What Is a Master's in Journalism? (Plus Jobs List)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 2, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A master's degree in journalism prepares you for managerial positions in the journalism field. Pursuing this degree shows that you're passionate about this industry and want to invest in your career. Learning what a master's degree in journalism is and what it entails can help you determine whether to follow this educational path. In this article, we answer "what is a master's in journalism?" explain what you study when pursuing this degree, discuss how it differs from a master's in mass communication, list the degree requirements and review jobs you can pursue when you earn one.

Related: 14 Well-Paying Jobs for Journalism Majors

What is a master's in journalism?

A master's in journalism is a graduate credential you earn after learning about the latest technologies in modern journalism. Since many of these programs focus on digital media and its effects on news consumption, pursuing it can help you advance your skills to fit the current editorial landscape. While you can enter the journalism field without this degree, it can increase your candidacy and help you work toward management positions later in your career. Earning a master's degree in this field also shows that you're dedicated and passionate about your career.

Many students pursue this degree directly after earning a bachelor's degree in journalism so they can continue developing their skills. Other students may pursue professional experience after a bachelor's degree and return to grad school later in their career. You can also find some online programs that let you continue working while attending school. No matter when you pursue this degree, you can find new networking opportunities, get help with internship placement, obtain career search advice and receive help for navigating the industry more easily.

What do you study with a master's in journalism?

Before pursuing a master's in journalism, it's important to learn the various courses this degree involves. Here are some things you may study when pursuing a master's in journalism:

  • Digital media: A digital media course teaches you the latest technologies you can find in modern journalism. Some things you may study include video, digital design and web development.

  • Feature writing: While a feature writing course is often a prerequisite, some master's degree programs also offer this course. A feature writing course teaches you how to write a feature article and the various techniques it takes to write one successfully.

  • Mass media law: This course covers laws and regulations as they apply to mass media reporting. You learn about freedom of the press, free speech and any limitations you may face in the journalism industry.

Related: How To Become a Journalist in 8 Steps

Master's in journalism vs. master's in mass communication

While they sound similar, these master's degrees have many differences. For example, a master's degree in mass communication focuses on theory and research and teaches you how to share messages with a large audience. Typically, these degrees involve many communication courses, including one on journalism. In comparison, a master's in journalism focuses on the development of applied skills. It helps you strengthen your skills as a storyteller while teaching you how to educate your community and the public through different types of reporting.

Related: 12 Careers In Mass Communication (Salaries and Job Duties)

Requirements for a master's in journalism

Before applying to a master's in journalism program, it's important to meet certain prerequisites, such as:

  • Bachelor's degree: To enter a master's degree program, you're required to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism or a similar field.

  • Minimum GPA: Every master's degree program has a minimum GPA you're required to meet prior to admission. Usually, these programs ask for a 2.5 to 3.0 GPA at a minimum.

  • Courses: Master's degree programs often require specific coursework for your grad school application. In addition, they may require a certain number of prerequisite credits.

Apart from these requirements, admissions officers also look for certain admission materials, such as:

  • Application

  • Letters of recommendation

  • Transcripts

  • Test scores

  • Application fee

Related: How To Break Into Journalism

Masters in journalism jobs

While you can apply for entry-level journalism jobs with a bachelor's degree, a master's degree often provides you with additional job opportunities. A master's degree can also increase your competitiveness in the journalism industry as you apply for jobs. Here are some jobs you can pursue with a master's in journalism. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. News producer

National average salary: $43,034 per year

Primary duties: A news producer coordinates and creates news reports for different newscasts. They manage a news broadcast from beginning to end, work alongside other teams and help their fellow news producers gather and write articles for a newscast.

2. Journalist

National average salary: $47,757 per year

Primary duties: A journalist researches a story and shares the news objectively to the public via a written article or TV broadcast. They share information on real events with an unbiased perspective. A journalist also interviews people and shares their experiences in their writing.

Related: Learn About Being a Journalist

3. Director of public relations

National average salary: $61,866 per year

Primary duties: A director of public relations supervises the daily activities and operations of a public relations team. They delegate tasks to team members, monitor their progress and represent their company at public events and interviews. They also track the success of various public relations campaigns.

4. Communications manager

National average salary: $63,020 per year

Primary duties: A communications manager helps promote a company's brand image with consistent messaging and various strategies. They oversee internal and external communications and prepare different marketing materials, like media reports.

5. Senior editor

National average salary: $72,035 per year

Primary duties: A senior editor manages the editorial production for a digital or print media entity, such as a newspaper. They assist staff members, such as writers and freelancers, and assign various stories.

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