Master of Arts in Digital Journalism

Available Online

The goal of the Master of Arts in Digital Journalism is to prepare learners to become dynamic new media professionals capable of using emerging technologies to generate, create and disseminate news and analysis in a competitive, fast-moving global information environment. The changing nature of 21st century journalism requires professionals who are ready to answer the call for more highly skilled news and communication practitioners in the 24-hour information-on demand cycle. The program covers theoretical and practical approaches to news coverage and packaging and contemporary business and marketing models relevant to news organizations.

The entire program is offered online with coursework that marries non-traditional multimedia skills with professional journalistic practices, legal underpinnings and the ethics of traditional journalistic practice. Other classes include computer-assisted reporting, the business of journalism, producing online publications, investigative reporting and international reporting. In the capstone, students will be matched with mentors in professional media and communication fields based upon their interests. Students also create an electronic portfolio designed to help them gain employment and build their career as a professional journalist.

Graduates will acquire a host of intellectual, managerial and journalistic skills including: an understanding of emerging media business models; the ability to create original enterprise projects about public issues, events and individuals; the knowledge to engage in public journalism by conducting polling, interviewing and interactive audience research; the training to develop, implement and evaluate appropriate strategies of investigative journalism using the Web for both research and presentation; and professional instruction in the foundations of shoe-leather journalism, as well as story-generation and reporting.

Applicants must already possess a bachelor of, arts degree and should be able to write in English at an advanced level, and be flexible enough to learn the latest technological skills that new media professionals need to survive. Applicants must prove basic competency in digital video and audio skills or take JRN 502, Essential Digital Competencies prior to JRN 610 Backpack Digital Audio amp; Video. If a student's writing skills need improvement, he or she may be required to enroll in a remedial writing class before continuing in the program. Applicants for whom English is a second language are encouraged to take the Accuplacer English test. Contact the program lead faculty for more information.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Develop digital informational content (text, graphics, audio, video) for dissemination across multiple media platforms.
  • Evaluate the effect of information and knowledge management structures on accuracy and reliability in news media publications.
  • Employ emerging media practices within ethical and legal boundaries.
  • Create interactive online publications for a global audience.
  • Evaluate contemporary business and marketing models used by media journalists to disseminate news products.
  • Analyze news and information gathered from computer databases.
  • Compare past and present trends in news writing, reporting, and editing.


(14 courses; 63 quarter units) To receive a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism students must complete at least 63 quarter units of graduate work, of which a minimum of 49.5 quarter units must be taken in residence at National University. Students can transfer up to 13.5 quarter units at the graduate level from a regionally accredited institution provided the units have not been used to satisfy the requirements of an awarded degree and the Faculty Advisor determines the course content is applicable to the program. Students wishing to transfer credits into the program should contact the program faculty advisor. Refer to the section in the graduate admission requirements for additional specific information regarding application and evaluation. The capstone in this program will be developed individually with the advisor and may include an internship in a students home community or one arranged through National Universitys student publication.
Program Prerequisites (1 course; 1.5 quarter units)
Students who feel they have met the competencies of this class should speak to the Faculty Advisor regarding the requirements needed to submit a waiver.
Core Requirements (14 courses; 63 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):