Journalism, BS-MJ

for the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Master of Journalism in Journalism

head of department: Stephanie Craft

director of graduate studies: Brant Houston


department website:

department faculty:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

college website:

department office: 119 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright Street, Urbana, IL 61801

phone: (217) 333-0709

Master of Journalism

The Department of Journalism offers the M.J. degree as part of a 4+1 program focused on the development of a broad range of professional skills for undergraduates enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Journalism program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students can apply for the B.S.-M.J. program in the first semester of their junior year; admitted students select their remaining undergraduate journalism elective courses according to a plan of study that reserves certain upper-division courses for the graduate portion of their program.

Programs in Journalism

Undergraduate Programs:

major: Journalism, BS

major: Journalism, BS-MJ

minors: Journalism | Media | Public Relations

Graduate Programs:

degree: Journalism, BS-MJ

degree: Journalism, MS

joint degree: Journalism, MS and Law, JD

The department does not offer a Ph.D. degree. For the program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Communications, see Communications and Media, PhD.


The M.J. 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.

Applicants to the M.J. program must be University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students in the B.S. in Journalism program with a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.40 and have junior standing (at least 60 but no more than 89 credit hours) to be eligible to apply. Because the master’s program has an enrollment ceiling, some applicants with grade point averages of 3.40 or higher may not be admitted.

Letters of recommendation are required. An interview with the head of the department or director of graduate studies is helpful but not required. Students whose native language is not English must present their official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination as part of their applications. The department follows the Graduate College’s recommendations for English proficiency. Detailed information about admissions and financial aid can be found on the department's website.

Financial Aid

M.J. students may not hold assistantships or other tuition and fee waiver-generating appointments. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available for B.S.-M.J. students.

for the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Master of Journalism in Journalism

Total hours: 32 for M.J. portion, 152 for B.S. and M.J. combined

The B.S./M.J. is an integrated, accelerated program for Illinois Journalism majors that may be completed in less time than is required to complete both degrees separately and provides sharper focus on professional multimedia skills than would be available with the two existing degrees combined. Students who maintain superior academic performance are eligible to apply as juniors (after earning at least 60 but not more than 89 credit hours). Accepted students then work on both degrees simultaneously and will receive both at the same time, once all requirements for each have been completed.

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

Journalism, B.S. component

In College of Media
JOUR 200Introduction to Journalism3
JOUR 205History of American Journalism3
JOUR 210Newsgathering Across Platforms4
JOUR 215Multimedia Reporting4
JOUR 220News Editing4
JOUR 250Journalism Ethics & Diversity3
JOUR 311Media Law3
JOUR 315Adv Public Affairs Reporting4
JOUR 335Audio Journalism4
JOUR 340Video Reporting & Storytelling4
Choose one of the following:4
Multimedia Editing and Design
Video Storytelling 2-Producing
Unrestricted electives within College of Media8
Total in College of Media48
Outside College of Media
CS 105Intro Computing: Non-Tech3
ECON 102Microeconomic Principles3
ECON 103Macroeconomic Principles3
PSYC 100Intro Psych4
RHET 105Writing and Research (or Comp. I equivalent)4
STAT 100Statistics3
Campus general education requirements not met by classes listed above
Recognized minor or one 18-hour specialization or two 9-hour specializations, approved by advisor, from outside College of Media and Department of Communication. May include hours listed above. Students may choose to complete a Public Relations minor in addition to the non-Media minor or specialization.18
Total outside College of Media72
Total B.S. component120

Upon completion of the B.S. component, students must apply and be officially admitted into the Graduate College. They will be issued letters of admission from the Graduate College and the Journalism Department, at which time they will be considered graduate students and assessed graduate tuition beginning with the following semester. Students must satisfy the graduate student minimum residence requirement of 24 graduate credit hours and continue to maintain a graduate GPA of at least 3.0 to remain in the combined program.

Master of Journalism component

May begin after completing 60 hours

Both of these, completing whichever was not taken for B.S. component:
JOUR 425Multimedia Editing and Design4
JOUR 445Video Storytelling 2-Producing4
These three 500-level courses:
JOUR 500Current Issues in Journalism4
JOUR 515Master's Project (Part 1)4
JOUR 515Master's Project (Part 2)4
Choose 16 hours from the following electives:16
Media and Public Opinion
Research Methods in Journalism
Great Books of Journalism
Crisis Communications
Propaganda & the News Media
Special Topics
International Reporting
Science Journalism
Business Reporting
In-Depth Writing Styles
Advanced Reporting Topics
Literary Feature Writing
Immersion Journalism
Investigative Journalism
Professional Project
Internship Seminar
Total M.J. component32

Other Requirements1 

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12
Minimum GPA: 3.5