Mass Communication/Media Studies
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Overview
Mass communication/media studies is a program that focuses on the analysis and criticism of media institutions and media texts, how people experience and understand media content, and the roles of media in producing and transforming culture. includes instruction in communications regulation, law, and policy; media history; media aesthetics, interpretation, and criticism; the social and cultural effects of mass media; cultural studies; the economics of media industries; visual and media literacy; and the psychology and behavioral aspects of media messages, interpretation, and utilization.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in mass communication/media studies at each level last year.
02K4K6K8K10K12K0-1 Year Certificate1-2 Year Certificate2-4 Year CertificateAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's DegreeResearch Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all mass communication/media studies graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 59% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 45% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in mass communication/media studies earned in the last academic year, 63% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a higher percentage of women than 60% of other programs.
Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in mass media, which includes mass communication/media studies and 2 other program.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in mass media have a median salary of $51,075.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 19% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 29% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
As with our salary data, this data applies to all who earned a bachelor's degree in mass media, which consists of 3 programs.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 4.6%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are less likely than the bachelor's graduates of 91% other fields to be employed.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 9% of workers who earned a bachelor's in mass media are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Media (which combines 3 programs), perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
Completions History
Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data is for bachelor's recipients of several programs including mass communication/media studies

This section is informed by household surveys collected for the American Community Survey (ACS). For each person in the households surveyed, we learn about their college major (if applicable), final educational attainment, age, occupation, salary, and more. Using the ACS data lets us share something about what financial and career outcomes people can expect after majoring in a particular field in college.

Within our program pages, Ididio details over 1700 programs. However, the ACS surveys only report on 170 college major degrees. There is no published crosswalk between the programs and degrees. Some of the programs we describe are mostly offered as certificates or graduate programs, and don't make sense as college majors. For the remaining programs, we created a mapping to the best-fitting ACS degree designation.

We placed mass communication/media studies within the ACS mass media degree designation, which contains a total of 3 programs.

All of the data that follows is for individuals who earned a bachelor's degree with a major in the degree mass media. While we compile data on those who also received graduate education, unfortunately ACS does not record the subject area for graduate degrees.

Programs included in the ACS mass media degree
Digital Communication and Media
Specialized Radio, Television, and Digital Communication
Mass Communication/Media Studies
Employment overview
Percentage of mass media bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in mass media lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage mass media majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 15.6% of mass media graduates are currently not working. However, only 4.6% are classified as "unemployed," while 11.0% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

84%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether mass media majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

4.6%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for mass media majors

How does the median (middle) salary for mass media majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$51,075$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for mass media majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$52K$51K$49K$52K$41K$74K$59K$51K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KLocal government (5.8% )Private for-profit (66.0% )Private not-for-profit (10.6% )State government (5.6% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (5.2% )Federal government (2.6% )Self Emp. Incoporated (4.0% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for mass media majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in mass media. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (55%)
Women (45%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that mass media has more women than most other degrees.

45%55%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of mass media majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

$48K$53K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For mass media graduates, men generally earn 11% more than women. This is better than many: 91% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.

11%11%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of mass media bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in mass media can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for mass media graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$64K$51K$40K$66K$60K$63K$64K$60K$27K$0$50K$100K$150KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40K50KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can mass media majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for mass media majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all mass communication/media studies completions reported last year, 95% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 9% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in mass communication/media studies
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in mass communication/media studies today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in mass media when in college.

We know that about 19% mass media majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of mass media majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: mass media majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 19% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in mass media, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in mass media by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$48K$74K$62K$72K$0$50K$100K$150KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

29%55%50%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research DoctorateBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for mass media majors
Careers for mass media majors

As we explained at the start of the previous section "Salary and Employment for Majors", the career data in all of these tabs is supported by the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides career information based on the broad degree mass media. For of the career statistics we report here, we consider all bachelor-holders in mass communication/media studies and 2 other programs to fall under the ACS data we aggregated for the mass media degree.

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in mass media, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in mass communication/media studies. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$72K
5.6%
Producers and directors
$0$200K$60K
3.6%
Marketing and sales managers
$0$200K$74K
3.6%
Elementary and middle school teachers
$0$200K$51K
3.1%
**Editors
$0$200K$53K
2.6%
Designers
$0$200K$51K
2.3%
Customer service representatives
$0$200K$32K
2.1%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
$0$200K$39K
2.1%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
$0$200K$36K
1.9%
Television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors
$0$200K$49K
1.9%
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
$0$200K$61K
1.6%
**Writers and authors
$0$200K$53K
1.5%
**Postsecondary teachers
$0$200K$62K
1.5%
Market research analysts and marketing specialists
$0$200K$63K
1.4%
Retail salespersons
$0$200K$31K
1.4%
Chief executives and legislators
$0$200K$96K
1.4%
Web developers
$0$200K$60K
1.4%
Education administrators
$0$200K$68K
1.4%
**News analysts, reporters and correspondents
$0$200K$50K
1.2%
Specialized media/broadcast technicians
$0$200K$51K
1.2%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten mass media careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by mass media graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

This Degree
Top 10 careers
Top 10 degrees hired
Business Management and AdministrationGeneral BusinessAccountingElectrical EngineeringMechanical EngineeringPsychologyPolitical Science and GovernmentEconomicsMarketingFinanceCommunicationsFilm Video and Photographic ArtsMass MediaJournalismDrama and Theater ArtsEnglish Language and LiteratureFine ArtsElementary EducationGeneral EducationSpecial Needs EducationEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama EducationHistoryLiberal ArtsComposition and RhetoricCommercial Art and Graphic DesignArchitectureCriminal Justice and Fire ProtectionCommunication TechnologiesSociologyManagers (specializedareas)Producers and directorsMarketing and salesmanagersElementary and middleschool teachersEditorsDesignersFirst-line supervisors ofretail sales workersCustomer servicerepresentativesTelevision, video, andmotion picture cameraoperators and editorsSecretaries andadministrative assistantsAll others
Jobs that choose mass media majors
What careers hire mass media majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have mass media as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of mass media majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

Careers where this degree is a top 10 hire
Degrees
Television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editorsAdvertising and promotions managersPublic relations and fundraising managersAnnouncersProducers and directorsArtists and related workersEditorsNews analysts, reporters and correspondentsPhotographersWriters and authorsAll other careersMass MediaAll other degrees
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer mass communication/media studies degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Only schools within
200 Miles
of
323 schools offer this program (all levels) in the selected area.
School
State
Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
Adrian College
MI
1,562
16.6
$26,930
78%
47%
Albany State University
GA
4,346
16.7
$10,809
32%
30%
Albion College
MI
1,483
12.8
$19,913
86%
72%
Alcorn State University
MS
3,045
22.3
$13,665
33%
51%
Alderson Broaddus University
WV
978
20.1
$17,794
75%
47%
American University
DC
7,793
15.5
$32,732
86%
80%
Anderson University
IN
1,744
18.6
$24,005
74%
58%
Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix
AZ
9,177
22.3
$12,299
69%
70%
Arizona State University - Skysong
AZ
17,026
31.0
$11,916
69%
Arizona State University - Tempe
AZ
43,108
24.9
$12,947
69%
67%
Auburn University
AL
22,392
20.3
$22,613
82%
73%
Augsburg University
MN
2,475
18.4
$24,020
84%
60%
Austin College
TX
1,457
13.8
$21,893
84%
74%
Austin Peay State University
TN
7,622
22.1
$13,045
56%
38%
Baker University
KS
1,529
32.6
$22,393
74%
64%
Baldwin Wallace University
OH
3,331
17.1
$23,990
81%
69%
Barton College
NC
980
14.4
$23,533
70%
49%
Belmont University
TN
6,320
21.8
$35,382
85%
69%
Bemidji State University
MN
4,072
26.8
$14,653
77%
49%
Benedict College
SC
2,447
21.1
$19,340
23%
56%
Graduate program details
Explore mass communication/media studies graduate program details

Many schools provide information to Peterson's about their graduate programs, and Ididio has licensed that data to share with you. The data is reported by program name and subject, and we have worked to match that data with the standard "CIP" titles that are the basis of these program pages. Please be aware that only a subset of all possible graduate programs share the details about financial support and admissions numbers with Peterson's. To see a complete list of schools who have graduated students with this degree, the previous section is much more reliable; however, this is a great place to look for a hint of schools that may offer financial support. You can see more details about each school's graduate programs in the Programs Offered section within that school's Ididio page.

Filter Schools
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Program
State
Total applicants
Percentage Admitted
Application Fee
Grad students with aid
American University
Program in Global Media (Master of Arts)
DC
53
30%
$55
10
Arizona State University - Tempe
Program in Communication Studies (Master of Arts)
AZ
$70
CUNY Hunter College
Program in Integrated Media Arts (Master of Fine Arts)
NY
27
78%
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
MS Program in Mass Media Arts and Journalism (Master of Science)
PA
10
80%
$40
Governors State University
Program in Communication and Training (Master of Arts)
IL
25
60%
$50
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Comparative Media Studies (Master of Science)
MA
93
12%
$75
17
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy)
MA
920
8%
$75
163
Michigan State University
Program in Communication Arts and Sciences–Media and Information Studies (Doctor of Philosophy)
MI
64
27%
Middle Tennessee State University
Program in Mass Communication (Master of Science)
TN
69
39%
$30
10
Pace University - New York
MA Program in Media and Communication Arts (Master of Arts)
NY
$70
Rochester Institute of Technology
MS Program in Media Arts and Technology (Master of Science)
NY
20
85%
$65
14
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
Program in Media Theory and Research (Master of Arts)
IL
5
40%
$65
3
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Program in Media Literacy
IL
0
$30
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Program in Interpersonal Communication (Master of Arts)
IL
$30
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Program in Mass Communications (Master of Science)
IL
10
50%
$30
9
Syracuse University
MA Program in Media Studies (Master of Arts)
NY
$45
Explore similar programs

Mass Communication/Media Studies is part of a larger collection of programs: Communications, including journalism, multimedia, film, and radio. Is there a different program that's close to Mass Communication/Media Studies that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
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