Deadlines and Application Requirements

Master of Science

December 15: Application deadline

Mid‐March: Admission decisions released

August: Full‐time and part-time programs begin

What’s Required:

  • $100 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing test
  • Proof of English language proficiency (where applicable for non-native speakers of English)
  • General essays on personal and professional interests
  • Specialization essay (for applicants to Stabile investigative and documentary programs)
  • Resume
  • Journalistic or written work samples
  • No GRE required

 LEARN ABOUT THE M.S. DEGREE

M.S. in Data Journalism

December 15: Application deadline

Mid‐March: Admission decisions released

August: Program begins

What’s Required:

  • $100 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing test
  • Proof of English language proficiency (where applicable for non-native speakers of English)
  • General essays on personal and professional interests
  • Essay on your interest in data journalism degree
  • Resume
  • Journalistic or written work samples
  • No GRE required

LEARN ABOUT THE M.S IN DATA JOURNALISM

Dual M.S. in Journalism and Computer Science

January 15: Application deadline

Mid‐March: Admission decisions released

August: Program begins

What’s Required:

  • $100 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing test
  • Proof of English language proficiency (where applicable for non-native speakers of English)
  • General essays on personal and professional interests
  • Resume
  • Journalistic or written work samples
  • GRE scores (optional for all applicants)

LEARN ABOUT THE COMPUTER SCIENCE DUAL DEGREE

Master of Arts

January 5: Application deadline

Mid‐March: Admission decisions released

September: Program begins

What’s Required:

  • $100 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency (where applicable for non-native speakers of English)
  • General essays on personal and professional interests
  • Essay on your qualifications for your chosen concentration
  • Resume
  • Journalistic or written work samples
  • No GRE required

LEARN ABOUT THE M.A. DEGREE

Ph.D. in Communications

December 15: Application deadline

Mid‐March: Admission decisions released

September: Program begins

What’s Required:

  • $100 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency (where applicable for non-native speakers of - English)
  • Personal essay
  • Essay on your academic interests
  • Resume
  • Two academic writing samples
  • GRE scores

LEARN ABOUT THE Ph.D. DEGREE

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS IN DETAIL

What you'll need to complete your application:

Required of applicants to all programs

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. university or its equivalent from another country, awarded by the summer of the year that you begin classes, is required.

During the initial phase of the application process, you are permitted to upload unofficial copies of your academic transcripts for evaluation purposes via the application portal. You must submit transcripts from every university you have attended, without exception. Should you be accepted and choose to enroll, you will then need to submit official academic transcripts from every university you have attended to the school. Please review the official transcript submission methods below:

Transcripts from Domestic Institutions

  • Electronic transcripts: Receiving electronic transcripts via a point-to-point system that bypasses the student (using vendors such as Parchment, Credentials Solutions, and the National Student Clearinghouse) enhances efficiency and ensures authenticity of materials. All admitted students who have attended a college or university in the United States must submit electronic transcripts directly from their school, delivered directly to The Office of Admission.
  • Paper transcripts: If an admitted student’s U.S.-based institution does not offer electronic delivery, the student must write to the Office of Admission with the link to their prior U.S. institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that paper is the only option and obtain permission to submit a paper transcript. If a paper transcript is the only option, it must be sent directly from the other institution to Columbia, and not delivered or forwarded via the student.

Transcripts from International Institutions

  • Institutions outside of the People’s Republic of China: Admitted students who attended international institutions must submit an electronic transcript if their school offers secure online delivery. If the school cannot send transcripts electronically through a secure online system, they must contact World Education Services (WES) and order a course-by-course evaluation and International Credential Advantage Package to be sent directly to The Office of Admission (Columbia Journalism School, 203 Pulitzer Hall, Mail Code 3801, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027).
    • If you already have a degree conferred from a foreign institution, you are strongly encouraged to have a WES evaluation sent verifying U.S. equivalency.
  • Institutions in the People’s Republic of China: Admitted students who attended institutions in the People’s Republic of China can access a unique resource through CHESICC. The credentials verification service affiliated with the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Education, to arrange for submission of a “Verification Report of China Higher Education Student’s Academic Transcripts AND a “Verification Report of China Higher Education Qualification Certificate
    • These should be delivered electronically to the appropriate admissions office at Columbia.

Required of all applicants to M.S. programs and M.A. applicants who indicate they would also like to be considered for the M.S. program.

  • The test format is short answer and open­-ended questions.
  • Test information will be emailed after an application has been submitted, beginning in November. It is recommended to schedule a session as early as possible.
  • The writing test takes approximately one to two hours, and focuses on an applicant’s reporting, writing, and critical thinking skills.
  • This is not a test of current affairs, and there is no way to study for the exam.

All students will take the test remotely, regardless of location.

Applicants to our programs are required to write 2-3 essays as outlined below. The application will provide specific prompts and guidelines for the essays. 

M.S. Applicants (2-3 essays)

  • Autobiographical essay (750 words)
  • Professional Interests (750 words)
  • Specialized program essay (only if applying to the Investigative, Documentary or Data Degree programs) (750 words)

M.A. Applicants (3 essays)

  • Autobiographical essay (750 words)
  • Professional interests (750 words)
  • Program Interests essay (750 words)

Ph.D. Applicants (2 essays)

  • Autobiographical essay (750 words)
  • Academic Interests essay (750 words)

Required of applicants to M.S. and M.A. programs:

  • We require applicants to submit three examples of their journalistic or other written work.
  • Please submit no more than a total of 15 pages.
  • We will not accept, via post, any clips or writing samples.
  • You should be sole writer or producer of the work sample.
  • For applicants who do not have journalistic clips, the admission committee wants to see writing samples that demonstrate your ability to distill and interpret information, e.g. blogs, press releases, or short writing samples.
  • For any audio or video clips, submissions should run no longer than 2-3 minutes each.
         

Required of Ph.D. applicants:

  • Ph.D. applicants should include two writing samples of no more than 15­-20 pages each.
  • Scholarly writing is preferred, but essays or pieces of substantial journalism are acceptable.
  • The pieces can be excerpts from larger works, published or unpublished, whether term papers, journal articles, conference papers, etc.
  • They should display your analytical skill as well as writing craft.
  • You must be the sole author of the work; co-authored pieces are not acceptable.

Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation. An email is sent to each recommender instructing him/her on how to write, upload, and submit their recommendation letter. Appropriate recommenders are, for example, professors, editors, job supervisors, teachers, in short people who have supervised your recent academic or professional work and can comment and provide evidence of your ability to perform top graduate-level work. Letters of recommendation should be on official letterhead.

  • The email address for each recommender should be a professional email address (e.g., with an ".edu" extension or company-related domain). RECOMMENDATIONS CANNOT BE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT.
  • Students who have received a degree in the past 5 years are required to provide at least 1 academic reference from faculty at that institution and encouraged to provide at least 2 academic references. Students more than 5 years away from their most recent degree are encouraged to provide at least 1 academic reference.

Required of applicants to all programs

  • $100 non­-refundable application fee payable at time of on­line application submission by credit card only.
  • Applications are not considered complete unless accompanied by the fee. The school does not grant application fee waivers.

Current official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score reports are required for:

  • M.S. and M.A. applicants: if English was not the language of instruction during your entire undergraduate education.
  • Ph.D. applicants: if English is not your native language or if English was not the language of instruction during your entire undergraduate education      
  • TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Waivers of this requirement are rarely given and must be requested and approved before the application deadline. The Graduate School of Journalism reference code for ETS is 2120. 
  • On the TOEFL, we require a minimum score of 650 (paper­-based) or 114 (internet-­based); and for the IELTS we require a minimum score of 8.0.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to require a test of English language proficiency from any applicant for admission, if deemed necessary during its evaluation.

Required of applicants to all programs

Current résumé/curriculum vitae: Please include any honors or awards you have received as a student or working journalist. Please note important stories you have developed or covered.

M.S. and M.A. applicants: GRE is not required.     

Dual M.S. in Computer Science & Journalism applicants: GRE scores are optional. You will not be penalized if you submit an application without scores; it will be considered on the same terms as those with current scores.

Ph.D. in Communications applicants: GRE scores are required.

Please provide test scores as printed on the score report you received from Educational Testing Service (ETS) and ensure that an official copy of your score report is sent from ETS to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The school code to reference is 2120.

All materials (essays, clips, work samples, resumes, etc.) must be submitted in English. If an original transcript (mark sheet, diploma, degree certificate, or academic record) is not in English, you must upload both the official transcript in the original language and its verbatim English translation.

The applicant must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the following exceptions: the U.S. Department of State's Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST; the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF); or Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD).

The applicant will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected].

Applicants may be required to assist admissions staff and faculty involved in admission reviews in the verification of all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application review process. Failure to submit complete, accurate and authentic application documents consistent with these instructions may result in denial or revocation of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, expulsion or eventual revocation of degree.