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

Book an Appointment

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 

Program of Study Worksheets

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021. Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses:

COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits)
Summer 2020
COMM-663: Techniques & Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits) 
Summer 2020
COMM-610: Principles of Video Production (3 credits) 
Fall 2020
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits)
Fall 2020
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Spring 2021
COMM-651: The Story of Film (3 credits)
Spring 2021
COMM-613: Producing for Film & Video (3 credits)  
Fall 2021
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits) 
Fall 2021
Approved Elective
Spring 2022
Approved Elective  
Spring 2022
Approved Elective
Fall 2022
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
Fall 2022

OR

COMM-638: Production Practicum (3 credits)  
Fall 2022

OR

COMM-691: Internship
Fall 2022

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021. Subject to change as warranted.

The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required SOC Courses:

COMM-663: Techniques & Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits)
Summer 2020
COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits)
Summer 2020
COMM-610: Principles of Video Production (3 credits)
Fall 2020
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits)
Fall 2020
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits) 
Fall 2020
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)
Spring 2021
COMM-651: The Story of Film (3 credits)  
Spring 2021
Approved Elective  
Spring 2021
COMM-613: Producing for Film & Video (3 credits) 
Fall 2021
Approved Elective
Fall 2021
Approved Elective
Fall 2021
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)  
Spring 2022

OR

COMM-638: Production Practicum (3 credits) 
Spring 2022

OR

COMM-691: Film & Media Arts Internship (3 credits)
Spring 2022

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021 Subject to change as warranted.  

The 54 credit hours, of coursework must include:

Required Courses:

COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy Skills (3 credits)
Summer 2020
COMM-663:  Techniques and Aesthetics of Editing (3 credits)
Summer 2020
COMM-630: Principles of Photography (3 credits) 
Fall 2020
COMM-610: Principles of Video Production (3 credits) 
Fall 2020
COMM-682: Writing for Visual Media (3 credits) 
Fall 2020
COMM-651:  The Story of Film (3 credits)
Spring 2021
COMM-631: Film & Video Production & Direction (3 credits)  
Spring 2021
Requirement from Concentration Area (3 credits) 
Spring 2021
COMM-613: Producing Film & Video (3 credits) 
Fall 2021
COMM-701: Graduate Seminar in Film Theory & Practice (3 credits) 
Fall 2021
Requirement from Concentration Area (3 credits)
Fall 2021
COMM-711:  Teaching Seminar in Communication (3 credits)
Spring 2022
Elective from Concentration Area (3 credits) 
Spring 2022
Elective from Concentration Area (3 credits) 
Spring 2022
COMM-702: Master’s Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)   
Fall 2022
Electives from Concentration Area (3 credits)  
Fall 2022
COMM-702: Master’s Portfolio Capstone (3 credits)
Spring 2023
Elective from Concentration Area (3 credits)
Spring 2023

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021) Subject to change as warranted.
 
The 36 credit hours of coursework must include:

Required Courses:

GAME-601: Game Prototyping (3 credits) 
Fall 2020
GAME-605: Games, History, and Society (3 credits) 
Fall 2020
GAME-612 Digital Art Tools & Techniques (3 Credits)
Fall 2020
COMM-610: Game Research Methods (3 credits)
Spring 2021
COMM-615: Game Development (3 credits)   
Spring 2021
Approved Elective (3 credits) 
Spring 2021
GAME-620 Making Meaningful Games (3 credits)
Fall 2021
GAME-625 Advanced Game Development (3 credits)
Fall 2021
Approved Elective (3 credits)  
Fall 2021
Approved Elective
Fall 2022
COMM-702: Master's Portfolio Capstone (6 credits)
Spring 2022
 
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 2020 - 2021) Subject to change as warranted.  

The 54 credit hours, of coursework must include:

Required Courses:

COMM-602: Digital Media Literacy and Skills (3)
Summer 2020
COMM-663: Techniques/Aesthetics of Editing (3)
Summer 2020
GAME 601: Game Prototyping (3) 
Fall 2020
GAME 605: Games, History, and Society (3)
Fall 2020
Approved Elective (3)  
Fall 2020
GAME 610: Game Research Methods (3)
Spring 2021
GAME 615: Game Development I (3)
Spring 2021
COMM 610: Principles of Film and Video Production (3)
Spring 2021
COMM 620: Writing for Interactivity (3)
Fall 2021
GAME 625: Game Development II (3)
Fall 2021
GAME 620: Making Meaningful Games (3) 
Fall 2021
COMM 711: Teaching Seminar (3) 
Spring 2022
Approved Elective (6) 
Spring 2022


additional Required Courses:

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

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021) 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 2020
COMM-724: Reporting of Public Affairs (Required for all tracks.)
Fall 2020
COMM-621: Community News Reporting  (Required for all tracks.) 
Fall 2020
COMM-601: Communication Law (Required for all tracks.)
Spring 2021

Specialities-Choose either Investigative, International, or Broadcast

Investigative Journalism Speciality (9 credit hours)

COMM-500: Investigative Journalism Practicum
Fall 2020 or Spring 2021
COMM-607: International Investigative Journalism 
Fall 2020
COMM-618: Data Driven Journalism
Fall 2020
COMM-619: In-Depth Journalism
Spring 2021

International Journalism Speciality (9 credit hours)

COMM-607: International Investigative Journalism
Fall 2020
COMM-620: Reporting on Immigration
Fall 2020
COMM-544: Foreign Correspondence
Spring 2021
COMM-643: Foreign Policy and the Press
Spring 2021

Broadcast Journalism Speciality (9 credit hours)

COMM-721: Digital Audio Production 
Fall 2020
COMM-632: Backpack Video Journalism 
Spring 2021
COMM-722 Advanced Television and Video Production
Spring 2021

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

COMM-720: Capstone Seminar in Journalism (Must earn “B” (3.0) or better)
Summer 2021
COMM-725: In-Depth Broadcast Production Capstone (Must earn “B” (3.0) or better)
Summer 2021

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

COMM-509: Politics and the Media
Fall 2020
COMM-521: Opinion Writing 
Fall 2020
COMM-544: Foreign Correspondence
Spring 2021
COMM-588: Race, Ethnic & Community Reporting 
Spring 2021
COMM-620: Topics in Mass Media: Investigative Broadcast Journalism 
Fall 2020 or Spring 2021
COMM-620:  Topics in Mass Media:  Podcasting 
Summer 2021
COMM-622: Writing for Convergent Media
Fall 2020
COMM-625: Innovation & Media Industry 
Summer 2021
COMM-691: Graduate Internship (One 3 credit internship is allowed in the MA program)
Spring 2021 or Summer 2021
COMM-717: Photography & Visual Storytelling   
Spring 2021 

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2022) 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 2020
COMM-660 Developing Fiction Productions
Fall 2020
COMM-661 Developing Nonfiction Productions
Spring 2021
COMM-601: Communication Law
Spring 2021
COMM-662: Production Planning and Management
Summer 2021
COMM-570: Marketing Campaigns & Strategy for TV & Film 
Summer 2021
COMM-674: The Business of Television  
Fall 2021
COMM-659: International Film and TV Markets
Fall 2021
COMM-671: Media Enterprise I: Establishing the Enterprise
Spring 2022
COMM-702: Masters Portfolio Capstone 
Spring 2022

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021.  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) 
Fall 2020
GOVT-643 Applied Political Writing (offered fall & spring) 
Fall 2020 or Spring 2021
COMM-628 or GOVT-628 Proseminar in Political Communication (1 credit) (to be taken 2nd fall semester)
Fall 2021
COMM-639 Political Communication (offered spring or summer)   
Spring or Summer 2021
COMM 640 Principles of Strategic Communication (to be taken 1st fall semester) 
Fall 2020
COMM-735 Communication Theory (to be taken 1st spring semester)  
Spring 2021
COMM-738 Research for Strategic Communication (to be taken 1st fall semester) 
Fall 2020

Required Institutes (5 credits):

Select one of the 4 credit courses:

GOVT-520: Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (4 credits)
Spring or Summer 2021

OR

GOVT-523: The Art and Craft of Lobbying (4 credits) 
Spring or Summer 2021

Select one of the 1 credit courses:

GOVT-521: Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (1 credit) (rotating topics)
Spring or Summer 2021

OR

GOVT-524: Topics in Public Affairs/Advocacy (1 credit) (rotating topics)
Spring or Summer 2021

Required Capstone (3 credits):

COMM-629 or GOVT-629 Capstone in Political Communication (3 credits) (offered spring only) 
Spring 2022

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 2020 - 2021) 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 2020
COMM-644: Writing for Strategic Communication
Fall 2020
COMM-735: Communication Theory
Fall 2020
COMM-738: Research for Strategic Communication
Fall 2020
COMM-744: Strategic Communication Capstone
Spring 2021

Electives: 15 Credit Hours:

Approved Elective
Spring 2021
Approved Elective
Spring 2021
Approved Elective
Spring 2021
Approved Elective
Summer 2021
Approved Elective
Summer 2021

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 2020 - 2021) 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 2020
COMM-644: Writing for Strategic Communication
Fall 2020
COMM-735: Communication Theory
Fall 2021
COMM-738: Research for Strategic Communication
Fall 2021
COMM-744: Strategic Communication Capstone
Spring 2022

Electives: 15 Credit Hours:

Approved Elective
Spring 2021
Approved Elective
Spring 2021
Approved Elective
Summer 2021
Approved Elective
Summer 2021
Approved Elective
Spring 2022

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021.  Subject to change as warranted.
 
The 30 credit hours of coursework must include:

COMM-622: Writing/Editing for Convergent Media
Fall 2020
COMM-652: Web Studio
Fall 2020
COMM-717: Photography & Visual Storytelling
Spring 2021
COMM-632: Backpack Video Journalism
Spring 2021
COMM-601: Communication Law
Summer 2021
COMM-625: Innovation and the Media Industry
Summer 2021
COMM-719: The Past, Present, & Future of Longform Storytelling 
Fall 2021
COMM-620: Topics in Mass Media: Storytelling with Audio 
Fall 2021
COMM-618: Data-Driven Journalism
Spring 2022
COMM-720: Capstone Seminar in Journalism
Spring 2022

Degree requirements, effective as of Academic Year 2020 - 2021) 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 2020
COMM-750 Advanced Media Theory (3)   
Fall 2020
COMM-751 Advanced Media Research Methods (3)
Fall 2020
COMM-754 Media Law and Policy (3)   
Spring 2021
COMM-711 Teaching Seminar (3) 
Spring 2021
Statistics or research methods course (3) 
Spring 2021
COMM-755 Research Design in Communication (3) 
Summer 2021
COMM-860 Seminar in Doctoral Teaching and Research (3)
Fall 2021
Concentration coursework (6)
Fall 2021
COMM-861 Advanced Research and Project Development (3)   
Spring 2022
COMM-898 Doctoral Continuing Enrollment (6)  
Spring 2022
COMM-899 Doctoral Dissertation (9)  
Fall 2022
COMM-899 Doctoral Dissertation (9)   
Spring 2023

Schedules for Weekend Students

  • Classes Begin — August 24
  • Labor Day — September 7
  • Break in Sessons — October 24
  • Thanksgiving — November 26

1st Session

  • August 29
  • September 12
  • September 19
  • September 26 — Work day*
  • October 3
  • October 10
  • October 17

2nd Session

  • October 31
  • November 7
  • November 14
  • November 21 
  • November 28 — OFF Thanksgiving*
  • December 5
  • December 12
  • *May be used as a makeup day in the event class missed due to weather or other reason.
  • Classes Begin - January 11
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - January 18
  • Spring Break - March 7-14
  • Commencement - May 8 & 9

1st Session

  • January 16
  • January 23
  • January 30
  • February 6 - Work Day*
  • February 13
  • February 20
  • February 27
  • March 6 - Work Day*

2nd Session

  • March 20
  • March 27
  • April 3 - Work Day* (Easter weekend)
  • April 10
  • April 17
  • April 24
  • May 1

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