School of Journalism > Welcome to the School of Journalism > Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences in the master’s tracks?

The Professional Track, which is designed for students seeking professional journalism careers, is for three types of students. One is the student with an undergraduate journalism degree and/or professional experience who is already familiar with journalistic techniques and can broaden and advance his or her job qualifications through M.A. work. The second type of student has little journalistic background and seeks marketable professional training to accompany an undergraduate degree in another field such as liberal arts, engineering, or political science. The third type of student has journalism experience in non-U.S. media and seeks to develop an understanding of the purpose, principles and process of journalism in the U.S. This degree requires 36 hours and a professional project, described in more detail in the Handbook.

The Research and Theory Track is designed for students who already have some professional experience and are planning to enter a doctoral program, or who desire a general conceptual foundation for media-related careers. This degree requires 30 hours and a thesis, which is a research study using social scientific methods.

The Professional-Research Hybrid track combines courses from the professional and research and theory master’s tracks. This hybrid will appeal to professionals with significant experience who seek to update their skills in the multimedia arena or build a research and theory foundation for pursuing an academic career in the future. This degree requires 30 hours and a thesis, which is a research study using social scientific methods.

I have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than Journalism. Can I still apply to the Journalism Graduate Program?

Yes. Students without a Journalism undergraduate degree will benefit from the Professional Track because they will learn journalistic skills as well as the purpose, principles, and process of journalism.

I am currently enrolled in a master’s program at another institution. Can I transfer to UT Austin?

We do not admit applicants as “transfer” students. Even if you are in a graduate program, you must apply in the usual way. Your application will be considered along with all others received by our admissions deadline.

How much are tuition and fees for graduate students in Journalism?

Information on tuition, fees, and cost of attendance is available from http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/prospective/tuition.html .

How many credit hours is a full-time load?

Nine credit hours per long semester, or three courses that are three credit hours each, is a full-time course load for graduate students.

How does the admissions committee determine which applicants are admitted to the graduate program?

We evaluate each application individually, carefully weighing all parts of the application. Successful applicants will be those who, in the judgment of the Journalism Graduate Admissions Committee, show the greatest promise for success as a graduate student in our program and as a professional after graduation. We look for students whose interests mirror our faculty’s expertise and course offerings. For example, we have a strong graduate program in sports journalism and multimedia, among others, but not in broadcast. We turn down otherwise qualified students who are interested in something we do not have the facilities or faculty expertise to provide. Familiarize yourself with our faculty and graduate course offerings to determine if this is the right program for you. We do not employ arbitrary threshold or minimum values for such factors as GRE scores or GPA to determine which applications are successful, nor do we have geographic preferences or quotas; all applications are considered holistically. If you have a weakness, such as low GPA or GRE scores, feel free to address that in your Statement of Purpose along with your strengths. It is not possible for anyone on the admissions committee to pre-screen your application and tell you your chances of being admitted. We consider applications from all students together and as a committee. Each student’s application is read by multiple faculty members, discussed and voted on. Therefore, no one can accurately assess the chances of an application’s success in advance.

I have a bachelor’s degree. Can I apply directly to the doctoral program, or do I need to get a master’s degree first?

You must have or expect to complete a master’s degree prior to beginning the doctoral program. If you do not have a master’s degree, you may apply to our master’s program – the Research and Theory track is designed for this purpose. During the second year in our master’s program, students can apply to our doctoral program. Deadlines are the same as for new applicants but the process is different; contact the Graduate Coordinator for assistance.

I would like to visit the School of Journalism. Can I schedule a visit with someone?

Yes. Contact the Graduate Coordinator. It is best to try to visit when the University is in session. You can check the University calendar at:
http://www.utexas.edu/student/registrar/cals.html and there is visitor information at: http://www.utexas.edu/visitors/.

What are the average GPA and GRE scores of those accepted to the graduate program?

Applicants recently accepted to the master’s program had an average GPA of 3.49 and GRE score in the 70th percentile or above.
Applicants recently accepted to the doctoral program had an average GPA of 3.72 and GRE score in the 74th percentile or above.

When will I be notified of the admission decisions?

The Journalism Graduate Admissions Committee will begin delivering admission decisions at the end of February. Applicants can check their status via the online status check. We send out letters shortly thereafter. If you are offered scholarship funding, the details will be included in that letter. We make decisions on Teaching Assistantship funding in April; students will be notified by the end of April. To apply for a TA position, download an application, available under “Forms” on this website, and return to the Graduate Coordinator. Be sure to include your software skills on your resume or CV.