it.
This course examines the rapidly shifting arena of armed conflict and political violence in an intensively and expansively mediated era. Students explore traditional journalistic business, culture and ethics in covering war and the more recent impact of technological transformations, focusing on new digital and social media forms employed by multiple actors and stakeholders.
This course surveys the history and functions of social justice media from the 19th century abolition movement to today’s online forms of global social justice journalism. Students consider the theoretical and practical frameworks of social justice media, which serve a swathe of social movements involving human and civil rights, education, labor, immigration, globalization, feminism, environmentalism, ethnic and racial equality, transgender rights and global inequity.

Future courses

  • Science, (Mis)Information and the Media
  • Media in Asia
  • Media in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Solutions Journalism
  • Media Development
  • Media, Protest & Sports
  • Indigenous Media
  • Food, Media & Politics