Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The Master of Liberal Arts, Journalism degree field consists of 12 courses, two of which are required for admission and one is required on campus.

12 Graduate Courses

The journalism program is customizable. Within the program curriculum, you choose the journalism and general electives that support your personal learning goals.

  • Proseminar
  • Feature Writing
  • News Reporting for the Web, Print, and Other Platforms
  • The Constitution and the Media
  • 3 journalism electives
    • One may be an internship
    • One may be EXPO 42a, b or c (choose just one)
  • 4 general electives
  • Journalism capstone

General Elective Advising Tip

You can use the four general electives to earn any of our graduate certificates to gain in-depth knowledge of a particular field. Simply notify your program advisor of your intended certificate.

If we don’t offer a certificate in your field of interest, work with your academic advisor to choose general electives from any of our 50+ subject areas.

Search Journalism Degree Courses

Admissions: Earn Your Way In

To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following two graduate-level degree courses (both are available online):

  • JOUR 100 Proseminar: Fundamentals and Practices of Journalism
    • Before registering, you'll need to pass our online test of critical reading and writing skills or earn a B or higher in EXPO 42a, b, or c.
    • You have two registration attempts to earn the minimum grade of B in the proseminar, which cannot be more than two years old at the time of application.
  • JOUR 137 Feature Writing or JOUR 140a News Reporting for the Web, Print, and Other Platforms

You complete the two degree courses with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0. Before you enroll in any degree-applicable courses, you need to possess an undergraduate degree.

Applying to the Degree Program

During the semester of your second degree course, submit an official application to the program. We have fall, spring, and summer admission cycles.

If you submit a complete application—which includes, required Harvard courses, grades, and cumulative GPA—you will be admitted, after which you'll have only 10 more courses to complete to earn your degree.

How to Apply

The Harvard On-Campus Experience

Many courses can be taken online, but the degree requires a Harvard campus experience. You come to Cambridge for at least 4 credits (usually one course), which gives you access to faculty, campus resources, and the academic community.

On-campus requirements are completed through:

  • 15-week fall or spring semester courses that meet only on campus (online option courses do not fulfill this requirement).
  • Courses that combine weekly online classes over a semester with an intensive weekend on campus.
  • Three-week January courses that meet only on campus.
  • Seven- or three-week summer courses that meet only on campus.
  • Active-learning weekend courses (half course/two credits each).

Accelerated on-campus path: typically one or two weekends.

International Students Needing a Student Visa

To meet the on-campus requirement, you study with us in the summer. The shortest on-campus option is typically one three-week session. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School. For more information, see the important visa information on the International Student Study Options page.

To Complete Your Degree

Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or Higher

Earn a B or higher in each of the two degree courses required for admission and a B– or higher in each of the subsequent courses, but be sure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. You are allowed to receive two withdrawal (WD) grades without them affecting your GPA. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.

Finish Your Coursework in Under Five Years

You have five years to complete your degree requirements. The five-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete any two degree-applicable courses, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to the degree program. Moreover, courses over five years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.

Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your degree: Master of Liberal Arts in extension studies, Field: Journalism. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May. 

Degree Guidelines and Policies

For information about special academic opportunities, student privileges, and policies, see Completing Your Degree.