How To Apply to Journalism Schools

The field of journalism offers potential students a wide variety of career choices. Journalism majors look for jobs in radio or television broadcasting, newspaper or magazine publishing, and public relations, among other jobs. The first step to a great journalism job, however, is applying to a journalism school. Once you are accepted to that school, you're on your way!

  1. Meet Your Deadlines-As with any college application, it is extremely important that you turn in your application and any fees that might be charged by the deadline. In the majority of cases, colleges and universities simply won't accept applications turned in after the set deadline has passed. You should also be sure you that the application is complete before mailing it in.
  2. Personal Statement-Many journalism schools want to catch a personal glimpse of their applicants. They often ask for a personal statement. If the school to which you are applying asks for a personal statement, spend some time composing an essay about yourself. Remember, this is your time to sell yourself, your attributes, and your talents. You want to stand out! Give some information about your personal life, including where you live and details about your family. You should also write about your career goals or professional interests. Don't forget to talk about your strengths! It's also perfectly fine to talk about your weaknesses, but address those weaknesses as challenges which you hope to overcome by entering this academic program.
  3. Academic Transcript-Of course you'll need copies of transcripts from any other educational institution you've attended. If you don't send a transcript, most schools will not even consider your application.
  4. Recommendation Letters-Choose carefully the people whom you would like to recommend you for this institution. Look for those people who have experience or knowledge of your work and/or studies related to the journalism field. These might include teachers, professors, employers, editors, etc. Follow the directions for obtaining and sending these recommendation letters.
  5. Resume-If you aren't comfortable writing your own resume, you can hire someone to do so. While you should include any honors, awards, and recognitions that you have earned, be honest about your achievements. Make sure your resume is clean and error-free, easy to read, and organized.
  6. Work Samples-Journalism schools typically want to see work samples from their potential students. If you have published any pieces, be sure to send these in. If you are not published as of yet, send pieces that you feel are well-written and represent your writing style and capability. Pay attention to the desired format that the university or college prefers. These may include audio/visual files on CD/DVD or tape, websites, blogs, photographic portfolios, and Microsoft Word documents. Many schools prefer that applicants scan their work samples and e-mail them to the correct department head.
  7. Test Scores-If you were required to take an entrance exam test before being accepted into a particular journalism school, you will have to request that those test scores be forwarded to the appropriate department of that school.
  8. Financial Aid-If you are interested in financial assistance, you can visit the U. S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website. At this website, you can complete a free federal student form and find out how much financial aid you are eligible for.


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