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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

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

(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 any degree program in which you are currently enrolled, as well as every post-secondary institution you have attended as a full-time student for one or more academic years. Upload transcripts for each of these. Current transcripts should be the most recently available versions even if no grades are listed for autumn courses.

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, 2022. 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.

(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 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, 2021.

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. If you are offered admission, the official transcript must be received showing the conferral of the degree from the qualifying institution. Otherwise, either a TOEFL waiver or official TOEFL scores will be required.

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. Applicants must submit a Stanford application before submitting a TOEFL waiver request form. 

A minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL 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. 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 2021. 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 8, 2021 and January 10, 2022 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.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program cultivates and supports a highly-engaged, multidisciplinary and multicultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University, and delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences, preparing graduates to address complex challenges facing the world. Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in an experiential leadership development program known as the King Global Leadership Program and receive funding for up to three years of graduate study at Stanford. The KHS application will open July 1 and the deadline is Oct. 12, 1 p.m. PT. Two applications must be submitted separately; one to Knight-Hennessy, and one to the Stanford graduate degree program by its deadline. Visit to learn more and apply.

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.