Explore availability of specialisations at the US institution
In our column last week, we introduced the readers to the fields of journalism and communication in the United States. We discussed what kind of careers students can pursue after a degree in one of these fields and different specialisations available to choose while opting for these programmemes. We also shared various degree options and concentrations available to students at both undergraduate and graduate levels in these fields.
Today, in our last column of 2020, we continue our discussion and provide admission- and application-related information specific to the fields of journalism and communication.
The students should research accredited colleges and universities with journalism and mass communications programmemes while shortlisting universities.
The database of accredited programmemes and institutions is published by the US Department of Education at https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home and the Department of Homeland Security at https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search. Prospective students, particularly at the graduate level, should also identify academic programmes with professional accreditation.
The professional accrediting association for the field of journalism and mass communications is the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications http://www.acejmc.org/accreditation-reviews/accredited-programmes/. It is also important that students carefully explore the availability of specialisations or majors they are interested in at the US institution before adding it to their shortlist.
Students applying for a research-focused programme at the graduate level (master’s or PhD) should explore contemporary research in their field of specialisation by going through current literature, reading about emerging research and papers from journalism and communication departments of a few prominent US institutions, and exploring the research interest of the faculty in relevant departments. These insights will help students in determining the departments and professors who may match their academic and research goals and guide them in identifying potential right-fit departments/institutions for their applications.
While applying to journalism and mass communication programmes at undergraduate levels, students have to submit the online application, essays, letters of recommendations, official transcripts, SAT test score (if required by the university), and English proficiency score (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE).For graduate programmes, students have to submit the online application, statement of interest or personal statement, letters of recommendations, bachelor’s programme transcripts (also master’s transcript for PhD applicants), GRE score and English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE).
Generally, GRE scores are required for graduate applicants, but students should check the application requirements of their shortlisted universities before registering for the test. In addition, some institutions may require a writing sample and/or conduct an interview.
The application deadlines for journalism and communication programmemes are similar to the deadlines of other programmes of study in the United States. As also emphasised in previous columns, students looking for funding support from the US institutions should submit their applications by the priority deadline.
Q1. I will be leaving for the US to start my programme in Spring 2021. How should I open my bank account there?
You may open a bank account in the United States on an F1 student visa after entering the country. Look for a bank with branch near your residence or university campus. A ‘checking account’ is the most useful bank account, as it allows you to write checks.
The bank will need the following information from you to open the account: name and date of birth, street address, photograph, and passport number with country of issuance. Some banks may also ask for your mother’s maiden name. You will be required to present the following documents to open the bank account: Your passport, I-94 card, I-20 form, and proof of local mailing address (such as signed lease). The bank may also ask for a minimum deposit for your bank account, either in the form of cash or a check. During orientation week, US universities may also help international students in setting up back accounts, so do check with the office of international students services at your institution to know about any assistance they may be able to offer.
Q2. We want to send our daughter for her higher studies after 12th standard to the USA. We have heard of SAT. What is this exam?
The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardised test required for college admission by many colleges and universities in the United States. It tests students’ knowledge on subjects that are necessary for college success: critical reading, writing, mathematics and other specific subjects.
The SAT Subject Tests are one-hour long, mostly multiple choice tests in specific subjects. These tests measure knowledge of particular subjects and the ability to apply that knowledge. They fall into five general subject areas: English (Literature); History (US History, and World History); Mathematics (Mathematics Level 1, and Mathematics Level 2); Science (Biology E/M, Chemistry, and Physics); and Languages (Chinese with Listening, French, French with Listening, German, German with Listening, Spanish, Spanish with Listening, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Japanese with Listening, and Korean with Listening).
For further information on SAT and SAT subject tests, please visit: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/inside-the-test
(Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the United States – India Educational Foundation based at the US Consulate General Hyderabad)
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