Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > MA in Journalism and Media Studies

Master of Arts (MA) in
Journalism & Media Studies


Program Overview

An online MA in Journalism & Media Studies from The University of Alabama can help you navigate the complex and evolving media landscape. Whether you are a journalist eager to expand your craft or desire to teach in the field, this online program can help you achieve your professional aspirations.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Develop your digital media, writing and business skills with a master's degree in Journalism & Media Studies.

The program offers coursework in a variety of areas that will help you develop critical new skills and knowledge while enhancing your portfolio with thought-provoking work. Specialize your skill set with electives in areas such as digital media and information, entrepreneurialism and management, writing and reporting, or social science and research for journalism.

  • Application DeadlineApplications accepted year-round
  • AccreditationAccreditation Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC)


The online Master of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies requires 31 credit hours of coursework. Students have six years to complete the program once they are admitted. They typically take two or three courses per semester to reach the required 31 credit hours, depending on the flexibility of the student’s schedule and the availability of courses. Students complete a professional project or comprehensive exams in lieu of a thesis.

Please note that courses are subject to change.

Required Courses (13 hours)

  • JCM 500 Graduate Studies Orientation
  • JCM 562 Contemporary Issues in Journalism
  • JCM 563 History of Journalism
  • MC 550 Communication Research Methods

Professional Project (3 hours)

  • JCM 597 Master’s Project- Students produce a professional-level project or complete comprehensive exams.

View more information about this program through the University’s catalog.

Cognate Electives (15 hours)

Students have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as writing and reporting, digital media and information, entrepreneurialism and management, and social science and research for journalism. Some elective courses include:

  • Advanced Sports Writing
  • Digital Media Production Tools
  • Entrepreneurial Journalism
  • Communication and Diversity
  • Mass Media Law
  • Seminar in Journalism Research and Scholarship


The Master of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies program accepts applications year-round and admits students on a rolling basis for the fall and spring semesters. If you would like to start in the summer, you must apply as a non-degree-seeking student, and you can complete up to 12 credit hours of coursework before applying for full admission.

Applicants from any undergraduate major are welcome to apply. Applicants without the specific academic qualifications are still encouraged to apply, emphasizing other professional experiences or relevant achievements in the field (media occupations, teaching, etc.). Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA during their first semester to remain in the program.

A completed Graduate School application includes the following:

  • Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Current resume
  • Samples of journalistic work, such as published news stories (optional)

Did you know earning a master’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies can create opportunities and develop skills that can make you stand out in the changing media landscape? Through the online MA in Journalism & Media Studies, you can earn your degree from a name you trust with minimal job disruption. But what else could you gain?

Dr. Wilson Lowrey, a professor in UA’s Department of Journalism and Creative Media, gave us more insight into the benefits of this program.

What makes UA’s master’s degree program in Journalism & Media Studies unique?

UA’s Journalism & Media Studies program offers a range of courses that most other colleges have only talked about. The department includes award-winning journalists and researchers, and thanks to a recent merger with the Telecommunications and Film departments, the faculty now include experts in producing and researching print, digital and broadcast news; multimedia and film documentaries; media management, law and history; and media criticism.

“We offer one of the most impressive, diverse and forward-thinking faculties in the nation, and we are unusually well positioned for ‘what’s next’ in a dynamic, unpredictable and exciting field,” Dr. Lowrey said.

What types of skills will students gain by enrolling in this program?

“Our online MA will help students hone specific cutting-edge skill areas that most bachelor’s programs don’t emphasize, such as emerging forms of writing and reporting and specialized skills for digital journalism,” Lowrey said.

“More importantly, the advanced knowledge students gain in this program will position them for later success, whether they move into management, start their own company, pursue a doctorate or teaching career, or simply want to re-tool and stay on top of trends in the field.”

How will this program help students in their careers?

This program will teach you to think about journalism beyond the reporting, writing and shooting. You will prepare for leadership as you develop an understanding of journalism’s deeper mission, its sustainability and the impact of recent changes in the field.

“The ability to understand and think creatively about our rapidly changing field will position students well as they network – with decision-makers in journalism, with high-level news sources, with investors for start-ups and with other professions that are becoming important to digital journalism, such as data, computer and information science,” Dr. Lowrey said.

Students from any undergraduate major are welcome to apply to the online Master of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies.

Become Your Own Inspiration

UA graduate and professional creative director Jamie Cole discusses The University of Alabama’s Master of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies online degree program.



Find more information and learn about restrictions related to this degree program that may exist regarding licensure in the state in which you reside.


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