New graduate degree debuts this semester

St. John’s University introduced a new graduate degree in the fall of 2009: the Master of Science in International Communications. There are currently 26 students enrolled in the program.

The program is the brainchild of professor Basillio Monteiro, an associate professor of mass communications in the College of Professional Studies.

“This is a unique program on the whole East Coast of the United States. This master’s degree combines
communication, public policy, international relations and political economy,” said Monteiro.

Admissions requirements are the same as the admissions requirements for other University graduate programs.

“Requirements for admission are the standard ones across
graduate programs at St. John’s University. They need to have a bachelor’s degree with minimum 3.0 GPA., GRE scores and letters of recommendation. In order to graduate, students must demonstrate at least an intermediate level proficiency in a foreign language,” explained Monteiro.

The master’s degree has specific required courses, totaling 18 credits. These required courses include theories and processes of communication, international communication and global development and media and communication research methodology.

“These courses are designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge of the complex world of communication, develop a research orientation, and understand the application of communication methodologies in public policy, politics and international relations,” said Monteiro.

Students will also be required to choose three elective courses, and have the option to pursue a thesis.

“The electives are designed to help students develop certain specializations, such as international public relations or international advertising,” he said.

Monteiro said that the internship opportunities made available to the students are an important part of the program. Internship opportunies are offered in Brussels, Luxembourg,
Strasbourg, Madrid and Barcelona.

The degree program is open to a wide range of undergraduate majors, and Monteiro invites everyone with an interest in the program to apply.

“Anyone who has an interest in the management of communication, whether corporate, governmental or non-governmental,” he said. “Today everything is international, transnational, and multi-national; so this degree opens up opportunities for our students to see the world as their employment market.”

According to Monteiro, they anticipate at least 10 new students for the fall semester because of the growing interest in the program.

Graduate student Tiffany Vasquez is part of the 2009 inaugural class, and received her B.S. in communication arts from St. John’s. She states that she is excited about being a part of the program.

“Professor Monteiro had first mentioned this program when I was on a study abroad trip with him in India. I wanted to join this program since then, but it didn’t exist yet! So I waited two years until it did, and here I am,” she said. “The program adds international aspects to the general scope of communications that I love, and since we are steadily becoming more of a globally united world instead of separate countries, these topics are vital to becoming a communications professional.”

Vasquez said she feels that this master’s program will help her further her career.

“I want to establish a stable career in an international entertainment company, possibly doing research [such as location scouting] and other tasks that will enable me to work on all sides of the world,” she said.

TV and Film major Miranda Fluhrer also felt that the program would be useful.

“I’m not planning on attending graduate school, but I’m good friends with Professor Monteiro and I have heard of the program. I think it’s a good opportunity for communications majors. We have such a huge study abroad program that students can study at multiple campuses across the globe,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity for communication, advertising, and public relations majors.”

“I think it’s an interesting and useful program. As an economics major I learned that telecommunications played a big part in the flow of information and globalization,” said Economics major Nevena Georgieva.