The Master of Arts in media and public engagement (MAPE) trains critical advocates for social change. It is a two-year, interdisciplinary program that spans traditional boundaries between theory and practice, offering opportunities for critical study of the history, institutions, economics and social implications of the media, both nationally and globally. It also offers practice-based media training geared toward civic engagement and community building. In addition to completing courses in media theory and other fields of interest, students learn how to create thoughtful and engaging projects using a variety of media practices, including online platforms, multimedia documentary, social media campaigns and other kinds of tools both longstanding and cutting-edge.

During their two years in the program, MAPE students will collaborate with faculty, community leaders, nonprofit organizations and companies to devise innovative interventions for social change. They may also choose to complete one of several subject-area certificate programs available through the university.

The MAPE prepares students for entering and transforming a variety of professions, both at the national and international level, in government, media, public relations, cultural organizations and the nonprofit sector.


Application Guidelines

Students are admitted to the program based on the quality of their proposed project and their commitment to social change and the public good. Applicants to the MA in media and public engagement must:

  • Hold at least a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  • Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75.
  • Have a GRE verbal score of at least 153 (62%). International applicants must also have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (IBT 100).
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Provide a 500-word statement of purpose.
  • Provide a resume.

Graduate advising is available by phone (303-492-7977), email ( or in person (Hellems 96D).

Program Requirements

Students in the MAPE program take a total of 30 credit hours, comprised of:

  • 24 hours of coursework selected from a range of courses offered by the Media Studies department and/or courses crosslisted with other departments inside and outside the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI)
  • 6 hours for a thesis project

Required Courses and Credit Hours

Required Foundation Courses
MDST 5001Connected Media Practices3
MDST 5002Media Activism and Public Engagement3
MDST 6051Media Theories3
Additional Requirements
Methods of media practice and/or research. 16
Research and Methodologies Seminar
Choreography, Cinematograph: Writing in Motion
Contemporary Documentary Media
Documentary Production Workshops
Documentary Lab Seminar
Documentary Field Work
Documentary Production Topics
Introduction to Practice-Based Research
Media Technology Boot Camp
Newsgathering and Multimedia Storytelling
Photojournalism Portfolio
Video Documentary Production
Newsgathering 2
In-Depth Reporting
Newsgathering for Television
Data Journalism
Multimedia Editing
Digital Journalism
Opinion Writing
The Art of Visual Storytelling
Arts/Cultural Reporting and Criticism
Feature Writing
Science Writing
Reporting on the Environment
Special Topics
Electives in the student's area of emphasis. 29
Freedom of Expression
Political Communication
Media Ethics and Responsibility
Visual Communication
Environmental Communication
Rhetoric and Civic Community
Media Law
Asian Media and Culture
Mass Communication Criticism
Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality in Popular Culture
Critical Theories of Media and Culture
Global Media and Culture
Communication, Media, and Concepts of the Public
Children, Youth and the Media
Media and Communication Policy
Media, Myth, and Ritual
Media and Popular Culture
History of Media and Communication
Political Economy of Media
Master's Thesis
MDST 6951Master's Thesis6
Total Credit Hours30