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Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you will find answers to the most common questions the Journalism department encounters on a daily basis. If you have a specific question that is not addressed here, please email it to us!

What is the deadline for applying?

The deadline for the main round of admissions is February 1.  We begin receiving applications in November. Most prospective students apply in December and January. We do our main round of admission offers by the end of March, early April.

Who is eligible to apply?

The two-year MJ program (10 credits) is for you if you have a degree in another discipline and wish to pursue a career in journalism. If you possess the equivalent of our four-year Honours Bachelor of Journalism degree, or a degree in another discipline and at least five years of full-time experience in journalism, you may be admitted into the advanced second year (5 credits). We will also accept your application if you lack a university degree but have a lengthy and distinguished career in journalism. You will be considered for an individually tailored program composed of at least 7.0 credits.

What do I need to submit?

You need to view the application steps at www.carleton.ca/graduate/how-to-apply.

You must UPLOAD the following:

  • The completed on-line OUAC (Ontario University Application Centre) application form – payment of $100 to be made directly to OUAC.
  • Two confidential referee forms, submitted by your referees electronically – OUAC contacts them.
  • A statement of intent – including information about who you are, why you wish to become a journalist, what you hope to achieve in our program, and what you hope to do with a Master of Journalism degree.
  •  A CV/resumé.
  •  A selection of short writing samples (up to three), preferably published material. If you do not have published material, we will accept essays from your degree program. Online links are preferable, but if they are not available, audio and video DVDs must be sent to: Carleton University, MJ Program, Rm. 4306, Richcraft Hall., Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6 CANADA.
  • Academic transcripts from your educational institution(s). Original official transcripts will be required upon recommendation for admission. If you are a Carleton University student you may upload the academic audit available in Carleton Central.
  • Results of an English proficiency test taken by TOEFL/IELTS/CAEL, if you are an international applicant whose native language is not English – original documents will be required upon recommendation for admission.

What grades are required?

To be eligible to apply, you must have at least a B- (70-72%) average overall and a B+ (77-79%)  in the major discipline in each of the last two years of study of your undergraduate degree. The competition for spaces is stiff, however, and most successful applicants have grades that significantly exceed the minimum.

Do I need a four-year degree to apply?

A four-year or Honours degree is preferable. However, we occasionally accept candidates with a three-year degree on the basis of academic excellence and aptitude for journalism.

What are the English proficiency requirements?

If you are an applicant whose native language is not English you must submit results of an English proficiency test. To be eligible for the MJ, you must score at least 600 on the TOEFL test (100 on the Internet-based test), a 7 in all components of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test, or 70 on the CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) test.

What kind of portfolio should I submit?

The Admissions Committee likes to see signs that you have done more than think about journalism in the abstract. Therefore, we encourage you to UPLOAD a selection of journalistic/writing samples (up to three). These may take the form of clippings from newspapers or magazines, including the student press; examples of work published on the Web; essays or other pieces of work that show abilities as researchers and writers.

If you are sending broadcast samples, online links are preferred. If this is not possible, audio or video CD/DVDs may be mailed to: Carleton MJ Program, Rm. 4306 Richcraft Hall, Ottawa ON K1S 5B6 CANADA. If you want your CD/DVD portfolios returned after admission decisions are completed, you should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with audio samples.

Can I take the program on a part-time basis?

Normally, we do not admit students to the 10-credit program on a part-time basis. We may admit candidates to the advanced-standing option as part-time students. Any request to study part-time should be discussed with the supervisor of graduate studies. In rare cases, we allow people who were admitted as full-time students to revert to part-time status.

Is a GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) score required?

No.

Is an interview required?

No. However, if you are in Ottawa and would like to discuss the program with the journalism supervisor of graduate studies or another member of faculty, we would be happy to arrange an appointment. Also, when putting together the short list of candidates in March, admissions committee members interview selected candidates by telephone.

Can I take the program online or through correspondence?

No.

Is the program offered in French?

No.

Is there a second-language requirement?

Yes. As a condition of graduation, you must demonstrate a working knowledge of a second language, preferably French. If you took language courses as an undergraduate student that will fulfil the requirement. If you have not taken undergraduate language courses you will be required to pass a language test administered in the School, or take language courses on your own.

What is the professional experience requirement?

As a condition for graduation, all MJs must have at least four months of professional experience in the media, or in media-related areas. Those in the two-year program generally obtain this in the summer between first and second years. This requirement is waived for professional journalists.

How many terms are in the program?

The core courses in the program are offered in the fall and winter semesters, which run from September to December, and January to May. In general, summer registration is required only for the Master’s Research Project or Thesis

When does the program begin?

In early September.

What are the criteria for admission?

Admission is based on a number of factors, including your academic background, media background, writing ability, and other outside skills and experience. A background in journalism is desirable, but it is not a requirement for admission. The committee looks for indications that you will be able to handle sustained research projects, have an interest in the news and public issues, and have a genuine facility for writing. In short, we look for aptitude for the kind of work professional journalism requires.

How many applications are received?

On average, we receive 150 applications a year.

How many spaces are there in the program?

Our target is to admit twenty to twenty-two students to the two-year program. Usually six to nine are given advanced standing into the second year.

What is the cost of tuition?

For current tuition costs, please visit carleton.ca/feesNote: The University reserves the right to change fees and refund policies without notice.

Is there any financial assistance?

Yes, through a combination of scholarships and teaching assistantships. In general, we offer departmental entrance scholarships averaging $1,000 to $4,000 to new students. The Dean of Graduate Studies offers faculty entrance scholarships of $2,000 to those with a GPA of 11/12 (85% or better).

If you are a full-time student you can expect to be considered as a candidate for either a half or a full teaching assistantship if resources permit. These are awarded on the basis of academic merit and availability.

The full TA salary, governed by contract, is $10,129 (CDN) for 10 hours of work per week over 26 weeks. Typically, full-time teaching assistants work in undergraduate courses. Half TAships are worth approximately $5,160. Usually, duties involve marking or staffing the School’s Resource Centre, for five hours per week.

The School also has a number of endowed scholarships. Some of these are awarded on entry; others are awarded on the basis of your performance in the program. Information about these can be found in the graduate calendar.

There is no separate application. If you are recommended for admission, you will be considered automatically for teaching assistantships and entrance scholarships or for relevant endowed scholarships.

When are admissions decisions made?

The admissions committee begins screening applications in January. Admission decisions are made in conjunction with all applications received by the February 1st deadline. The bulk of admissions decisions are made by late March/early April. If there are still places in the program, more offers will be made after this time.

Can I get an answer earlier?

If you ask for one in writing, indicating the reason, the MJ admissions committee will try to accommodate.

How will I find out?

Notifications are sent out by email to all applicants, probably in late March. If you receive an offer of admission/funding from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, you must accept the offer online, in Carleton Central.

Is there a waiting list and, if so, how long is it?

Yes, there is a waiting list, usually with about 10 names on it. We may select names from the waiting list through the first week of August.

If I’m not accepted, can I reapply the following year?

Yes, but you will need to fill out a new OUAC application form and submit payment. Any changes to the information from the previous year will have to be supported with the matching documentation. Please consult with the journalism graduate administrator prior to the application deadline.

What are your TOEFL Institution and Department codes?

Our Institution code is 0854 and the Department code is 18.