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Breaking Into News: Journalism Education in US

A student in Vietnam asks about American J-schools in Part 38 of our Foreign Student Series. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

A student at Vietnam National University has a question for our Foreign Student Series. Phuong Lan wants to earn a master's degree in the United States and would like to know about journalism programs.

One hundred nine programs are recognized by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Some of the best-known include the ones at the University of Southern California, the University of Missouri and the University of North Carolina. They also include the journalism schools at Columbia University in New York City and Northwestern University in Illinois.

Northwestern, for example, has the Medill School of Journalism. Medill says it provides its graduate students with the chance to study and work in the real world. Local newspapers and television stations carry their reports on government, crime and civic issues in the Chicago area. Other subjects include magazine publishing and Web design. And the Medill News Service offers experience reporting in Washington.

Graduate students at Medill can expect to pay more than fifty-eight thousand dollars this coming school year. That includes a place to live, meals, books and costs like health insurance. Medill also has an undergraduate program.

Medill scholarships or financial aid are not available to international students. Foreign students are advised to seek aid from their home country or groups like the Inter-American Press Association Scholarship Fund. Scholarship winners from Latin America and the Caribbean spend a year at a journalism school in the United States or Canada.

Journalism schools offer professional degrees, and some offer doctorates. Students may be able to earn a joint degree with another program like law or public policy.

It is true that the value of a journalism degree has been a traditional subject of debate among people in the media. But journalism schools offer training in skills like reporting, writing and production. They also teach about legal issues like plagiarism and libel law and freedom of speech. In addition they may offer classes in other areas, including public relations.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. Our Foreign Student Series is online with audio files, transcripts and useful links at To send us questions, write to and please include your name and country. I'm Steve Ember.