Journalism (MS) Summer 2024

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is January 8, 2024, for admission and departmental merit scholarship consideration to summer 2024.

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.)

The statement must be your original words and work. Avoid using ChatGPT or other generative AI tools.

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.

The writing sample must be your original work. Avoid using ChatGPT or other generative AI tools or another person to write on your behalf.

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 admission test scores are required?

The USC Annenberg School has suspended the GRE requirement for all graduate applicants for admission to the 2024 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. Applications completed by the January 10 deadline 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

The online USC Graduate Admission Application opens October 1, 2023. Go to to access the application.

Assemble the following documents and program materials which must be uploaded to your application:

  • CV or Résumé
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample
  • Copy of Official Transcript(s)

All program materials must be in English and uploaded to the online application. Note: Once your application has been submitted, you may not add, edit or change any document or program material. Also, all submitted documents and program materials become the property of USC and will not be returned.

Official Transcripts

Copies of a registrar-issued official transcript (with registrar's signature, stamp or seal) from all colleges and universities attended (including USC) must be uploaded to your application in the Academic History section. If you do not possess copies of your registrar-issued official transcripts, request to have official transcripts with legend or grading scale emailed to you from your previous colleges/universities.

After submitting your online application, request to have e-transcripts sent from your degree conferring institutions to USC Graduate Admission at


  • International transcripts must include the original language and the English translation as one document.
  • Transcripts from your institution’s student portal are unacceptable.


Create online profiles in the Program Materials section of the application by providing names and email addresses of your recommenders. Instructions and forms will be emailed to your recommenders. Only recommendations submitted through the online process are accepted.

Graduate Admission Testing

GRE scores are not required for admission to summer 2024.

Valid TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores (taken June 2022 or later) are required from international student applicants unless waived; see below for the exception. To be considered official, USC must receive scores electronically from the testing service. Photocopies or paper copies of scores are unacceptable.

  • For TOEFL, request to have your scores sent to the USC institution code 4852.
  • For IELTS or PTE, select "University of Southern California" from the list of available institutions when you register for the test. Alternatively, provide this information to your testing center after you have taken the test.

Exception: If you completed your entire bachelor's degree in the United States or another Anglophone country (i.e. where English is both the language of instruction and the only official language of the country), TOEFL and IELTS are waived.

Note: Completing a master’s degree In the United States or another Anglophone country will not waive TOEFL or IELTS.

Video Interview

All applicants are required to complete a recorded video interview via Kira Assessments. The recorded video response is an opportunity for the faculty admissions committee to get a sense of your potential and how you think on your feet. No advance preparation is required.

A desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone and internet connection are required. You may complete unlimited practice sessions prior to starting the interview. Once started, applicants will have one opportunity to respond (no exceptions).

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

Review the fee waiver requirements at USC Graduate Admission website: Applicants seeking a fee waiver must start the online application and then wait for the fee waiver approval before submitting the application.