Degree Requirements

Students are encouraged to use our MCC MA Program Checklist to track their degree progress and plan courses for future semesters. Students enrolled in the dual master’s should view the Media and Library Science requirements.

Required Courses

All students are required to take the Media, Culture, and Communication Core Seminar (MCC-GE 2001) in their first semester of study. This core seminar is only offered during the Fall semester and introduces students to the field by examining theoretical approaches that are central to the study of media, culture, and communication.

MCC students must take one 3-4 credit research course before graduating. MCC courses designated “Research Course” (or approved elective courses offered through other NYU departments) may be applied towards this requirement. Research Courses with an MCC Area of Study designation may simultaneously be allocated as a Research Course and as a course within an Area of Study.

Area of Study Coursework

At least 16 credits must be MCC coursework. Of those credits, at least 12 must be taken within one Area of Study: Media Institutions and Politics, Interaction and Social Processes, Visual Culture and Cultural Studies, Technology and Society, Global and Transcultural Communication.


MCC internship credit, non-MCC study abroad courses, and/or graduate-level classes offered by another NYU department may be allocated as electives toward the MCC MA degree. In order to qualify as an elective, a class offered by an outside department must be:

  • graduate-level
  • directly related to your course of study
  • approved by the MCC graduate advisors

In the past, students have successfully found suitable elective classes in the following schools within NYU: Tisch School of the Arts, the School of Professional Studies (SPS), Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS), the Law School, and The Stern School of Business.

MA Culminating Experience

Master’s students must complete a required culminating experience in order to graduate; Students can choose to apply for the Thesis (3.75 minimum GPA) or the Professional Writing course, or select the MA Exam.

MA Exam

The MCC exam offers students an opportunity to synthesize their coursework and write about their understanding of significant scholarship in communication, media studies, and related fields acquired during their MA career. The MA Exam is a take-home essay containing two sections. The first section will be based on common readings covered in the MCC-GE 2001 Core Seminar. The second section will be based on a faculty-generated common bibliography connected to the Area of Study the student elects. 

MA Professional Writing and Research Applications

Professional Writing and Research Applications (MCC-GE 2174) is offered every Fall, and enrollment is available through application only. This course functions like a writer's workshop. Students are expected to be actively engaged in reading and responding to each other's work. The Professional Writing course is meant to integrate skills and knowledge acquired during the master’s program to achieve a level of competency in several areas: writing for professional journals or websites; developing surveys or other instruments for data production; surveying the scholarly literature; writing scholarly abstracts; understanding the processes of self-editing and peer reviewing; and giving polished oral presentations of final writing and/or web-based projects.

MA Thesis

View previous MA Thesis Abstracts.

The MCC MA thesis is a piece of original scholarship written under the guidance of an MCC Faculty advisor. The thesis constitutes an analysis of a specific topic that engages with the existing literature and makes an argument supported by evidence, using the methodologies of the discipline. Students wishing to complete a thesis, must have a minimum 3.75 GPA and the commitment of a faculty advisor. MCC offers a thesis class in the fall to guide students through the thesis writing process. This course is NOT required in order to pursue a Thesis. Students not interested in the course are welcome to work independently with their thesis advisor.