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 Coterm Course Transfer form to the Registrar’s Office. The Coterm Course Transfer form is available in the eForms portal in Axess. The eForm is routed to the student services administrators from the student’s undergraduate and graduate departments for approval. Courses that were taken since, and including, autumn quarter of sophomore year are eligible for transfer. Courses may only count toward one career or the other. Once the undergraduate degree has been conferred, courses can no longer be transferred. The deadline to submit the transfer form is the Late Application to Graduate deadline of the quarter in which the student is graduating from the undergraduate program.
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 February 1, 2024 at 11:59pm for admission in spring 2023-24. Recommenders have until February 4, 2024 to submit their online recommendation letters.
Decisions and Acceptances
Admission decisions will be communicated via email approximately two to three weeks after the application deadline. Admitted students should communicate their response to the offer of admission by sending an email to the Student Services Manager no later than the deadline indicated in the acceptance email.
How to apply
Coterminal applications are submitted online. You can find detailed information on the Coterminal Admissions website. 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 opening mid-September
2. Current unofficial Stanford transcript
3. Current resume of 1-3 pages
4. Three letters of recommendation from Stanford professors or former professional supervisors
5. Statement of Purpose.
6. Preliminary Program Proposal. Complete, collect the signature of the Student Services Manager, and upload as .pdf, .doc, .docx, or .ttf file.
7. Three journalistic samples; up to two can be digital media samples
GRE scores are not considered.
The Online Application
Create an account and proceed to the online application.
On the ‘Program Selection’ page, select ‘Communication MA’ as your degree program, ‘Journalism’ as your specialization, and SPRING 2023-24 as the entry term of your master’s program.
Letters of Recommendation
Applicants to the journalism track are required to register three recommenders who can write candidly about their qualifications. Once you have registered a recommender, the application system will send a personalized link to that individual to submit the recommendation online.
Letters of recommendation should come from academic or professional references who know you well and are qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.
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, single-spaced.
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. 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 to receive help completing the proposal and have the form signed before uploading.
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.
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.
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.