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Journalism Programs at U.S. Colleges and Universities

U.S. universities offer a wide variety of programs and options to train students to be professional journalists.

Journalism is a great option for those who have an inquisitive, perceptive nature and strong writing skills. Students who wish to study journalism need to develop their ability to work under intense pressure, tight deadlines and conduct investigative research. It is a discipline of collecting, analyzing, verifying, writing and presenting news regarding current events, trends, issues and people. It’s a field that continually evolves, with new ways of disseminating news through diverse platforms, including newspapers, television, radio, magazines, websites and social media. U.S. universities offer a wide variety of programs and options to train students to be professional journalists.


It is important for international students to apply to U.S. institutions that are accredited. For more information, visit www.chea.org and the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications at www2.ku.edu/~acejmc/


Undergraduate degree
Students interested in journalism will be expected to be knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects, such as history, politics, science and literature and have an understanding of current events. Courses at U.S. universities can differ depending on specializations. The first two years may cover basics of writing, reporting and editing across different types of media. The last two years will continue to focus on these skills, and also enter into discussions of ethics, law and journalism history. International students can apply directly to journalism schools (J-schools) or major in journalism.


Graduate degree
Master’s degree programs in journalism in the United States are usually one to two years long and are open to students with a recognized bachelor’s degree in any field, provided the student is able to demonstrate aptitude for the discipline. Graduate programs provide students opportunities to work with latest technologies, network with professionals in the industry and gain real-world experience. Students can specialize in areas such as investigative journalism, documentary, business journalism, science reporting, political reporting and digital media. Theoretical learning and hands-on projects form an integral part of almost all programs.

Many universities now offer joint graduate programs in law, business administration, South Asian studies and public health for students pursuing master’s in journalism.


Admissions process
Application and admissions requirements for a journalism degree are different from school to school; it is important to research programs to find the best fit.


Basic admissions requirements
Application & fee: Available on university websites, note deadlines for international students.

Transcripts: Official transcripts of secondary school records for undergraduates and bachelor’s records for graduate program.

Test scores: High TOEFL or IELTS scores are important for all; SAT or ACT scores needed for undergraduates; GRE scores for graduate studies.

Essays & writing samples: Applications require one to three essays on various topics; some may request writing samples.

Letters of recommendation: Up to two letters from educators or supervisors who know you and your work very well.

Finance: Provide information regarding financial contribution.

EducationUSA advisers can provide more information and guidance on how to apply to U.S. colleges and universities. EducationUSA is supported by the U.S. Department of State to provide international students with accurate, comprehensive and current information about U.S. higher education. EducationUSA is located in seven cities in India; visit http://www.educationusa.info/India to find your nearest center.


Article courtesy EducationUSA India.