Frequently Asked Questions

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Numerous data skills including: negotiating for and obtaining data, records and documents; cleaning data; building a data scraper; data analysis using Excel and SQL; mapping for analysis; building a data application; how to tell a story from data. See actual student projects that use these skills on our curriculum page.

All of our courses are inherently about reporting and storytelling. Students will become an experienced storyteller understanding when to use which multimedia platform to tell a story, as well as: gaining access to sources, building sources, beat reporting, refining story ideas, how to personalize a story, key investigative reporting techniques, telling national stories from a local angle, finding a unique angle to features and profiling an individual. Students learn to tell these stories via written form, audio, video and basic data visualization. See actual student projects that use these skills on our curriculum page.

Both types of these students succeed in our program. Students with journalism experience gain skills in data and coding, while students with technical expertise gain reporting and storytelling skills.

Our graduates are working at newsrooms across the world: from The Verge in San Francisco to The Washington Post in D.C. to the South China Morning Post. See our alumni page for more alumni stories.

By design, we aim to enroll between 14 and 18 students a year. Our students are not lost faces in a crowd: the beauty of our small size is students work closely with their professors and receive individualized attention to grow skill-sets.

 

One academic year, typically late-September through mid-June. Stanford runs on a quarter system, affording students the opportunity to take around 13-15 courses in a single academic year (spread over the fall, winter, and spring quarters).

Yes. We encourage students in the Journalism Program to take courses in statistics, coding and design thinking — or whatever matches your professional interests (subject to advisor approval).

Yes, it is a requirement for graduation. The project is a signature piece of journalism that involves deep reporting, long-form writing, and multimedia storytelling. We encourage projects that draw upon database reporting and data visualization tools and techniques, as well as those that experiment with non-traditional story forms. Students generally spend all of Spring Quarter working on the master’s project.

Some do, some don’t. We’re focused on finding candidates who represent the new breed of journalists, with a background and strong interest in data analysis, data visualization, software design, or multimedia storytelling.

ALL APPLICANTS:

Official GRE test scores – GRE (http://www.gre.org)

  • See https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/applying/starting-your-application/required-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, 2017.
  • 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.
  • Offers of admission can only be made if the official test scores have been received. When official test scores are sent to Stanford by ETS, it will take about two weeks to match them with an applicant’s online file. Should the applicant’s name entered in the application be different than the name associated with the test score, applicants must notify studentservices@commu.stanford.edu.
  • 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.

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FOR APPLICANTS WHOSE FIRST LANGUAGE IS NOT ENGLISH:

Official TOEFL test scores TOEFL (http://www.toefl.org)

  • See https://gradadmissions.stanford.edu/applying/starting-your-application/required-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, 2017.
  • 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.
  • 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 score to us as soon as you have it. iBT test-takers will be able to access their scores online approximately 10 days after the test date. Therefore, we recommend that you take the test no later than early November 2017 in order to meet the December 5 deadline. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores.

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.

It depends. Stanford’s assessment of a foreign degree is based on the characteristics of a national educational system, the type of institution attended, and the level of studies completed.

To see if you’re eligible, see detailed information by country from the Office of Admissions: CLICK HERE.

If you are still unsure about your eligibility, please directly contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to explain your situation.

Yes. Almost every student completes a local or national internship, sometimes during the academic year, but often during the summer following graduation. Also, learn more about the Rowland and Pat Rebele Digital and Print Journalism Internship Program.

To apply for our program, search for and choose “Communication MA” under the application’s program selection section.

Most students prefer to live on campus. Stanford is a residential campus with very attractive housing options for graduate students.

The online application fee is $125 for all applicants, both domestic and international. If you are considering applying to Stanford graduate programs and need assistance with the application fees, consider applying for a fee waiver.

No. Journalism students take a full load of courses, which doesn’t allow time for an assistantship (usually 20 hours a week).

Yes. Thanks to the generosity of graduates and other friends of the program, we provide several partial tuition scholarships each year.

Many students also take advantage of the Rowland and Pat Rebele Digital and Print Journalism Internship Program, which provides stipends for select internship opportunities.

Decisions are usually made by March 15th. Please do not contact us prior to this date to check the status of your application. (Between December 5, 2017, and January 15, 2018, we will update your application status in the “Activity Log” section of your online application account to let you know whether or not your application is complete.)

Stanford University is located about 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Take a virtual tour of “The Farm.”

MainQuad-Stanford

Absolutely. Contact us and we’ll arrange a very informative and busy day for you.