Fearless Journalism At All Levels

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism is one of the world’s leading journalism schools, with a distinguished faculty dedicated to enhancing the news industry and training the next generation of fearless journalists in a state-of-the-art facility near the nation’s capital. In 2016, USA Today College (with College Factual) ranks Merrill College #6 in top journalism schools in the U.S.

  • Merrill College educates students at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels within a liberal arts context, preparing them for careers in journalism, media, research, teaching and related fields.
  • Merrill’s curriculum is one of the few in the nation focused solely on journalism – both broadcast and multiplatform – and its world-class faculty members have won numerous Pulitzer prizes and Emmy awards and conducted important media research.

Merrill’s journalism programs enroll about 550 undergraduates and about 50 graduate students. The school also offers a Graduate Certificate Program in Multimedia Journalism with weekend classes. The college is fully accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Professional Experiences

The college provides immersive professional experiences throughout its curriculum and runs one of the country’s oldest and strongest student-powered news operations – Capital News Service – with bureaus in Washington, D.C., Annapolis and College Park. Merrill students also produce an evening TV news program that is streamed in HD and is broadcast by our cable station – UMTV  – to more than 400,000 households in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland.

  • Merrill is one of only 12 schools comprising the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism, and its students routinely make strong showings in national journalism competitions.
  • Merrill graduates go on to lead successful careers at top-tier media outlets such as CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Hearst Corp., Reuters, Politico, Vox.com and iHeart Radio.
  • Others go to law school, create their own businesses, join communication firms, work for corporations and non-profits or join interactive media production companies.
  • Our Ph.D. graduates are highly successful finding tenure/tenure-track teaching and research positions.

The University of Maryland’s journalism school offers all the resources of a top-ranked public research institution located minutes away from Washington, D.C., Annapolis and Baltimore. Its unmatched access to internships in one of the nation’s top media markets and opportunities to learn from the pros working in today’s multimedia newsrooms make the Philip Merrill College of Journalism a training ground like no other. Our students are fearless and #MerrillMade.


Lecturer Bethany Swain’s ViewFinder class tries their hand at shooting chocolate-dipped strawberries. Photo: Bethany Swain.

Undergraduate Program:   Students majoring in journalism take approximately one-third (42 credits) of their total coursework in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

  • Journalism courses are rigorous and train students in the fundamental values, concepts and skills needed for successful careers in multiple media platforms, including the Internet, television, radio, newspapers, magazines and mobile devices.
  • Students concentrate in either broadcast or multiplatform journalism. They also may specialize in other areas such as sports and investigative reporting, and take capstone courses in such topics as urban affairs and national security reporting.
  • The curriculum is grounded in the bedrock of reporting, writing, editing, and ethical studies – but also places high priority on the technological changes that have come with the digital age.
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Bo Evans (MJ’16) tries out a VR headset with the help of CNS Digital Bureau Chief Sean Mussenden. Photo: Dave Ottalini

Master’s Degree Programs: Merrill offers one of the best master’s degree programs in the country. It is designed to be taken full time and completed in 12 to 15 months, culminating in a Master of Journalism degree (non-thesis) or Master of Arts degree (thesis).

  • The rigorous courses offer hands-on learning and prepare students for the fast-paced, ever-changing world of 21st century journalism.
  • The college also offers a Saturday-only professional studies certificate program consisting of four 3-credit courses focused on multimedia and entrepreneurial skills. Three of the classes may be applied towards the full-time master’s degree program.
  • Merrill College graduate students leave with the tools, experience and network they need to succeed in a vibrant, competitive field.
Boya Xu at AEJMC Poster Event.

Ph.D. student Boya Xu presents her research at an AEJMC conference in 2016. Photo: Karin Assmann.

Ph.D. Programs: Maryland’s elite Ph.D. in Journalism Studies prepares scholars for next-generation research in the key issues confronting journalism in the 21st century.

  • The program features small classes and a high level of collaboration with professors. Work focuses on the analysis of journalism practice and ethics, media history, gender and media, international media, as well as in emerging technology and the audience.
  • With an emphasis on helping journalists translate career experience into research expertise, the program is highly successful at placing its doctoral graduates into teaching and research posts in higher education.