Study Mass Communication and Media in the United States

Communication is the most crucial thing no matter what industry or sector. Learn how to effectively communicate and interact with everyone inside and outside the company
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Do you enjoy seeing the world up close, creating campaign plans, reporting on what you’ve seen, and connecting with nations? If yes, then a communication degree may be right for you.

Communication and media studies abroad has been getting popular among Malaysian students, the reason being that you get to have more influence and contribution with the degree that you hold. 

The course will provide you with a thorough understanding of the role communications play in local, national and international settings by training critical thinking about communication in its various forms.

It will also introduce you to the varied careers available to graduates and help you decide which interests you the most. 

You will be a part of something real, raw, and if you’re looking for authenticity -- a story of haste and diction -- you will be able to get your hands full of them. 

What is Mass Communication and Media Studies all about?

Behind the lens of a camera, you’ll bring the news to people’s homes. You’ll seek incessantly for fool proof ideas and facts.

Communication studies is an academic field that deals with human communication processes, commonly known as the sharing of symbols to create meaning. 

The discipline comprises of a range of topics, from face-to-face conversation to mass media outlets, like television broadcasting. It also examines how messages should be interpreted in such a way that is politically, culturally, economically and socially sound in the dimensions of their contexts. 

Communication studies is the umbrella of other majors, such as:

  • Public relations
  • Journalism
  • Branding and advertising
  • Broadcasting
  • Publicity and marketing
  • Creative writing and literature

 As a communications major, you’ll be taking a broad range of classes including sociology, business, marketing and other traditional communications classes like journalism and media studies. 

Why study Communications and Media Studies?

Plenty of career opportunities 
Here’s the thing - every company likes a good communicator. The skills you learn out of a communications degree are versatile and valuable. 

Career options that are open for graduates of communications degree are endless, much like the variety of possible work environments. 

With your communications degree, you can find employment in broadcast news network, newspaper or magazine, publishing house, advertising or PR agency, a company’s in-house marketing team or the media relations arm of a nonprofit organisation. 

Your work can involve a single company or many clients. The likeliness of becoming self-employed is also high, by going freelance on an as-needed basis for clients. 
Experiences beyond your comfort zones

Though a strong communication and interpersonal skills may come naturally for you, not everything that is taught in the program will fit into your repertoire of skills. 

This can be a good thing. University is the perfect time to broaden your horizons and explore new experiences and opportunities, which is what your communications degree will require you to do. 

There are times where you need to develop skills that fall outside your comfort zone.

For instance, delivering presentation in a large group, practicing public speaking, video production for a campaign and pitching ideas to the media.

It may sound scary at first, but learning how to complete these tasks is essential. Not only will it help you succeed in your studies, it will also polish you to be more confident and assertive. 

Opportunities for advancement

You are given a more interesting, big-picture job duties, such as developing overall strategies for communications and public relations. Or, you may need to lead and manage campaigns and projects or launches. 

Often, managerial positions in communications also oversee other professionals. The skills that you have honed in public speaking and in conveying information clearly can help to supervise other employees effectively.

In the communications field, attaining a managerial position is very likely. A few years of work experience is typically enough to begin jumping into such positions, according to the US News and World Report.

Advancing your career through networking is also possible. Professional communications organisations like Institute of Advertising Practitioners in the US or Public Relations Consultant Association  offer valuable networking opportunities, job postings, and training programs for their members. 

A rewarding career to your interest

Ever wonder why so many movies and novels follow a rising advertising professional or intrepid reporter? 

Well, careers in media are interesting. You get to earn a living telling stories all while educating and entertaining audiences. 

Although the reality of the day-to-day work of a sales manager or advertising agency executive or might not live up to the hype of the media, but there’s no denying that you will be granted with a cool job. 

Generalist and specialist option

It’s a common question to ask - which is better, to study a very general subject or to focus on a very narrow specialisation? In communications degree, you’re given the best of both worlds!

As a whole, the major provides students with versatile generalist skills, letting you to thrive in any number of possible job roles. However, many communications programs also allow their students to choose a concentration for a more in-depth study. 

What are the skills and characteristics needed for Communications and Media course?

There are a few characteristics and skills that are ideal for communication and media studies:

1. High level of curiousity

It is a necessity for future students of communication studies to have a high sense of curiousity. It’s important because all the information that is about to be publicized needs to be gathered first. 
It means the quality and accuracy of information that you’re going to impart will depend on the process of digging the information.

2. Interpersonal and communication skills

The name of the course says it all - you must be equipped with good and effective communication skills as this summarises the whole thing that you will learn in university. 
It’s not limited to a mere learning curve; communication skills will also impact your career search as it will be dominated with any activities that is tied to communication. 

3. Storytelling

If you have a passion for sharing information or storytelling, communications degree is undoubtedly suitable for you. This characteristic is the best support to boost your career after you graduate. 

Once you have gathered the complete, accurate information, the last step is to streamline the information to the others that are able to access it. 

4. Creative and good analytical skills 

Mass communication studies require the studies to have a strong analytical skills. It’s important as you will have to curate the content that you will deliver to the public. 

In addition to that, a creative side is needed as it can help to attract your audience to listen to the information that is channelled out. 

What is the career outlook for Communication and Media Studies graduates from the US like?

For as long as mass communication becomes the underlying need for everyone, the human resource in this field will never cease. 

Furthermore, the advancement of technology in spreading information all over the globe will be followed with the rise in demand of talents in communication arena. As mentioned previously, the career opportunity for this major is great and can always be found across industries and sectors. 

Here are some of the career options that a communication and media studies graduates can consider:

  • Journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Reporter
  • Editor
  • Presenter
  • Marketing analyst
  • Brand manager
  • PR (public relation)
  • Director
  • Community engagement/ developer
  • Radio broadcaster
  • Translator
  • News anchor
  • Diplomat

What are the entry requirements for Communications and Media Studies courses in the US?

Each university has different entry requirements and the list below does not generalise the entry requirement of universities in the US as a whole. 

Pass 12 years of formal education in the country of origin, such as STPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia), with a minimum average score of 6.0
English IELTS (minimum 5.5 - 6.0 overall), TOEFL (minimum 550 or 80) 
A Level 3 subjects minimum score of C
International Baccalaureate Diploma 3 subjects at grade 5 at Higher Level and 3 subjects at grade 4 at Standard Level
Bachelor’s Degree CGPA minimum 2.5 - 3.0
English IELTS (minimum 6.5 - 7.0 overall), TOEFL (minimum 650 or 98)
Supporting documents Recommendation letter and updated CV

How much is the tuition fee for Communications and Media Studies in the US?

There is a different variant to tuition fees in the US, depending on the course and university that is chosen. 

There are many different factors that differentiate the tuition fees around universities in the US. Those factors include location, type of university, level of studies, and specialisation of the course. 

In brief, undergraduate studies tuition fee for communication studies in the US ranges from $11,000 to $ 20,000 per year. Meanwhile, postgraduate studies cost about $15,000 to $25,000 per year.

For further information about tuition fees in universities in the US, please contact our counselors. 

What are the top Universities in the US for Communication and Media Studies?

The table below showcases the top universities in the US for their communication courses, according to QS Universities:

University Location World Ranking
University of Southern California California 2
University of Texas at Austin Texas 4
Stanford University California 5
University of California, Berkeley California 6
University of Wisconsin, Madison Wisconsin 7
University of California, Los Angeles California 8
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Massachusetts 10

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