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Frequently Asked Questions

MA, Media, Culture, and Communication

About MCC

What is the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication?

Established in 1971, the department is at the forefront of scholarship and teaching in media studies. Our research and curriculum emphasize the study of global media and culture, digital media and new technologies, media history, visual culture, media industries and infrastructures, media activism, and political communication.

MCC faculty include some of the world’s most renowned scholars of media, technology, and culture. 

Is this program right for me?

The MA in Media, Culture, and Communication offers a theoretical foundation for examining global media within political, social, and cultural contexts. We do not provide practical training in media production, publicity or marketing. MCC MA students can use some of their electives to enroll in such classes elsewhere at NYU, but those seeking a purely practice-based degree might consider applying to the School of Professional Studies' MS in Integrated Marketing or MS in Public Relations, or Tisch's MA in Interactive Media.

What sorts of careers do alumni have?

Graduates of MCC's media studies master's build careers as astute analyzers of the global media landscape. Alumni find themselves well positioned for careers at the intersections of media, culture, and tech – ranging from research to creative, strategy to policy. Those who pursue doctoral study enroll in top-tier PhD programs.

Can I take a campus tour?

New York University offers guided campus tours.

Can I speak with a professor?

Given the sheer number of inquiries we receive from prospective students, our faculty are usually unable to speak directly with applicants. Departmental events and classroom visits are the best way to meet faculty. See our calendar for a list of upcoming events, including our annual Neil Postman Graduate Conference.

Who advises master's students in your program?

Each student is assigned a staff academic advisor. As students advance through the program, they also develop relationships with faculty who offer guidance. Students who write theses have a designated faculty advisor.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have a question not answered here or on the graduate admissions page, please contact MCC graduate advising at


Are GRE scores required?

No, GRE scores are no longer required.

Are there special instructions for international applicants?

International applicants should carefully review the Special Instructions for International Applicants. In addition, MCC international students are eligible for the STEM OPT extension after graduation.

Can I reapply if I have been declined admission?

Applicants may reapply if there is a significant change in their profile such as successful completion of graduate level coursework in a relevant field or relevant work experience.

Can I submit GRE, TOEFL or other components of my application after the deadline?

All components of the application must be in our admissions office by February 1. We only review complete applications. If you submit a part of the application after the deadline, your application will be evaluated only after we first review all on-time applications.

Do I have to take certain undergrad courses to be eligible for admission?

Applicants do not need a background in media or communications to be eligible for admission. Both our students and faculty are trained in a variety of academic disciplines. The most successful applicants have completed some undergraduate coursework in the humanities and/or social sciences. Our students have undergraduate degrees in a wide variety of majors including literature, economics, anthropology, art, politics, computer science, sociology, philosophy, etc. 

Do I need work experience?

Our MA program has a theoretical focus and is not a professional program. As such, work experience is not a requirement for admission. Experience derived from full- and part-time employment or internships can enhance an applicant's admissions file.

Do you accept applications from transfer students? 

We welcome applications from transfer students. Applicants external to NYU Steinhardt must apply as a new student. Up to 10 transfer credits may be accepted; department approval of course syllabi is required. See other rules for graduate transfer credit.

Do you accept the IELTS as proof of English proficiency?

Yes. Applicants whose first language is not English are required to take one of the following English proficiency exams: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. See more information on English proficiency testing.

How many students apply?

The number of applicants varies each year. Admissions is selective with the emphasis on the personal statement and records of academic achievement.

I will complete my undergraduate studies after the application deadline. Can I still apply?

Applicants who are completing their undergraduate degree can apply, but undergraduate degree requirements must be complete before beginning our master's program. If you are admitted, you will be asked to submit a final transcript showing final grades and degree conferral.

If I am admitted to the MA program, am I admitted to the PhD program automatically?

No. Admission to the PhD program is a separate process.

To whom should my letters of recommendation be addressed?

Letters of recommendation can be addressed to the Admissions Committee. If recommenders prefer to address their letters to an individual, letters can be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies. This is a rotating position, so please view our faculty page to identify who is currently serving in this capacity. 

What are the minimum test scores for your program?

We do not have minimum GRE requirements, and no applicant will be admitted nor denied admission solely on the basis of a single score. On average, our strongest applicants have a minimum Verbal GRE score of 156 or above and a minimum Analytical Writing score of 4.5.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to take one of the following English proficiency exams and submit the scores: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. See more information on English proficiency testing.

When will I receive my admission decision?

Decisions are rendered in roughly six to twelve weeks after the application deadline.

Financial Considerations

Is financial aid available?

NYU Steinhardt offers partial tuition scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships that are based on merit and financial need. View a selection of internal and external funding. Only those U.S. citizens or residents who apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline are considered.

Departmental funding, including teaching and research assistantships, is reserved for doctoral students. Most international students are self-funded or receive financial support from their government and/or employer. 

Each year, our department selects a recipient for the MCC Department Impact Award, offered to incoming students who demonstrate exceptional academic promise and the potential to enrich the cohort with a diversity of intellectual perspectives and experience. No additional application is needed to be considered.

What is the total cost of the MA in Media, Culture, and Communication?

The total cost varies depending on the cost of tuition and fees in a particular semester and how quickly a student completes the program. Our program is a total of 36 credits. You can find detailed information about the per credit cost of tuition and fees on the Steinhardt tuition page. Tuition costs are the same for all students (including international and out-of-state students). Please note that room/board, books, transportation, health insurance, and other personal expenses are additional.

Curriculum and Enrollment

Are there internship opportunities?

The Department allows MA students to intern for credit, and it hosts an active internship database accessible only to MCC students. Because we do not consider our master's as a pre-professional program, an internship is neither a requirement nor a critical component of your academic trajectory. 

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

Yes. Approximately 30% of our students are enrolled part-time. Our graduate courses are offered throughout the day and into the early evening (4:55-7:05 pm). Please note that students who can only take courses after 6 pm are unable to complete the degree.

Can I study abroad as an MA student?

We offer several study abroad opportunities. Visit our MA study abroad page for more information.

Can MA students in MCC take courses in other departments?

Absolutely. Our program allows students to take up to 12 elective credits (3-4 courses). Electives are a combination of courses in other departments and internship credit. Our program is a total of 36 credits, so one-third of the program can be electives. 

How long does it take to finish?

The time required to finish the MA degree depends on several factors: full- or part-time status, summer courses, and what culminating experience you select. The academic year consists of a fall and a spring semester. Full-time students typically take 12 credits each semester, while part-time students usually take a minimum of 4 credits. Some students take summer courses which allows them to complete the degree more quickly. Students must complete one of three culminating experiences: an MA exam, a thesis, or the Professional Writing and Research course. 

In most cases, the thesis option adds an additional semester to the length of time required to complete the degree. The total number of credits required for the degree (36) is the same for each option. Full-time students who do not take summer courses typically complete the degree in 3 semesters (MA exam option) or 4 semesters (thesis option). Part-time students typically complete the degree in 4 to 8 semesters. The degree is flexible enough that students can switch between full-time and part-time status as work commitments require. Some students may be required to enroll full-time for student visa or financial aid reasons. 

How many students are enrolled in the program?

Currently, there are about 100 Media, Culture, and Communication MA students total. Approximately 12 graduate courses are offered each fall and spring semester. During the summer and winter sessions, 2-3 graduate courses are offered.

Is a master's thesis required to graduate?

No. All students will complete a culminating experience which synthesizes their MA course work. Students can elect to take the MA exam, write a thesis, or enroll in either the Professional Writing and Research course or the Theoretical Synthesis for Research, Writing, and Teaching course.

Is it possible to take courses as a non-degree student?

Students interested in taking courses as a non-degree student must complete the Application Form for Non-Matriculated Status through the Steinhardt Office of Graduate Admissions.

What kinds of courses are offered?

MCC courses use a critical approach to topics in media studies, combining theoretical analysis with global, comparative research. View a list of Media, Culture, and Communication graduate coursework offered in the past 5 years.


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Media, Culture, and Communication

239 Greene Street, 8th floor
New York, NY 10003
212-998-5191 | contact