Columbia College Chicago

Journalism, MA

This accelerated, three-semester master’s program offers newsroom-level pace, atmosphere and professionalism. This intense approach helps you quickly sharpen your storytelling skills through a public affairs lens. From your first semester, you’ll begin building an extensive body of work, covering and publishing breaking news, civic matters and human-interest stories in Chicago, the third-largest media market nationwide. You’ll learn how to tell compelling stories about important issues like education, criminal justice, labor, politics and the arts.

Location may be the biggest selling point of this program, but you’ll quickly realize your cohort and faculty are just as valuable. You’ll work closely with a diverse group of peers passionate about writing and reporting, and faculty mentors will work with you one-on-one to hone your skills and professional growth. By the time you graduate, you’ll be able to use your master’s-level reporting skills to advance your career in traditional news organizations, digital enterprises, governmental affairs or nonprofits.

Application Information

What to Expect Your First Year

You’ll begin the program in August, prior to the start of the regular fall semester, in a three-week immersion workshop that establishes the basic foundation for your coursework. This workshop is designed to acclimate you to the fast pace of the program. You’ll hit the ground running and immediately begin building your portfolio. By the second week of the first semester, you’ll have a chance to get published in one of our online publications.

What to Expect Your Last Year

During your final semesters, you’ll have the opportunity to take courses where you’ll learn skills such as web design, coding and news production. You might also enroll in our Metro Minutes or Newsbeat TV practicums to add to your experience and body of work in television. For your thesis presentation, you’ll demonstrate your proficiency through a public affairs reporting project.

Detailed Program Information
For More Degree Requirements and Transfer Plans, Visit the Catalog

Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

Columbia prides itself on giving you real-world opportunities while you’re in school. As a Journalism MA student, you’ll have the chance to cover exciting Chicago issues and events in many spheres, including politics, architecture, music, theatre, sports and literature. You’ll use the city as a working lab, learning and reporting alongside some of the best.

You’ll have the chance to work for award-winning, student-produced media outlets like the Columbia Chronicle newspaper, Echo magazine, Newsbeat, Columbia’s live TV news broadcast, and our online publications ChicagoTalks and AustinTalks. Your work also may be aired on 88.1 WCRX-FM (our radio station) and Frequency TV (our TV station).

What are my internship options?

You’ll have access to an array of internship opportunities at companies ranging from globally known media outlets to startups—in Chicago and other markets. Our students have landed assignments at the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, WGN, WBEZ, NBC5-Chicago, Chicago Reader, Time Out magazine, Dow Jones, U.S. News & World Report, O magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, Ad Age magazine, Modern Luxury, banks, nonprofit organizations—the list goes on.

Our internship coordinators can help you find opportunities, professional environments and internship learning experiences that best complement your coursework.


Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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