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Information on Master of Arts (MA) Degree Program in Journalism

Majors Overview June 23, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Journalism and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Journalism

Both aspiring and experienced journalists can seek enrollment to master’s degree programs in journalism. Coursework involves the exploration of topic areas such as the ethical responsibilities of a reporter and media’s role in society. Students also become adept at investigating, reporting and/or writing news stories. In many programs, students can choose specializations such as public affairs, sports, health, metro area, and business. They can also opt for broadcast journalism and photojournalism concentrations. Internships are in most programs and capstone projects required, with one or more articles accompanied by video or audio files. Program graduates can seek careers as editors, reporters, and writers.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, and submit transcripts from it, along with Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Applicants with prior journalism experience are preferable, and they may be asked to submit writing samples and resumes. Prerequisite courses in news writing or reporting may be requirements at other schools.


Core coursework may cover classes in ethics, multimedia journalism, and news editing devised to develop the writing and reporting skills of students. Elective courses usually include topic areas such as:

•Radio news writing
•Broadcast reporting
•Copy editing
•Investigative reporting
•Opinion and feature writing
•Magazine editing
•Sports writing
•Writing for social media

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek employment with network affiliates or cable companies. They may also be employed by magazines, newspapers, or online publications, apart from government organizations or non-profit agencies. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Public information officers
•Digital journalists
•Fundraising writers
•Technical writers

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a negative job growth of 13% has been predicted for reporters and correspondents. During the same period, technical writers are expected to enjoy a job growth of 15% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, reporters and correspondents brought in an average annual wage of $37,090. During the same year, technical writers earned an average income of $65,500 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates can opt for continued education by enrolling in a doctorate program in journalism studies, mass communications, or a related area. These programs lead to careers at the university level or research.

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