Master of Science in Journalism
Master of Science in Journalism
1-year graduate degree program
Graduate study in the Department of Journalism comprises a dynamic and practical series of courses that prepare graduates for jobs in digital media and newsrooms. Complement your area of expertise with journalistic skills for communicating with the public. Take coursework in data visualization, multimedia, science journalism and more. Students from any academic background are welcome. A bachelor’s degree in journalism is not required.
Customize your curriculum to advance your career
The Master of Science in Journalism (MS) program is designed to meet the goals of three types of students:
- Students who have recently earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism or a related field and want to explore a specific type of journalism in greater depth
- Mid-career journalists who want to expand their professional skills in science, technology, data, investigative or immersion journalism
- Students who seek to complement their expertise in other areas (including but not limited to science, technology, engineering, and math) with journalistic skills for communicating with the public
Strong career opportunities
Our faculty are internationally esteemed practitioners and scholars who offer instruction in a wide range of media subjects and skills, including investigative and immersion journalism, data analysis and visualization, science writing, social media, business reporting, and diversity and ethics in media. Students also have access to the resources of a top research university, such as the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
Students will build a strong personal portfolio including projects that are published and aired through an array of award-winning professional newsrooms overseen by the department and carried by regional, national, and international outlets.
The MS in Journalism degree prepares you for the rapid changes taking place in newsroom and digital media. Take coursework in multimedia, investigative and immersion journalism and business reporting. You have the opportunity to work on professional news platforms and explore a topic in depth in your master’s project.
Hybrid/Online Focus on Science and Technology Specialization
The curriculum with the focus on science and technology journalism complements your scientific expertise with journalistic skills for communicating with the public. Take coursework in science and data journalism, video storytelling, and augmented and virtual reality. Examine the science of genomics and its applications to environment, health, and technology.
- What are the application requirements?
Official transcripts from all universities you have attended, an academic statement of purpose, a personal statement, a writing sample and three letters of recommendation are required. Submit your applications here: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply
Applicants to the MS in Journalism program must have a 4-year bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or one of recognized standing abroad. A grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) is the minimum requirement for admission.
Applicants whose native language is not English must present their official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination as part of their applications. The department follows the Graduate College’s recommendations for English proficiency. (See https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04c for additional information.)
International applicants should consult https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/countries for additional information about minimum requirements for admission, including information about comparable bachelor's degrees.
What should I talk about in my academic statement of purpose?
You will be asked to write a statement that answers the following questions (1,000 words max):
- How has your academic and professional background, including any professional training, prepared you for graduate study?
- How will our program help you achieve your intellectual and professional goals?
- What are your academic interests and why do you wish to pursue graduate studies in this specific program?
What should I talk about in my personal statements?
You will be asked to write a a series of short answer personal statements (see below). Statements 1 and 2 are required from all applicants, while Statements 3 and 4 will appear as optional to all applicants.
1. Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development.
2. Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively.
3. Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware.
4. If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here.
- What type of writing sample should I submit with my application?
Choose anything that highlights your abilities to clearly communicate about a topic. Any piece of writing will work, whether journalistic (such as a news article, podcast script, press release, or opinion column), academic (such as a paper completed for a college course), or professional (such as a report or white paper). Please limit the length to no more than 1,500 words.
- Where can I find more information about applying?
To learn about the application process, go here: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/faqs
When is the deadline to apply?
Applications for Spring 2024 will open in the summer. To start the program in Spring 2024, applications are due November 1, 2023.
Applications for Fall 2024 are accepted on a rolling basis:
- Round 1 Deadline: January 21, 2024
- Round 2 Deadline: March 17, 2024
- Round 3 Deadline: April 28, 2024
- Round 4 Deadline: June 9, 2024
How much does it cost?
- Are any scholarships or fellowships available?
Fellowships are available for select MS students. Fellowships are awarded on a quarter-time basis and carry a waiver of tuition and most fees. A limited number of merit-based scholarships also are available. There are no separate applications for fellowships or scholarships.
Soon, students will be able to combine online modules into stackable certificates. More information to come.
Online Non-Degree Courses
Journalists and other professional communicators who want to boost their skills are welcome to enroll in online modules as non-degree students. See online journalism courses.
Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Journalism: Melita Garza, Associate Professor and Tom and June Netzel Sleeman Scholar in Business Journalism