Home / Content / Master's Degree in Journalism

Master's Degree in Journalism

Graduate

The Cronkite School's Master of Mass Communication trains students to report, write and produce content for broadcast and digital platforms through immersive learning experiences. Students also complete intensive professional experiences from the school's news bureaus in Phoenix, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C.


Classes and Professional Programs

Cronkite News

The Cronkite master's in mass communication is design to be completed in 12 months. This 36-credit hour program begins with a multimedia “boot camp." From there, students dive deeper into advanced courses in broadcast production, investigative reporting, online media, business reporting, Spanish-language news, transborder coverage or digital media entrepreneurship. The program culminates in a professional immersion experience in one of the Cronkite School's news bureaus in Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Working under the guidance of award-winning journalists, these capstone programs offer real-world experience in a professional news environment.

    Cronkite News Phoenix: Students produce a daily newscast on Arizona PBS that reaches 1.9 million households and digital content for cronkitenews.azpbs.org, Cronkite News social platforms and partner sites across Arizona.

    Cronkite News Washington: Students cover Congress, the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court for Cronkite News and partner newsrooms.

    Cronkite Noticias: Students produce Spanish-language news for digital and broadcast platforms in collaboration with Univision Arizona.

    Carnegie-Knight News21: Students produce major national investigations in partnership with newsrooms such as The Washington Post and NBCNews.com.

    New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab: Journalism, engineering, design and business students work together to create cutting-edge digital products and launch new businesses.

Required Core – Journalism Focus (20 credit hours)

MCO 502 Journalism Skills (8)

MCO 503 Media Law (3)

MCO 510 Data Journalism (3)

MCO 525 21st-Century Media Organization and Entrepreneurship (3)

MCO 530 History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Journalism (3)

Electives (6 credit hours)

MCO 505 Depth Reporting (3): Covers in-depth and investigative reporting and writing techniques. Students produce long-form, deeply sourced articles and produce multimedia with the goal of publication. Students in the Borderlands Initiative Depth Reporting section travel internationally to cover transborder issues.

MCO 515 Advanced Online Media (3): Students learn about trends in digital media and get hands-on experience in web design and usability and employ a variety of digital tools to produce compelling multimedia content. This course also covers copyright, legal and ethical issues facing online journalists.

MCO 531 Advanced Broadcast Reporting (3): Teaches news and information practices of networks and local television stations. Students report, write and edit broadcast packages with an emphasis on video.

MCO 535 Latino and Transnational Issues (3): This course focuses on the most pressing and controversial issues taking place in the Southwest borderlands. Successful students move on to the Borderlands Initiative depth reporting project in the spring semester that includes an international reporting experience.

MCO 550 Issues in Coverage of Business and the Economy (3): Teaches the basics of business and economics reporting, one of the fastest-growing areas of journalism. Students learn about the skills needed to cover business and economic stories, how private companies operate and the factors that drive the economy. They also learn about opportunities in the field and hear from national leaders in business journalism.

MCO 553 Reporting on Business and the Economy (3): Trains students in the basics of reporting about business and the economy. Students learn to tell the stories behind companies, people and money, while improving their competency in using numbers in their reporting. Students have the opportunity to have stories appear in print, online or broadcast.

MCO 556 Media Entrepreneurship (3): Familiarizes students with media entrepreneurship and innovation in a quickly changing digital media environment. Students study the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation, assess their own tolerance for risk, evaluate opportunity and market conditions, and learn about various revenue models for entrepreneurial enterprises. Students work in groups to present a business plan for a new media product.

MCO 557 Advanced Radio Reporting (3): Students report and produce long-form radio stories in commercial and public radio formats. They develop planning, writing, voicing and detailed editing skills in a variety of radio broadcast formats, including general news and business as well as hard news and feature reporting.

MCO 598 Topic (3): Spotlight: Investigative Reporting: This special course is taught by Walter Robinson, the longtime Boston Globe investigations editor who led the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, recounted in the Academy Award-winning film "Spotlight." Students will learn techniques of investigative reporting and produce local investigative reports for publication at Cronkite News and in other professional news outlets.

MCO 598 Topic: News21 Seminar (3): This investigative, multimedia reporting project brings together top journalism students from around the country in a seminar and an immersive reporting experience. Based on their performance in the course, top students are selected to participate in the summer project as News21 fellows. The award-winning News21 Initiative is led by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists.

MCO 598 Topic: Advanced Bilingual Reporting (3): Students will get experience reporting and writing stories on topics related to Latinos in the U.S. Students must demonstrate some ability to write and report in Spanish, although students do not have to be fluent.

Other Requirements (1 credit hour)

MCO 598 ST: Lab Observation (1)

Culminating Experience (9 credit hours)

MCO 570 Master of Mass Communication Capstone (9)

Additional Curriculum Information

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.


Required Core – Strategic Communications Focus (20 credit hours)

MCO 502 Journalism Skills (8)

MCO 503 Media Law (3)

MCO 517 Public Relations Campaigns (3)

MCO 536 Public Relations Research (3)

MCO 598 Writing for Public Relations

MCO 598 Strategic Communications Leadership and Ethics (3)

Electives (6 credit hours)

MCO 505 Depth Reporting (3): Covers in-depth and investigative reporting and writing techniques. Students produce long-form, deeply sourced articles and produce multimedia with the goal of publication. Students in the Borderlands Initiative Depth Reporting section travel internationally to cover transborder issues.

MCO 515 Advanced Online Media (3): Students learn about trends in digital media and get hands-on experience in web design and usability and employ a variety of digital tools to produce compelling multimedia content. This course also covers copyright, legal and ethical issues facing online journalists.

MCO 531 Advanced Broadcast Reporting (3): Teaches news and information practices of networks and local television stations. Students report, write and edit broadcast packages with an emphasis on video.

MCO 535 Latino and Transnational Issues (3): This course focuses on the most pressing and controversial issues taking place in the Southwest borderlands. Successful students move on to the Borderlands Initiative depth reporting project in the spring semester that includes an international reporting experience.

MCO 550 Issues in Coverage of Business and the Economy (3): Teaches the basics of business and economics reporting, one of the fastest-growing areas of journalism. Students learn about the skills needed to cover business and economic stories, how private companies operate and the factors that drive the economy. They also learn about opportunities in the field and hear from national leaders in business journalism.

MCO 553 Reporting on Business and the Economy (3): Trains students in the basics of reporting about business and the economy. Students learn to tell the stories behind companies, people and money, while improving their competency in using numbers in their reporting. Students have the opportunity to have stories appear in print, online or broadcast.

MCO 556 Media Entrepreneurship (3): Familiarizes students with media entrepreneurship and innovation in a quickly changing digital media environment. Students study the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation, assess their own tolerance for risk, evaluate opportunity and market conditions, and learn about various revenue models for entrepreneurial enterprises. Students work in groups to present a business plan for a new media product.

MCO 557 Advanced Radio Reporting (3): Students report and produce long-form radio stories in commercial and public radio formats. They develop planning, writing, voicing and detailed editing skills in a variety of radio broadcast formats, including general news and business as well as hard news and feature reporting.

MCO 598 Topic (3): Spotlight: Investigative Reporting: This special course is taught by Walter Robinson, the longtime Boston Globe investigations editor who led the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, recounted in the Academy Award-winning film "Spotlight." Students will learn techniques of investigative reporting and produce local investigative reports for publication at Cronkite News and in other professional news outlets.

MCO 598 Topic: News21 Seminar (3): This investigative, multimedia reporting project brings together top journalism students from around the country in a seminar and an immersive reporting experience. Based on their performance in the course, top students are selected to participate in the summer project as News21 fellows. The award-winning News21 Initiative is led by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists.

MCO 598 Topic: Advanced Bilingual Reporting (3): Students will get experience reporting and writing stories on topics related to Latinos in the U.S. Students must demonstrate some ability to write and report in Spanish, although students do not have to be fluent.

Other Requirements (1 credit hour)

MCO 598 ST: Lab Observation (1)

Culminating Experience (9 credit hours)

MCO 570 Public Relations Lab Capstone (9)

Additional Curriculum Information

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.


Student Experiences

Cronkite graduate students regularly cover major news in Arizona as well as around the world, producing broadcast and digital stories for Cronkite News.

Cronkite students produced a documentary on the heroin crisis in Arizona, which reached more than 1 million Arizonans across 33 broadcast television stations and 93 radio stations. The documentary won the state's highest Emmy Award as well as the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.
See Student Work
More than 100 Cronkite students covered the 2016 elections for Cronkite News, the student-produced news division of Arizona PBS. Students traveled to both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in the run up to the presidential election.
See Student Work
Cronkite students joined top student journalists from across the country to investigate issues surrounding voting rights in America. The major portions of the national investigation were published in The Washington Post, nbcnews.com, USA Today Network, The Dallas Morning News and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
See Student Work
Students for Cronkite News reported on a major poll on U.S.-Mexico border issues that received national attention. Students traveled to the border to report on this major news story.
See Student Work
More than 100 students worked on this follow-up to the award-winning documentary, "Hooked," with in-depth interviews with recovering prescription pill addicts, law enforcement, government officials and doctors and public health experts.
See Student Work
Cronkite students joined top student journalists from across the country to investigate water pollution and its impact on health in the U.S. The project found as many as 63 million people – nearly a fifth of the country – were exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade, according to an investigation of 680,000 water quality and monitoring violations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
See Student Work

Job Placement

Cronkite alumni accept internships and jobs at leading journalism and communications companies around the world, including:

  • CNN
  • CNN Money
  • CNN en Espanol
  • The Washington Post
  • The New York Times
  • The Associated Press
  • Univision
  • NPR
  • The Atlantic
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Bloomberg
  • Reuters
  • Gallup
  • Allison+Partners
"Nothing could have prepared me more for my work at CNN than the Cronkite School. Cronkite truly prepared me for the many lenses a journalist must look through when working on international news stories."

Samuel Burke, anchor and correspondent, CNN


Application Requirements

The graduate application opens Sept. 1. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received before Dec. 1 are given priority for both admission and funding. The final application deadline is July 1.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

They must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  • Graduate admission application and application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE scores, with the verbal score being particularly important to the journalism school's graduate committee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement of interest (350 to 500 words in length)
  • Resume
  • Proof of English proficiency
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency. TOEFL scores must be at least 600 for the paper-based examination and 100 for the Internet-based. Students should see the program website for application deadlines and admission terms. Applicants must meet all deadlines and application requirements to be considered. The Cronkite School's graduate committee reviews complete and on-time applications. Recommendations for admission are made to Graduate Admission Services, where the final admission decisions are made.