About the Program

The Department of Journalism and Creative Media offers three options to earn a Masters of Arts degree in journalism. Students work closely with a faculty dedicated to the principles and practices of sound journalism and scholarly inquiry. All options require 31 credit hours.

For more information please see our JCM Graduate Student Handbook 

Research Option

The research track allows you to study and think critically about journalism from a variety of scholarly approaches. You will explore news and its role in society, factors that shape journalists’ decisions, the history of journalism and the legal and ethical implications of journalism. This two-year option is highly customizable and allows for 12 hours of elective credit that can be taken across disciplines.

Professional Option

Our award-winning, one-year professional track is designed to strengthen community journalism by establishing trained professionals in the field. In this focused area of study, you will explore new ways to serve communities through evolving journalism practices and digital innovation. The hands-on curriculum relies heavily on experiential learning, rather than a thesis, and includes a three-month internship at the Digital Media Center at the University of Alabama, which includes the full-time news operation at WVUA TV-23 and the national award-winning Alabama Public Radio.

In addition, you will work with your fellow students to produce a digital reporting project focused on a community issue or problem and report on that topic in depth. The Society of Professional Journalists consistently recognizes our students’ projects for their in-depth, digital reporting, and use of multimedia.

Online Option

A professional option is also available entirely online for students who wish to have flexibility in completing their coursework around their everyday lives. Interested students can visit the Journalism Bama by Distance website. Here is a testimonial about how the program works: Bama By Distance

Doctoral Program

The C&IS doctoral program overseen by the Office for Graduate Studies provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of mass communication and information sciences. For more information about the C&IS doctoral program, click here.


Admission to graduate work in the Program of Journalism requires a 3.0 or higher undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale). All those interested in being admitted into the program must apply for admission to the Graduate School of the University of Alabama the semester before their anticipated start date.

  1. Completed online application form
  2. Application fee (free to University of Alabama graduates)
  3. Resume/CV
  4. A statement of purpose emphasizing why you want to complete a journalism degree in our program and how the degree will advance your professional and educational goals
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Transcripts from previous academic institutions
  7. TOEFL scores for international applicants
  8. Optional – Two-three samples of journalistic works. This can include a document with links to works.
    • Note: PDF documents are preferred, but Word and other word-processing documents are acceptable.

Application Timeline

The Journalism MA program accepts applications year round for the main campus programs but prioritizes fall semester admission. The deadline for completed applications for the fall semester is March 31, but strong applicants may be admitted later if space is available. However, students are strongly encouraged to complete the application process by January 31 for funding eligibility.

The online program accepts applications year round and admits on a rolling basis for the spring and fall semesters, with non-degree admission applications accepted for the summer term.

Financial Support

The Journalism MA program considers all admitted main-campus students for a limited number of graduate assistantships based on the submitted admission application. Those selected for assistantships will be contacted by the graduate coordinator in March or April.

Assistantships are awarded for either 10 or 20 hours a week. 20 hour a week assistantships are usually awarded to thesis-track students and cover full tuition during fall and spring terms and a monthly stipend and 10 hour assistantships are usually awarded to professional track students and cover half-tuition and a half-stipend. Online students are eligible to apply for scholarships offered by the College of Continuing Studies.

The Graduate School offers various forms of financial support that all students are encouraged to consider. Students who are competitive for University scholarships and fellowships generally have high GPA and GRE scores, will significantly benefit the program, and are usually admitted into a degree program by early spring.

Job Placement

In its first 10 years, more than 90% of our professional track graduates were working full-time as journalists. Graduates of our programs have gone on to work as newspaper reporters, editors, digital content specialists, broadcast media producers, social media strategists, media relations professionals, magazine writers, government correspondents, professors, attorneys and more.

Contact the Journalism Graduate Coordinator

For specific questions regarding the journalism graduate program, contact Dr. Scott Parrott.