Journalism and Mass Communication in the US

Higher education institutions in the United States offer multiple degree options in the fields at both undergraduate and graduate levels

By   |  Published: 20th Dec 2020  12:01 amUpdated: 20th Dec 2020  12:29 am
Students may choose among various concentrations, such as public relations, editing, publishing, communications, or technology in journalism and communication.

Continuing with our series on popular fields of studies in the United States, today we talk about the fields of Journalism and Mass Communication. Degrees in journalism and communication generally lead to careers in print and digital media, television or radio broadcasting, advertising/marketing, publishing and public relations.

The field of journalism has overlaps with studies in communication, with the former focusing mostly on the written outcomes (such as magazines and newspaper columns, websites, blogs, etc.) while the latter covers a variety of outcomes that include writing, broadcasting, marketing, and advertising. Both fields of study allow professionals to specialise in a sub-field, such as education, religion, politics, health, business, foreign affairs, society, sports, arts and theatre, or weather.

Higher education institutions in the United States offer multiple degree options in the fields of Journalism and Mass Communication at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students intending to pursue a graduate-level programme in these fields may earn an MA (Master of Arts), MS (Master of Science), or PhD (doctoral degree) degree. They may choose either one of the two fields (journalism or communication) for their programme or pursue their degree with a combination of the two fields. Students with an interest in pursuing a research career may opt for a PhD programme.

The exact titles of the degrees and offerings of specialisations vary by institution and academic programme. Students may choose among various concentrations, such as public relations, editing, publishing, communications, or technology in journalism and communication. At the undergraduate level, students have the option to choose from BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BS (Bachelor of Science) programmes in journalism and/or communications. Similar to the graduate level programmes, the title of the undergraduate degree may vary by institution and students have the option to choose from various available concentrations.

Next week, we will discuss the application process to US universities for journalism and mass communication programmes.

Monika Setia (Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the U.S. – India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad)


Q. I am in 2nd year and thinking about applying to US universities. Can you please explain what is a personal statement?
— Ashrit

Ans. Many schools ask applicants to submit a written personal statement or essay as part of the admissions process. When university admissions officers read this part of the application, they may look to see how the student can contribute to the school and if the school can meet his or her needs. The personal statement gives universities a chance to get a glimpse of you and your personality, an insight that is not possible in the grades and numbers that make up the rest of your application. In general, essay questions either require a specific response or are open-ended. Colleges look for certain qualities for their student body and tailor their essay questions accordingly.

Application essays also allow admissions officers to assess your writing skills, academic ability, organisational skills, purpose in applying to a US institution, and your reasons for your chosen field of study. Admissions officers look for strong writing skills, as well as a demonstration of intellectual curiosity and maturity. Write the essay far enough in advance so that you have time to put it aside for a week and then read it again to see if it still makes sense. This will show admissions officers that you are a good writer, that you care about the essay, and that you are willing to take the time to prepare it.

Make sure that your essay is a true representation of yourself and your abilities. The most important part of the essay is to be genuine and honest — admissions officers read several hundred essays each year and have become experts in picking out fake essays or those written by parents. The essay is your opportunity to tell the college why they should accept you over other students — use it as such.

Q2. I have received admission in the United States for Spring 2020. Can you please explain what is SEVP and SEVIS?
— Taruni

Ans. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a programme by Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). SEVP ensures that government agencies have essential data related to non-immigrant students and exchange visitors to preserve national security. The SEVP administers Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVP also provides approval and oversight to schools authorised to enroll F and M nonimmigrant students and gives guidance to both schools and students about the requirements for maintaining their status. SEVIS is an internet-based system that maintains data on foreign students and exchange visitors before and during their stay in the United States.

As an international student in the United States, students pay the SEVIS fee in time to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS prior to the scheduled visa interview for your student visa. The interviewing consular officer will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing SEVIS. To allow for adequate processing time the fee must be paid:

• At least three business days prior to the visa interview date if paying electronically.
• At least 15 business days prior to the scheduled visa interview if submitting payment through regular mail. (This time frame allows adequate time for the fee payment to be received at the DHS address listed on the Form I-901, deposited, and recorded in SEVIS.)
• Be sure to add local mail processing time to this processing estimate for accuracy. For more information about the SEVIS programme, visit

Mail your questions and doubts to ‘city.telanganato [email protected]’ to have subject matter experts answer them, right from the degree and programme of study you can pursue to what the application process entails, on universities, how to prepare resumes, financing your studies and even how it is like to live and study in the US, all are welcome.

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