FAQ

(2012-13 School Term)
Here is a list of common questions and answers about the graduate journalism program. Please review the full list before making any inquiries to the Office of Graduate Admissions or to the graduate program director in the School of Communications.

  1. How do I apply to the graduate journalism program in the School of Communications?
  2. What's the deadline for admissions?
  3. How do I select a track?
  4. What is the most appropriate track for me?
  5. Where are some of your graduates working?
  6. Where did your graduate students attend school as undergraduates?
  7. Is the focus of the program are practice or theory?
  8. I do not have an undergraduate journalism or communications degree but do hold a bachelor's degree in another discipline. Am I a good candidate for admission nevertheless?
  9. I have been thinking about earning a master's degree in journalism because I like to write and want to become a writer. Would the program help me?
  10. Can students specialize in one area of journalism such as broadcast?
  11. Is it possible to finish the master's program in one calendar year?
  12. I can't start my studies until January. Is it possible to start a graduate program in the Spring semester?
  13. What is the difference between full-time and part-time study?
  14. I am currently working in a full-time day job and can't take time off during daytime hours to pursue studies. When are courses offered?
  15. Does Quinnipiac offer assistantships of any kind to graduate students?
  16. I have worked on a daily newspaper for three years. Do I have to take courses that seem to be below my level of experience?
  17. Do I need to buy a new computer and software?
  18. Who handles advising on course selections and careers?

How do I apply to the graduate journalism program in the School of Communications?
Application forms are available on this Web site. Please download the form and follow the instructions or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions via:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Quinnipiac University
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518-1908

Telephone: 203-582-8672
E-mail: graduate@quinnipiac.edu

Questions about the curriculum and careers and requests for appointments to meet with the journalism graduate program director should be sent to: gradcomm@quinnipiac.edu

What's the deadline for admissions?
Quinnipiac pursues a policy of rolling admissions. For admission in the fall, students have until the end of July/early August to apply. For January admission, students have until the end of December. That said, we encourage applicants to file their admission materials as early as possible in order to make sure housing, financial aid, schedules, etc. are ready well before the start of their program of studies.

How do I select a track?
Applicants can simply declare their track in their letter of intent that is part of the application process.

What is the most appropriate track for me?
Follow your passion. If it's daily news--everything from community events to courts, from politics to features on ordinary people doing extraordinary things--the best track is journalism, as it focuses on covering communities, both large and small. Students are trained for online news as multimedia reporters and for broadcast news, as reporters, anchors and producers.

If it's sports, then sports journalism is the best track to select. But this is not just about covering games. It's about analytics and how to find the story behind the games and the motivations behind players, teams, owners and so forth.

If it's long-form journalism, either in the form of documentaries or magazine stories, the news documentary and magazine writing track is best. Note that you do not have to not pursue both forms but have the opportunity to choose one during your program of studies and focus on the visual or textual approaches. Both are based on deep research into a subject and a creative presentation of the information.

Where are some of your graduates working?
Graduates from the MS program in journalism are pursuing successful careers in broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, online news sites and radio stations throughout the United States. The list where are alumni are working includes the Associated Press, ESPN, ESPN.com, Fox News, Hartford Courant, Patch.com, at network broadcast network affiliates in New Haven, Conn., Philadelphia, Santa Barbara, Calif., Springfield, Mass., and many other cities.

Our alumni also are applying their training to public affairs positions at top corporations and universities, including The Hartford, New York Islanders, Pepsi, Pfizer, Quinnipiac University, the University of Connecticut and Yale University.

The graduate journalism program is highly regarded in the profession and maintains close contacts with practitioners and alumni. We constantly circulate career opportunities sent to us by news media organizations that wish to recruit Quinnipiac University students.

Please join our group on Facebook and participate in the stream of news, comments and career opportunities presented to our students and alumni by media professionals:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/qujournalism.

Where did your graduate students attend school as undergraduates?
Our program has a global reputation for excellence and, as such, attracts students from a variety of universities and colleges from around the world. Among the institutions are Albertus Magnus College; American University; Boston College; Boston University; Columbia University; Dartmouth College; Eastern Connecticut State University; Elmira College; Fairfield University; Florida State University; Gettysburg College; Howard University; Lehigh University; Northwestern University; Purdue University; Quinnipiac University; Union College; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Connecticut; University of North Carolina - Wilmington; University of Notre Dame; and Yale University.

Is the focus of the program are practice or theory?
We focus ruthlessly on training students to work as professional journalists. Our faculty members are professional broadcast, multimedia and print journalists who apply their practical experience to coursework and their professional connections in service to our students in building their careers. To be sure, we do require courses that give students a firm grounding in the essential legal and historical context of their chosen profession, but the bulk of the coursework is based on professional training.

I do not have an undergraduate journalism or communications degree but do hold a bachelor's degree in another discipline. Am I a good candidate for admission nevertheless?
Yes. Students holding bachelor's degrees in disciplines other than journalism or communications are encouraged to apply. What matters is a passion to tell great non-fiction stories rooted in the principles of journalism.

I have been thinking about earning a master's degree in journalism because I like to write and want to become a writer. Would the program help me?
The program would be helpful to aspiring writers whose ambition is to pursue non-fiction stories based on the principles, tools and crafts of contemporary journalism. To be sure, the program is not designed for a casual approach to writing but anyone who has a passion for writing or producing non-fiction work is welcome to join us.

Can students specialize in one area of journalism such as broadcast?
Yes. Our curriculum presents three tracks--journalism, sports journalism and news documentaries and magazine writing (long-form). Within each track, students are trained to produce and write multimedia news stories but may select to pursue a specialty such as broadcast in the Newsroom Clinical experience. Within that experience, students can select to be on-camera anchors or reporters or off-camera producers. The Newsroom Clinical is designed to be the area where students determine their career direction within a track and offers maximum flexibility to experiment with personal goals.

Is it possible to finish the master's program in one calendar year?
Yes, students can complete the program in one calendar year. It is important to note that it is impossible to do this if a student holds a full-time job. We recommend that students who are working pursue a part-time schedule.

I can't start my studies until January. Is it possible to start a graduate program in the Spring semester?
Yes. It is important to note, however, that some courses offered in the spring carry prerequisites, so the universe of available courses will be smaller than it is for students who are admitted in the fall. It is difficult if not impossible to finish the program within a year defined by January-to-December structure.

What is the difference between full-time and part-time study?
Students are considered full-time if they take three or more courses. Part-time students must take two courses per semester unless they receive special permission from the graduate program director to take one during their first semester.

I am currently working in a full-time day job and can't take time off during daytime hours to pursue studies. When are courses offered?
You can meet all program requirements through a combination of weekday evening course, weekend courses and online courses. Most courses start at 6:30 p.m. during the week and throughout the day on Saturdays. Some courses are also available online.

Does Quinnipiac offer assistantships of any kind to graduate students?
Yes. We provide graduate assistantships to a limited number of students per semester. Students who receive graduate assistantships receive tuition remission equal to one course in exchange for 10 hours a week of research work with a professor or staff member. Students who wish to receive a graduate assistantship must apply through the Office of Graduate Admissions. We do not offer teaching assistantships.

I have worked on a daily newspaper for three years. Do I have to take courses that seem to be below my level of experience?
Students who demonstrate proficiency in any required course by filing proof of that proficiency (i.e., newspaper or online articles, or broadcast news reel) or prior course experience as recent undergraduates may replace that course or courses with an elective or electives with the permission of the graduate program director.

Do I need to buy a new computer and software?
Students are strongly encouraged to purchase a laptop (either PC or Mac); a Firewire drive (80GB) to store video and other multimedia content; a digital camera that also shoots HD video; and a digital audio recorder. We maintain two classrooms there that also serve as computer labs, particularly for video editing.

Even though the University makes such equipment available for graduate students, the tightly scheduled checkout and return schedule often precludes coverage of breaking stories and otherwise constrains flexibility. In other words, it's best to own gear, and the prices are such that the total is equivalent to that of textbooks in other programs. Please note, however, that the rooms that house the computers are also used for classrooms and access is limited to the hours when classes are not in session on a given day of the week. That time varies from semester to semester but is posted outside each of the two rooms.

Who handles advising on course selections and careers?
The graduate program director serves as the point person for all questions regarding semester-by-semester course recommendations for each student. The assistant dean for career services, Joe Catrino, and the director also help students with the career-building process. Students are encouraged to make office appointments with the assistant dean for career services to discuss their courses and planned career moves with the program director before studies begin.

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