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Professional Master's Program: 36 Credits
Master's student Adriane Goetz of Phoenix follows a presentation by Cronkite Assistant Professor Leslie-Jean Thornton.
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers an innovative, full-immersion journalism graduate program that builds on the strengths that have made the school one of the best in the nation.
The 15-month, full-time professional program is unique in scope, focus and intensity. It begins with immersion in the journalism skills, values and principles embodied by Walter Cronkite, the school’s guiding light for the past three decades. But it also is designed with the future in mind. Students learn how to navigate a dramatically different 21st-century media environment through classes and a symposium specifically focused on the future of journalism. And they are able to apply that knowledge through an intensive, practical experience in one of the school’s signature professional programs.
They do all of this in a world-class facility in the heart of downtown Phoenix and just minutes from most of the area’s major media outlets.
Students have the chance to study under a remarkable faculty who have been national journalism leaders, including former CNN anchor Aaron Brown, former Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor Tim McGuire, former BET Vice President Retha Hill, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Steve Doig, former executive editor of the Sacramento Bee Rick Rodriguez and Leonard Downie, Jr. longtime executive editor of the Washington Post.
Other veterans head up the school’s professional immersion programs, which are a cornerstone of the graduate experience. Graduate students interested in broadcast may spend their final semester in Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s weekly newscast, under the direction of former television reporter and anchor Mark Lodato. Or they may spend it with former television managing editor Sue Green at Cronkite News Service, producing stories for TV stations across the state.
Justin McHeffey, of Montana, participates in an online media class for graduate students.
Students interested in print and online may choose Cronkite News Service, working under former Associated Press editor Steve Elliott on daily stories about state government for newspapers around the state. Those interested in digital media may elect to develop products on new technology platforms in the New Media Innovation Lab, or they might decide to develop their own new media products at the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship.
Other professional experiences include the Latino and Business Journalism specializations and the Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative.
For the most part, candidates come to the program with limited or no professional experience. The course of study, which begins with a “boot camp” type of experience in basic journalism skills, is designed to prepare those without such training for careers in print, digital media and broadcasting.
The program is designed so that each class moves through as a cohort, entering in the fall semester and attending full time for three semesters — typically excluding the summer, when many students will be doing internships.
The program can be condensed to 12 months for students who opt to work in the Cronkite News Service bureau in Washington D.C. in the summer semester.
Students must meet the admissions requirements of the Graduate College and apply no later than Feb. 1. The admission process is conducted on a rolling basis between December and March.