Digital Journalism and Design M.A.


Accepting applications now for enrollment in Spring and Fall semesters. In the meantime, you can review the admission requirements, complete a pre-application and preview the formal application process.

Learn about the requirements you’ll need to meet to be considered for the program.

Who can apply to our graduate program?

Recipients of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better in the last two years (60 hours) of undergraduate work.

When to apply to our graduate program?

The department has rolling review of applications. Rolling review for completed applications ceases six weeks prior to the beginning of classes. All applications received after that point will be reviewed for the next subsequent semester.

When are applications reviewed?

All paper work — application, transcripts, test scores (TOEFL, if applicable), statement, letters of recommendation — must be on file before the application will be reviewed. When the applicant’s fully completed application is in hand, the graduate admissions committee evaluates each application and recommends for or against admission into the department. The department’s graduate studies director, Dr. Mark Walters, informs applicants if admission has been recommended.

Additional details about graduate study and admission (including the state’s immunization requirements) are found in the current USF Graduate catalog.


  1. Applications for fall admission should be completed no later than the previous February 1 if the applicant would like to be considered for any available graduate assistantship awards in fall. Students who do not want to be considered for graduate assistantships have until June 1 to apply for fall admission.

  2. Applications for spring admission should be complete no later than the previous October 1, with late review available until October 15.

A prospective graduate student may take a journalism course as non-degree seeking student while completing an application to the program or awaiting an application review. To complete an application for non-degree seeking status, visit



We welcome applicants from undergraduate or graduate disciplines other than journalism or mass communications!


Students may be allowed to pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously. For details, contact the Dr. Casey Frechette.


Transfer credit from a regionally accredited school is limited to nine semester hours or the equivalent of three graduate courses. All transfer credit must have been completed with grades of “B” or better and must be approved by the department during the student’s first semester in the program. The adviser will approve transfer credits if those courses contribute toward the student’s JMS M.A. degree.


The Department seeks motivated graduate students for our assistantship and fellowship programs. Assistantship possibilities include teaching and research with faculty members in the department, in local high school, middle school and elementary programs, and at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Exceptional students may receive funds from the St. Petersburg Times Fellowship program.

Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis for students who qualify. Students must be formally admitted to the M.A. in journalism program and must be full time (nine credit hours) for the term in which the assistantship is held. The duties and responsibilities of graduate assistants vary, and may include research or service support as well as assisting instructors with undergraduate journalism and media studies courses. Graduate assistants receive funding that is roughly equivalent to a full in-state tuition waiver. Assistantships are generally awarded to begin in the fall term. Deadlines for consideration for a graduate assistantship or other departmental support is March 15. Graduate assistantships that become available at mid-year are advertised to current and potential graduate students as they become available.

To apply for the assistantship, complete this form and email it to Dr. Mark Walters by the deadline.


Students may also be eligible for funding through the Tampa Bay Times Fellowship, which provides partial or full tuition wavers, or stipends for additional work.


Loans, scholarships and other forms of financial aid are available. However, graduate students are not covered under several state and federal aid programs, such as Federal Pell Grants, reserved exclusively for undergraduates. Contact the USF office of financial aid for details.


The application materials listed below should be uploaded to the online application portal. 

  •  A detailed letter of intent for seeking an M.A. in Digital Journalism and Design, including discussion of: your background, especially the academic and professional aspects, the specific scholarly, policy, or professional issues in which you have an interest, how your background has prepared you to excel in the Digital Journalism and Design M.A. program, and how you intend to apply your education when you complete our M.A. program.
  • Three letters of recommendation from qualified people who are familiar with the nature of the work required of graduate students in the social sciences, and who can address your ability to excel in this type of work.
  • Three examples of professional or academic writing or professional visual work (such as photo documentaries and video stories).
  • A copy of your transcripts from your previous college or university registrar’s office.
  • A copy of recent resume.