Journalism (MS) Summer 2021

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline has been extended to February 15, 2021 for admission consideration to summer 2021.

What content should be in my résumé?

List positions held, including internships, nature of work and dates of employment. Include academic and professional awards, honors, association memberships, teaching experience, subject matter expertise, language(s) other than English, and your familiarity with any research or communications technologies, e.g. Web design, television production, video editing, podcasting, spreadsheets, etc.

What should I address in my personal statement?

In one document, address the following:

In 700 words or fewer, tell us about yourself. We would like to know about the journey you have been on that has brought you to journalism. We want you to tell us the story of you, not repeat your résumé. You can discuss your background, your education and the life experiences that have shaped who you are today. We want to understand where your interest in this profession began, how you have cultivated it and why you want to pursue it further. It is also helpful for us to understand where you are in your life and career, and how prepared you are to begin and succeed in our graduate degree program.

The Profession
In 400 words or fewer, tell us what type of journalism speaks to you and why. In other words, what journalists do you admire? What type of publications do you read and why?

Your Future
This is a demanding program that requires students to master skills as diverse as audio editing and computer coding while also immersing themselves in the craft of reporting and storytelling. In 500 words or fewer, explain what you would like to accomplish at USC Annenberg and your ambitions for your career. If possible, tell us the type of journalism you hope to pursue once you leave our halls (i.e. sports, broadcast producing, investigative journalism. etc.)

What type of writing sample is required?

Any journalistic work or reporting on any subject may be submitted, including text news stories, audio or video news scripts (and links), long-form text articles, blog items, news or VR/AR content created for mobile and social platforms.

If you do not have a body of journalistic work to draw from, you may provide video pieces or commentaries created for mobile and social platforms, personal essays/posts that comment on current events and issues, advocacy content that uses news or journalistic storytelling techniques, or any other material that best showcases your ability to write and communicate ideas. Your total collection of samples must not exceed 10 pages.

How many letters of recommendation are needed and from whom?

Two online letters of recommendation are required, and professional recommendations are expected (direct supervisor or manager, not peers, colleagues or family). If you are a recent college/university graduate, submit one academic reference and one professional reference.

What test scores are required?

USC has suspended the GRE requirement for all graduate applicants for admission to the 2021 admission cycle. All international student applicants are expected to demonstrate adequate English-language proficiency. To learn more about how to satisfy this requirement, click here. Also, review the USC Graduate Admission video tutorial titled, “English Proficiency Requirements for International Students” for more details.

What financial support is available?

Departmental merit scholarships and fellowships are competitively awarded. All completed applications are considered for admission and departmental awards.

All US citizens and permanent residents are urged to submit a FAFSA after the admission application deadline.

International student applicants will find critical information at

Application Guidelines

Go to to apply.

The online USC Graduate Admission application will open on September 1, 2020.

Upload official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (including USC) to the Academic History section of the application.

  • Include the legend for domestic institutions and the grading scale for international institutions.
  • International transcripts should include the original language and the English translation as one document.
  • Do not upload transcripts from your student portal.

Upload the following documents before submitting your application:

  • CV/ Résumé
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample
  • Copy of your official passport (International Applicants only)
  • Proof of Financial Support (International Applicants Only)

Official Transcripts

After receiving your USC ID*, mail official transcripts (original language and English translation) from all colleges and universities attended and any study abroad programs to:

University of Southern California
Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower St., Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

*USC Graduate Admission will send your USC ID via email 2-3 days after you submit your online graduate admission application.

All program materials must be submitted online with the application in English. Once the application has been submitted, you may not upload or change any program materials. Once submitted, all materials and documents become the property of USC and will not be returned.


Create online profiles in the Program Materials section of the application by providing names and email addresses of your recommenders. Your recommenders will be sent instructions on how to submit a recommendation. USC Annenberg only accepts online recommendations.

Testing Requirements

GRE scores are waived for the 2021 admission application cycle. 

  • International applicants must submit valid TOEFL or IELTS scores; scores are valid if taken August 2019 or later. TOEFL scores must be reported electronically from ETS to USC (code 4852); for IELTS, select University of Southern California Graduate Programs. 
  • International applicants who completed their entire undergraduate degree in the United States or another Anglophone country where English is both the language of instruction and the only official language of the country are exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores. Completing a graduate degree in an Anglophone county does not exempt you from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • Complete all admission testing as early as possible and no later than one month prior to the application deadline. 

Application Fee

Pay the $90 non-refundable application fee with a credit card or request an application fee waiver prior to submitting an application. Fee waiver requirements may be found at USC Graduate Admission website: