Journalism Graduate Degrees

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The Master of Arts in Journalism

The master's degree in journalism prepares students for professional success in news outlets, digital and social media platforms, and corporate communications. 

The program offers two choices: the Professional Practice Option and the Area of Expertise Option. Regardless of option, this degree is designed for students with limited academic or professional experience in journalism.

The Professional Practice Option is for students who wish to focus on quickly obtaining advanced journalistic skills. It can be completed with as few as 30 credits and in as little as two semesters plus a summer.

The Area of Expertise Option is for students wishing not only to acquire advanced journalistic skills but also to complement them with an area of expertise, such as environmental science and policy. This option is designed for students with limited academic or professional expertise in journalism. This option can be completed with a minimum of 36 credits and in four semesters.

Regardless of option, the degree’s focus is on multimedia training and experience.  Students develop skills in information-gathering, storytelling and analysis across a variety of platforms and professional contexts, including video, online interactivity, social media, photography—and, of course, the printed word. They produce in-depth reporting projects in collaboration with professional media outlets in Colorado, and they complete internships at award-winning radio and television stations, newspapers, magazines, websites and other news organizations nationwide.


Fall 2017 application deadline for USA master's applicants: Feb. 1, 2017

Fall 2017 international application deadline for master's applicants: Dec. 1, 2016

Students take a required core of four courses: Newsgathering and Multimedia Storytelling; Media Technology Boot Camp; Precision Journalism; Journalism Law & Ethics; and any two of the three capstones (News Media Internship, Professional Project, CU News Corps).

Students in the Professional Practice Option take two or three elective courses in Journalism and two courses outside Journalism within CMCI.  

Students in the Area of Expertise Option take two elective courses in Journalism and four in the students’ chosen area of expertise.

Two of the required courses – Newsgathering and Multimedia Storytelling and Media Technology Boot Camp – may be waived depending on the student’s professional experience. 

Applicants to the MA in Journalism must:

  • Hold at least a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.

  • Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75.

  • Have a GRE verbal score of at least 153 (62%). International applicants must also have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (IBT 100).

  • Provide three letters of recommendation.

  • Provide a 500-word statement of purpose.

Provide a resume.


FAQ | Online Application | International Students Online Application

Student Information

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Helpful Links

Center For Environmental Journalism | Center for Media, Religion and Culture

Graduate assistantships are available. MA students in the Area of Expertise option may receive assistantships for a maximum of four semesters. Applicants who wish to be considered must request an assistantship by submitting, as part of the online application, a cover letter and resume that includes detailed professional or academic qualifications.

Phone: 303-492-7977


Campus Location: Hellems 96D


The PhD in Media Research and Practice 

The Media Research and Practice PhD program is dedicated to interdisciplinary inquiry into the social, political, economic and cultural dimensions of media, strategic communication, and journalism, both nationally and internationally, and in historical and contemporary contexts. The degree combines the research and teaching emphases of the three participating departments – Advertising, Public Relations and Design (APRD); Journalism (JRNL); and Media Studies (MDST) – and encourages doctoral students to develop research agendas that bridge disciplines and cross between academic research and professional practice.

Because media and communication are central to social and individual life, to commerce, to understanding social change and supporting social justice, and to the health of democratic politics, the MDRP degree draws from a wide range of fields and disciplines, including anthropology, political science, cultural studies, sociology, philosophy, history, linguistics, economics, business, psychology, literature, law and public policy. The interdisciplinary nature of Media Research and Practice is reflected in the range of faculty research and professional practice in the media and communication industries. The program fosters theoretical and practical understanding about how media innovations serve various forms of mass and public communication, including strategic communication, journalism, entertainment industries, and the creation and maintenance of local, national, and transnational social networks. In addition to rigorous training in research and teaching, the degree program emphasizes the importance of young scholars developing the skills to share their scholarship in a variety of arenas of public life.

Students receive training in media theory, as well as qualitative and quantitative research methods, and take courses inside and outside the three departments and the college.

The program strives to produce graduates who demonstrate intellectual leadership, nationally and internationally, in the area(s) of research specialization they choose and/or pioneer, and an interest in and aptitude for generating public awareness and conversation about their scholarship.

An important part of doctoral students’ education is their participation in the college’s research and teaching missions through their assignments as research assistants, teaching assistants and instructors.


Fall 2018 application deadline for USA: Jan. 10, 2018

Fall 2018 international application deadline for PhD applicants: Dec. 1, 2017

All three departments will have the same structure of requirements:

     Core courses (14 hours):

  • Pro-seminar (6 hours)
  • Qualitative research methods (3 hours)
  • Quantitative research methods (3 hours)
  • Colloquium (2 hours)  

Advanced research methods (3 hours)

One additional advanced methods course, or one media practice course (3 hours)

Inside emphasis  (15 hours)

Outside emphasis (9 hours)

Dissertation hours (30 credits)

Students are expected to complete the program and defend the dissertation in 4 years.


Applicants to the PhD program in Media Research and Practice are expected to hold the master’s degree or equivalent graduate work. In exceptional cases, applicants without a master’s degree may be considered for admission.

We encourage your application if your record and interests promise success in the program and you aspire to actively engage in scholarly investigation of journalism.  Completed domestic applications must be received by the program no later than Jan. 1 prior to the fall semester for which entrance is sought. International applications should be submitted by Dec. 1. Late applications may be considered under special circumstances.

Successful applications typically meet or exceed the following criteria:

  • Have a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 301 (1100 pre 2011) on verbal and quantitative combined. International applicants must also have a TOEFL score of 625 (IBT 106)
  • Have an undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2 and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in previous graduate work
  • Provide three letters of recommendation
  • Provide a Statement of Purpose of approximately 700 words
  • Provide a resume or CV that includes academic and employment experience
  • Provide a writing sample that exhibits the ability to undertake the conceptual and empirical studies required of doctoral students (e.g., a chapter from a master’s thesis or graduate-level term paper)

Meeting these criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Because we accept relatively few new doctoral students each fall, we may have more qualified applicants than available openings.

Financial Support: Research or teaching assistantships, including a tuition waiver and stipend, as well as fellowships, are available.  PhD students may receive assistantships for a maximum of four years.

In the online application, select MDRP-PhD as the academic plan.

For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university. 

ONLY after you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official transcripts. 

Instructions for Uploading Unofficial Transcripts to Your Application


FAQ | Online Application | International Students Online Application

Helpful Links

Center For Environmental Journalism | Center for Media, Religion and Culture

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Research or teaching assistantships, including a tuition waiver and stipend, as well as fellowships, are available. PhD students may receive assistantships for a maximum of four years.

Phone: 303-492-7977


Campus Location: Hellems 96D