Journalism Graduate Application Process

Apply for the Graduate Certificate or the Master's Degree in Journalism

Welcome to the application process for the Graduate Certificate or the Master's Degree in Journalism at Michigan State University.

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted throughout the year, but should meet these deadlines to allow the M.A. Studies Committee sufficient time to review your application: October 1 for spring admission. February 1 for fall admission.


The M.A. Studies Committee evaluates each application holistically. Selection criteria emphasize student's academic interests and goals, grade point average, coursework, GRE, TOEFL for international students, experience and letters of recommendation.

Step 1: Complete the Online MSU Graduate School Application

The fee is $65 for domestic students and $75 for international students and can be paid with credit card, check (U.S. funds) or money order (see application for details). Please remember to write down the application ID number because it is needed for the next step.

Complete Your Application

Step 2: Create Your Account

When you receive your email confirmation of receipt of the MSU Graduate Application you will also receive a link to the MSU Graduate Application Portal. Please go to this portal and create your MSU Graduate Application account.

The MSU Graduate Application system will require online submission of the following (NO HARD COPIES accepted):

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic or professional work who are willing to assess your aptitude for successful graduate work. Once you have listed your recommenders and their email addresses, the system will generate an email to your recommenders explaining the process to submit their letters electronically.
  • An Academic Statement: A concise academic statement (1,000 words max) of your plans for graduate study, your career goals and how MSU's Journalism M.A. program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  • A Personal Statement: A concise personal statement (750 words max.) about how your background and life experiences, including social, economic, cultural, familial, educational or other opportunities or challenges motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree.
  • A CV or Resume: Include all activities that account for your time since earning a bachelor's degree (e.g., employment, military service, travel). Be sure to include the type of activity, name of employer, city/state and dates. List the most recent activity first. Also, include all relevant professional experiences, locations, dates, etc.

Step 3: Send the Documents Listed Below Directly to the School of Journalism Academic Programs Office:

  • One official transcript from each university or college attended. Only original transcripts sent directly from the university/college to this address will be accepted:
    • School of Journalism Masters Program, ATTN: Nancy Ashley, 404 Wilson Road, 340 Communication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1212.
  • Applicants from China: Applicants need to submit certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates and degrees directly to the School of Journalism (see address above within Step 2). MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation. In addition, MSU will require all incoming ADMITTED students pursuing degrees, or who have earned degrees from universities in China, to submit a verification report (English version) through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) for their final bachelor's degree transcripts (大学成绩单) and bachelor's degree (本科学位证书). All verification reports need to be sent by the CDGDC directly to the MSU Office of Admissions. Please refer to the CDGDC website for more information. We do not need CDGDC verification reports for institutions in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
  • Applicants from India: MSU does NOT accept three-year bachelor's degrees, diplomas or certificates as comparable to a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree. Exceptions though are made by the Office of Admission in the case of Indian students who have earned both a three-year bachelor's degree and two-year master's degree. These degrees must be earned at an institution recognized by the University Grants Commission or Association of Indian Universities.

Step 4: Request that ETS Send the Documents Listed Below to the University in an Electronic Format:

  • Graduate Record Examination Scores (GRE): When submitting scores please use the university code of 1465; no department code is necessary.
  • Note for International applicants only: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required. On the internet-based test, students must score a minimum average of 93 with no sub-scores below 22. When submitting scores please use the university code of 1465.

For more information about degree requirements, please view the Academic Program Catalog for the M.A. Degree in Journalism and the M.A. Certificate in Journalism.

Questions? Please Contact:

Serena Carpenter, Ph.D. or Bruno Takahashi, Ph.D.
Co-Directors of Journalism Graduate Studies, 517-432-9245, 517-432-2454

Nancy Ashley
Journalism Graduate Program Coordinator