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Frequently Asked Questions

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You have questions. We have answers.

Browse our frequently asked questions below. Don’t see your question answered here? Email us and we’ll be happy to give you more information.

About Applying

What if I have journalism experience but not technical or data experience? Or what if I have technical or data experience but no journalism experience?

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.

What kinds of jobs do alumni land?

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.

Do most students have an undergraduate degree in journalism?

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.

Do I need to take the GRE to apply?

Applicants are not required to take the GRE. Applicants whose first language is not English need to take the TOEFL exam.

See Graduate Admissions Required Exams

I’m an international student. What are the requirements for me to apply?

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.

I’m an international student with a three-year undergraduate degree. Am I eligible to apply?

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.

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

When applying, what do I choose under the “program selection” part of the application?

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

What is the application fee? Are application fee waivers available?

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.

Is financial aid available?

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.

When are admissions decisions made?

Decisions are usually made by March 1st. Please do not contact us prior to this date to check the status of your application.

About the Program

What data journalism skills do students learn?

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.

How would I build my storytelling abilities in this program?

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.

What kinds of jobs do alumni land?

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.

Does the Graduate Program in Journalism at Stanford qualify for a STEM extension?

The CIP Code of the master’s degree in Communication degree is 09.0702 Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia. International graduates of the master’s program in Communication are eligible for the STEM OPT extension.

How big is the program?

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.

How long does it take to get a master’s degree in Communication (Journalism)?

One academic year, typically late-September through mid-June. Stanford runs on a quarter system, affording students the opportunity to take around 12-13 courses in a single academic year (spread over the fall, winter, and spring quarters).

Can courses be taken outside the Department of Communication?

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).

Do students complete a master’s project?

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.

Are internships available?

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.

Where do students live?

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

Will I qualify for a teaching or research assistantship?

In Autumn quarter, journalism students take a full load of courses, which doesn’t allow time for an assistantship (usually 20 hours a week). Occasionally, qualified journalism students who have room in their schedules get hired as teaching assistants for COMM courses in Winter and Spring quarters.

Where exactly is Stanford located?

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.”

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