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Master of Arts in Journalism and Digital Storytelling

Investigate. Innovate. Inform.

Sharpen Your Storytelling Skills

The AU School of Communication's master's degree in Journalism and Digital Storytelling (formerly Interactive Journalism) has long been a trailblazer in the field of online journalism. Our innovative program offers intensive instruction in multi-platform reporting with a focus on digital storytelling.

You will study with expert faculty who bring their front-line, real-world experience into the classroom.

Our students range from journalists enhancing reporting skills to web professionals embracing new career challenges. Each cohort becomes a professional network for students and alumni for years to come.

How to Apply

The School of Communication reviews applications on an ongoing basis until programs reach capacity.

While previous academic or professional work in the field is not required, you'll need to demonstrate a serious commitment to a career in this field. Your essay on your reasons for pursuing graduate study in the program will be essential, along with the other required application materials.

Our Journalism and Digital Storytelling master's program meets on Saturday, allowing you to maintain a full-time job while in school. You take one course at a time — two courses over a semester — and finish in 20 months.

Cost and Financial Assistance

The MA in Journalism & Digital Storytelling is a 30 credit program. To estimate the cost of tuition, please see the current cost per credit hour for graduate students.

The School of Communication offers graduate students both merit-based and need-based financial aid. Merit awards are administered by the SOC Graduate Admissions Office, while need-based awards are administered by the American University Office of Financial Aid. Additional financial support is available for veterans.

Jeremiah Patterson

Meet the director

Professor Jeremiah Patterson is not afraid of change. He’s seen firsthand that, with good skills, and a mindset that is curious and open to new technology, journalists can adapt and thrive in a changing industry and world. He brings that perspective, as well as experience in multiplatform journalism, to his role as director.

Full profile

Chuck Lewis - The Investigator

"We need people that care about our society, and think that facts and information matter. And somebody's got to watch those in power, bottom line." 

Professor Chuck Lewis, Executive Editor of the SOC Investigative Reporting Workshop shares his thoughts on why training the next generation of investigative journalists matters.

Making a Difference with Her Words

That’s the job of a journalist—informing the public and making it real.

Omama Altaleb's capstone project on Syrian refugees who are starting their own community businesses featured a man who opened a local tailor shop. After her story was picked up by the Associated Press, his fledgling business took off. The digital journalism skills she learned in the Journalism and Digital Storytelling MA program were valuable, but even more important was "knowing that I really did something to help someone's life." Today, she's a reporter for a regional news radio station, and the webzine she founded has become one of the leading online lifestyle magazines for modern Muslim women.

Recent News

Anchor PointThe latest on our students, alumni, professors and programs. Want more? See all SOC news or sign up for our journalism newsletter.

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Paige Lavender


Q&A with HuffPost's Senior Editor of Breaking News

Paige Lavender coordinates coverage of major news events and leads a global team of reporters covering fast-moving stories.

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Frequently Asked Questions

For the MA in Journalism & Digital Storytelling you will need your own laptop with editing software, website hosting plan, external hard drive, DSLR camera, and earphones. We recommend you also have your own audio recorder and microphone. Please review the specific requirements for these devices.

Our master's in Journalism and Digital Storytelling is designed for working professionals whose schedules make Saturday classes an excellent alternative to full-time study. You'll sharpen your writing, reporting, and editing skills; learn to write compellingly and effectively for an online audience; discover how to design news websites that leverage media elements for maximum impact; and explore the intersection of business, ethics, and the law with new and emerging media. 

You'll receive intensive instruction from faculty who are at the forefront of their fields, but you also learn from the connections you'll make with your cohort of fellow students, who bring their own diverse professional backgrounds into the classroom.

We have an active and effective alumni mentoring program that will help you build your professional connections and networks. Because they appreciate what they learned here, our alumni keep returning to share their success. You'll find them working at media organizations across the country and around the world, and at local media organizations including PBS, Discovery Communications, The Travel Channel, National Geographic Television, Comcast/Universal, and Maryland Public Television. 

We also have two full-time career advisors to help you plan the next stage of your career.

Journalism and Digital Storytelling is a weekend program that offers working professionals the opportunity to learn and to practice the craft of digital journalism. By taking classes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, you can earn your degree in 20 months, while the master's in Journalism and Public Affairs requires 11 months of full-time study. Because it is a weekend program, you can earn a graduate degree in journalism and can continue to work during the week.

  • Define the key ethical and legal issues for journalists.
  • Critique the evolving role of journalism in a digital society.
  • Demonstrate diverse and inclusive values in journalism.
  • Develop multiple digital skill sets applied across varied platforms.
  • Produce professional-quality, accurate, verified work.

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