Journalism M.A.

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Interested in the Graduate Program in Journalism?

Visit for an introduction to the program.  Email to ask questions about the program or the application process.


In addition to the required courses, students are usually required to take two specialized writing courses, chosen from a list of seven or eight, and three approved electives from among graduate-level courses in the Department of Communication, or from among courses on campus that deal substantively with issues of public importance. The Graduate Degree in Journalism requires a minimum of 45 units.

Except for COMM 291 Graduate Journalism Seminar and COMM 289P Journalism Master’s Thesis, all courses must be taken for a letter grade.  To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better. Graduation requires a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Required Courses

Comm 216: Journalism Law
Comm 225: Perspectives on American Journalism
Comm 273D: Public Affairs Data Journalism I
Comm 274D: Public Affairs Data Journalism II
Comm 275: Multimedia Storytelling
Comm 279: News Reporting & Writing Fundamentals
Comm 289P: Journalism Thesis
Comm 291: Graduate Journalism Seminar

Sample Schedule

Autumn Quarter

Comm 225: Perspectives on American Journalism (4)
Comm 273D: Public Affairs Data Journalism I (4)
Comm 275: Multimedia Storytelling (3-4)
Comm 279: News Reporting & Writing Fundamentals (3-4)

Winter Quarter

Comm 216: Journalism Law (4)
Comm 274D: Public Affairs Data Journalism II (4)
Comm 277: Specialized Writing (4)
Comm 291: Graduate Journalism Seminar (1)
Misc: Elective (3-5)

Spring Quarter

Comm 277: Specialized Writing (4)
Comm 289P: Journalism Thesis (4)
Misc: 2 Electives (3-5)

Graduate Seminar (COMM 291)

In winter quarter, the Journalism program will host a discussion forum for students to present and exchange views on the most current and emerging trends, issues, and practices in the communications industry. Working journalists and news experts are frequently invited as guests to share their professional expertise and practical insights relevent to the challenges impacting the ever-changing media landscape.

Journalism Thesis

The Graduate Program in Journalism provides a unique opportunity for students to showcase their talents as prospective authors and journalists. Each student will launch an intensive, in-depth inquiry into an area that they are personally interested in examining and critiquing at length. The MA Project represents a major commitment of time and effort. While there is no formal publishing requirement, the completed project must be judged by a member of the Journalism faculty to be of a quality acceptable for publication. Successful completion is a precondition for graduation from the program. MA Projects are typically launched during the Winter Quarter with a deadline-driven submission date of the last day of classes of Spring Quarter.


Students enrolled in the Journalism Program have priority access to the Chilton R. Bush Journalism Laboratory, which was completely remodeled in 2015 with multiple LCD displays and brand-new iMac computers. The space is equipped with a host of new information technology resources: multimedia hardware and software applications (like Final Cut Pro X), data visualization applications (like Tableau), audio-visual editing and production systems, as well as content management and web-publishing tools. Stanford’s newly updated Lathrop Library offers a wide range of software editing programs, video equipment, and a fully staffed tech help desk. The Journalism Program also makes classroom use of Wallenberg Hall, one of the most innovative and technologically-enhanced teaching/learning laboratories in the world that houses a giant “wall of screens.”


The Department of Communication frequently hosts special events to discuss and promote the universal presence and techno-future of all things journalism. Carlos Kelly McClatchy Memorial Lectures and Symposia were established in 1964, to bring Stanford University distinguished national and world leaders in the field of journalism. Its purpose is to give students first-hand insights into the responsibilities of journalists putting fingers to keyboards in a democratic society and to stimulate critical thinking about the performance of mass media in an increasingly global society.

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