Journalism

Nancy Benson, Department Head
23 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
PH: 217-333-0709
https://media.illinois.edu/degrees/journalism-bs-ms

Brant Houston, Director of Graduate Studies in Journalism
houstonb@illinois.edu

Major: Journalism
Degrees Offered: M.S.

Joint Degree Program: the Master of Science in Journalism can be earned jointly with the following
Degrees Offered:
J.D. in Law
M.B.A. in Business Administration

Graduate Degree Program

The Department of Journalism offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Science degree. The department does not offer a Ph.D. degree. For the program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Communications, see Communications and Media.

The Department of Journalism offers a 4+1 program leading to the Master of Science in Journalism for undergraduates enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Journalism program at the University of Illinois. Students can apply for this program in the first semester of their junior year and will be encouraged to select their remaining undergraduate journalism elective courses at the 200- and 300-level from courses listed in the professional option other than the one they elected to follow in completing their undergraduate degree. As graduate students, they will enroll in a minimum of four advanced electives at the 400 and 500 levels, in addition to required graduate courses. Electives may be in areas inside or outside Journalism to allow them to pursue a topical specialization. Those electives would require the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Students with approved undergraduate journalism degrees from other institutions also are eligible to apply for this sequence.  Those without undergraduate degrees in Journalism – and who do not qualify for the deep knowledge track – will be required to take JOUR 501 as an elective.

The Department of Journalism also offers a deep knowledge track to a limited number of applicants who already possess or are working on advanced degrees in selected fields such as, but not limited to, the sciences, technology, engineering, health and medical fields, and mathematics. Limited fellowships would be available for applicants in the deep knowledge sequence. Either sequence would be open to mid-career journalists wishing to do advanced work as multimedia, investigative, narrative or immersion journalism.

Admission

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or one of recognized standing abroad. A grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) is the minimum requirement for admission to the Graduate College, with exceptions by petition only. Because the master’s program has an enrollment ceiling, some applicants with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher may not be admitted. The program places a strong emphasis on journalism, and candidates who are accepted are most often those with a demonstrated interest in practicing journalism. It is imperative that all applicants supply writing samples. Letters of recommendation are required, and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants who do not have either an undergraduate journalism degree from the University of Illinois or an approved post-secondary degree. An interview with the head of the department or director of graduate studies is helpful but not required. A minimum score of 600 is required on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (250 on the computer-based test). IELTS scores must be 6.5 and 6 or higher on any/all sub-sections. Students are typically admitted in the fall semester.

Financial Aid

Fellowships are available only for the deep knowledge track and are awarded on a quarter-time basis and carry a waiver of tuition, service fee, AFMFA fee, Library/Technology fee, health service fee, and partial payment of the student health insurance fee. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available for the other tracks. To be considered for financial aid, applications, including transcripts and three letters of recommendation, must be received no later than January 15. Students with journalism degrees or professional experience may become candidates for part-time positions in other units of the University that require journalistic skills in writing, editing, and/or photography and graphics.

Master of Science in Journalism

Choose one of two sequences:

Sequence 1. The Department of Journalism offers a 4 + 1 program leading to the Master of Science in Journalism for undergraduates enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Journalism program at the University of Illinois. Students can apply for this program in the first semester of their junior year and will be encouraged to select their remaining undergraduate journalism elective courses at the 200- and 300-level from courses listed in the professional option other than the one they elected to follow in completing their undergraduate degree. As graduate students, they will enroll in a minimum of four advanced electives at the 400- and 500-levels, in addition to required graduate courses. Electives may be in areas inside or outside Journalism to allow them to pursue a topical specialization. Those electives would require the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Students with approved undergraduate journalism degrees from other institutions also are eligible to apply for this sequence. Those without undergraduate degrees in Journalism -- and who do not qualify for the deep knowledge or Sequence 2 track -- will be required to take JOURN 501 as an elective. Total: 32 hours.

First Year
Fall SemesterHours
JOUR 505Journalism Proseminar4
JOUR 515 (Section A)Master's Project4
Electives -- minimum of two JOUR 4xx courses, or other approved 400- and 500-level courses8
 Semester Hours16
Spring Semester
JOUR 500Current Issues in Journalism4
JOURN 515 B, Master's Project: Part 24
Electives -- minimum of two JOUR 4xx courses, or other approved 400- and 500-level courses8
 Semester Hours16
 Total Hours: 32

Students cannot repeat journalism electives at the 400-level taken as undergraduates. The Director of Journalism Graduate Studies must approve any non-Journalism courses that are chosen.

Sequence 2: Deep Knowledge. The Department of Journalism offers a 12- month program leading to the Master of Science in Journalism for applicants who possess or are working toward advanced degrees in such fields as, but not limited to, the sciences, engineering, mathematics, health and medical fields, and technology. Mid-career professional journalists interested in advanced journalism courses are also encouraged to apply. Total: 32 hours.

First Year
Fall SemesterHours
JOUR 501Multimedia Storytelling4
JOUR 505Journalism Proseminar4
Electives -- minimum of 4 hours at the JOUR 4xx level4
 Semester Hours12
Spring Semester
JOUR 500Current Issues in Journalism4
JOUR 515 (Section A)Master's Project4
Electives -- minimum of two JOUR 4xx courses8
 Semester Hours16
Summer Semester
JOURN 515 Section B: Master's Project: Part 24
 Semester Hours4
 Total Hours: 32

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 16
Minimum GPA: 3.0
1

For additional details and requirements refer to the department and the Graduate College Handbook

In order to be considered for the joint degree program in Journalism, students must apply to and be accepted by both programs. Students graduate from both programs simultaneously, upon meeting all the requirements.