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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. 

Who We Are

Master's Programs:

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

As the Senior Graduate Advisor, Jean McGee advises all of our graduate students, full-time, part-time, and weekend. Current students who wish to schedule an appointment with Jean, please reach out directly via e-mail.

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

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Please contact Jean directly via email, jmcgee@american.edu

Program of Study Worksheets

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023. Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses:

COMM-610: Principles of Video Production (3 credits) (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2022
COMM-663: Techniques & Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits) (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2022
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits)
Fall 2022
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Fall 2022
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits)
Spring 2023
COMM-651: The Story of Film (3 credits)
Spring 2022
COMM-613: Producing for Film & Video (3 credits)  
Fall 2023
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits) 
Fall 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2024
Approved Elective  
Spring 2024
Approved Elective
Fall 2024
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
Fall 2024

OR

COMM-638: Production Practicum (3 credits)  
Fall 2024

OR

COMM-691: Internship
Fall 2024

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023. Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses:

COMM-663: Techniques & Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits) (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2022
COMM-610: Principles of Video Production (3 credits) (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2022
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits)
Fall 2022
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits) 
Fall 2022
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Fall 2022
COMM-651: The Story of Film (3 credits)  
Spring 2023
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits)
Spring 2023
Approved Elective  
Spring 2023
COMM-613: Producing for Film & Video (3 credits) 
Fall 2023
Approved Elective
Fall 2023
Approved Elective
Fall 2023
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)  
Spring 2024

OR

COMM-638: Production Practicum (3 credits) 
Spring 2024

OR

COMM-691: Film & Media Arts Internship (3 credits)
Spring 2024

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023 Subject to change as warranted.  

The 54 credit hours, of coursework must include:

Required Courses:

COMM-610: Principles of Video Production (3 credits)  (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2022
COMM-663:  Techniques and Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits) (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2022
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits) 
Fall 2022
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Fall 2022
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits) 
Fall 2022
COMM-651:  The Story of Film (3 credits)
Spring 2023
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits) 
Spring 2023
Requirement from Concentration Area (3 credits) 
Spring 2023
COMM-613: Producing Film & Video (3 credits) 
Fall 2023
COMM-701: Graduate Seminar in Film Theory & Practice (3 credits) 
Fall 2023
Requirement from Concentration Area (3 credits)
Fall 2023
COMM-711:  Teaching Seminar in Communication (3 credits)
Spring 2024
Elective from Concentration Area (3 credits) 
Spring 2024
Elective from Concentration Area (3 credits) 
Spring 2024
COMM-702: Master’s Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)   
Fall 2024
Electives from Concentration Area (3 credits)  
Fall 2024
COMM-702: Master’s Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
Spring 2025
Elective from Concentration Area (3 credits)
Spring 2025

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 – 2023. Subject to change as warranted.
 
The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required Courses:

GAME-601: Game Prototyping (3 credits) 
Fall 2022
GAME-605: Games, History, and Society (3 credits) 
Fall 2022
GAME-612 Digital Art Tools & Techniques (3 Credits)
Fall 2022
COMM-610: Game Research Methods (3 credits)
Spring 2023
COMM-615: Game Development (3 credits)   
Spring 2023
Approved Elective (3 credits) 
Spring 2023
GAME-620 Making Meaningful Games (3 credits)
Fall 2023
GAME-625 Game Development II (3 credits)
Fall 2023
Approved Elective (3 credits)  
Fall 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2024
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (6 credits)
Spring 2024
 
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 2021 - 2022) Subject to change as warranted.  

The 54 credit hours, of coursework must include:

Required Courses:

COMM 610: Principles of Film and Video Production (3) (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2021
COMM-663: Techniques/Aesthetics of Editing (3) (Minimum “B” (3.00) required.)
Summer 2021
GAME 601: Game Prototyping (3) 
Fall 2021
GAME 605: Games, History, and Society (3)
Fall 2021
Approved Elective (3)  
Fall 2021
GAME 610: Game Research Methods (3)
Spring 2022
GAME 615: Game Development I (3)
Spring 2022
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy and Skills (3)
Spring 2022
COMM 620: Writing for Interactivity (3)
Fall 2022
GAME 625: Game Development II (3)
Fall 2022
GAME 620: Making Meaningful Games (3) 
Fall 2022
COMM 711: Teaching Seminar (3) 
Spring 2023
Approved Elective (6) 
Spring 2023


Additional Required Courses:

COMM 702: Masters Portfolio Capstone (6)
GAME 691: Internship (6)

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023) 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 2022
COMM-724: Reporting of Public Affairs (Required for all tracks.)
Fall 2022
COMM-621: Community News Reporting  (Required for all tracks.) 
Fall 2022
COMM-601: Communication Law (Required for all tracks.)
Spring 2023

Specialties-Choose either Investigative, International, or Broadcast

Investigative Journalism Specialty (9 credit hours)

COMM-700: Investigative Journalism Practicum
Fall 2022 or Spring 2023
COMM-607: International Investigative Journalism 
Fall 2022
COMM-618: Data Driven Journalism
Fall 2022
COMM-619: In-Depth Journalism
Spring 2023

International Journalism Specialty (9 credit hours)

COMM-607: International Investigative Journalism
Fall 2022
COMM-544: Foreign Correspondence
Spring 2023
COMM-643: Foreign Policy and the Press
Spring 2023

Broadcast Journalism Specialty (9 credit hours)

COMM-721: Digital Audio Production 
Fall 2022
COMM-632: Backpack Video Journalism 
Spring 2023
COMM-722 Advanced Television and Video Production
Spring 2023

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

COMM-720: Capstone Seminar in Journalism (Must earn “B” (3.0) or better)
Summer 2023
COMM-725: In-Depth Broadcast Production Capstone (Must earn “B” (3.0) or better)
Summer 2023

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

COMM-509: Politics and the Media
Fall 2022
COMM-521: Opinion Writing 
Fall 2022
COMM-544: Foreign Correspondence
Spring 2023
COMM-588: Race, Ethnic & Community Reporting 
Spring 2023
COMM-617: Fundamentals of News Design
Spring 2023
COMM-620: Topics in Mass Media: Investigative Broadcast Journalism 
Spring 2023
COMM-620:  Topics in Mass Media:  Podcasting Tools & Techniques
Summer 2023
COMM-622: Writing for Convergent Media
Fall 2022
COMM-625: Innovation & Media Industry 
Summer 2023
COMM-691: Graduate Internship (One 3 credit internship is allowed in the MA program)
Spring 2023 or Summer 2023
COMM-717: Photography & Visual Storytelling   
Spring 2023

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023. 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
Fall 2022
GOVT-643 Applied Political Writing (offered fall & spring) 
Spring 2023 or Fall 2023
COMM-628 or GOVT-628 Proseminar in Political Communication (1 credit) (to be taken 2nd fall semester)
Fall 2023
COMM-639 Political Communication (offered spring or summer)   
Spring or Summer 2023
COMM 640 Principles of Strategic Communication (to be taken 1st fall semester) 
Fall 2022
COMM-735 Communication Theory (to be taken 1st spring semester)  
Spring 2023
COMM-738 Research for Strategic Communication (to be taken 1st fall semester) 
Fall 2022

Required Institutes (5 credits):

Select one of the 4 credit courses:

GOVT-520: Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (4 credits)
Spring 2023 Intersession or Summer 2023

OR

GOVT-523: The Art and Craft of Lobbying (4 credits) 
Spring 2023 Intersession or Summer 2023

Select one of the 1 credit courses:

GOVT-521: Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (1 credit) (rotating topics)
Spring 2023 or Fall 2023

OR

GOVT-524: Topics in Public Affairs/Advocacy (1 credit) (rotating topics)
Spring 2023 or Fall 2023

Required Capstone (3 credits):

COMM-629 or GOVT-629 Capstone in Political Communication (3 credits) (offered spring only) 
Spring 2024

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 and the Executive Branch
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-608: Social Media Strategies and Tactics
COMM-641: Crisis Communication
Offered spring only
COMM-642: Strategic Communication Management
COMM-643 Foreign Policy and the Press
COMM-644: Writing for Strategic Communication
Offered fall only
COMM-649: International Strategic Communication
Offered spring only

Students must achieve a minimum grade of “B” (3.0) in at least two of these three courses: Principles of Strategic Communication (COMM-640), Communication Theory (COMM-735), and/or Research for Strategic Communication (COMM-738)

Degree requirements effective as of Academic Year 2022- 2023. Subject to change as warranted.

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

Core Courses (15 Credit Hours):

COMM-640: Principles of Strategic Communication
Fall 2022
COMM-644: Writing for Strategic Communication
Fall 2022
COMM-735: Communication Theory
Fall 2022
COMM-738: Research for Strategic Communication
Fall 2023
COMM-744: Strategic Communication Capstone
Spring 2023

Electives: 15 Credit Hours:

Approved Elective
Spring 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2023
Approved Elective
Summer 2023
Approved Elective
Summer 2023

Students must achieve a minimum grade of “B” (3.0) in at least two of these three courses: Principles of Strategic Communication (COMM-640), Communication Theory (COMM-735), and/or Research for Strategic Communication (COMM-738).

Degree requirements effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023. Subject to change as warranted.

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

Core Courses (15 Credit Hours):

COMM-640: Principles of Strategic Communication
Fall 2022
COMM-644: Writing for Strategic Communication
Fall 2022
COMM-735: Communication Theory
Fall 2023
COMM-738: Research for Strategic Communication
Fall 2023
COMM-744: Strategic Communication Capstone
Spring 2024

Electives: 15 Credit Hours:

Approved Elective
Spring 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2023
Approved Elective
Summer 2023
Approved Elective
Summer 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2024

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 – 2023. Subject to change as warranted.

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

Core Courses (21 Credit Hours):

COMM-750: Advanced Media Theory
Fall 2022
COMM-751: Advanced Media Research Methods
Fall 2022
COMM-704: Media, Technology and Democracy
Fall 2022
COMM-754: Media, Law & Policy
Spring 2023
COMM-756: Media, Technology, and Democracy Practicum
Spring 2023
COMM-755: Research Design in Communication
Summer 2023
COMM-797: Master’s Thesis Research
Summer 2023

Electives (9 Credit Hours)

Approved Elective
Fall 2022
Approved Elective
Spring 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2023

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 – 2023. Subject to change as warranted.

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

Core Courses (21 Credit Hours):

COMM-750: Advanced Media Theory
Fall 2022
COMM-751: Advanced Media Research Methods
Fall 2022
COMM-754: Media, Law & Policy
Spring 2023
COMM-755: Research Design in Communication
Summer 2023
COMM-704: Media, Technology and Democracy
Fall 2023
COMM-756: Media, Technology, and Democracy Practicum
Spring 2024
COMM-797: Master’s Thesis Research
Summer 2024

Electives (9 Credit Hours)

Approved Elective
Spring 2023
Approved Elective
Fall 2023
Approved Elective
Spring 2024

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023.  Subject to change as warranted.

The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

COMM-622: Writing/Editing for Convergent Media
Fall 2022
COMM-652: Web Studio
Fall 2022
COMM-717: Photography & Visual Storytelling
Spring 2023
COMM-632: Backpack Video Journalism
Spring 2023
COMM-601: Communication Law
Summer 2023
COMM-625: Innovation and the Media Industry
Summer 2023
COMM-719: The Past, Present, & Future of Longform Storytelling 
Fall 2023
COMM-620: Topics in Mass Media: Storytelling with Audio 
Fall 2023
COMM-618: Data-Driven Journalism
Spring 2024
COMM-720: Capstone Seminar in Journalism
Spring 2024

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 – 2023. Subject to change as warranted.
 
The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media
Fall 2022
COMM-660 Developing Fiction Productions
Fall 2022
COMM-661 Developing Nonfiction Productions
Spring 2023
COMM-601: Communication Law
Spring 2023
COMM-662: Production Planning and Management
Summer 2023
COMM-665: Film & TV Marketing Concepts and Strategies 
Summer 2023
COMM-674: The Business of Television  
Fall 2023
COMM-659: International Film and TV Markets
Fall 2023
COMM-671: Media Enterprise I: Establishing the Enterprise
Spring 2024
COMM-702: Masters Portfolio Capstone 
Spring 2024

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2022 - 2023. Subject to change as warranted.  

The 33 credit hours, of coursework, exclusive of COMM-898/COMM-899 must include:

COMM-704 Media, Technology, and Democracy (3) 
Fall 2022
COMM-750 Advanced Media Theory (3)   
Fall 2022
COMM-751 Advanced Media Research Methods (3)
Fall 2022
COMM-754 Media Law and Policy (3)   
Spring 2023
COMM-711 Teaching Seminar (3) 
Spring 2023
Statistics or research methods course or Elective (3) 
Spring 2023
COMM-755 Research Design in Communication (3) 
Summer 2023
COMM-860 Seminar in Doctoral Research (3)
Fall 2023
Statistics or research methods course and Elective (3) or Approved Electives (6)
Fall 2023
COMM-861 Advanced Research and Project Development (3)   
Spring 2024
COMM-898 Doctoral Continuing Enrollment (6)  
Spring 2024
COMM-899 Doctoral Dissertation (9)  
Fall 2024
COMM-899 Doctoral Dissertation (9)   
Spring 2025

Schedules for Weekend Students

  • Classes Begin — August 29
    Labor Day — September 5
    Thanksgiving — November 26

1st Session

  • September 10
    September 17
    September 24
    October 1
    October 8 — Work day*
    October 15
    October 22

2nd Session

  • October 29
    November 5
    November 12
    November 19
    November 26 — OFF Thanksgiving*
    December 3
    December 10 – Study Day
    December 17
  • *May be used as a makeup day in the event class missed due to weather or other reason.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - January 16
    Classes Begin - January 17
    Spring Break - March 12-19
    Commencement - May 12-14

1st Session

  • January 21
    January 28
    February 4
    February 11
    February 18 - Work Day*
    February 25
    March 4

2nd Session

  • March 11
    March 18 - Spring Break
    March 25
    April 1
    April 8 - Work Day* (Easter weekend)
    April 15
    April 22
    April 29

*May be used as a makeup day in the event class missed due to weather or other reason.