Master of Professional Studies in Data Journalism

Join the next generation of data journalists.

The University of Maryland College of Information Studies (INFO College) and Philip Merrill College of Journalism (Merrill College) have partnered to offer a “from-anywhere” Data Journalism master’s degree. The two UMD colleges have combined the best of Merrill’s journalism training and the INFO College’s data-management techniques to produce a curriculum to train the next generation of data journalists. Journalists, information professionals, and data reporters who want to take their skills to the next level will all find a home in this program.

Students will receive real-world experience learning from industry professionals, studying under world renowned faculty, and completing a final capstone project working with an industry partner such as the Capital News Service, the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, or one of the INFO College’s many partner organizations.

Interested in an MPS in Data Journalism?


Are you interested in joining the UMD Data Journalism program? Please connect with our program team! We’d love to hear from you.

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Curriculum & Online Options

Curriculum:

The two UMD colleges have combined the best of Merrill’s journalism training and the INFO College’s data-management techniques to produce a curriculum to train the next generation of data journalists. Using both journalistic and scientific methods, students in the Data Journalism master’s program will learn to take their investigative chops to another level with advanced data skills.

The Data Journalism master’s degree requires you to complete 36 credit hours:

  • 10 Core Courses (30 Credits) that teach our students Journalism, Open Source Intelligence, Data Analytics, Visual Analytics, and more
  • 1 Advanced Journalism Training OR Capstone Project (6 Credits)

Learn more about the Data Journalism curriculum and course planning.

Create a schedule that works for you:

Courses will be offered both online and in-person, with it being possible to complete the degree from anywhere. Students can complete the degree entirely virtually, in person, or via a combination of the two.

As a student in the program, you can choose to participate full-time and earn your degree in as little as two years – or take your time and set your own pace.

Reputation
Merrill College Fast Facts:

  • 14 Pulitzer Prizes
  • 5 Peabody Awards
  • Founded in 1990, Capital News Service is a nonprofit, student-powered news organization run by the UMD Merrill College

INFO College Fast Facts:

UMD Fast Facts:

  • #3 in USA – UMD as a Public University (The Princeton Review)
  • #7 in USA – UMD as a University for Entrepreneurship (The Princeton Review)
  • #10 in USA – UMD as a Public Institution for Research Spending (NSF Survey)
Career Paths

Graduates of the Data Journalism master’s degree program who are interested in journalism careers will achieve a competitive edge as a data journalist – able to extract stories and meaning from data. Graduates are prepared to enter news roles, and other creative or writing roles, with a fluency in technology and data science principles.

Conversely, for graduates who are more interested in careers as data scientists or analysts, they will similarly develop a distinct competitive edge from this degree as a data professional who can express results in expertly crafted stories. Being able to present data findings as a compelling story is fundamental to driving business decisions, research funding, public policy buy-in, and much more.

Hands-On Learning

At UMD, we believe that one of the best ways to learn – is to do.

Students in the Data Journalism master’s degree program will apply what they learn by receiving real-world, hands-on experience with a final project with Merrill’s Capital News Service or the UMD Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, OR with a capstone project at one of the INFO College’s many partner organizations. Students can choose their final year’s hands-on experience to best align with their career goals.

Our students also have opportunities for hands-on learning at the world-renowned INFO research centers and labs and Merrill centers and organizations.

Culture, Diversity & Inclusion

With a history of activism, the UMD INFO College continues today to champion accessibility, diversity, inclusion, and democratization of information. Our faculty, staff, and 2500+ students, who come to us from over 63 countries (30% from underrepresented groups and 45% female), create a welcoming and encouraging environment. Diversity and inclusion is central to the mission of the college and is seen across courses, research, scholarship, events, and community development.

UMD is known for its bustling, social culture. Over 40% of our students are involved in student organizations at the college or at the university. Click here to learn more about student life at UMD.

UMD is also committed to a shared vision for the entire campus community, known as TerrapinSTRONG — a shared understanding and set of values from which we work to improve the sense of community, connection, and inclusion on our campus. Learn more about TerrapinSTRONG.

Costs

Tuition

  • In-State (Maryland resident) tuition and fees will amount to approximately $34,200 to complete 36 credit hours.
  • Out-of-State tuition and fees will amount to approximately $69,500 to complete 36 credit hours.

View our detailed breakdown of tuition & fees.

Financial Aid

The UMD INFO College provides financial aid to select current students who demonstrate academic excellence. Students may also reduce their tuition costs by serving as a TA or GA at UMD, but please note that these positions are competitive. There are also additional sources of financial aid offered by the University and by outside sources. Learn more about financial aid.

Admissions / Pre-Reqs

Application Deadline:

The deadline for international students to apply to the Master of Information Management (MIM) program is early February each year for admission to the following Fall (August) semester. For domestic (US) applicants, the best consideration date is early February and the final application deadline is July 2, 2024. A new cohort starts each Fall. We do not have Spring semester admissions for the MIM program.

Application Requirements:

  • Must have earned a 4-year baccalaureate degree
  • 3.0 GPA on prior undergraduate or graduate work
  • GRE or GMAT scores are optional, they are not required
  • A TOEFL,  IELTS, or PTE score is required for international applicants (more information below)
  • Complete the UMD Graduate School application
  • Three writing samples
  • $75 application fee

You will be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores if you do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution or from one of the English speaking countries. Please check on the list of English speaking countries and options for providing evidence of English proficiency here.

  • Note: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE is required.
  • See the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency Requirements for instructions on submitting scores. The University of Maryland’s TOEFL Institution Code is 5814.
  • You can find English language proficiency requirements here. Please note that your English proficiency scores (including listening, writing, reading, and speaking sub-scores) must satisfy the criteria for full enrollment to be accepted to the HCIM program. HCIM is a very rigorous program that requires an excellent command of the English language. Therefore, Bridge and Intensive English programs are not an option for applicants to the HCIM program. Please see the minimum English Proficiency Scores Requirements for full HCIM admission:
    • iBT TOEFL: Total 96 (Speaking 22, Listening 24, Reading 26, Writing 24)
    • IELTS: Overall 7 (Listening 7, Reading 7, Writing 7, Speaking 6.5)
    • PTE: Total: 68 (Writing 68)

For international students: This is an online program and is not eligible for I-20 or DS-2019 issuance by the University of Maryland.

More About Data Journalism Admissions

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