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Graduate & Advanced Admission Requirements

Graduate & Advanced Admission Requirements

General requirements

Each of the graduate & advanced programs require applicants to have successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree at a recognized university with a B average or better. Each program also has specific requirements.

Specific program requirements

One-Year Bachelor of Journalism

Join this program with your bachelor’s degree from an accredited university showing a minimum average of B. The Journalism Admissions Committee considers your academic record, copies of published articles and media files, extracurricular activities, and other evidence of keen interest in journalism. Previous journalism experience is not essential.

How to Apply

Your application should include

  • A completed BJ application form
  • Application fee of $70
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • A 1,000-word autobiographical sketch (outlining why you want to study journalism, your academic strengths/weaknesses, your general interests, any work you may have done in journalism or related fields and anything else that would contribute to a well-rounded story about you)
  • An official letter of reference
  • A portfolio (recommended)
  • Resume (optional)

King’s will accept official transcripts and other documents by mail, courier, and email.

Official transcripts are those that come directly from the issuing institution. Transcripts sent by the applicant won’t be considered official.  It is highly encouraged that you have your school email your transcripts to prevent any delays in processing your application.

Official documents and supporting materials can be forwarded to admissions@ukings.ca.

If official documents or supporting materials are being mailed, please send them to:

University of King’s College, Registrar’s Office,
6350 Coburg Road,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2A1 CANADA

English Language Proficiency Requirements

English is the language of study at King’s; therefore, all applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their capacity to pursue an advanced-level journalism program in English before admission (see information below). The language competency test may be waived if the applicant has completed a degree at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English in a county where English is one of the national languages. Test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was written.

TestMinimum Score – Admission
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*237 (computer-based)
90 (iBT) and no lower than 20 in each band
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)6.5 overall and no lower than 6.0 in each band
Duolingo English TestMinimum score of 115, with no sub-score below 95
Michigan English Test (formally MELAB)55
Canadian Academic English Assessment (CAEL)/CAEL Online70
Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST)4.5 (we will no longer accept CanTest scores after August 15, 2022)
Pearson Test of English – Academic61 overall and no lower than 50 in each skill
C1: Advanced/C2: Proficiency180 overall and no lower than 170 in each band

Students must achieve 4.0 or better on the essay or TOEFL Writing Test.

TOEFL Code: 0990

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Dalhousie University: the EAP program offered at our partner institution, Dalhousie University, is offered at four levels. Placement testing can be done at Dalhousie. Each level includes speaking, listening, reading, writing, pronunciation and vocabulary development.

Applicants should arrange for their English language proficiency test score(s) to be sent directly from the testing agency to:

University of King’s College, Registrar’s Office,
6350 Coburg Road,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2A1 CANADA

Interviewing people and writing stories for the public requires a strong ability to communicate. King’s journalism programs are focused on reporting practice and require a high-level ability to communicate in English. Many assignments involve asking nuance questions during an interview and seeking further detail in response. Students are required to analyze complicated public records, and convey a clear and accurate story in audio, video and text.

Practicing journalism in a new country and/or in a second language can be especially demanding. To help our international students succeed, we may require applicants to complete a summer-term English language course at Dalhousie University that enhances language skills and understanding of Canadian culture. Any program requirement will be determined after an admission interview is completed. Students will participate in this additional program at their own expense as a condition of admission.

Process of Admissions

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Students offered a place in the BJ program will be asked to confirm acceptance of the offer and tender an admission deposit by a specified deadline to hold a place in the program.

Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

Master of Journalism

September entry (for those with a degree that isn’t journalism)

Applicants with a four-year undergraduate degree (or equivalent) with an average of ‘B’ or higher in the last 60 credit hours of study from an accredited university may apply. Your degree may be in any subject or discipline other than journalism.

January entry (for those with a journalism degree or equivalent)

Students may qualify to begin the program in the winter semester (January) of year one if they have one of:

  • An accredited four-year journalism degree (or equivalent) with an average grade of ‘B’ or higher in the last 60 credit hours of study
  • A four-year undergraduate degree and a minimum of five years full-time experience in journalism

The Master of Journalism is offered jointly by Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College.

How to Apply

King’s will accept official transcripts and other documents by mail, courier, and email. Official documents and supporting materials can be forwarded to admissions@ukings.ca.

If official documents or supporting materials are being mailed, please send them to:

University of King’s College, Registrar’s Office,
6350 Coburg Road,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2A1 CANADA

Your application should include

1. Admission application form

A completed graduate application form: online or print [PDF].

2. Application fee

A $115.00 application fee.

3. Transcripts

For application purposes, unofficial academic transcripts, and degree certificates (if degree conferral not stated on transcripts) are required for each post-secondary institution attended.

Transcripts should include your first and last name, degree and program type and name of degree issuing university. Academic transcripts for application purposes should be sent to admissions@ukings.ca. or the address provided below.

Should you be accepted for admission to your program of choice, all official and final transcripts will be required for each post-secondary institution attended. They will be required within 90 days of the start of your program. If you only completed a course(s) at a university or post-secondary institution, official transcripts are required as well.

Transcript submission for newly accepted students: For students who have been accepted to the MJ or MFA program, you can send your final and official transcripts, stating degree completion, in any of the ways provided below:

  • Electronic file-transfers from the issuing institution and from services such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, eScript-Safe, or TranscriptsNetwork.
  • PDFs sent by email directly from the issuing institution.
  • While official e-copies of your transcripts are preferred, official paper copies can be mailed to the address noted above.

If you are unable to have your official transcripts sent from the issuing institution, you may email an unofficial copy of your transcripts to admissions@ukings.ca. This email should be sent from your official university email account. You may be required to provide proof of the inability for the issuing institution to send documents directly. Transcripts must include your first and last name, degree and program type, name of degree issuing university and date of degree completion. Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.

Your final transcripts will be required within 90 days of the start of your program.

*Note that the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) reserves the right to verify the validity of all documents provided, as well as the inability of an issuing institution to issue documents.  

Important transcript details
  • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript.
  • Notarized copies of transcripts are not permitted.
  • Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.
  • Transcripts submitted with applications become the property of Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, are subject to verification, are not available for copying and will not be returned to the applicant.
  • Official transcripts are not required for any courses or degrees you have completed at Dalhousie University or the University of King’s College.

4. Personal statement

A letter outlining your educational/professional experience, your goals for the program and your reasons for wanting to attend the Master of Journalism program. Explain any gaps or deficiencies in your academic record or any other factors you wish to have considered.

5. Portfolio 

A maximum of five selected samples (copies of published articles, media files, etc.) of your best related work.

6. Reference letters

Two letters of reference are required for admission into a graduate degree. These letters are normally required to be from academics familiar with the applicant but may be replaced with relevant professional references for some course-based professional master’s programs. If accepted, professional references can be submitted according to the following schedule:

  1. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree within the past 3 years: two academic references.
  2. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree 3 to 5 years ago: a) one academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or b) two academic references.
  3. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree more than 5 years ago: a) two relevant professional references or, b) one academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or c) two academic references.

Reference letters provided in confidence to Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College for purposes of determining a candidate’s suitability for admission to an academic program will be kept confidential. This confidential reference may be used internally by Dalhousie University or the University of King’s College for the purposes of considering the applicant for institutional, provincial and federal awards or scholarships.

Electronic Reference Submission

Reference letters can be submitted through the electronic reference system in the online application.  If using the e-reference system, make sure to have the email addresses of your referees ready to list when completing the online application. Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College will only accept university, teaching hospital, and government email addresses (i.e. not Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or business addresses). Please allow 5 business days for your referee(s) to be contacted by our system. If you made an error in the submission of an email address, please contact eref@dal.ca.

Paper/Email References

If you are using a professional reference for your application and are unable to use the graduate online e-ref system, please have your referees send a reference letter by mail or email. Official signatures on reference letters are required.

Your referee may submit a paper reference letter in a sealed, stamped envelope which is endorsed across the back seal by the referee and mailed to the address noted above.  The referee can write a letter, fill out the paper reference form [PDF] or use a combination of both. To assist your referee, you may consider providing a stamped envelope and have them mail the letter directly. If the reference letter is returned to you, do not open the envelope.

Your referee may also submit an official reference to admissions@ukings.ca.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

English is the language of study at Dalhousie and King’s; therefore, all applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their capacity to pursue a graduate-level program in English before admission (see chart below). The language competency test may be waived if the applicant has completed a degree at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English in a country where English is one of the national languages. The claims must be verified by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was written.

Dalhousie and King’s accepts several different English proficiency test scores:

Test NameMinimum Acceptable Score
Internet-based TOEFL (Academic iBT)92
MELAB85
IELTS (Academic)7
CanTest*4.5 (with no band score lower than 4.0)
CAEL70 with no band score lower than 60
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Level 2A-
Pearson English Test PTE AcademicOverall score of 65 and nothing below 54

* CanTest scores will be accepted until August 15, 2022.

Interviewing people and writing stories for the public requires a strong ability to communicate. King’s journalism programs are focused on reporting practice and require a high-level ability to communicate in English. Many assignments involve asking nuance questions during an interview and seeking further detail in response. Students are required to analyze complicated public records, and convey a clear and accurate story in audio, video and text.

Practicing journalism in a new country and/or in a second language can be especially demanding. To help our international students succeed, we may require applicants to complete a summer-term English language course at Dalhousie University that enhances language skills and understanding of Canadian culture. Any program requirement will be determined after an admission interview is completed. Students will participate in this additional program at their own expense as a condition of admission.

Process of Admissions

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

All documents received become the property of the university and will be used at its discretion for internal purposes only. Documents will not be returned.

The School of Journalism conducts the initial application evaluation process and makes its recommendation to Dalhousie University Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). FGS makes the final decision, and a formal offer of admission is signed and sent out by the Registrar of Dalhousie University.

Students who are offered a place in the MJ program will be asked to confirm acceptance of the offer and tender an admission deposit by a specified deadline to hold a place in the program.

Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction

The MFA program is open to students who hold an undergraduate degree (preferably an honours degree), with a minimum GPA of B or better. Students who do not possess an undergraduate degree may apply for admission based on an assessment of their prior learning, work and life experience (see Prior Learning Assessment below for more information).

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction is offered jointly by Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College.

How to Apply

King’s will accept official documents by mail, courier, and email. Official documents and supporting materials can be forwarded to admissions@ukings.ca.

If official documents or supporting materials are being mailed, please send them to:

University of King’s College, Registrar’s Office,
6350 Coburg Road,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2A1 CANADA

Your application should include

1. Admission application

A completed graduate application form: online or print [PDF].

2. Application fee

A $115.00 application fee.

3. Transcripts

For application purposes, unofficial academic transcripts, and degree certificates (if degree conferral not stated on transcripts) are required for each post-secondary institution attended.

Transcripts should include your first and last name, degree and program type and name of degree issuing university. Academic transcripts for application purposes should be sent to admissions@ukings.ca. or the address provided below.

Should you be accepted for admission to your program of choice, all official and final transcripts will be required for each post-secondary institution attended. They will be required within 90 days of the start of your program. If you only completed a course(s) at a university or post-secondary institution, official transcripts are required as well.

Transcript submission for newly accepted students: For students who have been accepted to the MJ or MFA program, you can send your final and official transcripts, stating degree completion, in any of the ways provided below:

  • Electronic file-transfers from the issuing institution and from services such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, eScript-Safe, or TranscriptsNetwork.
  • PDFs sent by email directly from the issuing institution.
  • While official e-copies of your transcripts are preferred, official paper copies can be mailed to the address noted above.

If you are unable to have your official transcripts sent from the issuing institution, you may email an unofficial copy of your transcripts to admissions@ukings.ca. This email should be sent from your official university email account. You may be required to provide proof of the inability for the issuing institution to send documents directly. Transcripts must include your first and last name, degree and program type, name of degree issuing university and date of degree completion. Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.

Your final transcripts will be required within 90 days of the start of your program.

*The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) reserves the right to verify the validity of all documents provided, as well as the inability of an issuing institution to issue documents.  

Important transcript details
  • Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript.
  • Notarized copies of transcripts are not permitted.
  • Degree and graduation certificates must be included if the transcript does not indicate the type of degree and date granted.
  • Transcripts submitted with applications become the property of Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, are subject to verification, are not available for copying and will not be returned to the applicant.
  • Official transcripts are not required for any courses or degrees you have completed at Dalhousie University or the University of King’s College.

4. Personal statement

A letter outlining your educational/professional experience, your goals for the program, and your reasons for wanting to attend the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program. Explain any gaps or deficiencies in your academic record, and any other factors you wish to have considered.

5. Project idea

A description of the idea or ideas you want to pursue as your major creative nonfiction project.

6. Portfolio

A maximum of 25 double-spaced pages of your best nonfiction related work.

7. Resume

8. Reference letters

Two letters of reference are required for admission into a graduate degree. These letters are normally required to be from academics familiar with the applicant but may be replaced with relevant professional references for some course-based professional master’s programs. If accepted, professional references can be submitted according to the following schedule:

  1. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree within the past 3 years: two academic references.
  2. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree 3 to 5 years ago: a) one academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or b) two academic references.
  3. For applicants who completed their undergraduate (or related graduate) degree more than 5 years ago: a) two relevant professional references or, b) one academic reference and one relevant professional reference, or c) two academic references.

Reference letters provided in confidence to Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College for purposes of determining a candidate’s suitability for admission to an academic program will be kept confidential. This confidential reference may be used internally by Dalhousie University or the University of King’s College for the purposes of considering the applicant for institutional, provincial and federal awards or scholarships.

Electronic Reference Submission

Reference letters can be submitted through the electronic reference system in the online application.  If using the e-reference system, make sure to have the email addresses of your referees ready to list when completing the online application. Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College will only accept university, teaching hospital, and government email addresses (i.e. not Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or business addresses). Please allow 5 business days for your referee(s) to be contacted by our system. If you made an error in the submission of an email address, please contact eref@dal.ca.

Paper/Email References

If you are using a professional reference for your application and are unable to use the graduate online e-ref system, please have your referees send a reference letter by mail or email. Official signatures on reference letters are required.

Your referee may submit a paper reference letter in a sealed, stamped envelope which is endorsed across the back seal by the referee and mailed to the address noted above.  The referee can write a letter, fill out the paper reference form [PDF] or use a combination of both. To assist your referee, you may consider providing a stamped envelope and have them mail the letter directly. If the reference letter is returned to you, do not open the envelope.

Your referee may also submit an official reference to admissions@ukings.ca.

English language proficiency requirements

English is the language of study at Dalhousie and King’s; therefore, all applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their capacity to pursue a graduate-level program in English before admission (see chart below). The language competency test may be waived if the applicant has completed a degree at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English in a country where English is one of the national languages. The claims must be verified by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was written.

Dalhousie and King’s accepts several different English proficiency test scores:

Test NameMinimum Acceptable Score
Internet-based TOEFL (Academic iBT)92
MELAB85
IELTS (Academic)7
CanTest*4.5 (with no band score lower than 4.0)
CAEL70 with no band score lower than 60
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Level 2A-
Pearson English Test PTE AcademicOverall score of 65 and nothing below 54

* CanTest scores will be accepted until August 15, 2022.

Prior Learning Assessment

To be considered for Prior Learning Assessment, applicants would normally require a significant body of work professionally published in newspapers, magazines, broadcast or online, or in books; and/or substantial related work experience in a writing of publishing-related business enterprise; evidence of membership in one or more professional writing organizations and/or attendance at workshops, seminars, or other professional development programs. Evidence of any writing-related diplomas or credential awarded will also be considered by the admission committee.

If you are applying under Prior Learning Assessment, you should explain in your personal statement your motivation for seeking entrance to the program. Please expand upon why you think your life and work experience and/or related formal education and courses merit adjudication under the Prior Learning Assessment process.

Process of Admissions

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

The number of places in the program is limited, so it is expected that only a proportion of qualified applicants will be admitted; selection will be made on a competitive basis.

All documents received become the property of the university and will be used at the discretion of the university for internal purposes only. Documents will not be returned.

The School of Journalism conducts the initial application evaluation process and makes its recommendation to the Dalhousie University Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). FGS makes the final decision, and a formal offer of admission is signed and sent out by the Registrar of Dalhousie University.

Students offered a place in the MFA program will be asked to confirm acceptance of the offer and tender an admission deposit by a specified deadline to hold a place in the program.

Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

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