Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This collection of frequently-asked questions provides brief answers to many common questions about the application, admission and financial aid.

Admissions Criteria

Should writing samples or a portfolio be submitted with my application?
Writing samples or a portfolio are not required, but you may include these if you feel they might enhance your application packet. If you do choose to submit writing samples, please choose two-three examples of your best work and upload them as supplemental materials into your online application.

Is an undergraduate degree in journalism or communication necessary for admission?
Our master’s students have diverse educational backgrounds and hold degrees in areas other than journalism or communication. Prior education or professional training in journalism or strategic communication is not required.

Must I have professional experience in journalism for admission?
Three years of fulltime, paid, professional experience in journalism or a related field (public affairs, public relations, advertising, government communications, corporate communications, etc.) is required for the online master’s program.

How long does it take to complete your master’s program?
Most students in the online program work fulltime and also have community and family obligations. The average student is able to complete the degree program in three to four years. This is based on students taking one or two classes per semester, and taking coursework during the summer session.

Do you accept transfer credits?
Transfer credit is considered for some graduate-level courses and only six credit hours may be transferred toward the master’s degree. We do not grant graduate credit for professional work experience. Please contact¬†Grad Studies with questions about transfer credits.

Deadlines and Admissions Decisions

When are the application deadlines?
The application deadline for the spring semester (January entry) is Nov. 15; the deadline for the summer semester (June entry) is April 15; and the fall semester deadline (August entry) is July 1. Please be sure your completed application packet is received by the deadline for application. Deadlines are firm.

When will I be notified of the admissions decision?
Notifications will be sent approximately six weeks after the deadline. Decisions are sent by email.

How many applicants do you have each semester?
The number of applicants per admissions deadline varies. The online program does not have to give the same level of consideration to physical space constraints as many traditional, on-campus programs often do.

Do you offer rolling admissions?
The admissions committee reviews all applications at the same time.

May I send application materials to you ahead of the deadline for the semester for which I’m applying?
We welcome applications at any time. Please be sure to indicate the semester for which you are applying, and we will hold the materials in our files for up to a year.

Financial Aid

How much does your program cost to attend?
The online master’s program costs approximately $740¬†per credit hour. This amount includes fees.

Is financial aid available?
Information about financial aid is available on the Financial Support: Online Students website.

Are there assistantships available?
Teaching and research assistantships are available for on-campus two-year MA and Five-Year BJ/MA master’s students. They are not available for online master’s students.

GRE and TOEFL Examinations

Are entrance examinations other than the GRE considered for your program?
The GRE is required for application to our program, and is the only entrance exam accepted for application. Other exams (LSAT, GMAT) are not considered.

Can the GRE be waived for professional experience?
Given that we require all applicants to have professional experience, we do not grant waivers to the GRE for professional experience.

What must I score on the GRE to be admitted?
GRE scores are not the sole criteria for admission, and minimum scores should be considered as guidelines rather than guarantees of admission. Successful applicants generally have GRE scores in the range of 153-160 for the Verbal section and 144-148 for the Quantitative section. Please contact Sarah Smith-Frigerio for more information if your scores are in the “old test” scoring format.

Where can I take the GRE?
The Graduate Record Examinations website lists testing centers in your area.

Do I have to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam if all of my schooling has been in English?
Applicants whose primary and secondary education was in a country where English was not the native language must submit scores for the TOEFL or IELTS exams. The following are minimum scores for the School of Journalism. Applicants who do not meet these minimums will not be admitted:


    • Internet-Based: 100
    • Speaking subscore (IBT): 25
    • IELTS: 7.0
    • Speaking subscore: 7

What are the GRE and/or TOEFL department and institution codes for University of Missouri?

  • GRE Department Code: 4503. Institution Code: 6875
  • TOEFL Department Code: 18. Institution Code: 6875