M.A. Global Mass Communication

Mission Statement and Overview

of the Dual-Degree-Program "M.A. in Global Mass Communication / M. Sc. in Journalism"

by the Institute of Communication and Media Studies (Leipzig University) and the the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism (Ohio University)


Built upon the long history of the two universities and their unique friendship, the mission of the double-degree program is:

  • To foster the long-term partnership between the two institutions toward an academic culture that is dedicated to free inquiry, cross-pollinating research, and responsible praxis;
  • To provide graduate students from both universities with the extraordinary opportunity to obtain a double-degree in the field of Mass Communication and Journalism, conferred by the two partnering institutions, through completing parts of their studies at the respective partner university;
  • To create and maintain a tradition of crossing boundaries in a globally connected world that prepares students to become responsible global communicators as professionals and scholars in journalism and mass communication.

This is the first double-degree program in the field of communication, media, and journalism between a U.S. and a German university. This innovative program will not only strengthen the long-term relationship between the two partner universities, it will also expand our academic exchange to include graduate level education and to create higher visibility for our institutions. The success of the dual degree program will be measured by its adherence to these goals as well as by the students' success in attaining highest academic achievements and in developing social responsibility in a cross-cultural context


September 24th 2012: 20th anniverary of Ohio-Leipzig partnership

Left to right, back row: Ming Li, Tom Hodson, Penny Shelton, David Wilhelm, Chester Pach, Bob Stewart, Svend Poller (Leipzig), Hans-Joerg Stiehler (Leipzig), Benjamin Bigl (Leipzig), Ralf Hoffmann (Leipzig), Jenny Hines, Crister Garrett (Leipzig), Greg Emery

Left to right, seated: Deborah McDavis, President Roderick McDavis, President Beate Schuecking, Ambassador Tim Timken, Sue Timken


Background of Partnership

Founded in 1409, Leipzig University encompasses a wide range of disciplines. Many renowned scholars have taught or studied at Germany's fourth-oldest university, which has provided important impulses for scholarly work. Currently, Leipzig University has more than 28,000 students, including about 3,000 students from foreign countries.

Ohio University was founded in 1804 as the first institution of higher education west of the Appalachian Mountains. Since then, it grew into a large public teaching and research university. Today, it is home of 33,000 students, including ca. 1,750 international students.

While early exchanges between the two institutions can be traced back to American students John P. Gordy und James E. Le Rossignol, who studied at Leipzig in the 1880s and taught at Ohio University thereafter, the period of an intense partnership between the two institutions began in 1992. Out of this partnership grew student and faculty exchange programs, workshops, summer programs, and a range of collaborative activities in teaching and research across many disciplines.

A formal Memorandum of Understanding was first signed in 1994 and has since been renewed and extended in 1999 and 2012. Based on these bilateral agreements on academic cooperation, a letter of intent to implement the new double degree program was signed on January 31st, 2013, by the presidents of both universities.

Program Overview

The Institute of Communication and Media Studies (KMW) at Leipzig University is the oldest institute in Germany in the field of communications (founded in 1916) and also one of the largest. It offers a comprehensive bachelor's program in communication and media studies as well as three specialized master's programs in communication, journalism, and communication management, serving almost 1100 students. All master's programs are offering the opportunity to advance to a doctorate (Ph.D.).

Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, founded in 1924, is consistently among the top ten public journalism schools nationwide. With currently more than 900 students, it offers two bachelor tracks (news and information, strategic communication), as well as a master's and Ph.D. program in journalism and mass communication. The two partnering schools have a long history of exchanging students and faculty, taking advantage of the synergies and opportunities of their partnership.

The double-degree master's program in Global Mass Communication and Journalism will add to this profile and continue the long tradition of the two departments. Currently supported by a DAAD planning grant, It is expected to be funded by a long-term DAAD grant, with the first group of Ohio students studying in Leipzig and with the first group of Leipzig students coming to Ohio in the fall semester of 2016/17. Students will typically stay for one semester with the option or an additional semester at the partner university.

The program prepares students for a successful career in the rapidly changing field of globally connected media. It provides in-depth training in theories, methods, and skills in empirical research and mass communication, enabling students to conduct scholarly and professional work in an international media context, while also strengthening their intercultural competence through language courses, team-based workshops, and a "tandem" approach that pairs up students from Leipzig and Athens to facilitate integration into the program and the study abroad life. A strong and intense research internship at the E.W. Scripps College of Communication as part of the Leipzig students curriculum will train the participating students in an international academic sphere.