Journalism Graduate Application Process

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

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

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

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.

Steps to Apply

The 4 Steps of the application process are listed below. Please review all steps before you begin the application process.

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). 
  • If the application is not paid for, it will not move on to the review process. 
  • Please remember to write down the application ID number because it is needed for the next step. 

Complete Your Application

Step 2

Upload the Following Through the Application Portal

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.
  • Supplemental Question: Answer the supplemental question listed in the application; "Discuss an experience in your life where you had to overcome a significant challenge or adversity". 
  • 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

International Applicants Only

Submit everything from Step 2 AND the list below.

  • Name on Application. Please print your name on the application exactly as it appears in your passport. The information will be used to complete the necessary visa documents, so matching your passport information is critical. 
  • (International Students Only) Statement of Financial Proofmust be provided in order to comply with U.S. Government regulations. Final admission will not be granted until the Office of Admissions is satisfied that all documents are complete and correct. Estimated funding requirements for international students annually from the Office of Financial Aid can be found here
  • English Language Competency. Request that ETS send the documents listed below to the University in an electronic format using code 1465. There is no need to use the department code. 
    • Reported scores must be no older than 2 years. 
      • TOEFL/IBT Special Home Edition: no subscore below 19 for reading, listening, and speaking; no writing subscore below 22; with a minimum average score of 80. 
      • IELTS: minimum average score of 6.5. No subscore below 6.0. 
      • Duolingo: 110 or higher. 

International Applicant InfoRMATION

Step 3


The applicant must request each college or university attended to date to submit one copy of the official transcript to the Master's in Journalism program. The transcripts should show the courses taken and the grades earned. 

  • Domestic 

Transcripts from domestic institutions can be sent electronically from the institution to the Academic Program Coordinator, Nicole Bond at

  • International 

Official copies of ALL records from all postsecondary schooling attended/attending. Mark sheets, transcripts, certificates, and diplomas, must be submitted as official documents directly from each institution. In most cases, these documents will need to be sent in official, sealed, issuing institution envelopes. If you are not in your home country, you can arrange for a friend or family to pick up the documents, sealed in an envelope from the institution and mail them to the address listed below on your behalf. The documents need to be in a sealed envelope from the institution in order for it to be considered official. 

Records must show courses taken, grades earned, and must be translated into English if the original records are in another language. Translations must be done by the issuing institution, a certified translator in the country of study, or by an American Translator’s Association certified translator in the US. The original record should be also included.

Note that MSU requires final, degree-granting academic records to be sent as proof of degree award. Many international transcripts do not indicate degree award information, and therefore MSU requests applicants send official copies of their final degree diplomas as proof of degree award.

For applicants who have been awarded degrees - final, official records should be sent during the application process. For applicants completing degree programs during the application process, the latest, official, available academic records should be sent, with final records sent as soon as possible after admission.

Review MSU's International transcript requirements for country-specific transcript information. 

Step 4

Track Your Application

Track your progress and verify the receipt of documents through the Student Application Portal. We strive to updat ethe system regularly but during high volume times we ask for your patience. 


Questions? Additional information about the Journalism Master's program may be obtained from:

Nicole Bond
Academic Programs Coordinator

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