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Graduate Advising

At American University, academic advising is a collaborative and purposeful partnership among students, advisors, the School of Communication, and American University as a whole. We take into account our students' diverse backgrounds, interests, and abilities so that we can help you identify and achieve your educational and professional goals. 

As a student, you are responsible for and in charge of the decisions about your academic career. Being responsible for your education means that you understand your graduation requirements and adhere to our academic regulations, deadlines, and procedures. Your academic advisor will collaborate with you to develop a plan that reflects and achieves your personal goals to the greatest extent possible within the limits of university regulations and requirements. 

Master's Programs:

Jean Kinnahan McGee, Graduate Academic Advising Coordinator
Phone: (202) 885-2078
E-mail: jmcgee@american.edu

As the Graduate Advisor, Jean McGee advises all of our graduate students, full-time, part-time, and weekend.

Doctoral Program:

Jean also works closely with doctoral students. She helps doctoral students navigate the course selection process and oversees the electronic submission of dissertations providing guidance on distribution and embargo policy. She works closely with students and faculty to ensure that students meet academic policies and programs standards.

Graduate Advising Drop-in Hours

Mondays through Friday: 9:30-11:30 a.m. 

Other times by appointment 

Graduate Advising Worksheets

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2016 - 2017) Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses:

COMM-610: Film & Media Boot Camp (3 credits)
Summer 2017
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits)
Summer 2017
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Fall 2017
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits)
Fall 2017
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits)(taught entirely online)
Spring 2018 or Summer 2018
COMM-613: Producing for Film & Video (3 credits)
Spring 2018
COMM-651: The Story of Film (3 credits)
Fall 2018
COMM-663: Techniques & Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits)
Fall 2018 (1st 8 weeks)
COMM-603: Web Development (3 credits) (taught entirely online)
Spring 2018 or Summer 2018
Approved Elective
Spring 2018 or Summer 2018
Approved Elective
Fall 2018
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
Summer of Fall 2018

OR

COMM-638: Production Practicum(3 credits)
Summer or Fall 2018

OR

COMM-691: Film & Media Arts Internship
Summer or Fall 2018

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2016 - 2017) Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses:

COMM-610: Film & Media Boot Camp (3 credits)
Summer 2017
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits)
Summer 2017
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Fall 2017
COMM-663: Techniques & Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits)
Fall 2017 (1st 8 weeks)
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits)
Fall 2017
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits) (taught entirely online)
Spring 2018 (1st 8 weeks)
COMM-603: Web Development (3 credits) (taught entirely online)
Spring 2018 (2nd 8 weeks)
COMM-613: Producing for Film & Video (3 credits)
Spring 2018
COMM-651: The Story of Film (3 credits)
Fall 2018
Approved Elective
Fall 2018
Approved Elective
Fall 2018
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
Summer of Fall 2018

OR

COMM-638: Production Practicum(3 credits)
Summer or Fall 2018

OR

COMM-691: Film & Media Arts Internship
Summer or Fall 2018

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2016 - 2017) Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses:

COMM-610: Principles of Video Production (3 credits)
Summer 2017
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits)
Summer 2017
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Fall 2017
COMM-663: Techniques & Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits)
Fall 2017 (1st 8 weeks)
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits)
Fall 2017
COMM-651: The Story of Film (3 credits)
Fall 2017
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits) (taught entirely online)
Spring 2018 (1st 8 weeks)
COMM-603: Web Development (3 credits) (taught entirely online)
Spring 2018 (2nd 8 weeks)
COMM-613: Producing for Film & Video (3 credits)
Spring 2018
Approved Elective
Summer or Fall 2018
Approved Elective
Summer or Fall 2018
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
Summer of Fall 2018

OR

COMM-638: Production Practicum(3 credits)
Summer or Fall 2018

OR

COMM-691: Film & Media Arts Internship
Summer or Fall 2018

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2017 - 2018) Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required Courses:

GAME-601: Game Design & Art Pipeline Production (3 credits)
Fall 2017
GAME-605: Games and Society (3 credits)
Fall 2017
Approved Elective (3 credits)
Spring 2018
COMM-610: Game Research Methods (3 credits)
Spring 2018
COMM-615: Game Development (3 credits)
Spring 2018
Approved Elective (3 credits)
Spring 2018
COMM-620: Games and Rhetoric (3 credits)
Fall 2018
COMM-625: Advanced Game Design (3 credits)
Fall 2018
Approved Elective (3 credits)
Fall 2018
Approved Elective
Fall 2018
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (6 credits) (Minimum grade of "B" (3.00) required)
Spring 2019
Approved Elective (3 credits)
Spring 2019
9 credit hours in electives from varied programs. Students may design a focus with director and advisor approval.

Degree requirements effective as of Academic Year 2017-2018. Subject to change as warranted.

The 39 credit hours of coursework must include:

Core (9 credit hours):

SIS-640 : International Communication (3 credits)
Fall/1st year
COMM-705: Media, Persuasion & Democracy (3 credits)
Fall/1st year
SIS-642: Intercultural Relations (3 credits)
Spring / 1st year

Professional (6 credit hours):

COMM-723:Writing for Media (3 credits)
Fall /1st year
COMM-731: Production Practicum (3 credits)
Spring/1st year

Research Methods (3 credit hours):

COMM-738: Research for Strategic Comm, COMM-751: Advanced Media Research Methods, GAME-610: Game Research Methods, or SIS-600: International Affairs Stats & Methods
Spring 1st year or Fall 2nd Year

Theory (3 credit hours)

COMM-701: Graduate Seminar in Film Theory & Practice, COMM-735: Communication Theory, COMM-750: Advanced Media Theory, or GAME-605: Games and Society
Spring 1st year or Fall 2nd Year

Concentrations (15 credit hours total):

SOC Concentrations (choose 9 credit hours) within one of the following areas:

Journalism: Theoretical
Journalism: Professional
Photojournalism
Strategic Communication and Campaign Management: Theoretical
Strategic Communication and Campaign Management: Professional
Visual Media & Documentary: Professional
Visual Media & Documentary: Theoretical
Digital Media
Game Design
Communication Studies

SIS Concentrations (choose 6 credit hours) within one of the following areas:

Intercultural Relations
Public Diplomacy
Global and Social Media, Technology and Policy
Transnational/International Education

Capstone Requirement (3 credit hours)

COMM-795: Global Media Seminar
Spring/2nd year

Other

Language proficiency
Professional experience

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2017 - 2018) Subject to change as warranted.

The 33 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses (12 credit hours):

COMM-624: Boot Camp for Journalists (Required for all tracks. Must earn "B" (3.0) or better.)
Summer 2017
COMM-724: Reporting of Public Affairs
Fall 2017
COMM-621: Online News Production
Fall 2017
COMM-601: Communication Law (Required for all tracks. Must earn "B" (3.0) or better)
Spring 2018

Specialities-Choose either Investigative, International, or Broadcast

Investigative Journalism Speciality (9 credit hours)

COMM-500: Investigative Journalism Practicum
Fall 2017 or Spring 2018
COMM-607: International Investigative Journalism
Fall 2017
COMM-618: Data Driven Journalism
Fall 2017
COMM-619: In-Depth Journalism
Spring 2018

International Journalism Speciality (9 credit hours)

COMM-648: Topics in International Media: Propaganda or other topic
Fall 2017
COMM-607: International Investigative Journalism
Fall 2017
COMM-645: Global Journalism
Spring 2018
COMM-643: Foreign Policy and the Press
Spring 2018 or Summer 2018

Broadcast Journalism Speciality (9 credit hours)

COMM-721: Digital Audio Production
Fall 2017
COMM-632: Backpack Video Journalism
Spring 2018
COMM-722 Advanced Television and Video Production
Spring 2018/dd>

Capstone (3 credit hours-Choose 1 of the following)

COMM-720: Capstone Seminar in Journalism
Summer 2018
COMM-725: In-Depth Broadcast Production Capstone
Summer 2018

Electives (9 credit hours-Choose 3 of the following)

COMM 503 Broadcast and Multi-Media Journalism Mgt
COMM-509: Politics and the Media
COMM-514: Censorship and Media
COMM-521: Opinion Writing
COMM-544: Foreign Correspondence
COMM-588: Race, Ethnic & Community Reporting
COMM-620: Fundamentals of News Design
COMM-620: Health, Science, & Environmental Reporting
COMM-622: Writing for Convergent Media
COMM-637: Multimedia Storytelling
COMM-691: Graduate Internship (One 3 credit internship is allowed in the MA program)
Spring 2018 or Summer 2018

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2017 - 2018) Subject to change as warranted.

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses (12 credit hours):

COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media
Fall 2017
COMM-660 Developing Fiction Productions
Fall 2017
COMM-661 Developing Nonfiction Productions
Spring 2018
COMM-601: Communication Law
Spring 2018
COMM-662: Production Planning and Management
Summer 2018
COMM-570: Film and Digital Media Institute: Social Media for Producers
Summer 2018
COMM-674: The Business of Television
Fall 2018
COMM-659: International Film and TV Markets
Fall 2018
COMM-671: Media Enterprise I: Establishing the Enterprise*
Spring 2019
COMM-702: Masters Portfolio Capstone *
Spring 2019

* These two are taken "in-lieu-of-thesis" and students have to achieve a grade of B or better in each course.

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2017 - 2018) Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required Core Courses (19 credit hours):

GOVT-620 Applied Politics and Public Policy (offered fall semester only)
Summer 2017
GOVT-643 Applied Political Writing (offered fall & spring)
Fall 2017
COMM-628 Proseminar in Political Communication (1 credit)
Fall 2017
COMM-639 Political Communication (offered spring or summer)
Spring 2018
COMM 640 Principles of Strategic Communication (to be taken 1st fall semester)
Spring 2018
COMM-735 Communication Theory (to be taken 1st spring semester)
Spring 2018
COMM-738 Research for Strategic Communication (to be taken 1st fall semester)
Spring 2018

Required Institutes (5 credits):

Select one of the 4 credit courses:

GOVT-520: Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (4 credits)
Spring or Summer 2018

OR

GOVT-523: The Art and Craft of Lobbying (4 credits)
Spring or Summer 2018

Select one of the 1 credit courses:

GOVT-521: Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (1 credit) (rotating topics)
Spring or Summer 2018

OR

GOVT-524: Topics in Public Affairs/Advocacy (1 credit) (rotating topics)
Spring or Summer 2018

Required Capstone (3 credits):

COMM-648: Topics in International Media: Propaganda or other topic
Fall 2017
COMM-607: International Investigative Journalism
Fall 2017
COMM-645: Global Journalism
Spring 2018
COMM-643: Foreign Policy and the Press
Spring 2018 or Summer 2018

Capstone (3 credit hours-Choose 1 of the following)

COMM-629: Capstone in Political Communication
Spring 2019
GOVT-629: Capstone in Political Communication
Spring 2019

Electives (9 credit hours-Choose 3 of the following)

Government:

GOVT-523: The Art and Craft of Lobbying: European Affairs & Advocacy Institute
Offered summer only in Brussels.
GOVT-644: Political Speechwriting
GOVT-651: The Legislative Process
Offered spring only
GOVT-652: The Presidency, Elections, and Campaigns
Offered fall only
GOVT-656: Voting Behavior, Elections, and Campaigns
Offered fall only
GOVT-682: Women and Politics
GOVT-683: Women, Politics and Public Policy
COMM-684: Women and Political Leadership
GOVT-685: Topics in Women and Politics (offered fall or spring)

Communication:

COMM-509: Politics and the Media
Offered fall only
COMM-521: Opinion Writing
Offered spring only
COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication
Offered fall only
COMM-539: International Strategic Communication
Offered spring only
COMM-540: Social Marketing for Social Impact
Offered spring only
COMM-542: Media Relations
Offered fall only
COMM-543: Speechwriting
Offered spring only
COMM-551: Grassroots Digital Advocacy
Offered spring only
COMM-567: Communication and Social Change
Offered fall only
COMM-579: Political Advertising
Offered spring only
COMM-608: Social Media Strategies and Tactics
COMM-641: Crisis Communication
Offered spring only
COMM-642: Strategic Communication Management
COMM-643: Writing for Strategic Communication
Offered fall only
COMM-649: International Strategic Communication
Offered spring only
COMM-689: Communication, Culture and the Environment

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2016 - 2017) Subject to change as warranted. Something to note: students must take five elective courses (15 credits total) at the 500 level or above, which can include one internship course for a maximum of 3 credits.

Students who want to take classes in lieu of thesis classes must pass COMM-640, COMM-735, or COMM-738 with a minimum of "B" (3.0).

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

Core Courses (18 Credit Hours):

COMM-640: Principles of Strategic Communication
Fall 2017
COMM-644: Writing for Strategic Communication
Fall 2017
COMM-735: Communication Theory
Fall 2017
COMM-738: Research for Strategic Communication
Fall 2017
COMM-744: Strategic Communication Capstone
Spring 2018

Electives: 15 Credit Hours:

Approved Elective
Spring 2018
Approved Elective
Spring 2018
Approved Elective
Spring 2018
Approved Elective
Summer 2018
Approved Elective
Summer 2018

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2016 - 2017) Subject to change as warranted. Something to note: students must take five elective courses (15 credits total) at the 500 level or above, which can include one internship course for a maximum of 3 credits.

Students who want to take classes in lieu of thesis classes must pass COMM-640, COMM-735, or COMM-738 with a minimum of "B" (3.0).

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

Core Courses (18 Credit Hours):

COMM-640: Principles of Strategic Communication
Fall 2017
COMM-644: Writing for Strategic Communication
Fall 2017
COMM-735: Communication Theory
Fall 2018
COMM-738: Research for Strategic Communication
Fall 2018
COMM-744: Strategic Communication Capstone
Spring 2019

Electives: 15 Credit Hours:

Approved Elective
Spring 2018
Approved Elective
Spring 2018
Approved Elective
Summer 2018
Approved Elective
Summer 2018
Approved Elective
Spring 2019

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2016 - 2017). Subject to change as warranted.

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

COMM-622: Writing/Editing for Convergent Media
Fall 2017
COMM-652: Web Studio
Fall 2017
COMM-717: Photography & Visual Storytelling
Spring 2018
COMM-632: Backpack Video Journalism
Spring 2018
COMM-601: Communication Law
Summer 2018
COMM-625: Innovation and the Media Industry
Summer 2018
COMM-719: The Past, Present, & Future of Longform Storytelling
Fall 2018
COMM-620: Topics in Mass Media: Storytelling with Audio
Fall 2018
COMM-618: Data-Driven Journalism
Spring 2019
COMM-720: Capstone Seminar in Journalism
Spring 2019

Schedules for Weekend Students

  • Classes Begin — August 28
  • Labor Day — September 4
  • Fall Break — October 14
  • Thanksgiving — November 24

1st Session

  • September 9
  • September 16
  • September 23
  • September 30 — No class
  • October 7
  • October 14
  • October 21
  • October 28 — No class

2nd Session

  • November 4
  • November 11
  • November 18
  • November 25 (Thanksgiving) — No class
  • December 2
  • December 9
  • December 16
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - January 15
  • Classes Begin - January 17
  • Spring Break - March 6-13
  • Commencement - May 7 & 8

1st Session

  • January 20
  • January 27
  • February 3 - No class for PFTV Cohort 23, class for all others
  • February 10 - Class for PFTV, no class for all others
  • September 30 - No class
  • October 7
  • October 14
  • October 21
  • October 28 - No class

2nd Session

  • November 4
  • November 11
  • November 18
  • November 25 (Thanksgiving) - No class
  • December 2
  • December 9
  • December 16

Note: Feburary 10, March 10, and March 31 could be used as makeup days in the event class missed due to weather-related closure.

  • Commencement - May 12 & 13
  • Memorial Day - May 28

1st Session

  • May 19
  • May 26
  • June 2
  • June 9
  • June 16
  • June 23
  • June 30

2nd Session

  • July 7 - No class
  • July 14
  • July 21
  • July 28
  • August 4
  • August 11
  • August 18