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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.

Applications are now closed. Fill out the form below to receive a notification when applications reopen for 2023-2024.

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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

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:

(A.) Application Form

By mid-September, you can access the online application and all accompanying information at Student Affairs Graduate Admissions. 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.

(B.) Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose explains the nature of your interest in journalism and reasons for pursuing the degree at Stanford University. The maximum recommended length is 1000 words.

(C.) Three Journalistic Samples

Submit three samples of journalistic work. 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.

(D.) Transcripts

List every post-secondary institution where you were enrolled — or are currently enrolled — in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. Your list must include the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree or its international equivalent as defined in Stanford’s minimum education requirements for graduate study.  

For each institution you list in the application, upload the most recently available version of your transcript. The transcripts you upload here are considered unofficial and will suffice for the review process.  

If you have participated in a study abroad program or transferred courses to your home institution, and the individual courses and grades are reflected on the transcript of the home institution, then you do not need to submit transcripts from the study abroad/transfer institution. Multiple page uploads are allowed for all transcripts. 

If you are offered admission to Stanford Communication and accept the offer, you will then be required to submit official transcripts/degree certifications that show your degree conferral to our department using one of the delivery methods listed below. Note that transcripts uploaded with the online application are not considered final official transcripts.

Stanford Requires:

Official documents from all institutions attended full-time for at least one academic year

Undergraduate program documents (associate’s & bachelor’s level): final official transcript(s) showing completion of coursework required for the degree, degree earned, and the date of degree conferral. If from an international institution, additional documents are probably needed – official degree conferral/graduation document(s).

Graduate program documents (master’s & doctoral level): If applicable, official graduate transcript(s). In most cases, in-progress documents are sufficient. Final graduate transcript and degree conferral/graduation documents are only required for a TOEFL waiver or following a 3-year undergraduate degree from India, Pakistan, or Nepal.

If the documents are not in English, then institution-produced or certified translations are required, in addition to the official original-language documents.

Delivery Methods:

PREFERRED METHOD – 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. Arrange for them to be sent to studentservices@commu.stanford.eduTranscripts sent as email attachments or by the applicant 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. There is a fee for this service.

Traditional Paper Documents: If your institution will be mailing a traditional paper transcript, it must be in an official sealed envelope that is signed or 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 following address:

Student Services Manager
Department of Communication
Building 120, Room 110A
450 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-2050

(E.) Resume

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

(F.) Letters of recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation. Recommendations must be submitted online by January 3, 2023. 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 can accommodate letters submitted by your university's letter service (e.g. Interfolio). You will still need to enter information for each recommender in the online application, including e-mail addresses. An automatic email will then be sent to the recommender requesting a letter. You will need to contact them to let them know that they should follow your institution's letter service protocol. Please use this email address when routing through the letter service:

(G.) Official TOEFL test scores - For applicants whose first language is not English

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). U.S. citizenship does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking the TOEFL if the applicant’s first language is not English.

Stanford accepts the TOEFL iBT Home Edition and TOEFL iBT Paper Edition if you are unable to take the traditional TOEFL iBT test in a test center. If you take the Home Edition or Paper Edition, you may be required to complete additional English placement testing prior to enrollment. We do not accept TOEFL Essentials scores or any other English proficiency test (e.g., IELTS, PTE). 

Our institution code number for ETS reporting is 4704. No department number is required. Test scores may be no older than 2 years, dating back from September 15, 2022. 

A minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet based test (iBT) is required by Stanford University. A score of 115 is suggested by the Department of Communication. Please note that the Graduate Admission's Required Exams webpage also states that incoming students who score below 109 on the TOEFL will likely be required to complete additional English placement testing prior to enrollment. 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 application before you have taken the test, please email your score to as soon as you receive it. iBT test-takers should be able to access their scores online approximately 10 days after the test date. We recommend that you take the test no later than mid-November 2022 to ensure that you meet the December 2022 application deadline. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores. 

Important: Please note that it can take 2-3 weeks for your official test scores to arrive from ETS. In addition, the department cannot see or access these scores until approximately two weeks after you have submitted your online application. Applications will be considered complete with unofficial scores, although no offers of admission can be made without official scores. 

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 regionally-accredited college or university in the United States (territories and possessions excluded), or an equivalent degree from an English-language university in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. 

You may request a waiver if you (will) have an equivalent degree from a recognized institution in a country other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom in which English was the language of instruction. You must submit a Stanford application before submitting a TOEFL waiver request form. If you receive confirmation from the Graduate Admissions Office that your TOEFL waiver request has been approved, you must forward this notification to  

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.

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.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who receive up to three years of funding and valuable leadership skills as Knight-Hennessy Scholars(KHS). 
KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a multidisciplinary and multicultural cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your graduate studies at Stanford. 
Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. 
If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is October 12, 2022. Learn more about KHS admission

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 the Department of Communication website. 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.