Journalism Master's Degree

Journalism master's degree programs exist for both experienced and novice reporters. Learn about the types of programs available, sample course topics and how you can gain practical experience through internships. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Journalism Master's Degree Programs Are Available?

You can find master's degree programs in journalism geared towards both working journalists and those who wish to become journalists. While each school designs its programs differently, you can find both Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) programs. If you need to learn basic reporting, interviewing and writing techniques, an M.S. in Journalism program gives you those skills through intensive classroom and field work. An M.A. in Journalism program is typically geared towards experienced journalists who wish to learn how to report on a particular topic in an educated, thoughtful and nuanced manner.

If you need a flexible schedule, there are some opportunities for earning your master's degree in journalism through an online program. Additionally, some campus-based programs offer flexible schedules and limited online course options. Programs may be designed to take as little as nine months to complete, while others allow you up to five years to complete the requirements. Depending on your previous education, you may need to complete some prerequisite courses prior to beginning your master's degree program.

Program TypesM.S., M.A. and online programs are available
Common CoursesInvestigative journalism, community reporting, writing style
Additional RequirementsStudent project or thesis
Internship OptionsVarious options include newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and magazines
Median Salary (2018)* $41,260 (for reporters and correspondents)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* -12% (for reporters and correspondents)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

If you're just entering the journalism field, your courses focus mostly on the skills necessary to work for newspapers, magazines, broadcasters or new media outlets. You gain a deep understanding of writing styles, interview methods and research techniques. You may also learn how to write a lead, develop an article and identify stories. Other courses cover investigative journalism, reporting on government meetings and covering community events.

Experienced journalists seeking a master's degree can often specialize in a particular subject area, such as health, art, business or political writing. Coursework is designed to give you a cultural perspective and expertise in the area you wish to work. You might be able to take courses that teach you how to report on architecture, education, film, sports or the environment. Additionally, some programs may allow you to focus on print, photo or digital journalism.

Journalism master's degree programs typically also require an in-depth student project or a thesis. This usually involves investigating and writing a lengthy story. Often, you're able to work closely with an advisor to help shape your piece and guide your research.

What Kinds of Internships Are Available?

Master's degree programs in journalism often include some hands-on learning through internships or required in-depth investigative pieces. Internships vary according to your interests, but you can often choose from opportunities at newspapers, wire agencies, websites, radio stations, TV stations, magazines and other organizations. Additionally, some journalism schools operate news services that allow you to spend time working on stories and investigations, giving you experience with deadlines and real news operations.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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