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Some of our applicants come from journalism backgrounds. Some come from technical or civic hacking backgrounds. Others are just passionate about uncovering public affairs stories. Whatever the case, our program will gear you to thrive as a multimedia-savvy, data-driven storyteller.
The Stanford Journalism Program typically enrolls 15 students annually. All are expected to complete the degree requirements in one academic year. Part-time students are not admitted.
The Admissions Committee examines individual applications for evidence of probable success in an academically demanding program designed to cultivate the breadth of knowledge and critical judgment skill-set needed to excel in a journalism career.
The online application fee is $125 for all applicants, both domestic and international.
Applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree from a university based in the U.S. should review the information for international students to determine their eligibility to apply to graduate school at Stanford.
Applying to the Stanford Journalism Program (MA) requires:
Beginning in September, you can access the online application and all accompanying information at studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions. Any problems that you encounter while completing or submitting the application must be addressed by contacting the support desk as indicated on the application website. Since the Stanford application software is not Stanford-based, we cannot help with technical issues.
Note: For the program selection part of the application, search for and choose “Communication MA” to apply to our program.
The statement of purpose explains the nature of your interest in journalism and reasons for pursing the degree at Stanford University.
Submit three samples of journalistic work in the ‘writing sample’ section of the application. Each submission should demonstrate an appreciation for the basic standards of good journalism and an exceptional aptitude for advanced writing and reporting. Up to two of the samples can be digital media samples in any multimedia format (audio, video, blog, photography) submitted either as PDF links or on a CD sent via regular or express mail. Submissions will not be returned.
As part of the online application, applicants are required to upload scanned copies of transcripts (either official or unofficial) from all postsecondary institutions attended as a full-time student for one academic year or longer. Multiple page uploads are allowed for all transcripts. In addition, either e-transcripts that are digitally signed and certified by the institution, or two print copies of OFFICIAL transcripts of all uploaded versions must be submitted directly to our department. Official paper transcripts may be mailed either directly from the school or by the applicant, providing that the envelope containing the transcripts is sealed and signed/stamped across the sealed area. Applicants currently in school should send the most recent versions available (even if no grades are listed) until complete versions can be submitted. GPAs of at least 3.5 are strongly recommended.
The use of secure electronically delivered transcripts that are passcode-protected is encouraged. It’s eco-friendly and the document’s certified digital signature ensures us that it has been prepared by the college/university and that the document is original and unaltered. If you submit a secure electronic transcript, you will not need to provide the paper transcripts. Please check with the registrar’s office of your college/university to see if they provide secure electronic certified transcript service.
Applicants from Chinese institutions are encouraged to use the China credential service within the graduate application to request and submit CHESICC authenticated transcript(s). This service is eco-friendly and provides validated documents to the department to which you are applying. Applicants submitting CHESICC authenticated transcripts do not need to submit official paper transcripts.
With the exception of CHESICC, Stanford University’s Graduate Admissions Office does not accept any third-party transcript credential service such as WES.
All electronically delivered transcripts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Applicants currently in school should send the most recent versions available (even if no grades are listed) until complete versions can be submitted.
Upload a 1-3 page resume into the ‘resume’ section of the application.
Official GRE test scores – GRE (http://www.gre.org)
See http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/exams. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). This is a University requirement and cannot be waived. The Communication Department does not require any GRE subject tests. All score reports must be sent electronically by ETS to Stanford University. Our institution code number for ETS reporting is 4704. No department number is required. Test scores may be no older than 5 years, dating back from December 1, 2016.
Applications will be processed using the self-reported (unofficial) test scores. If you submit your online application before you have taken the test, please email or fax your verbal and quantitative scores to us as soon as you have them. The analytical writing section takes longer to be processed and is not necessary in order for us to deem your application complete, although offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores from all three sections.
While we have not established any particular GRE score necessary for admission, our experience has been that consideration as a finalist for admission to the journalism program typically requires GRE scores no lower than 150 for the verbal and 145 for the quantitative section.
Official TOEFL test scores TOEFL (http://www.toefl.org)
See http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/exams. Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Stanford accepts only ETS (Educational Testing Service) scores. Our institution code number for ETS reporting is 4704, no department number is required. Test scores may be no older than 18 months, dating back from December 1, 2016.
Exemptions are granted to applicants who have earned a U.S. bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the international equivalent degree from a university of recognized standing in a country in which all instruction is provided in English. Therefore, applicants with degrees from the U.S., Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales) are exempt from taking the TOEFL and do not need to submit the TOEFL Waiver Request form.
To be evaluated for a waiver to the TOEFL requirement, applicants with degrees from institutions in countries other than those listed above must submit a TOEFL Waiver Request Form.
A minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet based iBT is highly recommended. A score of 115 is suggested. Evidence of adequate English proficiency must be submitted before enrollment is approved by Graduate Admissions.
Three letters of recommendation that are specific and precise in their assessment of the accomplishments and promise of the applicant must be submitted online by January 4, 2017. As part of the online application, applicants will be required to register the contact information of their recommenders. Recommenders will then receive an email with directions on how to proceed. At least one evaluation and letter should be from a faculty member at the last school you attended as a full-time student (unless you have been out of school for more than five years). Substitutions for faculty recommendations may include work associates or others who can comment on your academic potential for graduate work. We cannot accept letters of recommendation sent through Interfolio or similar services.
All official transcripts and CDs should be mailed to:
Student Services Administrator
Department of Communication
Building 120, Room 110A
450 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-2050
Important: Once you have begun an application to our department, any correspondence from us will be via email, such as status updates, notifications to applicant groups, and final decisions. Therefore, it is essential that your email settings allow for the receipt of our emails so they do not go into your junk mail.
We will update your application status in the ‘Activity Log’ section of your online application account between December 6, 2016, and January 11, 2017, to inform you whether or not your application is complete. If the application is not complete, the missing items will be categorized as ‘not received’, or specifically listed. You will be given one extra week to submit the missing items. There is no need to contact us to check on this. Doing so significantly delays the application process and our ability to confirm your application status.
Decisions are usually made by March 15th. Please do not contact us prior to this date to check the status of your application.
The selection of graduate students admitted to the Department of Communication is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the scores on the General GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the statement of purpose, samples of journalistic work, personal qualities and characteristics and past accomplishments.
Thanks to the continual generosity of friends and alumni of the Stanford Journalism Program, the Department of Communication awards several partial tuition scholarships to qualified journalism students each year. Additional resources are available through Stanford’s Financial Aid Office.
Please note that requesting financial aid on the application form will not affect your chances of being admitted to one of our graduate programs. All prospective students should review the estimated expenses associated with graduate study.
Many students also take advantage of the Rowland and Pat Rebele Digital and Print Journalism Internship Program, which provides stipends for select internship opportunities.
Coterm Degree (for Stanford Undergraduates only):
If you are a Stanford undergraduate student interested in the journalism track of the Coterminal Master’s Program in Communication, you can find detailed information at: http://comm.stanford.edu/coterminal-masters/. Contact Katrin Wheeler, Student Services Manager, with any logistical questions about the coterm program. Contact Stanford Journalism Program Director James Hamilton to see if your academic background might be a good fit for learning storytelling and data skills. Some students have a background in storytelling and want to learn data skills, while other students have a data or computer science background and want to learn storytelling and reporting skills.
Make sure to take a close look at our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have further questions after carefully reading the information provided, please contact Stanford Journalism Program Director James Hamilton, Student Services Manager Katrin Wheeler or Journalism Program Administrator Vignesh Ramachandran.