MA in Journalism

The program leading to the MA degree is designed to accommodate several objectives, including: comprehensive professional preparation for careers in the news media, mass communications and strategic communication; expansion of previous professional preparation and experience (e.g. newspaper editing) into a new area (e.g. broadcasting reporting); comprehensive academic preparation for careers in journalism and strategic communication teaching and research; and combinations of the three.

Program Models

Students choose from more than 20 program models, covering the full range of skills and media of journalism and strategic communication. Because the faculty periodically update these models, students should visit the school’s Web site for the latest details. In addition to the course work in any model, students complete either a thesis or a professional project. Students who make progress on the degree requirements and maintain at least a B average each semester are considered to be in good standing.

Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of 37 hours, unless in the Accelerated BJ-MA program (see below for additional information) where it is required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours. Online MA program students are required to complete one of the following emphasis areas under the MA Journalism; Health Communication, Strategic Communication, Interactive Media, or Media Management. The online degree is a minimum of 33 credit hours.

For all students, at least half of the credit hours must be at the 8000-level. Specific course requirements vary depending on the model selected.

Required Core Courses
JOURN 8000Mass Media Seminar3
JOURN 8006Quantitative Research Methods in Journalism3
or JOURN 8008 Qualitative Research Methods in Journalism
JOURN 8085Problems in Journalism9
or JOURN 8190 Area Problem in Journalism
JOURN 8100MA Thesis Seminar1
or JOURN 8098 MA Project Seminar
Select at least one of the following3
Philosophy of Journalism
Narrative Journalism
History of Mass Media
Media Sociology
Seminar in Communications Law
Media Ethics
Photography in Society
Total Credits37

Length of Study

The degree must be earned within eight years of beginning the program.

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Professional Project or Thesis

Students must enroll in either the Project Seminar or the Thesis Seminar in the semester prior to embarking on their professional project or thesis. These seminar courses guide students in developing proposals for their professional project or thesis. After proposal approval, students enroll in JOURN 8190, Area Problem (for projects) or JOURN 8090, Research (for thesis). Students earn nine credit hours for either the professional project or thesis research.

Students in any model may choose to complete the professional project or thesis off campus. The school operates programs in Washington D.C., New York City, Brussels, and Barcelona which is supervised by a full-time faculty member. In the Missouri state capital the school has a program focusing on public affairs reporting in any medium. Other off-campus opportunities can be arranged.

Additional Program Options

Accelerated Bachelor to Master Program

The accelerated bachelor to master's degree program was designed for students in the Missouri School of Journalism to attain a graduate education. The new program will allow students to apply and begin their master’s program in the senior year of undergraduate program. Students in the program complete requirements as outlined for the Bachelor of Journalism degree and then spend one more year (approximately 12 months) to earn a master’s degree. The program requires students to carry 9-12 credits each semester. Course work in the program builds on the undergraduate program and enhances student’s skills and understanding of the chosen area of journalism. At the present time, areas include strategic communication, newspaper design, broadcast management, computer-assisted reporting and magazine areas such as magazine writing and magazine design.

Joint Journalism and Law Programs

The School of Journalism and the School of Law have created a joint program that provides an opportunity to earn a MA in Journalism and a JD in Law. Students in the joint program complete one of the journalism models and the course requirements for the law degree with a block of courses that are used for both degrees.

Dual-degree option with Masters of Public Health

The School of Journalism and the program in Public Health have created a dual-degree option that allows students to earn a journalism degree in reporting or strategic communication with an emphasis in public health. Students complete a block of courses in public health, as well as in journalism, and complete the dual degree with a public health internship and capstone, in which the focus is on journalism or strategic communication.

Admission Criteria

On-Campus program deadlines:
Fall deadline: January 1
Spring deadline: September 1

Online program deadlines:
Fall deadline: July 1
Spring deadline: November 15
Summer deadline: April 15

  • Minimum Academic IELTS scores:
Item Score
Speaking 7.0
OVERALL Score 7.0
  • Minimum TOEFL scores:
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
Speaking: 25
Reading: 25
Listening: 25
100 600
Writing: 25
  • Suggested GRE scores:
When did you take the GRE? Verbal + Quantitative
Prior to August 1, 2011 1100 or better
On or After August 1, 2011 V: 153 or better; Q: 144-148 or better
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in last 60 hours
  • Accelerated Minimum GPA: 3.5 in last 45 hours

Note: Deadlines are adhered to strictly, and no applicant is considered for admission until all required information is received.

Required Application Materials

To the Graduate School
All required Graduate School documents

To the Journalism Master’s Program:

Please upload the following application materials into the online Graduate School application in Slate:

  • 3 essays as specified on Departmental application website
  • Résumé
  • Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended
  • 3 letters of recommendation (use the online Graduate School application system)

Please submit official GRE scores to the School of Journalism using the GRE Department Code: 4503 and Institution Code: 6875.

Admission Contact Information

Journalism Graduate Studies
179 Gannett Hall
Columbia, MO 65211


Financial Aid from the Program

Limited fellowships, assistantships, scholarships and other financial aid opportunities are available. All applicants for admission are considered for any available funding. No separate application form is needed. Check the program Web site or ask the program contact for details.

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