GRE Requirement Waived; 4+1 Program Begun to Help Journalism Students

Farley Hall is home to the School of Journalism and New Media. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has two new opportunities that are designed to make things a little easier for students pursuing graduate degrees.

The school has decided to suspend the GRE requirement for fall 2020 admission to graduate programs. It also is introducing a 4+1 program designed for academically strong students who want to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism in just five years.

Suspended GRE Requirement

The Graduate School granted the journalism school permission in April to suspend the GRE requirement for fall 2020 admission to graduate programs, said Robert Magee, assistant professor and director of the M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication program. The temporary suspension expires July 31.

“To be fair to all the applicants, the GRE will not be used at all in any admission decision for fall 2020 admission,” Magee said. “Under the change, no one will be admitted or denied admission based on a GRE score.”

The suspension also means new applicants do not need to submit a GRE score as part of their application, as long as it is complete by July 31.

The School of Journalism and New Media offers an M.A. in Journalism, a residential M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication and an online M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication. The temporary suspension applies to all three programs, Magee said.

Many Educational Testing Services testing centers around the country had to close because of COVID-19 concerns.

“Several applicants had contacted me to express their concern over taking the GRE,” Magee said. “They had reserved a time to take the test, but these sessions were canceled.”

ETS has since made arrangements for proctored individual tests, but these can occur in just a few countries, which could leave many international applicants at a disadvantage, he said.

“We want to make sure that everyone who wishes to apply can do so and that the application process is as fair as possible,” Magee said. “But setting aside the GRE means that an applicant’s transcript and letters of reference carry even greater weight as outside materials.

“These materials, along with the personal statement and resume, paint a picture for the admission committee of how well an applicant might handle graduate-level work.”

Click here for more information about the university’s Graduate School or here for more information about the IMC program. 

4+1 Program

The 4+1 journalism program is also designed to help students interested in pursuing an advanced degree, said Debora Wenger, interim dean and professor of journalism.

“The 4+1 is designed for academically strong students who want to get their undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism in just five years,” she said. “The advantage to the students is that they can tackle that advanced coursework beginning in their senior year and then complete that graduate degree in just two more semesters.

“The advantage to the school is that we get to keep these great students around a little longer.”

Students who are interested should meet with Jennifer Simmons, assistant dean for student services, and Joe Atkins, the school’s graduate director, as soon as they begin taking journalism courses, Wenger said.

The school is also considering offering a 4+1 program for IMC students in the future.

There is a minimum GPA requirement and a few specific classes that students must take to fulfill the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements simultaneously.

Required courses include JOUR 590: Multimedia Storytelling and Jour 578: TV Documentary.

For more information about our journalism or integrated marketing communications programs, visit or email