Join us in Silicon Valley

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.

Applications are now closed. Fill out the form below to receive a notification when applications reopen for 2021-2022.


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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.

Application Deadlines

When is the graduate application due for matriculation in autumn 2021?

DECEMBER 1, 2020.

Application Due Date

The deadline for all graduate application forms to be submitted online for matriculation in autumn 2021 is December 1, 2020.

When are letters of recommendation due online?

JANUARY 4, 2021.

Letters of Recommendation Due Date

Recommenders have until January 4, 2021, to submit their online recommendation letters.


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.

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 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. The statement of purpose should not exceed two pages, single-spaced.

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 as links in a PDF.

Official transcripts are required from every college and university you have attended for at least one year. You will be uploading these to your online application via ApplyWeb.

If you are offered admission to Stanford and accept the offer, you will be required to submit official transcripts/degree certifications that show your degree conferral. The Office of Graduate Admissions, Student and Academic Services, must receive the documents through one of the delivery methods listed below. Note that transcripts uploaded with the online application are not considered final official.

Final official transcripts must contain the following information:

  • Completion of coursework required for the degree
  • Degree earned and date the degree was conferred
  • Official stamp, seal, and/or embossed marking from the school

Transcripts and degree documents that are in a language other than English must be accompanied with an official English translation.


  • Certified Electronic Transcripts: Secure electronically delivered transcripts that are passcode protected, digitally signed, and properly certified by the issuing institution sent to us only from the issuing institution or its authorized agent. Send to Transcripts sent as email attachments or by the student will be rejected.
  • ApplyWeb CertiFile Service: International and domestic final official transcripts/degree certifications delivery method via the ApplyWeb CertiFile Service. To submit the order go to your ApplyWeb Applicant Activity Page by clicking on the “Review Your Activity” link at There is a fee for this service.
  • If your institution will be mailing a traditional paper transcript, it must be in an official sealed envelope that is signed and stamped across the envelope flap by the appropriate academic officer at the institution issuing the document. If the envelope has been opened or there is no stamp or signature across the envelope flap, it will not be accepted. Have the institution send it to the address below:
  • Graduate Admissions
    Student and Academic Services
    Attn: Transcripts 408 Panama Mall, Suite 217
    Stanford, CA 94305-6032

Stanford does not consider transcripts that come from applicants or that have been in the applicant’s possession as official.

The University reserves the right to require additional academic documents. If we are unable to verify the nature or authenticity of your academic documents, we may ask you to obtain an evaluation from a foreign credential evaluation service.

For more details, see

Upload a 1-3 page resume into the ‘resume’ section of the application.

We require three letters of recommendation. Recommendations must be submitted online by January 4, 2021. 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.


Official TOEFL test scores TOEFL (
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, 2020.

ETS has introduced a solution for students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis by temporarily offering a TOEFL iBT test at home option until test centers can reopen. For more information please visit the ETS website. Students in China who are further affected by the suspension of TOEFL iBT testing should review the Graduate Admissions temporary TOEFL accommodations being made by Stanford University.

Exemptions are granted to applicants who have earned (or will earn, before enrolling at Stanford) 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, Ireland, and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) are exempt from taking the TOEFL and do not need to submit the TOEFL Waiver Request form.

Applicants with degrees from institutions in countries other than those listed above and in which English was the only language of instruction must submit the TOEFL Waiver Request form in order to be evaluated for a waiver to the TOEFL requirement.

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 the Office of 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 2020. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores.

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 2, 2020 and January 11, 2021 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 1st. 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 statement of purpose, samples of journalistic work, personal qualities and characteristics and past accomplishments.

Financial Aid

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: 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 or Student Services Manager Katrin Wheeler.


Thank you for your interest in the Stanford Journalism Program.