The Graduate Program in Journalism
Right now, work at Stanford and the broader Silicon Valley is changing the way stories are discovered, told, and transmitted. Our program is designed to help you lead that transformation. Core courses and electives will allow students to produce work that is multimedia, data-intensive, and entrepreneurial.
The program is rigorous, with students learning how to combine the best of data journalism and storytelling skills. It is small by design: The average journalism MA cohort consists of about 15 students. It is a springboard to a career: Recent graduates are working at many of the world’s most influential media and technology companies.
The minimum number of units for a master’s degree in Communication-Journalism Track is 45 unduplicated units beyond the 180 units required for the bachelor’s degree. The maximum number of units per quarter taken at graduate level is 18, with any additional units taken within the same quarter charged at a per unit rate.
Program Requirements for the Master’s Degree
Course units may be counted to meet the requirements of only one degree. The courses used to fulfill master’s degree requirements must represent new work beyond the components of the undergraduate program. Normally a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better satisfies the requirement for high academic standing. Graduation requires a GPA of 3.0 or better. To count toward the master’s degree, all courses must be taken for a letter grade if offered as such, and the five required elective courses must be approved by the student’s advisor and the Director of the Graduate Program in Journalism. Units earned in courses below the 100 level may not be counted towards the minimum unit requirement for the master’s degree.
Communication Coursework Taken Previously
Students in the Coterminal Master’s Program in Communication may transfer certain courses between their undergraduate and graduate careers by submitting a Coterminal Course Approval Form to the Registrar’s Office. Courses that were taken since, and including, Autumn quarter of sophomore year are eligible for transfer. Both undergraduate and graduate departments must approve any such transfer in courses. These courses may only count toward one career or the other.
First Graduate Quarter
The quarter following completion of 12 full-tuition undergraduate quarters is identified as the first graduate quarter for tuition assessment. Thus, coterminal students are changed from the undergraduate to the graduate coterminal student group in the 13th quarter and are then assessed the regular graduate tuition rate (see “Coterm Tuition”). Coterminal students are subject to graduate studies policies and procedures as described in the “Graduate Education” section of the Stanford Bulletin. These policies include approval of a leave of absence for quarters not enrolled and minimal progress guidelines for graduate students.
When can I apply?
Applicants must submit their application and, if admitted, respond to the offer of admission no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree. They must have declared a major, completed six academic quarters (two for transfer students) and earned a minimum of 120 units toward graduation (UTG) as shown on the undergraduate unofficial transcript. The deadline to submit applications is January 29, 2020 at 3:00pm for admission in spring 2019-20. Recommenders have until February 3, 2020 to submit their online recommendation letters.
Decisions and Acceptances
Applicants will be notified of the admission decision in writing, typically 3-4 weeks after the application deadline. Applicants are typically given two weeks to accept or decline an offer of admission by replying to the admission notification.
How to apply
Coterminal applications are submitted online. You can access the online application and all accompanying information at https://www.applyweb.com/stanterm/.
It is strongly recommended that prospective applicants meet with the Student Services Manager during the preceding Autumn Quarter to review the application process and requirements.
The application materials to be submitted are:
1. Application for Admission to Coterminal Master’s Program
2. Current unofficial Stanford transcript
3. Undergraduate Coterm Application Approval form. Print, complete, collect undergraduate department signature, and upload.
4. Statement of Purpose.
5. Preliminary Program Proposal. Print, complete with the assistance of the Student Services Manager, and upload as .pdf, .doc, .docx, or .ttf file.
6. Three journalistic samples; up to two can be digital media samples
7. Three letters of recommendation from Stanford professors
GRE scores are not required.
The Online Application
Create an account and proceed to the online application.
On the ‘Proposed Master’s Program’ page, select ‘Communication MA’ , and SPRING 2020 as the first term of your master’s program.
In the ‘Additional Information Section’ select ‘Journalism’ as your academic interest.
The Statement of Purpose
Applicants are asked to explain the nature of interest in journalism and the reasons for pursuing the degree at Stanford University. The statement of purpose should not exceed two pages.
A conversation with the director of the Journalism program or Journalism faculty in advance of completing the statement of purpose may help to clarify your statement. It is also a good time to discuss your background interests in the coterminal program before submitting a formal application, and to make sure that your interests and goals are parallel with that of the program.
Preliminary Program Proposal
In completing the Preliminary Program Proposal, applicants must specify all courses to be taken in future quarters including the project. Applicants can consult the Curriculum page of the Stanford Journalism Program for a sample schedule. Those accepted into the program will be required to complete a second, more accurate form (Program Proposal for a Master’s Degree) by the end of their first graduate quarter. The proposal is reviewed to determine whether the applicant’s intended program will meet the overall requirements of the coterminal program.
Please request an appointment with the Student Services Manager if you would like help completing the proposal form.
Submit three samples of journalistic work in the ‘writing sample’ section of the application. Each submission should demonstrate an appreciation for the basic standards of good journalism and an exceptional aptitude for advanced writing and reporting. Up to two of the samples can be digital media samples in any multimedia format (audio, video, blog, photography) submitted as PDF links.
Letters of Recommendation
Applicants to the journalism track are required to register three recommenders.
In the References section of the online application, you will be asked to enter the following information:
- Names of your recommenders.
- Institute/Employer, title/position, and field/discipline of each recommender.
- Valid email address of each recommender. An email will be sent to your recommenders with information on how to proceed.
- Waiver – you must choose whether or not to waive your right to see a recommendation. It may be that a recommender will not submit a recommendation if you have not waived the right to see it. This should be discussed in advance. Your choice will be transmitted to the recommender in the instructional email he/she will receive.
Journalism track students complete the same requirements as students in the Graduate Program in Journalism .
Coterminal journalism students may count coursework taken after summer of freshman year towards the 45 units of unduplicated work with approval by the Director of the Graduate Program in Journalism.