Online Master's Programs in Journalism
Online master's degree programs in journalism can be convenient for working professionals looking to continue their education. These programs cover mass communication theories and practices, and some can be tailored to your specific professional goal.
How Does an Online Master's Degree Program in Journalism Work?
These programs are designed with working journalism professionals in mind and generally require 30-37 credit hours of coursework. For full-time students, this can take as little as 18 months, but you may be able to take from 6-10 years to fulfill all degree requirements as long as you register for a minimum number of credits per year. Most programs culminate in a thesis or capstone project, which can be directly related to your work environment.
The online format often lets you access instruction at your convenience, although you might have to attend regularly scheduled video conferences for some courses. In general, as long as you have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone, your learning can easily take place without disrupting your work schedule.
|Program Requirements||30-37 hours of coursework; thesis or final project|
|Admission Requirements||Relevant bachelor's degree, entrance exam scores; statement of goals and portfolio of previous work may be required|
|Common Courses||News reporting, mass communication law, government and media|
|Accrediting Organization||Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)|
|Median Salary (2018)||$40,179* (for journalists)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||10% decline** (for all reporters and correspondents)|
Source: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Do I Need For Admission?
You should have completed an undergraduate degree in journalism or a related area with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better. In some instances, significant work experience in the field may be substituted for certain undergraduate coursework; in others, both appropriate undergraduate coursework and experience may be required. You also may need strong verbal Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores. Other common admission requirements include letters of recommendation, a statement of goals, a resume and a portfolio.
What Will I Study?
Beyond news reporting for print and broadcast media, journalism also covers the fields of advertising and public relations. Thus, your course of study will depend on your goal. For example, if you're looking to enter a management position for a publisher, ad agency or network, you may study media management and leadership, organizational communications, strategic planning and media business models. On the other hand, if you're a current writer looking to broaden your skills, you may take courses such as precision language, reporting public issues, Web publishing and multi-platform journalism. Core courses that are common to most programs regardless of specialization include:
- Mass media theory
- Mass communication law
- Mass communication ethics
- Government and media
- Research methods in journalism
How Can I Find an Online Program?
The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC,), which is the primary organization for evaluating and approving college and university journalism programs nationwide, may be a great place to locate accredited programs (www2.ku.edu). By choosing an ACEJMC-approved course of study, you can be sure that it has been thoroughly evaluated against the strict national standards of the Council for Higher Education and Accreditation. There are several accredited online programs that are identical in content to their campus-based counterparts.