Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism offers concurrent degree programs with Asian Studies, Law, and Public Health. Concurrent degree programs allow students to complete two Master's degrees simultaneously. Normally a concurrent degree program reduces the total time spent on coursework by two semesters. Applicants to concurrent degree programs must be admitted by both Master's programs. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly understand the application instructions for both programs. In addition to following these instructions, please be sure to contact an admissions officer at each department to be sure all of your application materials are submitted properly and on time. Deadlines for each program vary.
Concurrent Degrees Offered
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Journalism and Asian Studies
Asian Studies offers a two year Master of Arts (M.A.) program that includes a cross-section of cultural, political, and economic coursework related to various regions in Asia. It is possible to concurrently complete a Master of Arts in Asian Studies and a Master of Journalism in three years. Language proficiency is required. Be sure to fill out the Journalism and Asian Studies MJour/MA application form on the Graduate Division website.
Journalism and Law
Berkeley Law offers a three year Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree that can be completed concurrently with the Master of Journalism degree. It is possible to complete both degrees in four years. Berkeley law has an independent admissions process and does not use the Graduate Division application. Therefore candidates must apply separately to both the J.D. and M.J. programs for concurrent admissions.
Journalism and Public Health
The three-year M.P.H./M.J. allows students to combine their interests in public health, journalism, communications and media. The program is designed to produce journalists with the training and knowledge necessary to cover public health and medical issues for online, print, broadcast, and other media platforms. The program also produces public health professionals who are effective media practitioners and communicators. Students select one of four public health concentrations (environmental health, infectious diseases, epidemiology/biostatistics, health and social behavior) and simultaneously develop their reporting, writing and multimedia skills. They fulfill all requirements for both the Master of Journalism (M.J.) and the Master of Public Health (M.P.H). The program explores how public health and journalism impact each other and prepares graduates for work in a variety of journalism, media, and public health settings. Be sure to fill out the Public Health & Journalism MPH/MJ application form on the Graduate Division website.
Frequently Asked Questions
The J‑School admits applicants with a wide variety of Bachelor's degrees, from Anthropology to Zoology. An applicant with a technical or science background can approach reporting from a unique perspective. Your performance as an undergraduate is important, just as your commitment to reporting is important.
No specific prerequisite coursework is required beyond the successful completion of your bachelor's degree.
The admissions committee looks for your dedication to becoming the best reporter you can be. Applicants who demonstrate solid reporting skills and a strong work ethic are favored. The most impressive applicants report stories that have not been previously reported, provide significant value to the community, lack personal bias, show meticulous research, sharp interviewing skills, integrity, and good judgment. Many do this while having an unrelated day job. Research and expertise in technologies and specific topics (eg biochemistry, data visualization) are also impressive to the admissions committee.
If you have not done any reporting, then it is more difficult to be a successful applicant. However, the admissions committee looks closely at other qualifications and achievements that indicate you are a strong candidate. Also, those who produce journalistic work during the months before the deadline are impressive, and sometimes unpublished research papers or journalistic work can be as strong as published work. Finally, if you need more samples of work, one of the best ways to learn and improve your reporting techniques is to ask a journalist to mentor you. A good mentor will allow you to pitch him/her story ideas, show you storytelling techniques, and help you with the editing and connections you need to get your work published.
Berkeley Graduate Division requires a 3.0 GPA for admission. Occasionally an exception can be made if professional experience outweighs the significance of an applicant's performance in college. There is a text box on the application that you can use to provide an explanation about your grades. You can use this to explain why your grades do not reflect of your merit for a Master of Journalism.
An electronic copy of your transcript that shows the official completion of your Bachelor's degree is required. Most international applicants will be required to upload an electronic copy of an official diploma in addition to transcripts.
The GRE is important if you are applying for the FLAS fellowship or if you are applying for a concurrent program that requires it. Otherwise, you do not need to take or report a GRE score.
We expect journalists to be sensitive to language and to organize their thoughts clearly and coherently. We ask that the three work samples demonstrate these qualities. Two of the three submissions must be text-based samples, but the third can be audio, video, multimedia, or a photo essay/portfolio. A video sample must be solely produced and directed by the application. Audio samples should be accompanied by a script. International applicants can send work samples in another language, so long as an English translation, by the applicant, is provided. Academic writing samples and research papers are acceptable.
Undergraduates may enroll in the Summer Minor Program. However, we do not offer graduate-level courses during the summer.
The program is a two-year, full-time Master of Journalism program. We only admit students each fall semester. For workshops and short courses, please visit Berkeley AMI which offers workshops and custom training programs for mid-career journalists.
All applicants will be evaluated equally by the admissions committee. You must be a student in our journalism program before being considered for advanced documentary coursework. Enrolled students can begin taking Introductory TV Production courses in their first semester. At the end of the second semester, the students who show the most dedication and merit have the opportunity to enroll in advanced documentary classes.