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Social Media Curriculum

As of May 1, 2016, The College of Journalism and Communications adopted a new curriculum for the online master of mass communications (MAMC) specialization in social media. The MAMC with a specialization in social media is a 38 credit hour program consisting of 12 credits of core social media courses, nine credits of core mass communication credits, nine elective credit hours, four practicum credit hours, one professional development credit hour, and a three credit capstone.

2016: View the full degree plan as a PDF

2015: View the full degree plan as a PDF

For those not pursuing a MAMC, there is an option to earn a graduate certificate. For more information on the graduate certificate, click here.

Unique Learning Experience

  • Students generally take 1-2 classes per semester.
  • Each semester is 12 weeks, with three semesters per year (Spring, Summer, Fall).
  • Full-time students can complete the curriculum in 18 months.
  • All classes are online with recorded lectures, allowing students to view classes at their pace during the week.
  • Each week, students must meet weekly objectives and complete assignments.

Core (12 credits)

These core courses are designed to give students a foundational understanding of social media and mass communication, as well as the importance of social media in the areas of advertising, corporate and personal marketing.

MMC5006 Introduction to Multimedia Communications: 3 credit hours

An introduction to the strategic use of multimedia communications tools. Students will examine the diverse channels available to communication professionals and demonstrate their effective use. Topics include social media/multimedia writing and management; use of media for integrated communication campaigns; integration of marketing, branding and public relations in multimedia communications; careers in multimedia communications; responsibilities of communications professionals; and the impact of media technologies.

MMC5636 Introduction to Social Media: 3 credit hours

A strategic look at social media platforms and their use in media and business environments. The course considers the evolution in social communication through contemporary state-of-the-art practice. Diverse social media platforms are analyzed for how they are best used as news sources, branding platforms, and engines of business growth. The course will also focus on content creation, how to increase ROI in social media, social analytics and viral campaigns. Students will create content on their social platforms and test their effectiveness.

MMC6728 Branding Using Social Media: 3 credit hours

Students create an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) plan, describe the role the social media marketing plan plays in the IMC, develop a social media plan with a focus on branding, and analyze the impact of social media on branding efforts. Using this understanding as a foundation, students will map the landscape of social media, create brand strategies for social media marketing, audit the competitive scope of social media activities for a brand, assess the effectiveness of social media engagement strategies, and use the most influential tools in social media engagement and branding.

*Get a Hootsuite certification while earning your master’s degree. Our Branding Using Social Media course gives students the opportunity to attend Hootsuite University for free and become certified in the Hootsuite dashboard and all its features.  

ADV6325 Advertising and Social Media: 3 credit hours

The course teaches students to conceptualize, create, polish, and place effective advertisement executions in social media. Within the social media curriculum, this is the class that will allow students to flex their creative muscles. Through reviewing case studies, executing creative projects, and receiving regular feedback, students will gain a strong foundation for careers in the creative field (copywriter, art director) as well as help with other employment paths involving social media. Having an understanding of the process positively affects your ability to assess and advise those who are. Students will learn how to concept an ad campaign, as well as learn a basic understanding of how Photoshop works. Thus furthering their ability to sell products through social channels, and sell themselves to companies.

MAMC Core (9 credits)

These core courses are designed to provide students with a sophisticated knowledge in the areas of mass communication research and measurement.

MMC5427 Web Research Methods: 3 credit hours

Students will acquire the skills needed to conduct secondary research on the Web, and effectively use qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (surveys and experiments) research methods. The knowledge needed to effectively design, execute, and interpret data is emphasized throughout the course. The concept of measurement is defined and analyzed.  Students will be able to describe the challenges involved in valid and reliable measurement of audience behaviors, values, attitudes, norms, and consumption.

MMC6400 Mass Communications Theory: 3 credit hours

This course demonstrates the value of broad theories of mass communication.  Students review mass communication theory from its inception as a field of study, to past trends, current applications, and new currents of thought. Throughout the class, students will apply their understanding of abstract theory to contemporary practice.

MMC6727 Social Media Metrics: 3 credit hours

Students will learn by doing through collection and analysis of real social media campaign data.  After completing the course, students will be able to describe the proper measurement mechanisms to employ, identify the data points that help clarify campaign effectiveness, master the proper approach for analyzing data, and determine how the outcomes from data analysis should modify overall strategy.

Capstone (3 credits)

The Capstone is the culmination of the program and students’ opportunity to work with a real-world client to develop a social media campaign and content calendar for a client they select using the skills and knowledge gained during the course of the program. The Capstone project will be supervised by an industry expert as students work with a client to help promote their business and build their client base.

Electives (9 credits)

These courses are designed to allow students to develop skills to specific career plans by delving into advanced topics beyond the core requirements. Multiple courses are offered to allow students to tailor their education to their needs. Not all courses are offered each semester, which allows students the opportunity to complete the core courses while expanding skills in additional areas.

MMC6726 Emerging Technology and Social Media: 3 credit hours

This course studies the multiple uses for gamification, virtual reality, and virtual worlds. Cases related to successes, failures, and uses of these tools are analyzed with a special focus on cases pertaining to engagement, branding, and business.  Students will research ethical and sociological issues associated with gamification, explore virtual worlds and mobile apps, and analyze the uses of gamification in a variety of contexts. Throughout the course, students will apply what they are learning so they may confidently leverage gamification in their professional lives.

MMC6730 Social Media Management: 3 credit hours

This course teaches students to use social media strategically to create value for an organization. An emphasis is placed on strategic collaboration, tactical execution, and measurement of social media efforts. Students will learn by doing in assignments focusing on social media post writing and publishing, management and measurement tools, a social media audit, an editorial calendar, a tactical plan, and crisis management. The course will cover blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and an array of niche social media platforms.

MMC6205 Social Media Ethics: 3 credit hours

Social media enhances the relationship between media organizations and their audiences, but these new relationships raise a host of ethical issues. This course introduces students to these critical issues, including accuracy, privacy and trust. Students will be able to articulate important principles of ethics and apply these to social media contexts.  Issues are explored using real-life case studies.

MMC6725 Social Media and News: 3 credit hours

This class examines the intersection of traditional media and social media, and surveys the current practical and ethical issues that arise with that intersection. Students will use recent historical cases, as well as current and unfolding cases to look at the functions, value, and issues.  Students will apply their knowledge by using social media platforms to create news for targeted audiences.

MMC6936 Digital Storytelling: 3 credits

This course is designed to provide students a skill set in digital storytelling production and analysis. Students will develop skills to create effective online stories, learn how to produce such stories using the right equipment, and understand how digital stories differ from those in print, radio and television. Students will look at the changing roles of storytellers in news, promotion, and public service, while discussing and analyzing media consumption habits of the content produced. The course includes aspects of advertising, journalism and public relations to better understand trends online and how to tailor content to reach audiences in new ways.

MMC6936 Advanced Social Media Analytics: 3 credit hours

This course provides students with the skills necessary to organize, measure, hypothesize, question, and act on social media data. Sources of the data will include paid social media, owned social media channels, earned social media sources, and search data which is frequently used as a proxy data source. Further discussions will involve various attribution models including marketing mix models (MMMs), social media’s role in direct response marketing, social net promoter scores (social NPS), and use of social media data as a predicative medium.

Requirement: A passing grade in Metrics 1.

Professional Internship (3 credits)
This class is asynchronous.

Completing an internship is one of the most marketable experiences you can have on your resume and it allows you to stand out during the job search. This course will provide you with the opportunity to complete projects related to your career goals under the supervision of an experienced practitioner in the field. By the end of the internship, you will have first-hand knowledge of trends in the field, the skills necessary to be employable after graduation and the importance of networking. Everyone will set goals from the beginning of the course about what you want to accomplish at your internship and be able to self-reflect about the progress made at the end of the term.

This course helps with both job-specific skills and transferable skills in that you are applying the skills learned from previous courses and obtaining new skills while completing the internship. Emphasis will be placed on connecting internship experiences to post-graduation goals and having students articulate their accomplishments from the internship. There will also be a focus on giving and receiving feedback in a professional setting.

For more information, see our webpage.


Practicum (4 credits)

The Practicum gives students the opportunity to create, develop and implement a social media brand around a topic of their choice to showcase their interest or talent. This unique opportunity provides students with a supervised project over the course of four semesters. This project includes building a brand community to demonstrate ability, and to create a brand from the ground up using the skills and knowledge learned in the program.

Social Media Practicum 1,2,3,4

This course is about engagement. It is about building a community of followers – most importantly, engaged, passionate followers. Success in this class will come from students’ determination to be successful and their skill at applying what they’ve learned their efforts. This course will focus on your vision for building and engaging a community and how to create a strategic plan that supports that vision. To do so, you will identify the story within the vision and determine how to bring that story to life.

Professional Development (1 credit)

The goal for this Program is measured in your success before and after graduation. The more successful you are, the more we have achieved our goals as a Program. Often success comes down to finding the career that best allows you to utilize your passions, skills, and knowledge. But it also takes an understanding of the need to perform professional development to market yourself as someone with the passion, skills, and knowledge to be the right fit for a company.

MMC6936 Personal Branding and Professional Development

Students in this course learn job-search skills specific to the online communications field, such as writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, networking and negotiating a salary.

MMC6936 – Freelancing for Communication Professionals

Freelance and consulting work has become a significant part of the digital economy. In this course, students will learn job-search skills specific to the online communications field such as writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, networking and negotiating a salary. By the end of the course, you should also have a 2 fundamental understanding of using career research tools, proposing ideas to nontechnical co-workers and creating e-portfolios to showcase your work. Specifically, the course will help you feel confident marketing your skills after graduation. There will be time devoted to discussing freelance work and securing a promotion at a current place of employment.

Graduate Certificate

Students in the graduate certificate track complete the first four courses listed above. Enrolling in the graduate certificate is a popular option for some students, as the application process does not require taking the GRE. Then, while taking these courses, a student can also prepare for and take the GRE. Upon successful completion, students can transfer into the master’s degree track. Learn more about the graduate certificate.


Quick Facts

38 credit hours for master's degree
12 credit hours for graduate certificate
100% online
recorded lectures & live office hours
Fall Semester: August-November
Spring Semester: January-March
Summer Semester: May-August
Download Info Packet


Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
July 1

Spring Semester
November 1

Summer Semester
April 1


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