Master of Arts (MA): Journalism Degree Overview

Oct 16, 2019

Master's degree programs in journalism are available to aspiring and experienced journalists alike. Students explore topics such as the role of media in society and a reporter's ethical responsibility. Program details and career info follow.

Essential Information

Many journalism programs allow students to specialize; choices include sports, public affairs, metro area, health and business. Photojournalism and broadcast journalism concentrations are also options. Most programs feature internships and require capstone projects, which can consist of one or more articles with accompanying audio or video files. Graduates of master's programs in journalism can pursue jobs as reporters, editors and writers.

Master's Degree in Journalism

Most programs ask applicants to submit transcripts from their bachelor's degree program, as well as Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Programs that prefer applicants with prior journalism experience may ask them to also submit resumes and writing samples. Others schools may simply require applicants to complete prerequisite courses in reporting or news writing.

Students often take core courses in multimedia journalism, ethics and news editing to build their reporting and writing skills. They may then choose elective courses that can include the following:

  • Magazine and/or copy editing
  • Opinion and feature writing
  • Investigative and/or broadcast reporting
  • Sports writing
  • Writing for social media and photojournalism
  • Radio news writing

Popular Career Options

Individuals who graduate with a Master of Arts degree in journalism are prepared to work for cable companies or network affiliates. They may also work for newspapers, magazines or online publications. Non-profit agencies or government organizations are other possible employers. Graduates may find positions as:

  • Fundraising writers
  • Editors
  • Public information officers
  • Technical writers
  • Digital journalists

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for reporters and correspondents are expected to decline by 12 percent between 2018 and 2028. Meanwhile, jobs for broadcast news analysts are also expected to decline, at a rate of 1 percent, but technical writers should see an increase of 8 percent in job opportunities over that same decade. As of May 2018, reporters and correspondents earned an average salary of $55,530, technical writers earned $75,500, and broadcast news analysts earned $91,990, per BLS data.

Continuing Education

Graduates of M.A. programs may opt to pursue a doctorate in mass communications, journalism studies or a related area. These programs generally prepare students for research and teaching positions at a college or university.

Students interested in journalism have a variety of specialties and focuses to pursue in a journalism master's program. This degree program is ideal for anyone interested in a career in different aspects of news and broadcast journalism.

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