Master of Arts in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Admission to Program

Graduate students are accepted twice a year, for fall and spring semesters.The graduate admission application to San Francisco State University is a two-part process. Part One is the university application submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies. Part Two is the academic department application submitted to the Graduate Coordinator for your intended degree program. You must submit Part One and Part Two of your graduate admission application simultaneously by the deadline to be considered for admission. Both applications must be received between November 1 and February 1 for the fall semester, and between September 1 and October 15 for the spring semester. Both University and departmental files must be complete by the last day of the application period (February 1 or October 15). Applicants for fall admission are notified of departmental recommendation regarding admissions in . Applicants for spring admission are notified of departmental recommendation regarding admissions in mid-November. The official notice of admission status is forwarded to the applicant by the University's Division of Graduate Studies.

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.

Part One:

  1. Apply online through CSU Mentor for a Graduate Program. The Office of Graduate Admissions no longer accepts paper applications to graduate programs.
  2. Pay the 55.00 USD application fee. We recommend that you pay online by credit card at the moment you submit your application. If you selected the option to pay the application fee by check or money order, make the check payable to “San Francisco State University”
  3. Send all required documents noted on your online SF Gateway Portal “To Do List” to the Division of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Admissions
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, ADM 250 San Francisco, CA 94132

Part Two:

Applications to the department must include:

  1. BECA department graduate application available through the department website (
  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. Transcripts of all previous college work
  5. 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

Before applying to either the University or the department, send for descriptive materials about the program and details on how to apply. Write to:

Graduate Coordinator, BECA Department
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, CA 133
San Francisco, CA 94132

This information may also be obtained on-line at

Although undergraduate preparation in media or communication is desirable, students from other academic disciplines who have demonstrated interest in the electronic media are encouraged to apply. Students may be required to take up to 14 units of undergraduate courses as prerequisites. All students must take BECA 200, BECA 340, 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.

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

In order 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.) — minimum 30 units

Core Requirements (16 units)

BECA 700Introduction to Graduate Study (taken in first fall semester)4
BECA 701Formula and Creativity in the Public Arts3
BECA 702Ethics and Responsibility in the Electronic Media3
BECA 706Seminar in Media Aesthetics and Production Theory3
BECA 822Seminar in Media and Society3

Other Requirements (11 units)

Electives must be approved by the graduate advisor.

Culminating Experience (3 units)

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

Requires BECA 897 as a prerequisite. BECA 897 may be used for up to 3 units of elective credit in the ATC.

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.