Master of Arts in Journalism

BA/MA Dual Degree FAQ

Hofstra University offers a unique opportunity for students to take part in a dual-degree program, which allows them to earn a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in journalism.

Here are some frequently asked questions about this program:

Why should students consider going for the extra degree?

It will allow them to spend more time honing their journalism skills and taking graduate level courses that are not offered at the undergraduate level. Some students benefit from more years of instruction, others benefit by working on larger projects to use in their portfolios, which will lead to jobs in the future.

How long does it take to complete?

It usually takes students 5.5 years to complete. There are students who can do it in 5 years, but it is up to individual students to complete their undergraduate courses at a quicker pace in order to do this. Students who take credit during the summer months – internships and independent studies – generally are on a strong pace to finish the graduate credits in less than 1.5 years.

How many credits is the master's program?

It's 30 credits in total and you must complete all 30 credits to graduate whether you are a dual-degree student or a fully enrolled graduate student. It's very important to note that students can take a maximum of 9 "double-dip" credits – 3 classes total – that overlap both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Is there an application process? What is the first step for an undergraduate student to be enrolled in the dual-degree program?

Students need to fill out the Dual-Degree conditional acceptance form. This can be approved by either the chair or program director. This is essentially their graduate application so they do not need to fill out a new one when they fully complete their UG degree.

Can you "double-dip" by taking courses that count for both the undergraduate and graduate programs?

Yes, there are some classes that can be used for credit at both levels. The coursework and load must be very similar in nature and the overall topics must align. Currently the following courses can be used for both levels:

  • JRNL 211 for JRNL 13 (news writing)
  • JRNL 211 for JRNL 13 (news writing)
  • JRNL 216 for JRNL 16 (broadcast reporting)
  • JRNL 217 for JRNL 17 (broadcast)
  • JRNL 219 for JRNL 026 (radio reporting)
  • JRNL 231 for MASS 104 (media law/ethics)
  • JRNL 241 for JRNL 031 (sports journalism)
  • JRNL 255 for JRNL 41 (photojournalism)

Again, it's very important to note that students can take a maximum of 9 "double-dip" credits – 3 classes total – that overlap both the undergraduate and graduate programs. UG classes cannot count toward GR credit; only GR courses can be double counted.

What is a 2000-level form and how does it apply to an undergraduate experience?

A graduate student, with the permission of his/her graduate advisor, chairperson of the department in which the course is offered, and course instructor, may take up to two 2000-level courses (not to exceed 8 semester hours). A 2000-level course is a graduate course offered in conjunction with an undergraduate course for which graduate students are expected to fulfill substantially enhanced requirements. No student, however, may enroll in a 2000-level course if he/she received undergraduate credit for the equivalent undergraduate course.
Learn more about the 2000 level and see form.

How is this all documented and how are the credits added to the system to reflect both graduate and undergraduate?

When it comes time to register for the graduate level coursework in their junior and senior years, they will need to fill out the Dual-Degree waiver/sub form. The graduate program director can help submit this directly to the registrar.

Do the same financial aid and scholarship details apply for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees?

No, the aid and scholarship packages you were granted as an undergraduate do not apply to the graduate course load and experience. You must apply separately to the graduate program, and for aid and scholarships that relate only to that program.

How do you register for classes if you are already accepted into the BA/MA program?

If the student is already accepted into the BA/MA program, they should complete/approve dual-degree waiver/subs, which show how the specific grad classes will count on the student's UG degree. When Academic Records receives it, they will enter the LEVEL override, which should allow the student to register for the classes online, and they make a note on the record that the course(s) will count for both UG and GR credit. Here's the dual-degree waiver/subs form (fillable!).

How do you register for classes if you have not yet been accepted to the BA/MA program?

If the student has not yet been officially accepted into the BA/MA program, Academic Records has requested a regular waiver/sub form, that tells them how the GR course will count toward the UG degree. Until the student is officially in the dual-degree program, the student will only get UG credit for the course(s). The override and registration process will be the same, though. Here's the waiver/sub form (also fillable).

Chris R. Vaccaro
Director, Graduate Journalism
Hofstra University