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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I find a job in a news organization without a journalism degree?

News organizations do hire people with programming and computer science backgrounds and no experience or education in journalism. But they prefer developers who understand journalism and how news organizations work. Our master's program is rooted in practical realities of journalism, and your work here will prepare you for the real-world news environment. You will be better able to collaborate with journalists and media professionals than you were before your studies at Medill.

What is the curriculum for Knight Scholars?

Knight Scholars take the same curriculum as other students pursuing a Master of Science in Journalism (MSJ). You can enroll in any of Medill’s master’s degree specializations

You’ll also be able to choose elective graduate courses in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program or in other Northwestern graduate programs, including computer science.

I have done some coding but I do not consider myself a programmer. Do I have a chance at the Knight Scholarship?

The scholarships are intended for people who have skills and experience in software development, ideally an undergraduate computer science degree or experience working full-time as a software developer.

I am not a computer programmer, but I would like to learn these skills. Can I learn programming at Medill?

Our MSJ curriculum includes courses in interactive storytelling and data journalism, with exposure to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You can develop some proficiency in programming techniques that are relevant to media and journalism and gain a foundation to develop additional programming skills. However, programming is not the primary focus of this degree.

How much of the cost of attending Medill is covered by a Knight Scholarship?

We aim to meet every Knight scholar’s need for financial aid. The Knight scholarship will cover the full cost of tuition for Medill’s one-year master’s program. If an applicant requires additional financial aid, he or she may complete the standard federal financial aid application materials in order to be considered for other scholarships, merit awards, need-based grants and federal student loans.

Are international students eligible for Knight Scholarships?

Yes, international students are eligible. We welcome students from around the globe who have a passion for digital journalism.

What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?

If you have questions about the scholarship program, please contact Professor Rich Gordon. For questions about the application process, contact Julie Collins, associate director of graduate admissions and financial aid, or call Medill's Office of Graduate Admissions at 847-491-2052.