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Online Master’s degree in Journalism
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Masters in Journalism Online

Online Journalism

Since the Boston News-Letter published its first issue on April 24, 1704, journalists have kept Americans up to date on the news. And the Journalism industry has evolved leaps and bounds after that. Journalism started traditionally as newspaper-based Journalism, but in today’s world, it has so many mediums such as TV, Internet, Social Media, YouTube, etc.  And this transformation is constantly happening in the way it presents news. There is a huge demand for Journalists across this world, with new markets and new ways of Journalism evolve. And when there is demand, supply also increased. Students interested in taking up Journalism as a career will find out the intense competition in this field. Getting a Masters’s degree in Journalism helps students stay ahead of the competition, and the best way to Masters’s in Journalism is by getting it online. Students enrolling in a Masters in Journalism Online programs will learn the latest techniques to produce print, digital, film, and broadcast content. This guide will help students understand all aspects of online masters in journalism programs.

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Featured Online Programs

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Best Online Masters in Journalism Programs

Journalism best seal

In the digital era, journalists create stories and articles that can be steamed, broadcast, and published with immediacy. Journalists dig deep and rely upon strong analytical skills and determination. Finding the best Masters in Journalism program for your career aspirations takes work. That is what this page is all about: understanding the degree options and cutting through the clutter to find what’s right for you. There are plenty of universities that offer online masters in journalism, but not all are considered the best. We have researched dozens of journalism masters programs and created the below list of best online journalism masters programs in the country:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
$10,77088%
#2
Emerson College
120 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116
$30,62482%
#3
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
$48,00897%
#4
University of Missouri
105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211
$9,26474%
#5
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
$10,07972%
#6
University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
$10,78071%
#7
University of Colorado Boulder
Regent Drive at Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80309
$11,82669%
#8
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
1400 R Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588
$5,97666%
#9
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
$8,85067%
#10
Kansas State University
919 Mid-Campus Drive, Anderson Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506
$10,21265%
#11
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, Florida 33199
$8,91263%
#12
Arizona State University Campus Immersion
University Drive and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona 85287
$11,72063%
#13
Kent State University
Executive Office, 2nd Floor Library, Kent, Ohio 44242
$11,76662%
#14
South Dakota State University
1004 Campanile Ave, Brookings, South Dakota 57007
$8,08356%
#15
University of Memphis Global
Southern Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38152
$9,21653%
#16
Regent University
1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464
$15,55257%
#17
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Dr, Huntington, West Virginia 25755
$7,50649%
#18
University of Arkansas
2801 S University Ave, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204
$5,76043%
#19
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
140 Seventh Ave S., St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
$8,35044%
#20
National University
11255 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037
$15,48029%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Most Affordable Online Masters in Journalism Programs

Journalism affordable seal

As a result of digital innovations, journalism studies’ scope has broadened, and the curriculum along with it. At the same time, university tuition fees also increased substantially. Forbes reports that college tuition increased by 497% percent, 1986-2018. And students have had tough times funding their masters in journalism programs. Our researchers have looked for affordable journalism schools in the country and created a list of the most affordable online masters in journalism programs. Here is the list:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Stephen F. Austin State University
2008 Alumni Drive, Rusk 206, Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
$5,11252%
#2
University of Arkansas
2801 S University Ave, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204
$5,76043%
#3
University of Nebraska
1400 R Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588
$5,97666%
#4
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Dr, Huntington, West Virginia 25755
$7,50649%
#5
South Dakota State University
1004 Campanile Ave, Brookings, South Dakota 57007
$8,08356%
#6
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
140 Seventh Ave S., St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
$8,35044%
#7
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
$8,85067%
#8
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, Florida 33199
$8,91263%
#9
University of Memphis Global
Southern Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38152
$9,21653%
#10
University of Missouri
105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211
$9,26474%
#11
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
$10,07972%
#12
Kansas State University
919 Mid-Campus Drive, Anderson Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506
$10,21265%
#13
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
$10,77088%
#14
University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
$10,78071%
#15
Arizona State University Campus Immersion
University Drive and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona 85287
$11,72063%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Understanding Masters in Journalism Programs

The journalism field is one of the fastest-growing fields in the country. But the skills learned in Journalism programs are easily transferable to other industries too. Therefore there is so much demand for Journalism programs. Journalism degrees are matched to your career options. But it is important to understand the full depth of online masters in journalism programs. Let’s break down the programs into bite-size chunks so that you can understand them better.

Online Masters in Journalism Degree Types

Various universities offer journalism degrees in various formats and degree types. Students researching in these programs will notice there are mainly two types of master’s in journalism. In enrolling in an online master’s in journalism, you’ll choose among MA and MBA in journalism degree programs. Here’s the difference between these two:

Master of Arts in Journalism

The Masters of Arts in Journalism is a two-year degree program designed exclusively for the students to join the field or increase their knowledge to advance their careers. There is a strategic blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. The MA in Journalism focuses on the main aspects of Journalism without deviating away from this core concentration.

Journalism MBA Programs


Specializations in Masters in Journalism Programs

Given the complex and wide nature of the journalism field, this field has evolved into multiple branches and specializations. As the number of ways people get information has changed, these concentrations have also increased. Students that want to pursue online Masters in Journalism programs also choose a specialization based on their interest and career aspirations. Here are some common specializations at Masters in Journalism programs:

SpecializationDescription
Masters in broadcast journalismThe Masters in Broadcast Journalism online is a graduate-level program that emphasizes news writing techniques, information gathering, writing articles, and editing news. The main focus is on broadcasting, reporting for news and newspapers, magazines, and the Web.
Masters in journalism and mass communicationJournalism is the dissemination and investigation of information based on current events. Online Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication trains students to create content, including news, opinion, sports, and politics. Students work with the latest technology for the creation of news and dissemination.
Masters in new media journalismThe Masters in New Media journalism is a specialization which trains students to use media like audio, print, video, web technologies, multimedia tools, search engine analytics, and social media.
Digital journalism and mediaThe specialization in digital journalism and media focuses on arming students with the latest digital media techniques and how these technologies affect the marketing, public relations, advertising, social media, journalism, and health communication fields.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Journalism Programs

Journalism programs teach students many skill sets. These skills include excellent spoken and written skills, outstanding time management skills, meeting deadlines, and strong research skills. The curriculum in Journalism programs can vary based on which university is offering it and its concentration. However, most of the programs have some common courses that students will masters before they graduate. Here are a few such courses that students can expect to face in online masters in journalism programs:

SubjectDescription
Business and Economic ReportingPower and money go hand in hand. An understanding of economics along with business practices helps professional journalists cover politics and finance.
Computational JournalismThe computational journalism concentration unpacks how code, data, and algorithms are reshaping journalism. Graduates learn how to use the tools to write in the digital age.
Deadline writingWhether you wish to cover the courts, become foreign correspondents, or write magazine features, you should have the ability to write clear and accurate stories delivered on strict deadlines.
International NewsroomThis course features real-world assignments and classroom discussions on topics like international press freedom.  Students must write, pitch, and report stories on international news.
Covering education and data reportingThis course blends in-depth education reporting, diving into data training with instructors. Students will write an original long-form story, news, narrative features, and other genres.

Accreditation for Online Masters in Journalism Programs

Accreditation is the most important factor when it comes to selecting a school, college, or university. Accreditation is a process during which independent third-party organizations vet the higher educational programs at various universities. And depending on the quality of the programs, they issue the accreditation certificate. This acts as a confidence booster to students that their money and time will not waste in these educational programs. Read more about Accreditation. For online masters in journalism, here are the main organizations that issue Accreditation. If the journalism program that you want to pursue is accredited by one of the below bodies, you can be confident about the program’s quality and value.


Timeline for graduation from Masters in Journalism Programs

The timelines for graduating from online masters in journalism depends on many factors such as part-time vs. full time, students undergraduate degree, university prerequisites, etc. Most schools require around 33 to 39 credit points to graduate. And it usually takes two to three years to finish online masters in journalism programs, but they can be accelerated too. Some universities offer accelerated programs. Read here for accelerated options.


Online Masters in Journalism Programs Admission Requirements

Every university has its own admission requirements. But most universities have similar requirements for online master’s programs, including online masters in journalism. Students need to check the specific university to pursue these programs to see if they have any special requirements. But here are the most common admission requirements for online masters in journalism programs:

RequirementDescription
Statement of PurposeYou should describe your aptitude, knowledge, and motivation behind applying for Masters in Journalism online program in less than 500 words. Be specific about why the respective institution is the best fit for you.
Personal History StatementIn less than 500 words, describe your aptitude for attending graduate school. Also, mention your experience and personal background. The statement should reflect how you overcame any barriers in achieving your journalism goals so far and what you bring to the table.
Letters of RecommendationSeek letters of recommendation from professors, colleagues, or professional journalists who know your work. Letters need to focus particularly on your work ethics, commitment to journalism, and reporting proficiency.
Journalistic Work SamplesSubmit any work samples which highlight your ability as a storyteller and reporter. They inform the program administrators about your current abilities.
TranscriptTranscripts confirm your degree from an accredited institution at undergraduate or graduate levels.
Minimum GPA CriteriaTypically, universities require at least a 3.0 GPA or equivalent for all undergraduate coursework. Transcripts should include the cumulative undergraduate GPA and major field GPA.
ResumeAn updated resume highlights the applicant’s relevant experience and workplace achievement.
GRE/GMATUniversities may require scores from a GRE/GMAT, but some programs do not need scores in addition to the Masters in Journalism online program. Check with prospective schools.
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Online Masters in Journalism No GRE Programs

Most universities require a standardized test score as part of the admission requirements. These tests can be a GRE or a GMAT exam. But in recent years, many universities are moving away from this test score requirement and focusing on the program quality instead of artificial barriers of entry for students. This trend applies to online masters in journalism programs too. Here are a few universities that offer Online Masters in Journalism No GRE programs:

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One Year Journalism Masters Programs Online

Speed is the essence in today’s world, and this concept applies to higher education too. Many students and professionals are looking to quickly graduate from online master’s programs and get ready for upward mobility in their careers. Many universities are starting to offer accelerated online masters in journalism. Here are a few universities that offer one-year journalism masters programs online:

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How to Pay for Online Master’s in Journalism Programs

One of the biggest questions that determine if students pursue an online master’s in journalism or not is the question of – How to pay? And rising tuition costs across all higher education programs are not helping the cause. Tuition and fees for a journalism degree are also ever rising. The good news is that there’s plenty of help to pay for the degree. The process starts when you complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The application is required for all publicly funded federal grants, loans, or work-study.

Here are several financial resources for paying for an online Masters in Journalism:

Journalism masters programs online

Working on Campus

Typically, universities don’t recommend students take outside employment during their first few semesters. However, schools offer various hourly positions within the radio labs and television studios or assist community sites, student newspapers, and magazines.

Journalism grant

Grants

These are the forms of financial aid that do not need to be repaid. These are usually awarded to students based on their merit or financial need.

masters degree in Journalism online

Student Loan

The student loan funded by the federal government or state is the public student loan and is commonly preferred by students for their lower interest rates. Private loans are also available from credit unions and banks but are usually more expensive than public student loans.

Journalism masters programs online

Fellowships

Fellowships, which do not need to be repaid, are highly competitive.  Fellows may be chosen based on their academic prowess and to support research that impacts their journalism niche.

To get the best financial aid possible, visit our financial aid guide.


Scholarships for Masters in Journalism Students

Scholarships for pursuing a Masters’s in Journalism online are offered to students in mass communication, advertising, journalism, and public relations. Here are a few scholarships for students who are pursuing their Masters in Journalism online:

Scholarship

International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Safety Reporting Fellowship

This fellowship is provided by ICFJ and WHO and aims to produce reporters who contribute to strong economics, better government, healthier lives, and vibrant society.

scholarship

The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism

The McGraw Center for Business Journalism offers reporting fellowships and grants up to $15,000. The Center also provides editorial support to journalists to do in-depth reporting on global finance, the economy, and business.

scholarship

The Mike Wallace Memorial Scholarship

is awarded to students actively pursuing a journalism career in television. The scholarship offers up to a 50% reduction in the tuition fees with a cap of $10,000. Funded by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

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FAQs about Journalism Masters Programs

Q: Is a Master’s Degree in Journalism worth it?
A:Yes, a master’s degree in journalism is worth it. A Masters Degree in Journalism will give you the contacts, skills, and confidence to become a journalist. You’ll be up to speed on digital editing programs. There can be a high return on this educational investment.
Q: How to get a Masters’s in Journalism?
A:You can join any accredited university to pursue your online master’s in Journalism once you have completed your undergraduate degree in journalism or a related major.
Q: How long does it take to complete a master’s program?
A:If you apply for a full-time master’s program, you can complete it in 2 academic years. If you go for a part-time program, it will increase the time to earn the degree.
Q: How do you get a job after completing a master’s in Journalism?
A:Journalism departments typically offer job boards or placement services. Internships are a great way to build a strong resume and network for future openings.
Q: What will be my job position after completing a master’s in Journalism?
A:You can work as a public relations/affairs specialist, print or digital writer/editor, a news development officer, and more.
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Careers and Salary Outlook for Journalism Masters Graduates

Students that graduate with a master’s in journalism can have a promising and flourishing career. But it is important to note that career niches in journalism take many forms. For a good start toward a specialty, students need on-the-job-experience and a graduate degree. Getting a graduate degree helps students reduce extensive experience requirement as many employers look at master’s degrees in high regard. Here are some career paths that past journalism students have taken:

Job RoleAverage Median Annual SalaryDescription
News Producer$46,900News producers collect news and select key stories for the broadcast. They may also be responsible for conducting interviews, approving new scripts, writing news copy, and creating interactive content for social media and websites.
Staff Writer$38,335Staff writers produce compelling content for online media and traditional journalism outlets. They also write articles, guides, manuals, broadcast scripts, white papers, and more.
News Editor$47,686News editors are responsible for overseeing the publication process for media outlets, news organizations, online media companies, and publishing firms. They plan and research stories, create in-house style guides, and curate content.
Digital Strategist$60,078Digital strategists collaborate with marketing, social media management, and content development teams to create successful digital promotional strategies.
Public Relations Specialist$62,679Public relations specialists plan, implement, and then oversee public relations campaigns for an organization to raise its brand profile. They create reports, presentations, press releases, website content, and internal communications.
Journalist$36.26 per hourJournalists are responsible for conducting fieldwork, which includes identifying, investigating, and detailing happenings and events. They interpret and analyze stories and then present them to the public in clear, concise language.
Product Marketing Manager$106,726Product Marketing Managers work in conjunction with commercial sales, products, and marketing teams to develop written, visual, and audio media promotions.  They are also responsible for building collaborative relationships with experts and influencers to test and improve content plans.

(Source: Indeed)

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Certifications and Licensing for Journalism Masters Graduates

Certifications and licenses are required for many professions. Not journalism. There are no licensing or certification requirements to work in the media professions. Many media jobs do not have any specific certification or licensing requirements. The only required certification that is currently available is for people who want to teach journalism, K-12:

Certified Journalism Educator. The Journalism Education Association (JEA) awards two professional certifications: The Certified Journalism Educator and the Master Journalism Educator credential. Eligibility for the Certified Journalism Educator is limited to individuals with current JEA membership. To gain a Master Journalism Educator certificate, applicants must hold a Certified Journalism Educator credential and have a minimum of five years of teaching experience. Certified journalism teachers develop curriculums to build student writing, interviewing, digital media, and editing skills.

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Additional Resources for Journalism Professionals

Master’s in Journalism students are supported by a wealth of resources outside of their degree programs. Joining a professional organization, association, and attending conferences can be a boon in launching or advancing a career. There are professional associations serving students pursuing their Masters in Journalism online. State and national associations can help with research, professional networking, and continuing education. Student memberships in these organizations give you access to articles, case studies, blogs, journals, books, and white papers written by the experts. Here are some valuable resources:

  • American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA): ASJA is the leading nonfiction independent writer organization. Their website contains journalists and links to associations, newsletters, news updates, and information about ASJA conferences and events.
  • National Association of Broadcasters (NAB): NAB is dedicated to over-the-air and public television and radio broadcasters. Find professional resources provided by the association, along with listings and registration for events and conferences.
  • Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ): The SPJ website is home to journalism professionals and students’ resources. Visit network with other journalists and editors to find internships and fellowships, and round up information about conferences, seminars, and workshops.
  • Investigative Reporter and Editors (IRE): The IRE provides educational services to reporters, editors, and people who are interested in investigative journalism. The resource center/research library has over 25,000 print and broadcasts investigative stories.
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC): AEJMC is a non-profit educational association serving administrators, students, faculty, and professionals in mass communication and journalism. There are links to its professional conferences, meetings, and special programs from the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

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