Online Master’s in Journalism Programs

Have you always dreamed of a career in journalism? Are you interested in reporting news, working in broadcast media or digital storytelling? Then a master's degree in journalism might be the path for you. This advanced, often fast-paced, degree program teaches students how to write, report, produce, code, publish and promote stories across a variety of platforms. Many programs allow students to choose a journalism specialty area such as broadcast television and radio, online multimedia news production or audio and video documentaries.

A master's degree in journalism can lead to careers in:

  • Traditional news media outlets, such as newspapers and magazines
  • Documentary film-making
  • Broadcast media such as radio and television
  • Online and multimedia news outlets
  • Social media management
  • Marketing and advertising copywriting
  • Public relations and corporate communications

Once you've decided to take the next step in pursuing a master's level degree in journalism, you must find the right school and program to fit your career aspirations. A myriad of online degree options make it even easier to find a program to fit into your schedule and budget, putting your journalism dreams within reach.

Choosing an Online Master's in Journalism Program

Because there are a large number of online master's in journalism programs to choose from, it can be a challenge to decide which program is right for you. There are several factors to consider when researching prospective schools, including program cost, length and program quality. Here are some program elements to look for when considering an online master's in journalism program.

Accreditation

Program accreditation by a legitimate accrediting organization means that a program has been vetted according to rigorous academic standards, ensuring a high quality education for all students. Look for a school that is accredited by an organization such as Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Higher Learning Commission and you can be assured of a the program's quality.

Program Cost

There are a number of factors impacting a master's in journalism program cost, including the size and type of school, the geographic location of the school (yes, even for online programs this can have an impact on the price tag of a program), residency status and program length. When considering the total cost of a program, make sure to factor in mandatory school fees, books and other program materials in addition to the tuition price.

While online programs are often more affordable than their traditional on campus counterparts, this is not always the case. As an example of program costs, the University of Memphis' online 33-credit hour Master's in Journalism program costs $603 per credit hour for in-state residents, and $1,091 per credit hour for non-residents. In addition, there may be special course fees and materials fees based on specific courses taken.

Program Length

The average master's in journalism program generally takes 1-2 years to complete, although some may be completed in as little as 9 months. Another benefit to online programs versus on campus programs, many online programs admit students on a rolling basis, meaning students can begin their studies in the fall, spring or summer semesters.

Admissions Requirements

In order to gain admission to a master's in journalism program, students should keep in mind the following admissions requirements:

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree, ideally in journalism, communications or a related field
  • GPA of 3.0 or above in their undergraduate coursework
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate colleges attended
  • Letters of recommendation and/or a personal statement
  • Writing samples and/or portfolio of applicable work

In some cases, journalism schools may also prefer master's students have some professional experience in journalism prior to beginning their coursework. In these cases, prospective students may also need to submit a resume or professional journalism work samples (i.e. published articles).

Classes and Courses

Coursework may vary depending on if a specialization is chosen (e.g., broadcast, multimedia, etc.), but sample courses may include the following, which are offered by the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg as part of their online Master's in Journalism and Digital Communication program:

  • Multimedia Reporting & Storytelling
  • Mass Communications Ethics
  • Law and Mass Media
  • Mass Media Theory & Research Methods
  • Digital Media Technology
  • Web Publishing
  • Social Media
  • Multimedia Production

Advantages of Online Master’s in Journalism Programs

An online master's in journalism is ideal for students who have full- or part-time jobs, family commitments and other obligations that restrict their availability to pursue a master's degree. Online coursework allows students to study and complete coursework on their own time, from home or wherever is convenient. In addition to the flexibility in scheduling, online programs are often more cost effective options than traditional on campus programs, and students do not need to factor in commute costs into the total price tag. Online programs also allow students to choose from a larger number of schools than what is geographically near their homes, opening up a range of options to those who live in rural or remote settings.

Colleges That Offer Accredited Online Master’s in Journalism Programs

Select Your State:

Arizona

SchoolContact Information
Arizona State University
4701 W. Thunderbird Road
Glendale, AZ 85306
(866) 277-6589

California

SchoolContact Information
National University
11255 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037
(714) 429-5311

Colorado

SchoolContact Information
University of Colorado Boulder
1511 University Ave.
Boulder, CO 80309

Florida

SchoolContact Information
Full Sail University
3300 University Boulevard
Winter Park, FL 32792
(800) 226-7625
University of South Florida - St. Petersburg
140 7th Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 873-7748

Massachusetts

SchoolContact Information
Harvard University
51 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-4024

Nebraska

SchoolContact Information
University of Nebraska
3835 Holdrege Street
Lincoln, NE 68583
(140) 247-2211 x1
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
313 N 13th St
Lincoln, NE 68588
(402) 472-3041

Ohio

SchoolContact Information
Kent State University
201 Franklin Hall, 550 Hilltop Dr., P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-5093

Tennessee

SchoolContact Information
University of Memphis

Memphis, TN 38152
(844) 302-3886