American Univesity of Beirut

MA in Media Studies

​The media studies program at AUB offers a Master of Arts in Media Studies and a Graduate Concentration in Communication. ​


The AUB MA in Media Studies offers students a broad-based multidisciplinary liberal arts curriculum grounded in the social sciences that teaches students media theory and research, and focuses on critical thinking and on the role of media in society. The program offers a regional and global scope and stresses a liberal arts approach that emphasizes theory, research, teaching, and critical skills. In addition to exploring media theories, students learn research methods and systematic and critical inquiry into the nature, processes and consequences of traditional and new media. The program brings forth issues and principles of freedom of the press, multicultural communication, and media ethics and social responsibility. It stresses the university’s commitment “to creative and critical thinking… and civic responsibility”. 

Students who successfully complete the MA in Media Studies should be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a solid understanding of the relationship between theoretical concerns and research design and methodology.
  2. Develop a critical understanding of media representations, practices, institutions, and politics
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the history of the field, and current intellectual trends
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the different types and forms of media
  5. Explain the strengths and limitations of different communication and media theories and research methodologies
  6. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of major concepts, analytical approaches, and critical perspectives in the interdisciplinary field of media studies
  7. Develop an understanding for the relationship between media institutions, culture, technological transformation, political and ideological formations, and social change.
  8. Contribute to the study of media with the writing of publishable essays.


Requirements for admission into the MA program are consistent with those of the Faculty of Arts of Sciences. In addition to an online graduate application, applicants are required to submit: Two letters of recommendation and a statement of Goals/Research Interests, and Experiences (GRE is not required).

Please note: Students are only accepted into the MA program in the fall semester.

A candidate qualifies for admission if s/he holds a bachelor’s degree from AUB or an equivalent degree from another recognized institution normally with an average of 80% or more. Students may be interviewed upon application to determine their professional background and qualification." 

Prospective graduate students with no background in media studies may be required to take pre-requisite undergraduate courses. These prerequisite courses may be waived on a case-by-case basis for equivalent courses or for relevant, extensive, and verifiable professional experience. ​


The MA in Media Studies program offers two tracks. Students may choose either a thesis option or a project option. Both options require 30 credits. Students must decide which track they want to pursue by the time they successfully complete the comprehensive exam, which is normally at the end of the second semester for full-time students. Based on their comprehensive exam performance, students will be advised to pursue one track or the other.

  • The thesis option requires seven courses (21 credits), the comprehensive exam (0 credits), and a 9-credit thesis (MCOM 399).
  • The project option requires nine courses (27 credits), the comprehensive exam (0 credits), and a 3-credit project (MCOM 398).

All candidates for the MA in Media Studies must complete MCOM 300, 301, 302, and 395 (comprehensive exam) and at least two courses from the list of department electives. The remainder of the courses may be selected from the department electives, the general electives, or other unlisted graduate courses, after the advisors consent.

Core Courses (All are required):

  • MCOM 300: Graduate Research Methods in Media Studies 3 cr.
  • MCOM 301: Seminar in Communication Theory and Research 3 cr.  
  • MCOM 302: Seminar in Mass Media in the Modern Arab Society 3 cr.  
  • MCOM 395: Comprehensive Exam 0 cr. 
  • MCOM 399: Thesis 9 cr. (thesis option) -- or -- MCOM 398: Project 3 cr. (project option)


Graduate Concentration in Communication.  

Students enrolled in the MA in Sociology may elect to pursue a graduate concentration in communication. In addition to the sociology requirements, students must complete MCOM 301. For details, refer to the MA in Sociology requirements in the graduate catalog. 

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