Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
School of Communication, Information and Library Studies
About the University
About the Dean
About the School
Academic Policies and Procedures
Undergraduate Programs
Master of Communication and Media Program
Dual-B.A./M.C.M. Program
M.C.M. Program Admissions
Financial Aid
Career Opportunities
Degree Requirements
Curriculum Overview
Master of Health Communication and Information
Master of Information Program
Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information, and Media
Professional Development Studies
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Camden Newark New Brunswick/Piscataway
  School of Communication and Information 2023-2025 Master of Communication and Media Program Dual-B.A./M.C.M. Program  

Dual-B.A./M.C.M. Program

Undergraduate communication and journalism and media studies majors may apply for the Master of Communication and Media (M.C.M.) program during the junior or senior year. Benefits of this Five-Year Dual-degree program include:

  • If accepted, dual degree students can enroll in up to four 500-level M.C.M. courses (12 credits) in their senior year, which can count for both their undergraduate and M.C.M degree requirements. Students cannot apply more than four courses toward both degrees. These courses can be taken in the Fall, Spring semesters or Summer sessions only.
  • Students pay undergraduate tuition rates for those M.C.M. courses taken in the senior year.
  • Once a student's undergraduate degree requirements are completed, students graduate with their bachelor's degree and will then be considered full graduate students in the M.C.M. program.
  • The M.C.M. master's degree may be completed within a few semesters through full-time study (usually in 12-15 months) or at a slower pace while working full time. The M.C.M. degree may also be completed in the evenings. 

Applying to the Program

  • Ideally students should apply for the Five-Year Dual-Degree Program om their junior year or early senior year through Graduate Admissions.
  • Be sure to submit all the materials listed under "Admissions" below through the Graduate Admissions website, which includes a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Exam scores, and Rutgers transcripts. Learn more about the Graduate Record Exam at
  • GRE waivers are available with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or five years of full-time work experience or two letters of recommendation from current Rutgers faculty members.
  • Apply at any time during the Junior year. Once all application materials are complete, an application will be reviewed for acceptance.
  • Remember that students can submit an application to the dual-degree program before completing all required courses. However, before enrolling in M.C.M. classes, students must have completed all requirements and some electives towards the major.
  • The M.C.M. program is selective in accepting students. To enhance the chances of being accepted, ask for letters of recommendation from professors in the school.

After Admission

  • Students will be advised by the M.C.M. director about their progress in the M.C.M. program.
  • Once eligible to enroll in graduate classes, students may take up to four M.C.M. courses in the senior year. Up to four M.C.M. courses will double-count in satisfying upper-division (300/400 level) major elective requirements and M.C.M. requirements
  • Students cannot enroll in any M.C.M. elective that is cross-listed with a Ph.D. course.
  • Students cannot enroll in the M.C.M. Communication Research (17:194:514), ePortfolio (17:194:508) or Capstone (17:194:519) courses in the senior year.

Important Differences Between Graduate and Undergraduate Courses

  • Master's-level work is graduate work. This means that students will be learning in ways that are different from undergraduate work. Students will be asked to do more reading than in typical undergraduate courses; read faster; and come ready for thorough discussions of the readings in class. There will be advanced study of theory and reading of original research pieces. 
  • Classes will include working professionals as well as master's-level students who are a year or two ahead. M.C.M. students come from around the region, the country, and outside the United States. An important benefit of the program is exposure to the real-life working examples and experiences of the other students.
  • Master's-level courses require students to apply learning and develop points of view above and beyond that of typical undergraduate coursework. There will be few, if any, exams; students will be assessed on participation in class discussions, short papers, presentations, and lengthier project papers. 
  • Students will be invited to participate in academic events and presentations as part of the learning experience. 
  • Students will be a part of the MCM Graduate Student Association and invited to social events, networking events, and presentations.
  • Graduate courses usually meet once per week. It is essential for students to attend every class meeting.
  • Participation in discussion is a very important part of learning and is usually assessed in graduate courses as a major portion of a grade.
  • Classes do meet during finals week for presentations and other activities.
  • Graduate courses can stretch students in new ways. Students should expect to be challenged.

Grading in the Dual-Degree Program

  • Grades that can be awarded for graduate courses are: A, B+, B, C+, C, F; or pass/no credit in some designated experiences. There is no D in the graduate grading rubric.
  • Grades in graduate school are very different than in undergraduate programs in the sense that most graduate students earn A's and B's in their coursework. A C+ or C grade is considered a "red flag" and can result in probation.
  • The standards for achieving an A or a B in a graduate course, even as a dual-degree student, are likely to be slightly more demanding than for an undergraduate course.
  • Grades earned in the dual-degree program are factored into a student's GPA the same as undergraduate grades.
  • Graduate students focus more on the learning than on the points and grades. A transition into graduate work means it is important to start thinking in these terms. How can the material be mastered? How can more useful insight into the topic/readings be gained? What can be done to enhance the ability to apply the theory and research being read? These are important questions and should dominate a student's thinking in terms of the evaluation of performance in the class.

Substituting Undergraduate Major Courses for M.C.M. Courses of the Same/Similar Topic

  • Up to four M.C.M. courses can be taken once students are admitted to the M.C.M. program. However, the content of a master's-level course will be more advanced than the undergraduate course with the same name at the 300 or 400 level. It may be beneficial to have an introduction to course material at the 300 or 400 level and then take the M.C.M. course covering the same topic.
  • Once admitted to the M.C.M. program, students should visit with the M.C.M. director to seek advice about courses to take that may complement a student's background.
  • It is not wise to plan junior year courses around the assumption that admission to the M.C.M. program is imminent. Students should move through junior year completing all major requirements. Then, if admitted to the M.C.M. program, students can plan future coursework.

M.C.M. Contacts

  • M.C.M. Program Director Dr. Richard Dool is the first point of contact for questions.
  • An undergraduate adviser can provide the best advice about completing undergraduate degree requirements. 
For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: One Stop Student Services Center.

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