Admissions

If you’re curious about the world, have a passion for storytelling, and aspire to make a difference, then the Master of Journalism is the program for you.

We are looking for a diverse mix of smart and creative students who are driven to tell stories that engage, enlighten, and entertain audiences. Students interested in the Master of Journalism program must meet the minimum admission requirements and application procedures below.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for our program, applicants must complete the following requirements:

  1. A degree in any discipline that is academically equivalent to a UBC 4-year Bachelor’s degree.
  2. Cumulative grade point average of a minimum B+ average in 300 & 400 (upper) level coursework.

Please note that if you graduated from an institution that only offers a three-year undergraduate degree, please contact jrnl.journal@ubc.ca to determine eligibility requirements for your post-secondary institution. Additionally, all three years of your final grades will be calculated to determine your grade point average. For all other transcripts outside of Canada and the USA, your total cumulative GPA from your previous degree will be considered.

If you graduated from a program in which English is not the primary language of instruction, you must achieve the following language proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL score of 615 on the paper-based test, 260 on the computer-based test, or 104 on the internet-based test
  • IELTS score of 7.5 with no subsection score lower than 6.5

How To Apply

The Admissions Committee is looking for applicants with unique voices, willing to make a contribution to public discussions around important issues. While academic ability is important, equally important is a demonstration of journalism abilities. Interested applicants must complete and submit the following in order to be considered into the Master of Journalism program:

  • Online application form
  • Letter of intent/ cover letter (1-2 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Portfolio of Work
  • Official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (including official transcripts from exchange programs)
  • Three letters of reference (preferably all from academia, or minimum 2 from academia)
  • TOEFL or IELTS official language proficiency scores (for international students)

We want to know more about you and your interest in pursuing the program. The letter of intent or cover letter is your chance to tell us about your passions and ambitions. We also require a CV outlining your accomplishments to date. The portfolio provides an opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities, highlighting what you have achieved so far and demonstrating your potential. Below is a step by step guide to the application process and the supporting documents:

Please fill out the Online Application Form. You will be required to upload all documents, including your cover letter, resume or CV, portfolio and academic transcripts to this system as well as provide contact information for your references.

A non-refundable application fee will be assessed for the application.

In the online application system, upload a 1-2 page long cover letter stating why you wish to be a journalist and the goals you wish to achieve.

Use your cover letter to let the Admissions Committee get to know you and why you aspire to be a journalist. We welcome applications from students of diverse backgrounds, and encourage you to speak about the ways you would contribute to the diversity of our program.

Upload either your resume or CV when applying. This document should outline and highlight your accomplishments to date.

We want to know about your writing and storytelling abilities. Compile a portfolio of your best work – work that showcases your style, and shows what kind of journalist you want to become.

Your portfolio should include up to 10 pages in total of any written samples and/or multimedia. For students with some journalism experience, this could be a news story, a feature piece, a broadcast item, an online slideshow, an interactive map, or a data visualization. For students with little or no journalism experience, this could be a freelance piece, an assignment for an undergraduate class, or a blog on your area of expertise.

For multimedia samples, please provide a page with a list of links to any multimedia content you wish to include. We welcome submissions from any form of media - print, audio, video or digital. For broadcast submissions, please submit up to 15 minutes of material. Please make sure the links are working and accessible without the need for passwords at the time of application.

For the application, you will be required to upload your transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions you attended, including those you attended as an exchange student and institutions from which you completed specific courses and received academic credit. The uploaded transcripts should be official transcripts from those institutions. The UBC School of Journalism, Writing, and Media staff members are not permitted to open and upload your transcripts on your behalf. For this stage of the application process, please do not send official transcripts to the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Please only upload transcripts to the online application system.

Only upon acceptance to the program, will you then need to arrange for all official academic transcripts to be sent from your home academic institution directly to the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Please do not send official transcripts to the UBC School of Journalism, Writing, and Media.

If you have transcripts that are issued in a language other than English, in addition to uploading digital copies of the documents in their original language, you must also upload a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university's translation service or certified English translator.

**COVID-19 IMPACT: While the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted the operational procedures of some post-secondary institutions, many institutions are now fully operational. Please contact your home institution to arrange for official academic transcripts to be ordered.

Three references are required. Two of these must be academic referees. One professional referee is acceptable, preferably from a field related to Journalism. When you complete the online application, you will be prompted to provide the referee contact information. Please note that your referees will be prompted to complete the online referee assessment only after you submit your online application. To avoid delays in your application adjudication, do ensure that your referees submit their assessment and letter of references by the application submission deadline.

Please discourage referees from mailing their references to the program directly. Due to precautions related to COVID-19, staff members are working remotely and there would be restricted access to mail. All referee letters and evaluations will be reviewed by the admission committee; however, greater validity would be placed on those letters written on official letterhead from either the home institution of the referee or a professional establishment, and signed by the referee.

**IMPORTANT: Referee letters are NOT to be shared with the applicant, nor should the applicant be emailing or sending the letter on their own behalf.

Admissions FAQs

If you are a Canadian or U.S. student, the criteria is:

  • Hold the academic equivalent of a UBC four-year bachelor’s degree
  • Have a minimum overall average in the B+ range in the last two years of post-secondary studies, or have academic standing with at least 12 credits of third or fourth-year courses in the A range

More information on eligibility

If you are an international student:

Please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for criteria specific to your country.

Please note that all criteria stated are the minimum needed for entry to graduate programs at UBC. Admission in our program is competitive and we evaluate applications on a combination of grades, experience, purpose of study, portfolio, and references.

Current tuition for all UBC Masters degree programs are available on the UBC Academic Calendar. Scroll down to the middle of the page to find the fees for domestic, international and continuing students in the Master of Journalism program. The tuition for the Master of Journalism program is assessed as a program fee, with installment payments divided into five terms during the entire 20 month program (e.g.: First year: i) fall term, (ii) spring term, (iii) summer semester; Second year: (iv) fall and (v) spring terms). UBC tuition and student fees are approved by the University Board of Governors. The School of Journalism does not determine nor manage students tuition or fees. For any questions regarding financial loans, bursaries or options, please contact UBC Enrolment Services. Vancouver is a beautiful city to live in; however, the cost of living is high. Please ensure that you budget enough funds to pay for your living and daily expenses for at least two years. For more information on tuition and cost of living, please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

All graduate level tuition at UBC is assessed as a program fee. In the Master of Journalism program, the fees are payable in five instalments, divided up over five terms throughout the 20 month program (e.g.: First year: (i) fall term, (ii) spring term, (iii) summer semester; Second year: (iv) fall and (v) spring terms). The summer semester is also included in the scheduled payment plan.

Though students usually do their internships during the summer, students are still permitted to register in courses outside of the journalism department to fulfill non-journalism course requirements or to advance their knowledge in certain academic disciplines. Unlike undergraduate tuition, which is assessed per credit, graduate students' tuition is not influenced by the number of credits that a student registers in. Graduate students are able to register in a number of credits while paying the same program fee (however, students are encouraged to speak to the program manager for consideration of taking credits over the 42-credit degree requirement).

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application.

TOEFL minimum score:

  • 615 on paper-based test
  • 260 on computer-based test
  • 104 on internet-based test

IELTS minimum score:

  • 7.5 with no subsection score lower than 6.5

For details on submission, visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Every effort should be made to submit application materials by the deadline. However, a one week grace period after the Admission Deadline is given to allow all materials to arrive.

Three references are required. At least two must be academic referees. One professional reference is acceptable, preferably from a field related to Journalism.

As applicants complete the online form, they will enter full contact information for referees. Upon submission of your application online, the system will then contact referees automatically and ask them to either use the online reference form, or upload a reference letter. Please note that referees will not get this email until you submit your online application. To avoid delays in your application adjudication, please approach referees at the start of your application completion process and ensure that you submit your online application in a timely manner. More details on the submission of letters of reference can be found on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

For students who may have completed their bachelor's degree a few years ago or more please attempt to contact your previous university. They will be able to help you get in touch with professors or instructors. Please email jrnl.journal@ubc.ca if you are a mid-career professional and unsure about the types of referees that would be acceptable for your application.

The portfolio or examples of writing should contain excerpts of best work, up to a maximum of 10 pages. Video and audio highlight-reel samples should be no longer than 15 minutes in total and should be included as hypertext links. Please note that we no longer accept physical copies such as DVDs or USB flash drives. All portfolio material, including any relevant links, must be uploaded onto the application system.

Our program is 20 months long and spans five academic terms. Students begin their first year of the program in September and take first year core courses over two semesters until April. In the third semester, students will enrol in for-credit internships from May to August, and complete the program after two more terms from September until April.

Please see UBC’s Academic Calendar for more information on semester/term schedules.

Our program is interdisciplinary. Applicants in our program come from a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds, nationalities, and professional experiences. For example, some of our students have backgrounds in a student here can have a bachelor's degree in science, theatre and film, or political science, and then go on to report on science, arts and culture, or politics.

More than half of our students work while enrolled as a full time student. Many students have jobs on campus - either as a Research Assistant, Project Assistant or as a Teaching Assistant in the department or in other departments. Once you are enrolled as student, you have access to the UBC Careers portal where all UBC-related jobs (and some off-campus jobs are listed).

UBC offers various housing options for graduate students. However, please be aware that spaces are limited and very competitive; therefore, do apply for housing as soon as you decide to apply to UBC.  For more information about UBC Housing options and application criteria, please visit the UBC Student Housing and Hospitality website. There are off-campus options as well. We recommend that, if feasible, to visit Vancouver to research neighbourhoods and housing options. Students who live off-campus either live in shared housing options, basement suits, or rented apartments. For information on various off-campus housing options, please refer to this site.

While UBC only accepts four-year undergraduate degrees, some post-secondary programs only offer three-year undergraduate degrees. Please contact jrnl.journal@ubc.ca to determine the eligibility requirements for your post-secondary institution. If your institution is deemed eligible, then all three years of your final grades will be considered when calculating your grade point average for academic eligibility.

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