American University of Central Asia - AUCA - COURSES


Admission Requirements

 Students are admitted to the JMC program based on three examinations:

  1. English (TOEFL)
  2. Written math exam
  3. Written exam/essay


Short description of the required courses


Introduction to Mass Communications (6 credits; prerequisite: English Language)

This course is focused on gaining basic knowledge of Mass Communication theories. It will also discuss various contemporary mass media issues in order to understand how mass communication works. We will use that understanding to study how media interact with various other forces in society to cause acculturating forces on us. Students should leave this course with an understanding of the role and history of mass communication in global sense, and the role of mass media in the government and culture of different societies.


Effective Storytelling for the Media (6 credits; prerequisite: Russian Language)

The aim of this course is creation of journalistic stories for diverse audiences. Students will learn how to develop story ideas, gather information, combine visual and verbal messages, write and edit news. An additional emphasis is put on developing news writing skills for various sources in the pursuit of accuracy: developing information gathering techniques, including interviewing and computer-assisted reporting; a develop an understanding of news deadline.


Writing Research and Evidence I and II (6 credits; prerequisite: English Language)

Good writing has become a key ingredient to success in any communications job. This course will stress the basis writing skills essential to any student in any mass communication. In this course you’ll learn to develop a story idea, to improve your information gathering techniques, writing and revising/editing skills.


News Writing Skills and Cultural Reportage (6 credits; prerequisite: Writing Research and Evidence I and II)

This course teaches students to craft solid stories that adhere to the international standards of journalism. It will help you learn to find the best way to develop journalistic skills and thinking. At the end of the course, students should be able to: gather information for and write a profile of an individual who exemplifies a larger trend, problem or issue; create an article or package of articles on a complicated topic for target audience; develop good story ideas that will interest and inform a target audience; edit your work and that of others for news judgment, accuracy, precision, fairness, mechanics and aesthetics, and appropriateness to the audience; pass a language-skills test that covers basic word usage, grammar, punctuation and spelling.


Digital Storytelling I (Video/Audio) (6 credits; prerequisite: NONE)

This course is designed for 3rd year journalism students. Students will learn in detail about technical aspects of video production (cameras, audio, directing, editing, lights, set and graphics design) as well as about organizational aspects (concept development, scriptwriting, cast selection, budget planning, pitching your program, syndication).  We will discuss production process of different types of programs such as news, public affairs programs, talk shows, documentary films, fiction films, commercials, video press releases and reality TV shows. Depending on their interests, students create and produce programs as a team.


Communication Theory and Practice I (6 credits; prerequisite: Intro to Mass Communications)

We will learn applied aspects of the field of public relations and you will master your skills with a theory, knowledge of a broader societal context and learn how to analyze a public relations problem and create a public relations plan based on your research. In public relations, you are paid to give voice to an organization (or individual) and represent it in communications with its publics. Many organizations and individuals claim to practice public relations, yet implement techniques that are not based on research, which gives an understanding of the situation (real-world behavior), or that lack ethics. The term “public relations” gets bandied about often in the news media and political discourses, but there is still much confusion over the definition of public relations and its scope. This course will introduce you to the theory, principles, and techniques of public relations. You will learn how to put theory into hands-on practice by solving real-world public relations problems in Kyrgyzstan.


Mass Media Research Methods (6 credits; prerequisite: Mass Communications Theory/ Intro to Sociology)

This course is intended to introduce you to standard research methods and procedures in mass/communication(s) studies. This course is a prerequisite for your Senior Thesis course and three components:

    1. Why are mass/communication(s) research methods important to you as a practicing communications professional or in the related field you may choose to pursue?
    2. What is a good mass/communication)s) research question and how can you best devise a method and procedures to answer it? How to choose a project, choose an appropriate method and set of procedures and develop your proposal. How to create a good literature review.
    3. The results! How to gather data, analyze it in light of your question and come t a conclusion. How mass/communication(s) research can help you in your practice as a communications professional.

Visual Communication and its psychological aspects (6 credits; prerequisite: Intro to Mass Communications)

This course explains the interactions between psychological processes and media processes. It offers a variety of ways to understand how the media work in individuals, more than in groups, systems or societies. Major theories about media psychology help the class imagine how to create a wide range of media productions. By learning about and discussing principles of producing and receiving media, you will be better prepared to work effectively as a professional communicator.  You will also understand more about your personal media use, its influences on you, and how people actively shape their media consumption.


 Mass Communication Theory (6 credits; prerequisite: Intro to Mass Communications)

This course is designed to introduce students to the variety and diversity of modern theories of mass communications. It provides a basic understanding of how modern theories relate to mass communications, how mass media are organized, and how they function; how they influence audiences, as well as how these theories may be used by students for their further development, both professionally (if they decide to practice journalism or another mass communications field like public relations or marketing communications) and academically (if students continue their education after they graduate).


Senior Thesis Seminar I (6 credits; prerequisite: Mass Media Research Methods/Mass Communication Theory)

This is an intensive course for senior journalism students writing their undergraduate theses. It explains how to write a major undergraduate work that passes academic standards of accuracy, validity, and awareness of relevant literature. It also explains how to organize findings and arguments. To achieve these objectives, the course covers the methodologies of writing a thesis and identifies its necessary structural “ingredients”, such as literature review, explication of the methods used, and interpretation of data.


Media Law and Ethics (6 credits; prerequisite: Intro to Mass Communications)

This course is designed to provide students with a good working knowledge of those aspects of law, which are of particular concern to journalists and mass communicators. The course covers current debates about privacy, freedom of information, race and sex discrimination. It is designed to give students insights into key ethical issues in journalism, such as protection of sources, bias, defense against moral, financial, political pressure, problems of sexism and racism. By the end of this course, students should be able to recognize and avoid the main legal pitfalls in a work of a journalist, i.e. defamation, contempt, violation of privacy and confidentiality. It also familiarizes students with the Kyrgyz and international legal media system.


For more detailed information regarding a course, please consult the department or discuss it with instructor

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028