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Journalism Masters Programs - Fall 2022 Applications


GradCat2022
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Just figured I'd start a thread to see who's on the same boat! 

I'm applying to Columbia, NYU (Cultural Reporting and Criticism), CUNY, Boston University, Northwestern (Magazine Specialization), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (New Arts Journalism), and possibly The New School's Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism if I have the time.

Top choice is NYU CRC, but I'm not getting my hopes up because it seems as if people who have gotten into these programs already have bylines or internships at major, nationally recognized publications and/or are established journalists. I also opted not to take the GRE, even though it says "optional but strongly preferred", even though I acknowledge this may hurt my chances. 

I have a theatre/creative writing major (I know, hence grad school), my minor was in journalism, and my GPA is 3.7, Magna Cum Laude, Dean's List every semester. I interned for a major city magazine with a circulation of about 300,000, a nationally syndicated broadcast tv show, a non profit political organization, and I've written for three relatively well known fashion magazines. 

For my letters of recommendation, even though I'm applying to journalism programs, I opted to use my creative writing professors over my journalism professors. This is because I did better in their classes, because it was my current major and what I was more focused on at the time. Plus, they've known me longer and we have closer relationships. Maybe I'm overanalyzing things, but my one professor said they're planning on writing one letter and sending it to different schools, but wouldn't it be better if they customized the letters for each program? Not really my place to correct them I assume, as they've very busy and doing me a favor. 

None of my journalism professors have time to look over my SOPs, so I may have to go somewhere else (currently frantically emailing people). I was just hoping for one of them, because they seem to know the most about what these programs are looking for. But I'll take whoever I can get at this point. I also still need someone to look over my resume.

As for my writing samples, I'm pretty confident in which ones I'm going to use. I'd ask my professors for their thoughts, but they've already dealt with me enough, and I should probably trust my own instincts on this one.

As you can see, I'm really enthusiastic about going to J-School. I just feel like everyone I know who's gotten into these programs has been a Fulbright Scholar or something. 

Anyway, more comments to come, as I have a lot of thoughts. 

What J-School Masters are you applying to? 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi! I decided pretty last minute to apply to J-school this round. Threw together an application to Berkeley last month...now finishing up apps to Medill and Boston University. I was an anthropology major as an undergrad, then spent 2 years working in a public health research institute in Boston. That job ended during the pandemic, so I started freelance writing. I've published a fair amount of clips in the last year, but don't have much formal journalism training, hence the application to J-school. 

To be honest, I've talked to a lot of folks in the industry who have discouraged me from applying because you can theoretically learn how to be a journalist without paying tuition, but I kind of feel like some formal training and making connections will help a lot more than the sporadic opportunities I've landed as a freelancer. 

Will be interested to hear more from everyone!

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On 12/28/2021 at 2:53 PM, kate789 said:

Hi! I decided pretty last minute to apply to J-school this round. Threw together an application to Berkeley last month...now finishing up apps to Medill and Boston University. I was an anthropology major as an undergrad, then spent 2 years working in a public health research institute in Boston. That job ended during the pandemic, so I started freelance writing. I've published a fair amount of clips in the last year, but don't have much formal journalism training, hence the application to J-school. 

To be honest, I've talked to a lot of folks in the industry who have discouraged me from applying because you can theoretically learn how to be a journalist without paying tuition, but I kind of feel like some formal training and making connections will help a lot more than the sporadic opportunities I've landed as a freelancer. 

Will be interested to hear more from everyone!

Yeah, I've heard that getting a master's in journalism isn't really necessary, but the people who have been telling me that are also people who already have their bachelor's in journalism. I'm still interested in going.

I finished all my applications, I just need to do an interview for Medill and SAIC. My Kira assessment for Boston University was horrible (I completely froze and you only get one take) so I'm not getting my hopes up for them. 

What Medill concentration did you apply to? 

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21 hours ago, GradCat2022 said:

Yeah, I've heard that getting a master's in journalism isn't really necessary, but the people who have been telling me that are also people who already have their bachelor's in journalism. I'm still interested in going.

I finished all my applications, I just need to do an interview for Medill and SAIC. My Kira assessment for Boston University was horrible (I completely froze and you only get one take) so I'm not getting my hopes up for them. 

What Medill concentration did you apply to? 

Oh yeah--I definitely still think it's worth going :)

I applied to Magazine at Medill as well! Also need to do an interview for them...and have really been putting off my Kira assessment. I honestly hate the way it's designed (feels so unnatural, at least doing the practice questions!), but I bet you did better than you think. 

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Hi! I'm also applying to NYU (Literary Reportage). Boston University, and Northwestern. I'm also applying to the non-fiction MFAs at Sarah Lawrence and University of SanFrancisco. Plus the Erasmus Mundus journalism program. I feel like my chances of getting in are pretty low because my undergrad academic record isn't great. I do have some experience as a freelancer so lets see *fingers crossed* 

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  • 4 weeks later...

@GradCat2022haven't heard anything but will update if I do. Neurotically checking my inbox and application portals multiple times a day lol. Also this was way back when but just wanted to say I also thought the Kira assessment was horrible. Just an awful design, questions that I truly thought were stupid and unhelpful. The whole thing was way more impersonal and anxiety producing than an interview imho. 

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@kate789 Yes! It genuinely affected my opinion how I felt about the program, made things very inauthentic and transactional. The questions weren't even related to journalism—I'm assuming they give the same ones to all the applicants for the College of Communication. I guess they're just looking to see how you talk? My answers were terrible—super awkward and all over the place to the point where I think it may have significantly harmed my application (I even froze and apologized during one question). I know they said they're "not looking for perfect answers" but I wonder how big a role the Kira assessment has considering everything. Anyway, I have good options so far if I don't get in, plus BU is $$$$ anyway. 

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2 minutes ago, GradCat2022 said:

@kate789 Yes! It genuinely affected my opinion how I felt about the program, made things very inauthentic and transactional. The questions weren't even related to journalism—I'm assuming they give the same ones to all the applicants for the College of Communication. I guess they're just looking to see how you talk? My answers were terrible—super awkward and all over the place to the point where I think it may have significantly harmed my application (I even froze and apologized during one question). I know they said they're "not looking for perfect answers" but I wonder how big a role the Kira assessment has considering everything. Anyway, I have good options so far if I don't get in, plus BU is $$$$ anyway. 

Gah literally same. Truly made me less interested in attending (and yes so expensive!!). I like to think if they put such little effort in getting to know their applicants and electing not to do interviews, the Kira assessment can't carry too much weight but I guess we'll see. I actually live in Boston now and am feeling readyish to leave, but I haven't heard back from any J schools yet so still want to hope for the best all around!

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I've been looking at this forum a bit and decided to actually post something to compare. I've applied for journalism programs at University of Oregon, University of Missouri, NYU (Literary Reportage), Columbia, CUNY (Engagement Journalism), and Temple, and am applying to Berkeley this weekend with the newly extended deadline. So far, I've been accepted to U of O, Missouri, CUNY (offered full ride!), and Temple. I spoke to a professor at BU but haven't heard anything about being admitted. Does anyone know if they send out admissions around this time, or do you think they'll send out around the same time as Columbia and NYU (mid-March)? Nice to meet you all!

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@JournGrad2022

Congrats on CUNY and the others! I recently got an email from a professor/alum at BU saying my undergrad majors are "a terrific combination" and asking if I wanted to ask any questions over zoom/email. Still, my portal doesn't say anything about admission. I guess this is the final step or a request for an informal interview? 

@Nai23 not yet on NYU! I think they're usually late March. 

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I was contacted by NYU for the NewsDoc program near the end of January. Had a 30 minute interview/conversation with a current grad student working under Prof. Marcia Rock. Also had my Berkeley interview on the 22nd of Feb.

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Hi all! Wondering if anyone else applied to the specialized programs at Columbia and received an interview? What about Reporting the Nation & NY at NYU? Also any word on when we should hear back from either? Thanks!

Edited by NYCGrad19
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@NYCGrad19 Hi! I applied to Columbia but not for any specialized program, and I haven't heard anything from them since taking my writing exam. I applied for NYU as well but for the Lit Reportage program (also have not heard anything from them) 😕 From looking at last year's thread, it seems like Columbia and NYU send out decisions around March 15th-ish. I expect we will hear back from them next week, and if not, the week after. Not sure if anyone else has any insight on this! I'm only speaking from what I've seen in older threads. 

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@NYCGrad19 hello! I applied to Columbia’s data track and had an interview with them the beginning of February! They said we should expect to hear around mid-march and I haven’t heard anything since. I also applied to NYU’s newsdoc program and just got an interview this morning. I talked with a grad student at the program who said results typically come out by the end of March. Hope this helps!

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I’m super anxious waiting to hear back from Columbia… Applied to the MA - Politics concentration.

Does anyone know if information on funding will come along with the acceptance letter?

Got accepted at Cuny a few weeks ago, but I don’t plan on going. 

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