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Journalism/IR Grad School Question

pajamahatpajamahat Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited May 2011 in Graduate School
Hey Everyone,

I was looking for some advice on what to do with my future college career. I did read the IR Grad School sticky, but had a few more questions.

About me:
-Junior at a California State University (CSU) looking to eventually have a career in Journalism.
-My major is International Relations and I am supplementing Journalism skills and experience at a local community college.
-I am studying abroad in France next year and will be fluent or at least very proficient when I return.
-After that I have a few options:
1) Graduate in 1 year with an IR degree and get supplemental Journalism experience.
2) Graduate in 1 year with an IR degree and French or Econ minor, but less experience.
3) Graduate in 2 years with an IR degree, Econ and French minor, and journalism experience and internships.

The questions I have are:
-Will the included minors greatly help my chances at a Journalism (or Journalism/IR, as there's a few) Graduate school?
-Will not having a BA in Journalism hurt my chances?
-Will having a BA in International Relations greatly help my chances?
-Will having a 6 year undergrad career hurt my chances?
-What's more valuable to a grad school, experience, major, GPA or minors?
-Would I be a good candidate for one of the Journalism/International Relations programs?

If you guys could help with any of these questions or advice, I'd be much appreciated. For some context I'm looking at the Major J-Schools and almost any of the schools with Jour/IR mixed programs.

Thanks!
Post edited by pajamahat on

Replies to: Journalism/IR Grad School Question

  • loveday2loveday2 Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    What sort of career do you envision? If you want to be a journalist, I wouldn't recommend a masters in journalism.
  • dobardancedobardance Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Hi,

    I majored in journalism in my undergrad and am now an IR master's student.

    -Will the included minors greatly help my chances at a Journalism (or Journalism/IR, as there's a few) Graduate school?
    They couldn't hurt. If you're looking to go into international journalism (and are/will state that in your application) then knowing French will be a definite plus. With a minor in a foreign language, you are more or less proving you know the language and it validates your claim.

    -Will not having a BA in Journalism hurt my chances?
    Many journalism MA programs (like the ones at the University of Missouri, one of the best J-Schools in the US) are tailored to people with little to no experience in journalism so it's ok. Some programs, however, will require it.

    -Will having a BA in International Relations greatly help my chances?
    I'm not sure if it will greatly help your chances, but you'll be taken more seriously. Depending on the program, it won't necessarily help/hurt your chances.

    -Will having a 6 year undergrad career hurt my chances?
    No. Many schools are understanding of students who take longer than four years, especially since it looks like you're taking the time to gain experience and knowledge. It's not uncommon.

    -What's more valuable to a grad school, experience, major, GPA or minors?
    It depends on the program. Obviously having a good GPA would bolster your chances of acceptance. But some programs would rather have experience over good grades or number of minors.

    I can't answer your last question because I never applied to one. I would suggest making a list of schools you want to apply to and contact an adviser there or a professor who teaches classes in an area you're interested in and ask them for some advice. Usually an adviser can answer all your questions, but sometimes the professor can offer more insight into what he/she looks for in grad students. Also contacting a current grad student to see how he/she likes the program is a good idea as well.

    I would recommend getting as much experience as you can without ignoring or jeopardizing your undergrad career. I would skip an econ minor unless it's something you're very interested in.
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