About the Program

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

For more information, please see our JCM Graduate Catalog.

Graduate Mission Statement

The Department of Journalism and Creative Media teaches students to make sense of information, sort truth from fiction, and tell stories with authenticity and inspiration—all critical tasks in an information age. We prepare our graduates to find jobs and excel across many fields, and be discriminating media consumers. We also prepare our graduates to think critically about media and their role in a democratic and diverse society. We believe that those who can collect information, filter it for accuracy and importance, and tell it well can change the world. We strive to educate students in the tradition of the liberal arts in pursuit of professional, intellectual, ethical and personal goals in a democratic society; to provide leadership in the College and University in writing, reporting, editing, producing and presenting news/information in various forms; to advance the discipline through research and service.

Research Option

The research track allows you to study and think critically about journalism & media studies 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 & Media Studies 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 (University of Alabama students who graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA and are applying to the same program as their bachelor’s degree in the next available term will have their fees waived).
  3. Resume/CV
  4. A statement of purpose emphasizing why you want to complete a journalism & media studies 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.

Admissions and Application Timeline

For more information, please see our Admissions Information.

Financial Support

The Journalism & Media Studies 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 and media studies graduate program, contact Dr. Elliot Panek using the form below.