College of Communication > Academics > Journalism > Graduate Program > Journalism (MA) > Admission Requirements

Journalism MA Admission Requirements

Application Materials

To be admitted to the Master of Arts in Journalism, applicants must demonstrate a capacity for achievement through past academic or professional work. The College of Communication looks at each application as a unique presentation of a candidate's profile and will consider a variety of information sources. Admission decisions will be based on the following:

  • Online application and $40 application fee.
  • Official undergraduate transcript showing the completion of a bachelor's degree (minimum grade point average preferred is 3.0 on a 4-point scale).
  • A Statement of Purpose (750 words) explaining why the student is seeking admission to the program.
  • A writing sample (a research paper that demonstrates the applicant's ability to synthesize and analyze scholarly work or a work-related document that demonstrates the candidate’s engagement with media-related projects)
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • GRE scores are not required, but may be submitted to strengthen an application.

Alternate Writing Sample

The following instructions offer an alternative writing sample option for applicants that do not have an undergraduate background in journalism.

Many of our best students in the journalism graduate program at DePaul do not have an undergraduate background in journalism. If that’s true of you, could you take a few minutes to show us how you might tackle this story?

Please write seven sentences showing how you would report this story. No sentence should be more than 25 words long. This will serve as your writing sample.

Remember that when writing their stories journalists start with the most recent, relevant part of the story. The information they report is learned from a trustworthy source.

This story begins in the early morning. You are commuting on a bypass south of Rockford, Illinois on your way to work. It’s late winter and a freezing rain is falling. It’s a quarter past six in the morning. There’s a major traffic tie up as you travel westbound on US Highway 20. You pull over to the shoulder of the road and walk in the direction of a bridge over the Rock River where you see a series of emergency lights flashing. You then see a tow truck. Its long crane has a hook fastened under the rear bumper of a late model sports car. The car has been lifted out of the water and is pointed headlights down. On the driver’s side of the car you peer through a half-opened window and see the body of a woman still seated behind the steering wheel.

A sheriff deputy at the scene tells you, “Police received a call around two this morning from a motorist who reported that a car going westbound on U.S. Highway 20 at a high rate of speed had swerved off the roadway, plunged down an embankment and crashed into the Rock River.”

The witness is at the accident site. He tells you “I saw out of my rear view mirror a car approaching at a dangerous speed. It was swerving all over the roadway. I slowed down and pulled to the side of the road for fear I’d be hit. The car sped past, cut diagonally in front of me, and plunged into the river.”

The motorist called 911. The car was completely submerged by the time first responders arrived.

You begin work on the story when you get to the office. You will be filing your story for a noon news block. By mid-morning you contact the county coroner. He tells you next of kin have been notified and the dead woman as 31-year-old Rockford woman Jody Davis. She lives at 1321 Alpine Drive in Rockford, Illinois.

You ask, “What was the cause of death?” The coroner confirms it was drowning. You tell the coroner what you saw at the scene, and he tells you the force of the impact appears to have trapped the victim’s legs under the dashboard, blocking her escape.

You ask whether Davis was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash and are told the preliminary toxicology report will come back later that morning. The coroner confirms Davis was married and the mother of three children. An employee identification card in the victim’s personal effects confirms that she worked at Sundstrand Corporation, a major aeronautical employer in the Rockford area.

You go the victim’s residence. The woman who answers the door, identifies herself as Dee Fondy, and claims to be the victim’s “best friend.” She is watching the children, until their grandmother arrives. You ask Fondy when she had last seen Davis. The woman gets upset, and says, it was “around midnight. We went out for a couple of drinks.” You ask whether Davis seemed distressed. Fondy interrupts, “She was very depressed! She’s had a very difficult marriage. It’s a tragedy!”

Before you file your story just before noon, the coroner’s office confirms Davis was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash.

If you have any questions regarding this alternate writing sample option, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission by emailing or calling (773) 325-4405.

International Students

An English language examination is required for applicants who have completed their undergraduate education outside the USA. The College of Communication requires the following English language proficiency scores for admission to any of its graduate programs:

Test Type Minimum Score for Full Admission Minimum Score for Conditional Admission
TOEFL Internet-based version 96 (each section at least 22) 79 (each section at least 17)
TOEFL computer-based version 243 213
TOEFL paper version 590 550
Duolingo 130 110
IELTS 7.5 6.5

Students who accept conditional admission are required to take coursework in DePaul's English Language Academy until their English language proficiency reaches the level required for full admission.

International students (those who were educated outside of the U.S. and/or require an F1 visa) must take additional steps to be considered for admission. Please review International Student Admission for exact information.

Tuition Award Available for the 2020-21 Academic Year

DePaul is offering a tuition award to new students starting a College of Communication graduate program in Autumn, Winter or Spring quarters. The tuition award is for $525 toward each four-credit hour course – up to two courses per term. The award amounts to a total of $6,300 towards a twelve-course graduate program and $6,825 towards a thirteen-course graduate program.

For details including eligibility requirements, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-4405 or

Submitting Materials

Application materials including the statement of purpose, writing sample, and resume, can be uploaded directly into the online application. Applicants also have the option of submitting the application without these items and emailing them separately to Students may request recommendations through the online application and track whether they have been submitted.

Transcripts should be mailed to:

Office of Graduate Admission
College of Communication
DePaul University
2400 N. Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614-2215

Application credentials (including official electronic transcripts) also can be emailed to the Office of Graduate Admission at Please make sure your name is on all documents.

Application Deadline

Admission decisions for College of Communication graduate programs are made on a rolling basis. However, the college establishes regular application deadlines for each program so that applicants can be fully considered for admission and financial aid. The preferred deadlines for each term are listed below.

Applicants will be considered for an admission scholarship at the time of review. Admission scholarships are based on merit. A minimum 3.7 GPA is required to be considered for an admission scholarship.

Fall Quarter
We review applications for Fall quarter on a continuous basis. To be considered for fall admission, applicants should submit an application by August 15.

Winter Quarter
We review applications for Winter quarter on a continuous basis. To be considered for winter admission, applicants should submit an application by December 1.

Spring Quarter
We review applications for Spring quarter on a continuous basis. To be considered for spring admission, applicants should submit an application by March 1.

Information Sessions

Learn more about the Journalism graduate program and meet with program faculty at an upcoming information session.

Ready to apply?

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-4405 or

Learn more about Graduate Admission.