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Mass Media Studies

Overview

The BA in Mass Media Studies lets you apply an in-depth understanding of how the media industry works to a wide variety of career paths and advanced study options in fields such as law, management, politics, journalism, and education.

With three concentrations to choose from and a faculty of accomplished scholars, students learn to question, research and analyze the social, legal, political, historical and economic factors that influence the media and its impact on society. Students also have access to hundreds of the best internships in nearby New York City, the media capital of the world.

Career opportunities for this major vary, depending on the industry and your role. But in the New York region, graduates with a bachelor's degree in mass communication/media studies earned an average annual salary of $51,610, and job growth for this major is projected to increase nearly 17 percent by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies.

Curriculum

In the nationally accredited Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations, BA in Mass Media Studies majors study the social and political roles that media has played in shaping civil society and democracy. Students gain practical skills and theoretical knowledge as they pursue one of three concentrations in Media and Culture; Urban and Suburban Communication; and Media, Law, and Policy, with unique class options such as:

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Mass Media Studies Requirements

Celebrity, Culture and Media: A course that examines stardom, television personalities, popular music stars, journalists, and sports heroes, with critical analysis of celebrity-making media industries and television's 'personality' system .

Privacy and Public Life in a Media Age: Topics include reasonable expectations of individual privacy; the value of privacy to society; the value of public life and civic engagement; privacy and public information; the surveillance environment; online privacy; and government transparency.

The Rhetoric of Conflict and Controversy: A study of the role of public address in shaping today's world. Historical and theoretical background, analysis of speeches in politics, religion, labor, education and social reform using films and recordings of controversial contemporary speakers.

Students are encouraged, but not required, to complete an internship.

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Mass media studies prepares you for a wide range of career paths for mass media studies majors, among them:

  • Broadcast journalist
  • Editorial assistant
  • Information officer
  • Media planner
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Social media manager
  • Web content manager
  • Writer

Our recent alumni have found work in a variety of settings and industries, including the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Brooklyn College Library and Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company. They also are pursuing advanced degrees as such prestigious institutions as:

  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • Syracuse University
  • Boston University
  • New York University
  • American University
  • George Washington University
99% job, grad school or both
88% accept a position within six months
$40K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

What You'll Learn

Media Person

The Mass Media Studies BA increases your media literacy and prepares you for a multitude of career paths, from a reporter covering breaking news or a lawyer negotiating deals for a media company to a spokesperson or research analyst for a growing nonprofit.

One class in particular that opens many eyes and doors is Media and Law. This course is designed to familiarize students with how the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt with censorship issues. Sample cases are analyzed with a view to understanding the evolution of certain attitudes and policies regarding freedom of speech and press in the United States.

You will also learn about global news flows, international approaches to journalism, and the challenges to press freedoms. Students gain an appreciation of intercultural dynamics and their relationship to the media systems of other countries and international communication.

Though an internship is not required, Hofstra communication students typically complete an average of three internships by the time they graduate.  Our faculty of dedicated scholars and mentors will work with you to identify opportunities that mesh with your interests and help you build a strong resume.

In addition, students gain valuable practical media skills through award-winning campus outlets including radio station WRHU, the HEAT TV Network, Hofstra Chronicle newspaper, Pulse magazine, and the Long Island Report news site. Explore all of the Herbert School’s student organizations.

You can also network with industry executives and Hofstra alumni working in all areas of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, and explore one of the most vibrant cities in the world,  Rome, the media center of Italy, where a rich heritage of communication in all forms  complements its breathtaking arts, culture, and “dolce vita.”

Vast Network of Alumni

You’ll find Hofstra’s vast network of alumni from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication working in influential position in scores of industries.  Not only do some of the graduates come back and teach as adjunct faculty, many return to Hofstra to offer career advice and guidance, and recruit current students.

Alumni panels like “Millennials, Social Media and the 2016 Presidential Election” dissect the role of social media in our news cycle and take an analytical view of how millennial journalists can contribute to it.  

With alumni who have worked or work at The New York Times, Reuters, MSN, Topps, FOX News and FOX Sports, the opportunities for networking are always there. With almost 5,000 alumni who have studied communications, as per LinkedIn data, finding career paths, guidance and jobs is something that Hofstra offers with both on-campus and off-campus opportunities.

Experience

Students in class

Mass media studies involve a more applied learning focus in areas of mass communication, such as print, radio, television and new media, and their specific tools and techniques.

Nearly all of our students (98 percent) have completed at least one internship. Among the places where our students have done internships include:

  • CNN
  • ABC News
  • American Cancer Society
  • Cablevision
  • Alliance for Women in Media

Meet Dr. Jingsi Wu

Professor Dr. Jingsi Wu teaches a series of courses in media studies, including media literacy, media technologies and public policy, and mass media in contemporary society. She recently hosted a media studies panel with three alumni. The event, “Technology, Policy, and the Professional Media Landscape,” featured pointers for current students about to enter the workforce.