Special Report

Why NYU?

Why NYU: Will I Fit in at AJO?


June 7, 2024


Special Report: Why NYU?


, ,


This article is part of our “Why NYU? Your Story Starts Here”  branded content* series explaining what it is like to attend NYU’s American Journalism Online master’s program with testimonials from current students and recent grads, Learn more about the program here.  

In the heart of our digital age, the American Journalism Online (AJO) Master’s Program at NYU stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of media. While just five years old, AJO has attracted a student body that includes students from more than  16 countries and 30 states, reflecting a rich mosaic of perspectives. 

This diversity isn’t just geographic; students from varied professional backgrounds, life stages, and personal circumstances find a home in AJO’s inclusive environment. From Bosnia to China, New York to California, our students are parents, recent college graduates, long-time journalists, and working professionals, and they bring a world of perspectives, united by a shared commitment to practicing journalism that matters. 

Flexibility at the forefront

At the core of AJO’s appeal is its unparalleled flexibility. Designed for the ambitious, the curious, and the driven, our program accommodates every phase of life. Whether you’re transitioning careers, juggling family responsibilities, or seeking to broaden your horizons from thousands of miles away, AJO’s online format ensures your education never skips a beat. You can go full-time and have your masters in just over a year, or skip semesters and take your time.

This commitment to accessibility attracts people who might never have had the opportunity to study at a top 20 global research university like NYU in a program that’s 80% women and 20% men, highlighting our dedication to fostering an inclusive environment where every voice can flourish. 

Real stories, real impact

Take Barbi Walker-Walsh, whose 38-year career in the skies as a flight attendant took a transformative turn at AJO. Her journey exemplifies the program’s support system, helping her navigate personal challenges, including caregiving for elderly parents, while pursuing her passion for journalism. 

“i didn’t think i could connect w people through a screen,” says Barbi via text, “but I made some of my best friends in the program”

Now, with aspirations of one day leading the Arizona community newspaper where she is a staff writer, Barbi says she’s thankful for how AJO redefined her storytelling approach, and allowed her to pursue t subjects that truly interested her. 

AJO 2021 graduate Bobby Brier‘s shift from law to journalism underscores the program’s role in empowering students to chase their true interests. In his longform feature writing class with Ted Conover, Bobby explored  the lives of those wrongfully convicted, a project that showcased the potent combination of AJO’s rigorous training and real-world application. 

Now, Bobby works as a mental health reporter shedding light on crucial issues in rural America as a member of the prestigious Report for America corps

For Alma Milisic, AJO was the bridge between her aspirations and reality. Growing up in post-war Bosnia, her pursuit of higher education led her to AJO, where the program’s flexibility allowed her to balance a burgeoning career at Al Jazeera English with her studies.

I didn’t want to leave my job or take a sabbatical,” she says. With AJO, she didn’t have to either, and was still able to learn what she needed to enhance her editorial judgment and storytelling skills on an international stage. 

Allison Wallis, (AJO ’24), never thought she’d be able to attend graduate school. Living in rural Hawaii with chronic illness and a disability that occasionally requires her to use a wheelchair, she was excited — but concerned — when she was accepted into the program.

What if I got so sick I had to miss weeks at a time?” she remembers thinking. “How would I manage tight deadlines with my unpredictable health and schedule? Would anyone there understand why I need certain accommodations?”

But AJO quickly allayed her fears.

“I never had an issue in class. Every professor and member of the administration was helpful, encouraging, and incredibly supportive.”

During her time in the program, Allison published a feature in Al Jazeera, interviewed the governor of Hawaii, and wrote columns about disability for a local news outlet.

“Attending the AJO has been the best educational experience of my life and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she says. “I’m coming out with a vastly expanded skill set, business skills, and incredible contacts in the industry. I’m confident, and I feel prepared to build my career. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Discover how AJO can transform your story. Begin your journey today.

*These articles look like journalism, but they’re actually what is called “branded content.” Branded content is content – written, audio, video – that mimics journalistic work but is paid for by the brand or company (in this case, AJO) that publishes it. It is, basically, a kind of advertising.

Special Report: Why NYU?

June 10, 2024

Why NYU: So You Want to Be an AJO Student?

Why students and alums love the online masters program.

June 8, 2024

Why NYU: The Coursework is Only the Beginning

The AJO program offers professional mentors, career guidance, editing services, and a success coach.

June 6, 2024

Why NYU: Got a Great Idea? AJO Can Help You Get That Byline

From honing his pitch to assisting with investigative techniques to working connections, here is how AJO professors helped Ben Shimkus get a big investigative feature into Rolling Stone in the spring of 2024

Read More