Jul 23, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Journalism, MA

Professor G. Stuart Smith, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-4270

The Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations  is dedicated to a quality liberal arts education. The journalism program teaches fundamental reporting and multimedia skills, critical thinking, and effective oral and written expression. The department seeks to educate individuals for careers as truthful and accurate media professionals, such as reporters, producers, editors and broadcasters.

The Master of Arts in Journalism is a professional program that prepares students to become ethical, skilled providers of news. After completing a core of journalism ethics, reporting, writing and multimedia skills courses, students may pursue study in the specialized fields of business, science, health and/or sports reporting, or current public relations practices.

Elective courses offered also include graduate classes from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business , departments within the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences , and/or the Master of Health Administration Program  in the School of Education . In their final year, students may complete an internship at a media outlet.

Working closely with a graduate adviser, they will also produce as a Capstone Project a major piece of journalism during their final semester. This project should be an extensive single article or a multi-part series of articles that examine an issue thoroughly. All projects must be submitted in a published online format (as a blog or website) and must include, in addition to the written text, at least three multimedia components, such as photos, video, audio, graphics, and/or charts. Students should include their plans for multimedia components in the initial proposal, and all projects must be presented and defended orally before a Graduate Committee composed of faculty members from within the department.

The MA in Journalism Program emphasizes the application of journalism skills to broader social goals. The curriculum is grounded within the framework of liberal arts education and the principles by which journalists and scholars work in a democratic society. 

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must complete and return an application to the Dean of Graduate Admission, 126 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549. The application process includes:

  1. Prospective students should have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, and earned an overall grade point average of at least 2.75.
  2. In addition to a completed application and an official transcript of undergraduate work, applicants should submit a personal essay as a writing sample. This should be a 500 to 750 word essay describing personal and educational history, past employment, volunteer work or related experience in the applicant’s intended field of study, plans for graduate study and plans for a professional career.
  3. Applicants must also submit a current resume, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.
  4. Although not required for admission, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit any published newspaper, magazine, or online clips they may have.
  5. GRE scores are not required for the MA in journalism, but may be submitted.
  6. An interview is sometimes requested by the program director for admission to the program. If requested, applicants may arrange for either an on-campus, Skype, or telephone interview. Applicants may also request a meeting or call with the program director to learn more about the program.
  7. International students from non-English speaking countries must have a minimum TOEFL score of 95 to be considered for admission. IELTS scores are also accepted with a minimum score requirement of 7. The only exceptions are those who receive a waiver from the Office of Graduate Admission.

The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a candidate’s potential for success in the program. We encourage students who may not meet all of the criteria to apply if they have other experiences that make them suitable candidates for the program.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of partial scholarships are awarded for qualified students. Other student aid in the form of graduate assistant jobs, loans and work-study programs may also be available. General questions about financial aid (grants and loans) should be directed to the Hofstra Office of Financial Aid. Scholarship preference will be given to applicants with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and to those who apply for admission early.

Program Requirements – Total Semester Hours: 36

The MA in journalism consists of the successful completion of 36 hours of course work – either in the generalized program or in an area of specialization (Business, Science or Sports).

All Programs

Required Courses – Total Semester Hours: 24 to 27

Generalized Degree

Specialized Programs (Select Business, Science or Sports.)

Business Specialization: Total Semester Hours: 12

Science Specialization: Total Semester Hours: 12

Sports Specialization: Total Semester Hours: 12

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of a capstone professional project.
  2. Successful oral defense of the capstone professional project.
  3. Completion of an internship or independent study in area of specialization.
  4. Completion of all program requirements with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in overall graduate course work.

Career Opportunities

Increasingly, news outlets are seeking students with the skills necessary to function in a convergent, multimedia news environment. An MA in journalism prepares students not only for jobs in broadcasting, newspapers, magazines and online publications, but also for a wide range of other professional careers. Graduates of the program will also be well-trained to serve as public information officers for government and nonprofit organizations, to write and edit in-house publications for businesses, medical centers, or research laboratories, or to serve as fund-raising writers in development offices. Other graduates may opt to become technical writers or editors for trade magazines or book publishers. In short, graduates will be welcome wherever there is a need for people who can understand complex information and communicate it effectively to general audiences.

Through a diverse set of courses and practical experiences, the program produces graduates with a solid grounding in skills and ethics and the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing demands of professional journalism.

Hofstra is located a short distance from New York City, the communications capital of the country. The New York metropolitan area is home to most of the nation’s 10,000 magazines, three major dailies and hundreds of smaller newspapers, the major broadcast networks and dozens of cable stations, and the largest public relations firms in the world. Students will be able to take advantage of the numerous print, broadcast, and electronic media outlets within close proximity to the campus.


MA in journalism students should contact the graduate program director as soon as they arrive on campus. Students should meet with the director, who will serve as their academic adviser throughout their time in the program, at least once a semester for enrollment and academic questions, assistance with internship placement, departmental job opportunities, scholarships, career advisement, and any other issues related to the program. In addition to the graduate director, other faculty members within the department are also available for advisement on individualized research projects. 

* Footnote

*With advisement, qualified students may elect other appropriate graduate-level courses.