Masters in Journalism in USA: Complete Course Guide for International Students

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    Sonal Vaid

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    A master's degree in Journalism in the USA is a two-year full-time course offered as a Master of Arts in Journalism or a Master of Science in Journalism. A Masters in Journalism at universities in USA costs around 39,498 USD- 121,408 USD for a full program of study. The return on investment is high with an average annual salary of 44,000 USD for a journalist in the top recruiting cities of the United States. 

    The degree focuses on the ethical and accurate investigation and reporting of events from local and international settings. Journalism is the industry that is responsible for disseminating news and controlling the media. A master’s in journalism is an interdisciplinary field related closely with social sciences, media studies, and communication sciences. 

    Why study Masters in Journalism in USA?

    • According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, projected job growth for reporters and journalists in the year 2018-2028 is approximately 12%.
    • A Master's degree holder in Journalism in the USA earns approximately 17,000 USD more per year than a bachelor degree holder.
    • There is an average salary increment of 12% every 16 months. 
    • Overall growth of 4% is expected by 2028 in the field of media and communication occupations.
    • The highest employing industries and their hourly wages for journalism graduates are discussed below: 
    Journalism Industry employment and hourly wage in USA
    • USA is home to many top-ranking universities in the world. California and New York are the two states having the maximum number of high ranking public universities in USA.
    • 1.1 million international students, out of 4.4 million globally, travel to the USA for education.
    • About 17.3 percent of the total number of international students in USA, are from India.

    Masters in Journalism in USA: Top Universities

    A few of the top-ranking universities in USA offering a Masters in Journalism according to QS Rankings 2020 are tabulated in the table below. The table also details the annual fees of the program and the degree offered.

    Rankings Universities Program Name Annual Fees (in USD)
    2 Stanford University MA Journalism 54,315
    18 Columbia University MA Journalism 58,764
    28 University of California Berkeley Campus MA in Journalism 31,187
    31 Northwestern University MS in Journalism 60,704
    56 University of Wisconsin- Madison MA Journalism and Mass Communication 25,315
    65 University of Texas at Austin MA Journalism 26682
    98 Boston University MS in Journalism 55,502
    129 University of Southern California Master of Science in Journalism 59,653
    561-570 University of Nebraska-Lincoln MA in Journalism and Mass communication 19,749
    801-1000 University of Mississippi MA in Journalism 26,926

    With over 100 US universities offering a journalism masters degree in USA, international students can find a wide variety of program curriculum to choose from. Masters in journalism in USA is available as full-time, part-time, online, and distance learning program helping students to pursue the degree as per their preference. 

    Masters in Journalism in USA: Course Highlights

    Duration 2 years ( full-time)
    Fees Range 11,000 to 24,000 USD
    Intake seasons Fall & Spring
    Top Recruiting Companies New York Times, CNN, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, NBC, Bloomberg LP.

    Masters in Journalism in USA: Admissions

    Admission applications to most universities in the USA can be made online through the university website or through the PDF forms available for graduate admissions. Applicants will have to download and fill-up the form or apply through the university graduate admission portal. The admission application fee in the USA ranges from 40 USD to 90 USD.

    • Applicants are required to check the documents required for applying for admissions.
    • After the successful completion of the application, an applicant needs to wait for the university to send the admission offer letter and the I-20 required for a student visa to the USA.
    • Post receiving the admission offer, applicants need to apply for a visa.

    Masters in Journalism in USA: Eligibility

    To be eligible for admissions to Masters in Journalism in the USA, an applicant is required to complete a bachelor's degree in Journalism or English

    • A minimum of 65-75% or a first-class degree. Each university may have a different specific requirement. 
    • English Language Tests: Every International student has to give proof of English Language proficiency unless they have a major in English at the undergraduate level. Almost all the universities in the USA accept IELTS and TOEFL scores. The minimum scores accepted at the universities in the USA for IELTS is 6.5 and for TOEFL is 70.
    • International students are also required to have GRE scores to apply for studying in US universities

    The table below details the cut-off of various exams required to study in USA:

    University TOEFL Score Minimum IELTS Score Minimum GRE Score (quant)
    Stanford University 100 -- 155
    Columbia University 100 7.5 NA
    University of California Berkeley 90 7 155
    Northwestern University 100 7 154
    University of Wisconsin- Madison 92 7 157
    University of Texas at Austin 79 -- NA
    Boston University 90-100 7 NA
    University of Southern California 114 8 NA

    Masters in Journalism in USA: Document Requirements

    The required documents for admissions to Masters in Journalism in USA are:

    • Completed admission application form
    • Payment of non-refundable admission application fee
    • Academic transcripts of all the educational institutions attended with their English translation 
    • Transcripts and other submitted certificates must be evaluated by a credential evaluation agency such as WES
    • Scores of standardized exams to study in USA
    • Journalistic work samples (such as samples of published journalism article)
    • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
    • Letter of Recommendation(LOR)
    • Proof of funding for at least a year study in USA
    • Copy of Passport
    • Mandatory health insurance in the USA

    US Student Visa

    For studying in USA, an applicant needs to apply for an F-1 student visa to the USA. 

    •  Once the university application process is complete, applicants will be required to prove their financial capacity for funding their education in the USA (may include family funds, loan documents or scholarship documents). 
    • The university will issue an I-20 form to apply for a visa.
    • After the successful submission of I-20 form students will have to fill the SEVIS I-901 form to enroll in the International visitor database with a fee of 350 USD.
    • A DS-160 form also needs to be completed. 

    It is advised that international students begin their visa process at least 120 days prior to your travel to the USA. International students will also be required to appear for an interview with the US Embassy or Consulate to get their student visa to the USA.

    Masters in Journalism in USA: Cost of Study

    Studying abroad in the USA can cost students a fortune. Costs involved for studying Masters in Journalism in USA include pre-arrival costs, tuition fees, and the cost of living. All the costs involved in studying Masters in Journalism in the USA are mentioned below. 

    Pre-arrival Costs to USA

    The pre-arrival costs to study in the USA include costs like the test fees, application fee, visa fee. The various pre-arrival cost specifications and their costs are tabulated below:

    Expenses Estimated cost (in USD)
    TOEFL 170
    IELTS 250
    SEVIS Fee 350
    GRE 205
    Flight fare 700
    Student Visa Fee 170

    Tuition Fee for Masters in Journalism in USA

    The tuition fees for Masters in Journalism in USA are depicted in the chart below:

    Tuition fee for Master in Journalism in USA

    The overall cost of pursuing a master's degree in journalism in USA for an Indian student ranges between 30 lakhs to 91 lakhs. This may seem too much for an Indian student but what makes graduate schools of US stand out are the outstanding opportunities available as soon as you complete the degree and world-class education.

    Cost of Living in USA

    The costs of living vary with the type of student housing in the USA, living standards, and most importantly the city. The cost of living in a smaller city in the USA can be around 800 USD a month and for a big city, the cost of living can go up to 1,300 USD per month. The estimated costs are tabulated below:

    Expenses Costs per month(in USD)
    Apartment 1000-2000
    Meals 120-160
    Transportation 100-300
    Personal Expenses 300-600
    Health Insurance 450-700

    Masters in Journalism in USA with Scholarships

    International students are required to estimate their budget to study in the USA. To lower the costs of studying Masters in Journalism in the USA, international students can apply for two types of scholarships:

    University-specific Scholarships- These scholarships are provided by respective universities to the international students enrolling in a course at that university.

    General Scholarships- These scholarships are offered by some trusts or governments to international students.

    Here are some of the scholarships for international students in USA to study Masters in Journalism:

    Scholarship Awarding Institute Scholarship Award
    Fulbright Foreign Student Program -- Tuition fees, Health insurance, Living costs, etc.
    Global Scholars Award Boston University Upto 5,000 USD per year
    Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation 100,000 USD
    American Association of University Women in US American Association of University Women 18,000 USD
    SheBegan International Scholarship for Women -- 28,000 USD
    Young Professionals Program World Bank Group Amount Varies

    Looking for more scholarships available to study in the USA? Find out details here.

    Masters in Journalism in USA: Scope

    After completing masters in Journalism students can get various job opportunities in the USA such as news agencies, content developing firms, media houses and magazines, and journal agencies. There are a variety of job roles for which a journalism student can apply for. Another upcoming and attractive job role for which journalism students are often hired are content writers for web-based 

    • A student with a master's degree gets 29% more salary than a student with a bachelor's degree in Journalism in the USA.
    • The average pay of a journalism graduate in the USA is around 44,447 USD. 
    • It is seen that there is almost a 12% increment in the salary of a journalist every 16months.

    The various roles taken up by a graduate of Masters in Journalism in the USA include reporter, journalist, editor, news or video producer, etc. The table below shows the average annual salary in the USA.

    Occupation Average Yearly Salary (in USD)
    Reporter 53,000
    Journalist 50,000
    Editor 63,000
    News Producer 52,000
    Communications manager 68,000
    Video Producer 60,000
    News Reporter 43,000
    News Anchor 72,000

    The USA is one of the top international student destinations because of its educational facilities. If you pursue your dream of becoming a successful journalist or a news editor, a Master's Degree from the USA would open new ventures in your career. You will be able to choose from the top-ranking universities in the USA and post the two-year degree you can choose from companies like the New York Times, CNN, etc. The job prospects are also high with a 12% increase every 16 months for a journalist in the USA. Additionally, USA is one of the highest paying countries for journalists making the program a lucrative degree with cushy median salaries.


    Ques. What are the best universities to study masters in journalism in USA?

    Ans. Some of the best journalism schools in USA include Stanford university, Columbia University, UC Berkeley, UT Austin, Boston University and others.

    Ques. How much does a masters in journalism in USA cost?

    Ans. The annual cost of pursuing masters in journalism in USA ranges between 19,000 USD to 60,000 USD. The overall program cost for an Indian student ranges between 30-91 lakhs. This majorly cover the tuition fees, you are required to have additional amount for expenses like accommodation etc. The cost of study can reach up to 1 Cr. INR.

    Ques. What is the eligibility for Masters in journalism in USA?

    Ans. International aspirants for masters in journalism in USA are required to have a bachelors degree in English, journalism, mass comm, etc with a minimum overall score of 5-60%. They are also required to submit GRE test scores 155 or more in quantitative test. IELTS and TOEFL scores are an additional eligibility criteria for international students from non-native English speaking countries. 

    Ques. What are the English language scores required to study masters in journalism in USA?

    Ans. Students must have IELTS score of at least 7-7.5 and/or TOEFL score of 79-110. Language proficiency requirements can be waived off in special cases which is dependent on the university.

    Ques. How much can I earn after studying masters in journalism in USA?

    Ans. Students can earn as much as 70,000 to 80,000 USD a year on an annual basis at an entry-level after completion of their masters in journalism in USA.