About Com-J

The University of Alabama’s one-year Master’s Program in Community Journalism, or Com-J, encourages students to think critically about the role news plays in community and to explore new ways to serve communities through the evolving practices of journalism.

Students in the ComJ program develop writing and visual journalism skills, learn skills in digital media, produce and test prototypes for news innovations, and intern in a professional newsroom — all in one year.

ComJ Students take two semesters of coursework at the UA campus in Tuscaloosa. Then they immerse themselves in a May-through-July professional journalism experience at either:

The ComJ program serves recent BA recipients in journalism or other fields, as well as professionals seeking to deepen and expand their knowledge.

The program has an impressive record of job placements. In the first three years of the ComJ program, more than 80 percent of our graduates were working full time in journalism or were furthering their education within six months of graduation. This rate is significantly higher than the national average over the same period, according to the Annual Surveys of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates.


Students interested in applying to the ComJ program must fulfill UA Graduate School requirements for admission.

Admission to graduate work in the Department of Journalism generally requires a:

  • 3.0 or higher undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Score of at least 300 on the Graduate Record Examination general test, with a writing score of 4.5 or higher.
  • Some students could receive “permission to continue” acceptance if they meet one of the two requirements. These students must meet minimum standards during their first semester in the program.

No prior professional journalism experience is required, but having some college-level experience is helpful.

The program can accommodate up to 12 students, depending upon students’ summer internship preference.

The application deadline is Jan 31. Late applications will be considered, if space remains. There are no spring or summer admissions for the ComJ program. Visit the Department of Journalism and Creative Media’s graduate site for more information and admission, as well as other master’s programs.


Applicants are eligible to compete for a limited number of partial graduate assistantships available through the department. Those awarded an assistantship would receive half tuition for the regular school year plus a small monthly stipend. For more information about financial aid through the University, visit financialaid.ua.edu.

Student Services

Equipment, workspace, software and multimedia classrooms with Internet connections are provided. Students have access to services such as admission and career counseling, course scheduling and tickets to sports and cultural events. The Web site MyBama connects all students with e-mail. The main campus of the University of Alabama is in Tuscaloosa. Students have access to University online materials throughout their program.


Want to become a part of ComJ? Here’s how to apply!

Campus address
The Department of Journalism and Creative Media is at 490 Reese Phifer Hall on the University of Alabama campus.

Mailing address
Department of Journalism and Creative Media
College of Communication and Information Sciences
University of Alabama
Box 870172
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0172

For more information about the program, please contact the graduate coordinator Dr. Chris Roberts at (205) 348-8619. You may also contact the main Journalism Department office at (205) 348-7155.