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Journalism programs prepare people to work as reporters, editors, and writers for newspapers, magazines, and other forms of media.

Journalism programs include topics such as:


In journalism programs students may be able to specialize in:


Internships allow students to develop skills at companies or organizations. Some journalism programs require students to develop a portfolio or complete an internship.


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in journalism. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in journalism. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in journalism. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Journalism programs look for applicants with strong writing skills. Some schools may require you to take an English language skills exam before you can enter the journalism program. This exam typically tests you on your grasp of grammar and mechanics and on your vocabulary knowledge.

At other schools, you start as a "pre-journalism" major until you have successfully completed some basic journalism courses. After that, you can officially enter the journalism program.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Your bachelor's degree usually does not have to be in any particular major. There are a few schools that prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree in journalism. However, most schools prefer that you take a broad range of courses. Knowledge in a number of different subjects is invaluable to you as a journalist. This is because you may have to report on any number of diverse topics.

Additional requirements at many schools include:

Examples of work experience include writing for a campus publication, compiling news for a campus radio station, or an interning at a magazine.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work tends to vary depending on the school. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

Elective courses allow you to focus on the area of journalism that most interests you, such as entertainment journalism or business reporting.

Your thesis typically takes the form of a capstone project. This kind of project requires you to apply the principles you have learned in the program to a substantive piece of journalism.

For example, you could apply lessons in information-gathering, interviewing, and profile-writing to an in-depth feature on an emerging local politician. Or you might apply your investigative reporting knowledge and research skills to an article exploring the trial of a man you believe is innocent.

Many programs - both undergraduate and graduate - require you to complete an internship as part of their curriculums. Depending on the program, faculty and staff may actually help you secure an internship or they may provide you with potential leads to pursue on your own.

You could work in any of a number of settings, including a local newspaper, a magazine, or an online news clearinghouse. Some duties you might carry out include fact-checking, gathering information, writing, proofreading, and editing.

Whatever the setting and your responsibilities, you benefit from the direct supervision and guidance of an experienced journalist. You also make contacts in the field, gain real-world experience, and even produce work you can include in your professional portfolio.

Things to Know

Not all schools require internships as part of their journalism programs. In such a case, you should seek one out on your own. Participating in real-world journalistic settings is important to your education and professional future.

You don't have to wait until you get a job in journalism to start compiling your professional portfolio. You can start as early as college, including any news or features articles you've written.

If you'd like to be an international correspondent or involved in some other aspect of international journalism, you should consider taking courses in a second language.

A few schools give you the option of pursuing this major as part of a dual degree program. This allows you to combine your interest in journalism with another program of study such as law or business.


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