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 (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).|
|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.
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|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.
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.
|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 (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).|
|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: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
|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.|
|JOURN 335||Principles and Practices of Reporting||4|
|JOURN 903||Professional Master's Colloquium||1|
|Choose at least 12 credits from the following skills courses in consultation with the program advisor:|
|Science and Environmental Journalism|
|Advanced Sports Communication|
|Long Form Video|
|Storytelling Through Sound|
|Special Topics in Advanced Concepts and Skills|
|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|
|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|
|Science and Environment Communication|
|Race, Ethnicity and Media|
|Ethics and 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.
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
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
This program follows the Graduate School's policy for Satisfying Requirements with Prior Graduate Coursework from Other Institutions.
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
This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.
Grievances and Appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
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.
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.