USFSP Offers New Fully Online Digital Journalism Graduate Degree

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (January 23, 2012) – A new fully online master’s degree program at USF St. Petersburg meets the needs of established and budding journalists and other communication professionals by addressing the growing demand for online and digital media skills.

The master’s degree in Digital Journalism and Design offers journalists and other communication professionals courses to develop their web publication, audio visual production, and photography skills while integrating them with foundational journalistic principles. Students will also explore the evolving ethical and legal aspects of digital media. The degree can be completed in one year of full-time study or over a longer period of time if courses are taken part-time.

“No other degree program that we are aware of integrates digital technology as deeply into the practice of journalism as this one does,” said Mark Walters, director of the M.A. in Digital Journalism and Design. “This program will build a community of thinkers, learners and doers ready to go beyond adapting to the rapid changes in how information is produced and disseminated – our students will be among the professionals steering the direction of online information and news delivery.”

With courses in multimedia reporting, digital media technology, entrepreneurial journalism, photojournalism, audio and video production, visual information design and more, students will develop a broad understanding of digital news production to benefit a range of communications-related careers.

The degree program benefits from its association with the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at USFSP; the department has long offered an undergraduate program in mass communications and a graduate degree in journalism and media studies. The department is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Program and application information:

“This degree prepares communicators to deliver content in the engaging ways news consumers are seeking,” said Frank Biafora, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Students will find the relevance of this degree program essential for the development of their careers in journalism and other communication professions.”

Application Bonus

In a unique collaboration, applicants to the master’s degree in Digital Journalism and Design can gain an immediate professional benefit: a USFSP-Poynter Certificate of Proficiency in Digital Media.

The Poynter Institute’s News University (NewsU) and USFSP teamed up to offer applicants to the master’s program an online assessment to gauge their web and digital media skills. Those who score at least 80 percent will be awarded the certificate. All the courses needed to prepare for the assessment are available at NewsU. For more information about the pre-assessment training and assessment program, go to

Applicants do not need a minimum score on the assessment to be considered for admission to the master’s degree, but their highest score will be automatically sent to USFSP to become part of their application package. The courses cover subjects ranging from the basics of creating a website to the essentials of news design.

For more information about the degree program or the online assessment, please visit