This is a named option in the Journalism and Mass Communication M.A.

The Professional M.A. program prepares students for careers in news and information production. The program provides a mix of practical communication skills, conceptual knowledge of journalism and mass communication, and an area of specialization.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline April 15
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Refer to the department website for more detailed admissions information.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

All applicants who are admitted for graduate studies are automatically considered for support. No separate application is required.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements

Mode of Instruction

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.25 GPA required for degree conferral.
For academic probation and other grading policies, this program follows the Graduate School's policy:
Other Grade Requirements No other grade requirements.
Assessments and Examinations Students present a portfolio of their work in the last semester.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

Required Courses
JOURN 335 Principles and Practices of Reporting4
JOURN 903 Professional Master's Colloquium1
Skills Courses12
Choose at least 12 credits from the following skills courses in consultation with the program advisor:
In-Depth Reporting
Creative Nonfiction
Multimedia Design
Science and Environmental Journalism
Magazine Publishing
Investigative Reporting
Video Journalism
Community-Based Reporting
Advanced Sports Communication
Long Form Video
Storytelling Through Sound
Special Topics in Advanced Concepts and Skills
Concept Courses7
Choose at least 7 credits from the following concept course list in consultation with the program advisor:
History of U.S. Media
Mass Communication and Society
Law of Mass Communication
Media and the Consumer
Effects of Mass Communication
Communication and Public Opinion
Mass Media and Youth
Health Communication in the Information Age
Mass Communication and Political Behavior
International Communication
Mass Communication in Developing Nations
The Impact of Emerging Media
History of Books and Print Culture in Europe and North America
Sports Controversies & Communication Professions
Communication Research Methods
Mass Media and Minorities
Social Networks in Communication
Literary Aspects of Journalism
Topics in Government and Mass Media
Special Topics in Mass Communication
Concepts and Tools for Data Analysis and Visualization
Legal & Ethical Dimensions of Emerging Media
Mass Communication and the Individual
Mass Communication and Society
Mass Communication and Culture
Mass Communication History
Health Communication
Global Communication
Science and Environment Communication
Race, Ethnicity and Media
Ethics and Communication
Journalism Theory
Political Communication
Topics in Mass Communication
Specialization Courses (outside of Journalism & Mass Communication)6
In addition to the courses listed above, students must complete at least 6 credits of coursework outside the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and at the 300 level or above.
Total Credits30

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

This program follows the Graduate School's policy for Satisfying Requirements with Prior Graduate Coursework from Other Institutions.

UW-Madison Undergraduate

This program follows the Graduate School's policy for Satisfying Requirements with Coursework from Undergraduate Career at UW–Madison.

UW-Madison University Special

This program follows  the Graduate School's policy for Transfer from UW–Madison University Special Student Career at UW–Madison. 


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.

Advisor / Committee

This program follows the Graduate School's Advisor policy.

Credits Per Term Allowed

15 credits


This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Program Information

We offer a career colloquium for all professional M.A. students and require students to complete an internship during their time in the program. Students receive professional coaching in classes and work with our career advisor who provides support for job and internship search and preparation.

For a complete faculty/staff directory see this website.