Bryant Denny Stadium, where the Digital Media Center is located

Journalism & Media Studies MA

The Department of Journalism and Creative Media teaches students to make sense of information, sort truth from fiction, and tell stories with authenticity and inspiration. We prepare our graduates to find jobs and excel across many fields, be discriminating media consumers, and to think critically about media and their role in a democratic and diverse society. We believe that those who can collect information, filter it for accuracy and importance, and tell it well can change the world.

In the past three years, more than 90% of our professional-track graduates started media jobs within six weeks of graduation. Previous graduates have gone on to work as newspaper reporters, editors, digital content specialists, broadcast media producers, social media strategists, media relations professionals, magazine writers, government correspondents, professors, and attorneys.

Journalism & Media Studies MA

One Degree, Multiple Options

JCM offers multiple routes to achieving a Master of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies: a research option, multiple professional options and an online degree. All require 31 credit hours. 

For more information, visit the graduate catalog

Community Journalism

Our award-winning, one-year professional track is designed to strengthen community journalism by establishing trained professionals in the field.

Explore new ways to serve communities through evolving journalism practices and digital innovation. The hands-on curriculum relies heavily on experiential learning, rather than a thesis, and includes a three-month internship at the Digital Media Center.

Students begin each August and take classes for 12 consecutive months, and submit a portfolio and final project to graduate.

Sports Media

The two-year research track allows students interested in pursuing academic research in sports media to take a sequence of courses that will give them training to work within the sports media field and prepare them to make connections and find their niche within this field.

The department has six faculty who teach in sports media and the unit houses the Alabama Program on Sport Communication, making it an internationally recognized destination for sports media scholarship.

Students complete either a master’s thesis, complete a master’s project, or pass comprehensive exams to graduate.

Master’s Thesis

The research track allows you to study and think critically about Journalism & Media Studies from a variety of scholarly approaches. You will explore media and its role in society, factors that shape media professionals’ decisions, and media’s historical, legal, and ethical implications.

This two-year option is highly customizable and allows for 12 hours of elective credit that can be taken across disciplines. Students complete a master’s thesis to graduate.

UA Online

C&IS also offers online degree options for current professionals looking to further their education while working, including programs in:

Doctoral Program

The C&IS doctoral program is overseen by the Office for Graduate Studies and provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of mass communication and information sciences. 


Admission to graduate work in the Program of Journalism & Media Studies requires a 3.0 or higher undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale). Potential students must apply for admission to the Graduate School of the University of Alabama the semester before their anticipated start date.

Alongside the admission requirements on the Graduate School website, our master’s program requires:

  1. Resume and CV

  2. 2-3 journalism samples (optional)

Note: PDF documents are preferred, but Word and other word-processing documents are acceptable.

Application Timeline  

Applications are accepted year-round. Fall semester admissions are prioritized, but spring admissions may be considered. 

Priority deadline for applicants for fall semester is January 31.

Financial Support 

The Journalism & Media Studies MA program considers all admitted main-campus students for a limited number of graduate assistantships based on the submitted admission application. Those selected for assistantships will be contacted by the graduate coordinator between April and June.

Assistantships are awarded for either 10 or 20 hours per week.

  • 20-hour assistantships are usually awarded to thesis-track students. They cover full tuition during fall and spring terms, and a monthly stipend.
  • 10-hour assistantships are usually awarded to professional track students. They cover half-tuition and a half-stipend during the fall and spring terms. Online students are eligible to apply for scholarships offered by the UA Online.

The Graduate School offers various forms of financial support that all students are encouraged to consider. Students who are competitive for university scholarships and fellowships have high GPA, show evidence that they will significantly benefit the program and are usually admitted into a degree program by early spring.