Online Master’s in Journalism Programs 2021

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News analysts, reporters, and journalists inform consumers about the news through articles, radio programs, and television reports. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn a median $46,270 annual salary. In May 2019, the largest employers for these workers included publishers, broadcast stations, and other information services companies.

The BLS projects that the journalism field should contract 11% in 2019-2029. As a result, workers need every advantage to succeed in a tight job market. A master’s in journalism allows recent college graduates and experienced professionals to hone new, in-demand skills.

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Top 10 Online Master’s in Journalism Programs


  • What kind of jobs can you get with a journalism degree?

    Popular careers for master’s in journalism degree-holders include associate producers, news anchors, and corporate communications assistants. Other graduates work as reporters or online communications managers.

  • How long does it take to get a master's in journalism?

    Some online journalism master’s degrees require as few as 11 months to complete. Other degrees may take 18-24 months, depending on requirements and enrollment status.

  • How hard is it to get a journalism job?

    Many bachelor’s and master’s journalism degree-seekers complete internships and freelance assignments to develop a personal brand. Some graduates continue working freelance until they find a permanent position.

  • Are journalists in high demand?

    The BLS projects the need for journalists to shrink 11% in 2019-2029. Professionals need new skills, such as those that journalism master’s degrees emphasize, to increase their employability.

Why Get a Degree in Journalism?

A journalism degree confers many advantages, including in-demand writing skills applicable to numerous professions. Students adapt to an evolving job market by selecting a specialization, such as political or sports journalism. A master’s in journalism emphasizes interpersonal skills, a necessity when networking with potential employers.

Students enrolled in asynchronous online programs continue working while earning a degree, allowing them to apply and hone new skills on the job. Online learning’s other benefits include the ability to enroll in an out-of-state program, develop time management skills, and learn industry-leading software suites employers expect job applicants to know.

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How Much Does a Journalism Degree Cost?

Most master’s in journalism programs charge a flat per-credit tuition rate, meaning full-time and part-time students pay the same for their degree. However, some universities charge per-term tuition. This structure benefits full-time, accelerated students, as their part-time peers end up paying more per credit.

An online degree may cost less than an on-campus program, depending on the school. Some reputable public universities waive out-of-state tuition for online learners. Other cost savings include not paying for on-campus housing, a meal plan, or a commute. Many online students continue working while in school, helping them avoid debt.

Online students should expect to save on many school fees, including parking and specific student support services applicable only to on-campus learners. However, some online schools charge degree-seekers a per-semester or per-course technology fee. Prospective students should consult schools’ financial aid offices to receive a tuition and fee breakdown.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Prospective journalism master’s degree students should consider how much they can put toward their education without accruing debt. A college affordability calculator produces that result by asking questions regarding monthly income, cost of living, tuition expenses, and current financial aid. A low monthly expected contribution implies learners need additional financial assistance.

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How Much Do Journalism Majors Make?

Salaries for journalism degree-holders depend on profession, employer, geographic location, and years of experience. A newscast director at a regional news station may earn only $15,000 annually, while professionals working for national networks earn $40,000-$50,000. Jobs that pay more regardless of location include researcher and field producer.

The BLS reports that journalists working in Washington, D.C., New York, and Georgia earn the highest annual mean salaries at $68,780-$103,320. New York, California, and Texas employ the largest number of journalists, making them an attractive option for master’s in journalism graduates considering where they should start their career.

Like many workers, journalists achieve career advancement by gaining work experience in lower-paying positions. Other options include becoming a subject-matter expert or completing one or more university certificates, such as interactive media.

Courses in Journalism

Students customize their education and prepare for a career with a specialization, such as health communication, media management, or strategic communication. However, all programs emphasize the reporting and multimedia skills journalists need for career success. Many journalism master’s degrees conclude with a capstone project where degree-seekers perform independent research and write multiple articles.

The following sample curriculum describes three typical courses most master’s in journalism programs require. Please keep in mind that course names and requirements vary by school. Fortunately, many colleges and universities publish curriculum details on their website. Admissions advisors also answer prospective students’ questions regarding academic expectations.

Journalists face numerous ethical issues on the job, such as protecting sources’ identities and acting with integrity. Course topics include the First Amendment, libel laws, and copyright protections. Some journalism degrees require this course in the first semester, as the topics it raises appear in upper-division courses.

Journalists use the internet to perform research, publish articles, and upload other media. Online journalism courses train students to create online news features, use industry-leading software, and produce other journalists’ stories. Much of the coursework involves critiquing online examples and investigating how social media affects the journalism field.

An elective, media criticism concerns biased journalism’s impact on consumers. Students analyze journalists with different political biases and comedians who report the news using satire. Learners leave the course with a deeper understanding of biased journalism’s strengths and weaknesses, and the controversies it causes in the present day.

Scholarships for Journalism

Students need not go into debt when earning a master’s in journalism. Scholarships award funding to academically gifted learners and those who demonstrate financial need. All of the following awards feature a 2021 application deadline. Please visit the sponsoring organization or agency’s official website to review the latest requirements and deadlines.

  • Council for International Cooperation/Anna Chennault Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: CIC accepts applications from Asian American students preparing for a journalism career. Applicants submit official transcripts, one recommendation letter, relevant work samples, and an essay.

    Amount: $5,000

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  • The National Press Club/Shirley and Dennis Feldman Fellowship for Graduate Students

    Who Can Apply: NPC accepts applications from graduate school applicants and current students majoring in journalism. Application materials include transcripts, a 500-word essay, and three recommendation letters.

    Amount: $5,000

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  • Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Aspiring overseas journalists apply to the OPC Foundation scholarships. Applicants submit a resume and a writing sample, and photo and video journalism students must provide a work portfolio.

    Amount: $3,000

    Explore Here

Online Master’s in Journalism Programs 2021

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