If you haven’t seen all the places an SJMC degree can take you, check out our alumni stories.
We accept applications in fall and spring semesters. Here’s what you need to be eligible:
- Completion of JOURN 201, Introduction to Mass Communication (you can apply during the semester you’re enrolled in JOURN 201, rather than waiting for the next semester).
- Completion of 24 credits by the time of admission, including what you’re enrolled in when you apply (this usually means freshmen can apply in your second semester at UW-Madison and transfer students can apply during your first semester here). AP credits do not count towards the 24 credits required to apply.
The application requires a few things to help us get to know you:
- Resume – be sure to include all relevant experiences, including any jobs you’ve had, regardless of whether they’re in communication (in other words, we like hard workers in any field, from waiting tables to lifeguarding to interning at an ad agency). Resumes may include high school experiences – please try to keep your resume to one page. You can attend drop-in hours (see below) or you can also schedule an appointment with Pam Garcia-Rivera, the career advisor in SJMC or you can check out SuccessWorks resume resources: https://successworks.wisc.edu/resume-and-cover-letters/.
- Transcript – Unofficial UW transcript (if you transferred in from another college/university, you must submit official transcripts). For the unofficial UW transcript, you can request this here. For official transcript requests from your transfer college/university, we recommend reaching out to their Registrar’s Office for an initial inquiry.
- Statement of interest in the major – this is 550 words (or less) one-page statement telling us why you want to be in the SJMC and how the degree can help you meet your goals (we’ll be looking at your interests but also at your writing, so focus on being clear, concise and clean). We recommend statements of interest be reviewed by the Writing Center for feedback prior to submission or stop by drop-in hours (see below for times and location).
- A few short survey questions – all the things you’re used to in admissions forms – name, hometown, year in school, etc.
**If you are offered admission to the SJMC, you are required to take JOURN 202 and JOURN 203 in your first semester in the program. Students are not eligible to study abroad during their first semester in the SJMC (students frequently go abroad in later semesters). Students may finish their major requirements in as few as three semesters (this does not count a study abroad semester, as most students do not take Journalism-specific courses abroad).
We recommend students enroll in a full schedule of courses before they find out if they are accepted into the program. One recommendation is to pull a “What If?” DARS for the JBA or JBS program to see what other degree requirements could be enrolled in as you await admissions decisions. After decisions come out (which will occur after registration begins), students would remove some of their previously-enrolled classes to make room to take the required JOURN 202 and JOURN 203. Undergraduate Academic Advisor Sandra Kubat is happy to meet with students to give guidance on what classes to take during the first semester in the SJMC (generally we do not recommend students exceed 14 credits in the first semester).
DROP-IN HOURS FOR RESUME AND STATEMENT OF INTEREST SUPPORT
- Tuesday mornings: 9:30-10:30 a.m.
- Wednesday evenings: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Drop-in hours are located on the 5th floor of Vilas Hall in the lobby area
Ready for the next step?
Here’s one thing you need to know. Our application form currently cannot be saved midway and completed later. So here’s what you need to do now.
The deadline to submit with all required materials for Fall 2024 is Wednesday, May 1st at 11:55 p.m. CT.
December 1, 11:55 p.m. CT: Deadline for admission to the spring class
May 1, 11:55 p.m. CT: Deadline for admission to the fall class
Getting into the J-School
If you hear hype on the street that you’ll never get into the SJMC, don’t listen. The vast majority of students who have a strong interest in the J-School get in, graduate and go on to fulfilling careers.
We notify students of their admissions decision by early January for fall semester applications and early June for spring semester applications.
In addition, we also now offer deferred admission, where qualified candidates may have the opportunity to be admitted to a future semester without the need to re-apply. For example, a student may apply to be in the Spring 2025 class, but offered deferred admission to Fall 2025 if there is a large applicant pool. Students who are deferred one semester may still take JOURN department classes in the semester before they start at the SJMC officially, but would wait to take JOURN 202/203 until the officially begin the degree program.
If you are not admitted on your first try, you are welcome to apply again.
Take advice from Rory Linnane, a J-School grad and award-winning reporter: "I didn't get into the journalism school the first time I applied, so don't give up on the field if you're passionate about it!"
We have admission information sessions scheduled on the following days:
- Wednesday, March 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m. 2195 Vilas Hall
- Monday, April 1, 12:15-1 p.m. Zoom https://uwmadison.zoom.us/j/91925028545
- Monday, April 29, 12-1 p.m. (Zoom webinar for application questions before the spring submission deadline) https://uwmadison.zoom.us/j/98223802861
The admissions info sessions are geared towards current UW students. You’re also welcome to contact your JOURN 201 instructor or any of the JOURN 201 guest lecturers of interest to you if you want to know more about how you might find your future in the major. Contact information for everyone is here.
Finally, you can meet with our undergraduate advisor for any and all questions. Contact Sandra Kubat at firstname.lastname@example.org.