Stephen F. Austin State University

Course Descriptions

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Mass Media

The major in Mass Media consists of 36 semester hours, of which at least 18 must be advanced. Students with a major in Mass Media may choose either the BA or the BS. Required courses are:

MCM 101 Introduction to Mass Media
MCM 205 Media Writing
MCM 210 Multimedia Production
MCM 306 Media Law
MCM 406 Media Ethics

In addition, students take 21 additional hours in a concentration of Journalism, Radio/Television, or Strategic Communication. See detailed information and descriptions below.


MCM 250 Photographic Journalism I
MCM 305 Convergence Reporting (WE)
MCM 301 Editing in the Converged Newsroom
plus 15 hours Advanced MCM courses approved by advisor.


MCM 212 Audio Production
MCM 300 Single Camera Production
MCM 302 Studio Production
MCM 420 Broadcast practicum
MCM 442 Radio/TV Programming
plus 9 Advanced MCM courses approved by advisor.

Strategic Communication

MCM 307 Advertising Principles
MCM 380 Public Relations Principles
MCM 470 Strategic Media
plus 15 hours Advanced MCM courses approved by advisor.

Minor within Mass Media Major

If you wish to major and minor within Mass Media you would take an additional 12 advanced hours beyond those listed above. These hours must be approved by your academic advisor.


MCM 101 Intro to Mass Media
This is an introductory course designed to acquaint the student with the process of mass media. Students must complete MCM 101 with a grade of C or better before advancing in the major.

MCM 205 Media Writing
Fundamental principles of writing news across platforms of print, broadcast and online. Writing Enhanced.

MCM 210 Multimedia Production
A toolbox course designed to acclimate students to the basic programs, techniques, and concepts utilized within the discipline of Mass Media.

MCM 212 Audio Production
Theory and practice in elementary sound recording for radio and television. Prerequistite: MCM 101 with a grade of C.

MCM 250 Photographic Journalism I
Study and practice of photography as a major component of journalism. Emphasis on basic photography skills. Learn how words and visuals work together to tell a story while gaining proficiency in industry standard editing software.

MCM 300 Single Camera production
Theory and practice of television field production techniques, proper use of cameras, video editors and other electronic technology to communicate stories visually. Prerequisite: MCM 212.

MCM 301 Editing in the Converged Newsroom
Techniques of news editing, evaluation and processing of news with emphasis on grammar, AP style and headline writing. Prerequisite: MCM 205 with a grade of C.

MCM 302 Studio Production
3 semester hours, 2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab per week. Designed to develop style and skill in television production. Exposure to a variety of television production situations. Prerequisite: MCM 212 with minimum grade of C.

MCM 305 Convergence Reporting
Intensive study of methods used in gathering and writing news for both print and online media. Prerequisite: MCM 205. Writing Enhanced.

MCM 306 Media Law
Communication Law. Study of communication law affecting the rights and duties of the press, including electronic media. Attention given to the First Amendment, libel, privacy, Freedom of Information, copyright and obscenity. Prerequisite: advanced standing.

MCM 307 Advertising Principles
Study of advertising principles in today's economy and its specific use in marketing. Emphasis on development of creative strategy, media selection and audience segmentation. Prerequisite: Advanced standing.

MCM 308 Advertising Cases & Campaigns
Study of advertising campaigns for newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, blogs and other media. Students will apply the principles of advertising to create ads and campaigns. Prerequisite: MCM 307 and advanced standing.

MCM 309 Feature Writing
Types of special articles and writing techniques best adapted to marketing material in newspapers and magazines. Writing Enhanced. Prerequisite: MCM 205 with a grade of C and MCM 305.

MCM 320 Sports Writing
Core techniques and methodology of sports writing, while exploring the business: how to get started; local, national, and feature writing; and how the Internet is changing the face of sports writing. Prerequisite: MCM 205. Writing Enhanced.

MCM 350 Photographic Journalism II
Continuation of skills introduced in MCM 250 Photographic Journalism I. Single story-telling pictures, multiple picture packages integrating audio & video, and picture stories will be introduced. Ethical, historical, legal and stylistic aspects addressed. Prerequisite: MCM 250.

MCM 376 Broadcast Performance
Development of the basic skills for effective television and radio announcing, newscasting, and interviewing. Prerequisite: MCM 212.

MCM 380 Public Relations Principles
Study of the principles and practices in the field of public relations. Emphasis on development of creative strategy, media selection and audience segmentation. Prerequisite: Advanced standing.

MCM 381 Public Relations Writing
Fundamentals of writing for publications, including newsletters, house journals, news releases, pamphlets and brochures. Prerequisite: MCM 205 with a grade of C or better and MCM 380.

MCM 382 Public Relations Case Studies
An in-depth study of the profession of public relations with a focus on contemporary issues, problems, and challenges using guided discussion and analysis of case studies. Prerequisite: MCM 380 & advanced standing.

MCM 383 Public Relations Campaigns
Examination of skills, techniques, and knowledge used in Public Relations campaigns. Prerequisite: MCM 380 & advanced standing.

MCM 401 Topics in Media
In-depth study of selected topics in the fields encompassed in the program.

MCM 403 Graphic Design for Media
Study and application of graphic design through the publication of advertising, magazine, newspaper and various other layouts. Prerequisites: MCM 205 and 250.

MCM 404 Media Graphics
3 semester hours, 1 hour lecture, 3 lab hours per week. Application of the fundamentals of media graphics to provide an understanding of their use in converged media. Prerequisite: MCM 250.

MCM 406 Media Ethics
A study of ethical theories and their application to ethical problems in journalism, advertising, public relations, radio/tv and the internet. Prerequisite: advanced standing.

MCM 409 Broadcast Sales
Techniques and procedures used in commercial broadcast sales. Combines classroom instruction and professional examples. Prerequisite: Advanced standing.

MCM 410 Student Publication Practicum
Supervised instruction and practical experience for students in operations and management of student-produced publications, including The Pine Log, TPL Online and the Stone Fort yearbook and department newsletter. Prerequisite: MCM 305.

MCM 413 Column & Editorial Writing
Writing opinion pieces for online and traditional media. Writing Enhanced. Prerequisite: MCM 205 and 305.

MCM 420 Broadcast Practicum
Supervised instruction & practical experience for students in the operation of radio station KSAU and SFA-TV 2. Prerequisites: MCM 212 and MCM 302 or 300, depending upon major area emphasis.

MCM 421 Scriptwriting
Problems and practice in the writing of dramatic and non-dramatic programs for broadcast purposes. Writing Enhanced.

MCM 440 Backpack Journalism
Mobile media production, including field reporting, editing, and distributing news for multiple platforms. This course trains students to report directly from the field for both traditional and online media. Prerequisite: MCM 305.

MCM 442 Radio & Television Programming
Study of the programming function in broadcasting, analysis of programs, and implementation of effective broadcast schedules. Prerequisite: MCM 101 with a grade of C.

MCM 445 Advertising & Illustration
Focus on technical proficiency. Emphasis on studio lighting, flash and related skills for advertising. Students will understand and implement basic lighting for studio and "on location" photography. Prerequisite: MCM 350 or consent of instructor.

MCM 450 Advanced Photojournalism
Focus on the working photojournalist as both freelance and contract employee to produce portfolio quality picture stories suitable for online and print media. Emphasis on professional visual storytelling and real world deadlines. Prerequisite: MCM 350.

MCM 455 Media & Politics
An examination of the use of both social media and traditional media in modern political campaigns; emphasis on the creation of and implementation of advertising and public relations campaign strategies and news. Prerequisite: Advanced standing.

MCM 456 Advanced Television Production
3 semester hours, 2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab per week. Development of imagination and aesthetic judgment in the production of television programs. Prerequisite: MCM 302 and 300.

MCM 460 Broadcast Management
An examination of the management principles and practices in the broadcasting and cable industry. Examines the theoretical, legal, financial, and technical aspects of broadcast stations and cable television systems. Prerequisite: Advanced Standing

MCM 465 Meet the Media
Explorations of media industries, nationally and internationally. Students will visit magazines, advertising & public relations agencies, newspapers, radio and TV stations. Prerequisite: MCM 205.

MCM 470 Strategic Media
Introduction to the agency side of advertising and public relations. Students learn about the role of media strategy and decision making from the more traditional practice of media planning and interactive media. Prerequisite: MCM 307 and 380.

MCM 475 Topics of Public Relations
In-depth study of selected topics in the field of Public Relations. Pre-requisites: MCM 380 & advanced standing.

MCM 478 Advanced Advertising I
Research-based course that develops a database, research report and advertising campaign for a client. Emphasizes the importance of using research for creative techniques. Prerequisite: MCM 307, MCM 308 and advanced standing.

MCM 479 Advanced Advertising II
Advertising course that builds on research to create a campaign for an advertising client. Emphasizes the importance of creative techniques used effectively. Prerequisite: MCM 478 and advanced standing.

MCM 480 Media Internship
3-6 semester hours. Supervised on-the-job experience. Internships arranged by student and approved by instructor. Strongly recommended. Prerequisite: Must have completed 66 hours overall with 24 hours in MCM courses (12 hours at SFA).

MCM 495 Special Problems in Media
One to three semester hours. Independent investigation of a special topic or project by the student with advice, approval and supervision of an instructor.

For detailed course descriptions please visit the current General Bulletin