Larry Foley
School Chair
205 Kimpel Hall

Dale Carpenter
Graduate Coordinator
205 Kimpel Hall

School of Journalism and Strategic Media Website

Degree Conferred:

Program Description: The purposes of the Journalism M.A. program are to refine the conceptual knowledge and skills of graduate journalism students through advanced writing, production and/or theory and methods courses, to offer comprehensive, media-related courses; and to provide expertise in an additional academic discipline.

Primary Areas of Faculty Research:  Faculty produce award-winning documentary films; cover national news stories on politics, government, business, and crime; report investigative stories using government databases; and research and publish in national journals on mass media effects, risk disclosures on responses to prescription drug ads, advertising clearance questions, management, and advertising ethics.  

M.A. in Journalism

Areas of Study: Advanced journalism studies are supplemented with six hours of graduate-level requirements in a second academic discipline. The purposes of the Journalism M.A. program are to refine the conceptual knowledge and skills of graduate journalism students through advanced writing, production and/or theory and methods courses, to offer comprehensive, media-related courses; and to provide expertise in an additional academic discipline.

Prerequisites to Degree Program: Students must have appropriate professional experience and/or an undergraduate degree in the journalism field that is approved by the graduate coordinator or the Journalism Graduate Faculty Committee as preparation for graduate study. A student must have a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.00 and should earn a minimum score of 300 on the verbal and quantitative parts of the Graduate Record Examinations (including a minimum score of 151 on the verbal part), and a minimum score of 4.5 on the analytical writing section.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree: In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, the Master of Arts degree in Journalism requires a minimum of 30 semester hours with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00. Students must complete:

  1. 18 hours of graduate credit in journalism; all students must take JOUR 5023 Journalism Theory  and  JOUR 5043 Research Methods in Journalism.
  2. 6 hours of graduate credit in a single department other than journalism chosen by the student and approved by the graduate coordinator or the Journalism Graduate Faculty Committee, and
  3. A master’s thesis (6 semester hours).

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.

Requirements for the Five-Year Bachelor/Master of Arts Degree: In the Five-Year Bachelor/Master of Arts program, students can complete requirements for both the B.A. and the M.A. degrees in five years. Students apply for “conditional admission” to the program before the end of the first semester of their junior year. They may then take 6 to 12 hours of graduate coursework as undergraduates, to apply exclusively toward the M.A. degree. After receiving the B.A., they spend a fifth year completing the M.A.. This may involve some summer school coursework.

Requirements for conditional admission to the Five-Year B.A./M.A. program include:

  • Enrollment in the Journalism B.A. program.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 in all semesters of undergraduate study.
  • All other admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Journalism M.A. program.

Students may continue into the M.A. program in the fifth-year conditional on the following:

  • Completion of a Journalism B.A. degree at the UA.
  • Renewal of their application to the UA Graduate School.
  • Continuation of a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all semesters of undergraduate study.
  • Achieving satisfactory GRE scores: a minimum of 300 on the verbal and quantitative parts of the exam (including a minimum score of 151 on the verbal part), and a minimum score of 4.5 on the analytical writing section.
  • Taking all coursework in the senior year and in graduate school at the UA.

Special guidelines:  Students who have maintained a GPA of 3.5 or above in all semesters of their undergraduate study may petition for admission to the program without taking the GRE. Of the maximum 12 hours of graduate courses, these students may count up to 6 hours of Journalism 5000-level coursework toward both the B.A. and the M.A. degree. However, a grade of B or better is required in the 6 hours, and the courses must be approved by a student’s Master’s Advisory Committee or the journalism graduate coordinator. 

Specific guidelines for graduate courses taken by undergraduates who apply to the Five-Year program: After completing the B.A., students may request retroactive graduate credit for up to 12 hours of JOUR 5000-level courses taken in the final 12 months of their undergraduate degree. The courses will be counted if:

  • The courses were taken on the UA, Fayetteville campus in the Journalism program.
  • The student was in good standing.
  • The courses were 5000-level or above.
  • The courses were not used for the B.A. degree.
  • The student earned a grade of B or better.
  • The courses are approved by the student’s Master’s Advisory Committee or the Journalism graduate coordinator. Petition to the Graduate School will be done either by the student’s advisory committee or the graduate coordinator.

Graduate Faculty

Brown, Lucy M., Ph.D., M.A. (University of Texas, Austin), M.S. (Pratt Institute), Dip.G.A. (Edna Manley School for the Visual Arts, Jamaica), Clinical Assistant Professor, 2013.
Carpenter, Dale, M.A. (Emory University), B.A. (Vanderbilt University), Professor, 1994.
Chung, Jee-Young, Ph.D. (University of Alabama), M.A. (University of Houston), B.S., B.A. (Seoul Women’s University), Assistant Professor, 2015.
Foley, Larry D., M.S. (University of Central Arkansas), B.A. (University of Arkansas), Professor, 1993.
Fosu, Ignatius, Ph.D., M.A. (University of Alabama), B.A. (University of Ghana, Accra), Associate Professor, 2005.
Gould, Kara, Ph.D. (University of Utah), M.A. (Wheaton College), B.A. (Wheaton College), Assistant Professor, 2016.
Jordan, Gerald Bernard, M.S.J. (Northwestern University), B.A. (University of Arkansas), Associate Professor, 1995.
King, Tiffany, M.A. (University of Arkansas), B.J. (University of Missouri), Instructor, 2014.
Martin, Kim I., M.A., B.S.Ed. (University of Arkansas), Instructor, 1997.
McCaffrey, Raymond, Ph.D. (University of Maryland), M.A. (University of Colorado), M.A. (Columbia University), B.A. (Fairfield University), Assistant Professor, 2014.
Minor, Ray, M.A. (Northwestern University), B.A. (University of Arkansas), Instructor, 2012.
Schulte, Bret J., M.F.A. (George Mason University), B.A. (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Associate Professor, 2008.
Starling-Ledbetter, Robyn M., M.A., B.A. (University of Arkansas), Instructor, 2007.
Watkins, Patsy, Ph.D. (University of Iowa), M.A., B.A. (University of Texas, Austin), Associate Professor, 1983.
Wells, Rob, Ph.D. (University of Maryland), M.A. (St. John's College), Assistant Professor, 2016.
Wicks, Jan L., Ph.D., M.A. (Michigan State University), B.A. (University of Southwest Louisiana), Professor, 1994.


JOUR 5003. Advanced Reporting. 3 Hours.

Stresses public affairs coverage, interpretive, investigative, and analytic journalism, involving research, work with documents, public records, and budgets and specialized reporting.

JOUR 5013. Advanced Radio News Reporting. 3 Hours.

(Formerly JOUR 4033.) Intensive training in the production of in-depth, public radio style news stories. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both JOUR 4033 and JOUR 5013. Prerequisite: JOUR 2032 and JOUR 2031L, each with a grade of C or better.

JOUR 5023. Journalism Theory. 3 Hours.

Examination of the major journalism and mass media theories and conceptual perspectives regarding journalism, news, mass media, advertising and public relations relevant to industry and academic researchers and professionals.

JOUR 5033. Critical and Opinion Writing and Commentary. 3 Hours.

Experience in writing and analyzing columns, editorials, criticism, and other forms of opinion and commentary in the media and in examining the media's role as a forum for opinion and commentary and its impact and influence.

JOUR 5043. Research Methods in Journalism. 3 Hours.

Research methods of utility in journalism. Emphasis on survey research, electronic data base searching, and traditional library research. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or honors program standing.

JOUR 5063. Issues in Advertising and Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Seminar course involving the critical examination of the major cultural, social, political, economic, ethical, and persuasion theories and/or issues relevant to advertising and public relations affecting individuals, organizations, societies. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

JOUR 5073. Propaganda and Public Opinion. 3 Hours.

Examines and analyzes the means of influencing and measuring public opinion, with an emphasis on survey research and polling.

JOUR 5133. Ethics in Journalism. 3 Hours.

A seminar examining the professional ethical principles and ethical performance in the journalism field. The ethical performance of the mass media dedicated to news, public relations and advertising is evaluated based on ethical theories and industry standards. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

JOUR 5163. Computer-Assisted Publishing. 3 Hours.

(Formerly JOUR 4063.) In-depth, hands-on exploration of computer hardware and software in the design and production of media messages. Examination of developing media technologies and the computer's influence on design and conceptualization. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both JOUR 4063 and JOUR 5163.

JOUR 5173. Social Media and Journalism. 3 Hours.

(Formerly JOUR 4073.) Social Media and Journalism teaches conceptual knowledge and skills to develop news judgment and use changing technological tools to disseminate news quickly and to different audiences. The value of interacting with sources and the audience is stressed as are ethical, legal and accuracy issues. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both JOUR 4073 and JOUR 5173. Prerequisite: JOUR 2013 or JOUR 2032 with a grade of C or better.

JOUR 5183. International Mass Communications. 3 Hours.

Examination of national media systems, issues in international communications, the role of the media in coverage of international affairs, and the impact of new technologies on mass communications.

JOUR 5193. Professional Journalism Seminar. 3 Hours.

Examination of complex problems encountered by professional journalists with focus on research and analysis of the role of journalism in major social, economic, and political developments. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

JOUR 5233. Media and Public Policy. 3 Hours.

Focuses on the interaction between media, politics, government, and public policy, particularly on the impact and influence of the media on the public policy agenda.

JOUR 5313. Literature of Journalism. 3 Hours.

A study of superior works of non-fiction journalism, past and present. Includes authors from Daniel Defoe to John McPhee.

JOUR 5323. Documentary Production I. 3 Hours.

In-depth study of documentary film as non-fiction, long form journalism. Covers subject, funding, research and development, pre-production planning, field production, talent, music, post production, promotion, broadcast and distribution. Required trip to Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

JOUR 5333. Documentary Production II. 3 Hours.

A continuation of JOUR 5323, Documentary Production I. Students photograph, write, and edit a documentary begun in the fall semester. Prerequisite: JOUR 5323.

JOUR 5463. Campaigns. 3 Hours.

(Formerly JOUR 4463.) Applying advertising principles and techniques to preparation of a complete campaign; determining agency responsibilities, marketing objectives and research, media mix, and creative strategy. Emphasis also given to campaign presentation delivery, utilizing audio and visual techniques. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both JOUR 4463 and JOUR 5463. Prerequisite: JOUR 3723 and JOUR 3743, each with a grade of B or better, and 2.5 overall GPA.

JOUR 5473. Account Planning. 3 Hours.

An introduction to applied advertising research and account planning. Integrate consumers' perspectives into creative strategy to developing brand stories for clients. Write creative briefs, positioning statements and prepare copy-testing research instruments to evaluate messages. Utilize consumer research for creating messages for diverse cultures. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

JOUR 5503. Magazine Writing. 3 Hours.

(Formerly JOUR 4503.) This intensive writing and reporting course is for students with proven feature-writing skills and an interest in the human-interest stories found in such leading magazines as The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper's, the Atlantic, and others. Students will compose magazine-length nonfiction stories on timely subjects under deadline. Stories are submitted for contests and publication, when possible. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both JOUR 4503 and JOUR 5503. Prerequisite: JOUR 2013 with a grade of C or better.

JOUR 5883. Advanced Television News Production. 3 Hours.

(Formerly JOUR 4883.) Continuation of JOUR 4873. Students prepare and present television newscasts for air. Laboratory component arranged. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both JOUR 4883 and JOUR 5883. Corequisite: Lab component. Prerequisite: JOUR 4873 with a grade of C or better.

JOUR 5903. Community Journalism. 3 Hours.

(Formerly JOUR 4903.) This three-hour course will blend student reporting and editing skills with instruction on how regional newspapers select and present news to a local audience. This course will instruct students in deciding news stories for regional readers, how those stories can best be written and displayed. The semester goal is to publish a paper. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both JOUR 4903 and JOUR 5903.

JOUR 5923. History of the Black Press. 3 Hours.

Covers the historic context of contributions and innovations to U.S. newspapers by African Americans. Also investigates the role of the black press from its beginnings in 1827 through the civil rights movement.

JOUR 600V. Master's Thesis. 1-6 Hour.

Required of all M.A. journalism students. May be repeated for degree credit.