Graduate Admissions

Journalism MA

How To Apply

When applying to the JOURNALISM MA program, you will need to submit the following:
  • ONLINE APPLICATION, with application fee.
  • SELF-ASSESSMENT ESSAY: Within your self-assessment essay, describe your qualifications, what you expect to gain from Columbia's writing-based, public affairs reporting program, and your career goals.  Specificity is encouraged.
  • TWO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (Note that recommenders are notified via email once the online application process has begun.)
  • An OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT from any and all colleges/universities attended
  • WORK SAMPLE:  Applicants must submit a representative sampling of published work or other examples of their non-fiction writing.  Articles and other journalistic samples are best.  Please do not submit poetry, plays, screenplays, or other work of this kind.

Work Sample Submission Method: You may upload up to 10 work sample files to our online portfolio submission portal at*  For best image quality and faster uploads, your image and video files should be sized to fit within 1024 x 768 pixels. Permitted file type and size limits are:

> IMAGES: jpg, .png, .gif — 5 MB per file maximum
> VIDEO: .mov, .wmv, .flv — 60 MB per file maximum
> MUSIC: .mp3 — 30 MB per file maximum
> WRITTEN DOCS: .pdf — 10 MB per file maximum

Our SlideRoom portal offers additional instruction for submitting work. For technical assistance, visit SlideRoom Support. Please direct any other questions about work samples to the Graduate Office at 312-369-7260.

*SlideRoom charges users a $10 transaction fee. By using SlideRoom, applicants avoid the expense of copying and mailing their work samples and avoid the risk of corrupted files, lost mail, broken discs, or cross-platform issues. Additionally, applicants can rest assured that the Graduate Committee on Admissions will experience their portfolio exactly how they intended.

  • An interview by telephone or in person, may also be required as part of the application review process.  The department will contact the student directly regarding the interview.
  • Students entering the program should have journalistic experience, training, or an academic background in print journalism, broadcast journalism or a related field.  Those without adequate training may still apply.
  • All students who are accepted into the Journalism M.A. program are required to complete Foundations of Journalism.  The class meets twice a week 9a.m. to 5p.m. for the last three weeks in August and will count for 3 graduate credit hours.  Students must pass the course with a "B" or better before the beginning of the graduate program in the fall.
International Students

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS must submit all of the above materials, as well as an official TOEFL score and a credential evaluation. Additional documents are required of admitted students. Please visit our International Students page for more information.