Journalism Major: Requirements for Becoming a Journalism Major

Published Sep 08, 2009

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Students interested in becoming a journalism major should enjoy writing and communication and should be planning to work for newspapers, radio and television stations or other media outlets. Although schools may have different standards, master's and Ph.D. degree programs commonly have more rigorous standards and requirements for acceptance than bachelor's degree programs.

Bachelor's Degree: Requirements for Becoming a Journalism Major

Typically, students do not have to be accepted into an undergraduate journalism program. Instead, they can simply declare journalism as their major and begin taking classes. However, there are some journalism departments that require students to be accepted into the program either as pre-journalism or journalism majors. These classifications are determined by a set of standards put into place by the journalism department, which can vary greatly from school to school. Some schools may require students to start as pre-journalism majors; students can usually become full journalism majors after one or two years of study.

Master's Degree: Requirements for Becoming a Journalism Major

In order to become a journalism major in a master's degree program, applicants must be accepted by a journalism department or school. Students must have completed a bachelor's degree and are required to submit a packet of paperwork along with the graduate application. This packet typically includes at least three samples of work, a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and a resume. While not all journalism departments or schools require individuals to have work experience in journalism, most journalism programs do require applicants to submit their GRE scores and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Typically, graduate schools conduct interviews with potential students.

Ph.D. Degree: Requirements for Becoming a Journalism Major

The application process for individuals interested in studying journalism at the Ph.D. level is very similar to the master's degree level. Applicants must send in samples of work, a resume, letters of recommendation and a statement of goals. Since Ph.D. journalism programs are generally intended to prepare students to teach at an academic level, applicants must indicate any teaching experience they may have. This experience can include teaching assistantships or fellowships from master's degree programs. While most journalism departments or schools require individuals to have a master's degree to be accepted, some schools might consider extensive professional experience over advanced level degrees. Many schools look for a combination of work experience and a master's degree.

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