Journalism, MS

for the degree Master of Science 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

The M.S. program is designed to meet the goals of three types of students: 1) students who have recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism or a related field and want to explore a specific type of journalism in greater depth, 2) mid-career journalists who want to expand their professional skills, and 3) students who either hold or are pursuing a terminal degree in selected fields (including but not limited to science, technology, engineering and math) seeking to complement their expertise with journalistic skills for communicating it to the public.

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.S. 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.S. program must have a 4-year 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. Ordinarily, students are admitted to begin graduate study in the fall semester.

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. 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

Fellowships are available only for select M.S. students. Fellowships are awarded on a quarter-time basis and carry a waiver of tuition and most fees. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available for M.S. students.

for the degree Master of Science in Journalism

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

Master of Science in Journalism1 

First Year
Fall SemesterHoursSpring SemesterHoursSummer SemesterHours
JOUR 5014JOUR 5004JOUR 515 (Section B)4
JOUR 5054JOUR 515 (Section A)4 
Electives -- minimum of 4 hours at the JOUR 4-- level24Electives -- minimum of two JOUR 4-- courses28 
 12 16 4
Total Hours 32

 1 Undergraduates pursuing a B.S. in Journalism at Illinois are eligible to apply for the M.S. under a joint B.S./M.S. degree program. The B.S./M.S. requires a greater number of credit hours and more theoretical courses than the B.S./M.J. program. Students can apply for the B.S./M.S. program in the first semester of their junior year and, once admitted, are encouraged to select their remaining undergraduate journalism elective courses at the 200- and 300-level from courses covering skills other than those they emphasized 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 the required graduate courses JOUR 500, 505, and 515 (sections A and B). 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. The B.S./M.S. requires a minimum of 16 hours of 500-level coursework, a 3.0 or higher GPA, and additional details and requirements are available on the department’s website and in the Graduate College Handbook.


 The Director of Graduate Studies must approve any non-Journalism courses chosen as electives.

Other Requirements

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