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The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

M.S. in Media Solutions and Innovation

Want to own your own publication or create a new startup? Do you need to enhance your skills in media leadership, digital publishing, product development and audience engagement? West Virginia University’s Media Innovation and Solutions master’s degree program or the four-course certificate program may be exactly what you need to make it happen.

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What is it?

The Media Solutions and Innovation master's degree and certificate programs explore the disruptions in the media industry and give you specific skills and tools that prepare you to lead or launch a media organization in the 21st century. Both programs partner with NewStart to connect you with industry leaders for discovery, research and development of targeted solutions to address some of the most challenging media problems, with an emphasis on local and community media.

The master's degree and certificate programs are both entirely online and designed to flex with your schedule. It is designed for people who want to continue working in their current field. Students also benefit from in-depth virtual workshops and panel discussions with industry leaders.

Join a network of graduates that have produced 8 startups in 3 years, published influential industry reports and achieved career advancement in media leadership.

Who should apply?

Current journalists who want to become entrepreneurs

Employees identified by management as up-and-coming newsroom leaders

Journalists who left the industry and want back in

Current owners and publishers who want to scale their business or restructure for more profitability and efficiency

Entrepreneurs and civic-minded community leaders

Current students who have an entrepreneurial flair

Which is right for you?

Both the Media Solutions and Innovation master’s degree program and certificate program are fully online and designed to fit your schedule. Here’s a breakdown of some of the unique aspects of both programs:

Master's Degree

Graduate Certificate

Credential Earned M.S. in Media Solutions and Innovation Graduate Certificate
Number of Credits 30 credit hours
A combination of eight 3-credit courses, independent study courses and a research practicum
12 credit hours
Four 3-credit courses
  • Media Trends and Disruption (3 credits)
  • Audience Development (3 credits)
  • Media Law/Ethics (3 credits)
  • Community Journalism (3 credits)
  • News Analytics (3 credits)
  • News Product Development (3 credits)
  • Preparatory Research Practicum (4 credits)
  • Independent Study (1 credits)
  • Independent Study (1 credits)
  • Media Leadership Capstone (3 credits)
  • Capstone (3 credits)
  • Audience Development (3 credits)
  • Community Journalism (3 credits)
  • News Analytics (3 credits)
  • Choose 1: News Product Development (3 credits) or Media Leadership Capstone (3 credits)
  • Program workshops & virtual panel discussions
Format Online, Asynchronous Online, Asynchronous
Perfect For ... grad cap iconThose with a bachelor's degree seeking a master's degree in entrepreneurial journalism arrowThose who already have a master's degree and non-degree-seeking students
Estimated Cost checkAbout $18,000 checkAbout $7,500
Financial Aid The full master's degree qualifies for financial aid. The graduate certificate is non-degree-seeking and not eligible for financial aid.

By the Numbers

  • 11 students have earned master’s degrees in Media Solutions and Innovation
  • 8 journalism-related startups created
  • 3 external employment opportunities obtained
  • 2 students earned certificates in Media Solutions and Innovation
  • 2 industry-related research papers produced
  • 1 internal promotion to publisher
  • 1 industry-focused newsletter
  • Multiple talks to purchase publications
  • Numerous internal and external program partnerships created

Ready to Apply?

  • STEP 1: Go to the WVU Application portal.
  • STEP 2: If you already have an account, enter your username and password to log in, or create a new account.
  • STEP 3: Click the “Start a New Application” button and begin the process.
  • STEP 4: In the field for "What type of student are you?" choose Masters if applying to the full master's degree program, or Certificate for the four-course certificate program. Choose Media Solutions and Innovation from the "To which program are you applying?" field, and select the term you intend to begin.
  • STEP 5: Once you have filled out all of the required fields, you can save and review your application and then submit.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to Shannon Cunningham at


Admission to the Media Solutions and Innovation program is based on a holistic, case-by-case analysis of the applicant’s WVU Application for Admission, academic record (undergraduate transcript), years of relevant professional experience (resume), and writing ability and intent (personal statement).

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NewStart is a local news ownership initiative, created by West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media in collaboration with the West Virginia Press Association, that has a mission to recruit, train and support the next generation of community newspaper owners and publishers across the country.

Learn More about NewStart
Dana Coester


Dana is a professor in the Reed College of Media and the creative director for the College's Media Innovation Center. Her work has focused on technology and community media with special interests in audience building and new economic models for sustaining journalism.

More about Dana