Degree Requirements – Archive

The Master of Journalism (M.J.) degree at Berkeley requires completion of at least 36 semester units of coursework and a satisfactory Master’s project. A minimum of 24 of those units must be earned from coursework in the Graduate School of Journalism. All students are expected to graduate in four consecutive semesters. In the course list below, the reference to semesters indicate the terms when the courses should be taken.

Requirements for Class of 2020

Required Courses

3 units Journalism 200 Reporting the News (first semester)
3 units Journalism 211 Reporting the News Lab (first semester)
1 unit Journalism 209 Multimedia Bootcamp (first semester)
1 unit Journalism 219 Data Immersion Bootcamp (first semester)
3 units Journalism 282 Introduction to Visual Journalism (first semester)
2 units Journalism 29​8 ​First Semester Forum (​first semester)
3 units Journalism 255 Law and Ethics (third semester)
2 units Journalism 297 Reporting Internship (300 supervised hours)
2 units Journalism 294 Master's Project Seminar (1 unit in 3rd semester; 1 unit in 4th semester)
Additional Required Courses for Multimedia, Video Reporting and Storytelling and Documentary



2 units Journalism 222 Interactive Narratives: Future Storyforms (second semester)
3 units Journalism 216 New Media Master's Project Workshop (third and fourth semester)
Then, select at least one or more for second semester:

3 units Journalism 220 Introduction to Coding Interactives
3 units Journalism 221 Reporting with Data
5 units Journalism 283 Video Reporting and Storytelling


Video Reporting and Storytelling

5 units Journalism 283 Video Reporting and Storytelling (second semester)
1 unit Journalism 219 Picture and Sound (third semester)
4 units Journalism 285 Longform Video Reporting and Storytelling (third and fourth semesters)



5 units Journalism 283 Video Reporting and Storytelling (second semester)
3 units Journalism 286 History of Documentary (second semester)
1 unit Journalism 219 Picture and Sound (third semester)
1 unit Journalism 219 Videography (third semester) (elective)
4 units Journalism 284 Documentary Production (third and fourth semesters)


Additional Requirements

1. One advanced reporting course is required for each semester after the first semester.

2. Two units from the J297 Reporting Internship can count toward the 36-unit requirement. That means 34 of 36 units required for the M.J. degree must be from coursework.

3. Submission of an approved Master’s project with all valid signatures is required by the announced deadline.

4. Twelve units per semester are the minimum required for all U.C. Berkeley graduate students. Maximum units per semester are 14.5. The student's adviser, head graduate adviser or the Dean can approve unit loads beyond 14.5.

5. All courses must be taken at Berkeley; credits from other institutions are not transferable.

6. Students may take up to four units of J601 Master’s Study each semester without approval. Approval is required for more than four units of J601 Master’s Study in a single semester. J601 Master’s Study units do not count toward the 36-unit degree requirement.

7. All required Graduate Division paperwork must be submitted by the announced deadline.

8. All required classes must be taken for letter grades except for the J297 Reporting Internship. Only one-third of total UC Master’s degree credits can be S grades.

9. Up to 12 of the required 36 units for the M.J. degree can be from other departments at U.C. Berkeley. Graduate-level courses (numbered 200-299) and upper-division undergraduate courses (numbered 100-199) are acceptable.

10. Concurrent-degree students may have additional or modified requirements and should confirm what those requirements are with a School student affairs officer.

Information subject to change.


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 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.

UC Berkeley requires that all US Citizens who apply to graduate programs have an Advanced GPA of at least 3.0. An Advanced GPA is all grades received after your first two years of college-level course work. This grade calculator from the Graduate School of Education can help you calculate your Advanced GPA. Your Advanced GPA is required to submit the application, however we do not require a GPA calculation worksheet. If your grade is not based on a 4-point scale, as is the case for most international students, please enter your undergraduate cumulative GPA, as determined by your institution.


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.

Applicants should have a BA or BS from an accredited institution. Applicants must submit transcripts for ALL college-level course work. Transcripts can be unofficial but must show degree conferred (if any), the institution’s name, and the applicant’s full name. Transcripts must be loaded into the online application as PDFs and must be legible. Hard copies will be required if admission is offered.

I took the GRE, should I submit my scores even though they are no longer required?

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.

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.

Your three work samples as a whole should highlight your ability as a reporter and storyteller. Please keep in mind that the Admissions Committee is looking for evidence that you have basic reporting skills, which include story identification, thorough background research, fact checking, cultivating appropriate sources and quoting them directly, and storytelling abilities.

Work samples can be unpublished and they can be in any format: print, video, or audio pieces, multimedia pieces, online projects like data-driven stories, in-depth interactive graphics or interactive documentaries, or other abstract new media forms, such as VR, apps, or similar projects.

Work samples can be uploaded as PDFs, image or audio files, or submitted as URLs. If submitting a URL, be sure to include any additional information needed to access the materials online (e.g. if password-protected). It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure a working link and full accessibility to materials during the review period of the application. Be sure it’s clear that you are either the sole author/producer of each work sample, or specify exactly what your role was in creating the piece using the provided text box on the application.

International applicants can send work samples in another language, so long as an English translation, by the applicant, is provided.


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.

No. Please ask your three best recommenders to submit letters on your behalf. The admissions committee will not review more than three letters per applicant.

Your recommenders will be able to submit their letters after the December 1st deadline. However, please urge your recommenders to submit their letters as close to the deadline as possible so that we have them by the time your application is reviewed.

If your recommender does not have a work or corporate email address, using a personal email address (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo) will be fine.

You only need to submit your work samples one time. The Journalism Program section allows you to submit work samples as PDFs or URLs. The Audio/Visual Uploads section allows you to submit audio and video files. The type of file or link you choose to submit is up to you, we have no preference.

Yes. Please fill out the Employment section as well as upload a resume on the Supporting Materials section. No other materials are required for the Supporting Materials section besides the resume.

Yes, all applicants are automatically considered for need-based and merit-based funding. All applicants will receive their admissions notice in February. If you are admitted into the school, you will also receive an email around the same time with information on your financial aid package. We also encourage all applicants to apply for outside funding at the same time they apply to graduate school.

This is an intensive full-time professional graduate program. It is basically impossible to work full time while in the program. It is hard to work at all during your first semester. After the first semester, the course schedule becomes a bit more flexible and it is possible to work part time. Some of our students freelance, some work on campus as Graduate Student Instructors, and some find other types of part-time employment. The Berkeley Advanced Media Institute and the summer journalism minor will sometimes hire our students to help with their courses. The J-School offers about 15 merit fellowships to second-year students, which you can apply for towards the end of your first year. These are some of the ways our students earn money while attending school, but none of these is guaranteed and you must apply for all of them.