Master of Arts in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts

Information about the SF State Master of Arts in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts can be found on the department's website: http://beca.sfsu.edu/content/graduate-studies

Admission to Program

Applications for graduate study in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) at San Francisco State University should be submitted through Cal State Apply (https://www2.calstate.edu/apply/). Applicants must meet all University requirements for admission, which includes a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Specific language and degree requirements for international students are described in the SF State Division of Graduate Studies website (https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/international-application-submission).

Graduate students are accepted to the BECA MA program multiple times a year thanks to a rolling application process. However, the program is optimized for students who begin in the fall semester. Spring admission is best for students whose undergraduate degree is in a different academic discipline and require prerequisite coursework in preparation for the required graduate course of study.

The BECA Department Graduate Admissions Committee meets three times to review applications for the Fall semester. Applications that are completed by February 1 are considered in the first round of reviews. These applicants are notified of the department's recommendations for their admission by early March. If seats remain available in the program, the committee will consider applicants who complete their applications by March 15. These applicants are notified of the department's recommendation for their admission by late April. During the final meeting, the Graduate Admissions Committee will consider applicants who complete their applications by June 1. These applicants are notified of the department's recommendation for their admission by mid-July.

Applications for the spring semester are due on October 15. These applicants are notified about the department's recommendation for their admission in November.

The official notice of admission status is forwarded to the applicant by the University's Division of Graduate Studies.

Prospective graduate students should prepare their application materials in advance before starting the online Cal State Apply application.

Required application materials include:

1. A CV or resume

2. Applicant's statement of purpose in pursuing the M.A. degree

3. Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from a former teacher

4. A 500-word writing sample

5. Transcripts of all previous college work. Applicants must upload legible unofficial copies of transcripts from each college or university attended. This includes study abroad coursework, or community college coursework, even if this coursework appears as transfer credit appears on your degree transcript. Full academic disclosure is required.  Photographs or screenshots of transcripts will be rejected. An incomplete academic history will significantly delay the review of your application. The Division of Graduate Studies may request official transcripts from you at any point during the application review process. Applicants selected for admission will be required to submit official transcripts to the Division of Graduate Studies to secure your offer of admission.

6. Current Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are encouraged, but not required. Scores must be submitted to both the University and the department. A minimum GRE Analytical Writing score of 4.5 is one method students may meet the department's Level One writing requirement

The SF State Division of Graduate Studies website includes tips for effectively organizing your materials for submission to Cal State Apply:

Although undergraduate preparation in media or communication is desirable, students from other academic disciplines who have demonstrated an interest in the electronic media are encouraged to apply. Students with different academic backgrounds may be required to take up to 14 units of undergraduate courses as prerequisites. Prerequisite coursework will be determined upon consultation with the graduate coordinator. It may include BECA 200BECA 340, BECA 370, and one introductory production sequence (either BECA 230 and BECA 231 or BECA 240 and BECA 241), or equivalents. Students who choose a creative project involving production as their culminating experience may be required to take both audio and video production (BECA 230 and BECA 231 plus BECA 240 and BECA 241). These prerequisites may not be used as part of the Advancement to Candidacy.

Students are admitted to the program in conditionally classified status. Students must advance to classified status by:

1. Completing or demonstrating knowledge of the content of the prerequisite courses;

2. Completing BECA 700 with a grade of B or better;

3. Demonstrating Level One Written English Proficiency (see below); AND

4. Submitting the Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form to the SF State Division of Graduate Studies.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Each graduate student must demonstrate the ability to write standard American English correctly and effectively. To assure that each graduate student has the desired proficiency in written English, two distinct assessments are made:

Level One (Preadmission)

Level One writing is demonstrated with an Analytical Writing score on the GRE of 4.5 or higher. Students who fail to demonstrate Level One writing preadmission may be admitted conditionally but will be required to take a department-administered writing test during the first week of their first semester. If they fail to pass this writing test, they will be required to take remedial writing courses before enrolling in 700-level or 800-level courses other than BECA 700 and BECA 702. The remedial writing classes cannot be used on the ATC. This requirement may delay the student’s progress through the program.

Level Two

Advanced level of writing proficiency is demonstrated by successfully completing the master's written comprehensive examination, the master's thesis, or the creative project.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. program in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, students will be able to:

  1. Apply aesthetic theory to the practice of media production.
  2. Use effective communication strategies, including media terminology as appropriate, in the creation and analysis of electronic and digital media content.
  3. Integrate research-related media theory into the conception and distribution of media content.
  4. Conceptualize, design, and write stories for electronic and digital media.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in fundamental and advanced media production concepts and techniques.
  6. Analyze and write about electronic and digital media’s role in and impact on culture and society.
  7. Critically evaluate business trends and the legal and regulatory frameworks of electronic and digital media industries.
  8. Promote ethical standards and social justice in the creation and distribution of electronic and digital media.

International Students

The department welcomes applications from international students. Many distinguished alumni of the program are working in media industries around the world. International students should note the special requirements that pertain to them presented on these pages. Questions should be directed to the BECA graduate coordinator, the Office of International Programs or the Division of Graduate Studies.

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, applicants must be in classified graduate standing and have an approved ATC form on file.

Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (M.A.) - 30 units minimum

Core Requirements (15 units)

BECA 700Introduction to Graduate Study (taken in first fall semester)3
BECA 701Formula and Creativity in the Public Arts3
BECA 702Ethics and Responsibility in Electronic Media3
BECA 706Seminar in Media Aesthetics and Production Theory3
BECA 822Seminar in Media and Society3

Electives (12 units)

Electives must be approved by the graduate advisor.

Culminating Experience (3 units)

Select one:
Creative Project
BECA 894Creative Work Project 13
Written Comprehensive Examination
BECA 896
896EXM
Readings for the Written Comprehensive Examination
and Culminating Experience Examination
3
Thesis
BECA 898Master's Thesis 13

The minimum requirement for graduation is 30 units. Because of individual student background, needs, interests, and advisor recommendations, the graduate student may be required to complete more than 30 units.

Students must consult with an advisor before determining which one of three culminating experience options they will pursue.

Master's Thesis

Students who pursue the master's thesis option must complete a written master's thesis, a scholarly document that reports on some kind of original research. The research builds upon theory, and addresses one or more research questions or tests one or more hypotheses. Research questions or hypotheses reflect a scope appropriate for M.A. level work. Research methods are selected for their appropriateness to the question or problem at hand.

Master's Written Comprehensive Examination

Students who pursue the examination option must complete a written comprehensive examination while they are enrolled in BECA 896 and BECA 896EXM. The examination will be created by a committee that is appointed by the instructor of BECA 896. A candidate who fails the written comprehensive examination may re-take it once.

Master's Creative Project

Students who pursue the creative project option must execute a project, the scope of which is defined by the student in collaboration with a committee of three faculty members, and prepare a written document to accompany the project. The project may take the form of a production created for the broadcast or electronic media, a script for such a production, or another type of product that employs the broadcast or electronic media. The accompanying document provides an introduction; a statement of the project's significance, value, and objectives; a literature review; a description of the creative methodology employed; a discussion of the completed project; a conclusion; and a production appendix. The faculty may require additional coursework to demonstrate evidence of ability to complete a creative project.