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Arkansas State University

What to Expect in the Online MSMM Program

Brittney Francois is pursuing a master’s degree to advance a career in the fashion industry. Destiny Quinn is earning a master’s to get one step closer to becoming a TV anchor. What Francois and Quinn have in common is that they both chose a master’s in media management.

Francois and Quinn are enrolled in the online Master of Science in Media Management (MSMM) program at Arkansas State University (A-State). With its unique approach, A-State’s MSMM builds a foundation in media communications while preparing students for specific career goals.

How Does MSMM’s Unique Approach Work?

A-State’s MSMM supports diverse career paths, with students choosing an area of emphasis from three tracks:

Mass Media Management: Public relations, integrated communications, entrepreneurship, and news and broadcast.

Digital Media Management: Emerging media and digital advertising, social media metrics, and communication strategy.

Public Administration: Organizational structures, regulations and ethics, and multi-channel marketing.

Francois and Quinn, for example, both chose to build expertise in digital media management. Students round out their studies with a capstone experience, applying course content to real-world media management situations.

How Do Students Manage Work and School?

A common concern is whether it is possible to work full time and keep up with school — putting a career on hold is not always an option. With A-State’s online MSMM, students can complete their degree in as few as 12 months, studying anywhere at any time, so there’s no need to leave your current job.

Francois and Quinn have full-time jobs, and they agree that the flexibility of the online format is key. Francois does school work whenever she can — after work and even on her lunch break. She spends about 15 hours per week on coursework, and gets some downtime. “Monday is my break day. Then, I hammer it out the rest of the week, reading and doing assignments every day.”

Quinn stressed the importance of time management in balancing work and school, and she is a fan of planners. “If you are able to write everything out, and allow time to study and do your assignments,” she advised, “it’s going to be a lot more beneficial.”

What Are Students Saying About Their Coursework?

MSMM courses are arranged in seven-week blocks. This format can help students stay motivated. It also means that if they fall behind, there is less time to catch up.

As U.S. News & World Report staff writer Kim Clark points out in “8 Big Mistakes Online Students Make,” the online format requires a lot of self-discipline. Francois found that some classes have a lot of reading, and it is important to keep up. “I wasn’t sure I’d have time to do it,” she said, “but I am able to balance it all.”

Francois’ top course so far has been Social Media in Strategic Communication. “I’ve learned how to apply social media tools and how to mix them in an organization’s strategy,” she said. Quinn has especially enjoyed Audience Marketing Analysis, which explores using data sources such as Nielsen to find audience market insights.

When it comes to succeeding, instructors and advisers are important resources. Quinn’s adviser was also the professor in her first two classes. “I could reach out to her at any point,” said Quinn. “Especially with diving into a master’s program, I found her very helpful.”

Both Francois and Quinn are looking forward to future career opportunities. In the meantime, they are making the most of the MSMM program. As Francois said, “All of these courses are going to tie in together in some way that I’m going to apply to the e-commerce, project management or digital marketing position I hope to have one day. I’m absorbing it all.”

Learn more about the A-State online Master of Science in Media Management program.


U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges – Arkansas State University

U.S. News & World Report: 8 Big Mistakes Online Students Make

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