THE UST Graduate School will offer a masters’ degree (MA) in Journalism next academic year as part of efforts to improve the practice of journalism in the country.

“The University will be able to keep its reputation in the field [by] putting together a program that leads to a master’s degree in Journalism,” Dean Marilou Madrunio said in an e-mail.

Madrunio said the University had proven itself in offering a quality undergraduate degree program in Journalism, producing some of the Philippines’s top journalists.

In 2013, the Commission on Higher Education declared the University’s Journalism program a Center of Development (COD) despite the absence of a graduate program. CODs are either public or private higher education institutions that have demonstrated the highest level of standards in the areas of instruction, research, and extension.

Professors in the Journalism undergraduate degree program at the Faculty of Arts and Letters will also teach in the master’s program since they are “academically qualified” and “experts in the field,” according to Madrunio.

The Graduate School is expecting a good number of enrollees, with the promotion of the MA in Journalism program starting early this year. “We are targeting young journalism and communication graduates, journalism educators, and professionals, not only in the Philippines but also in other countries,” Madrunio said.

Pacucoa accreditation

Meanwhile, the Graduate School is preparing for a “consultancy visit” from the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (Pacucoa) on March 21 for its doctorate programs.

“The University’s facilities will be assessed and we will be appraised on whether we can proceed with the higher steps such as the self-survey,” Madrunio said. “As soon as we receive the go-signal from the accreditors, we will immediately prepare for the preliminary visit from the accrediting groups next school year that will hopefully lead to a Level 1 accreditation for our PhD programs.”

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Pacucoa is a private accrediting agency that gives formal recognition to educational institutions that maintain excellent standards in their academic programs and educational operations.

The Graduate School is also preparing to apply for Level IV accreditation for all its master’s programs in September.

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