The Master of Science degree is the foundational program of the Journalism School.
As an M.S. student, expect to be challenged and to work like you've never worked before. You'll be on the street reporting from day one, learning to think critically and act ethically. You'll get one-on-one critiques and intensive feedback from your instructors. You'll attend small classes with a pass-fail grading policy that fosters collaboration. The result: A grounding in the fundamental skills that will allow you to stand out and make a difference throughout your career.
Who Should Apply
The M.S. program is designed for a range of students – from those with little to no experience to those who have been working in the field and want to enhance their skills and advance to a new level.
Full-time & Part-time Options
Applicants can opt for either the full-time 10-month program or the part-time program, which takes two years to complete. Full-time and part-time students take many courses together and share the same professors. While part-time students often hold outside jobs, we strongly discourage full-time students from working during the academic year. The course load is too demanding and requires your full attention.
The M.S. coursework consists of several key elements: reporting, modules, essentials, spring classes and Master's Project. For a graphic representation of the M.S. curriculum, including classes, see the 2016-2017 time table.
All M.S. students begin with the 11-week Reporting course, which includes four weeks devoted to digital training and use of social media and digital news design to build and retain audience. Students learn the fundamental practices of journalism, including how to gather and evaluate information; how to interview sources; and how to write a compelling story.
All M.S. students select one seven-week course in each of three modules:
- The Written Word: An opportunity to hone your writing skills. Choices include deadline, profiles and feature writing.
- Image and Sound Intensive: Skill development in video, audio, photography or data visualization.
- Investigative Techniques for Journalists: How to obtain and analyze public records and data; get information about individuals and groups using a variety of sources; use social media for reporting and verification; and evaluate scholarly literature.
All M.S. students complete four short courses in journalism essentials: law, business, ethics and the history of journalism.
The spring term allows students to take seminars or production classes in their areas of interest. Choices include Human Rights Reporting, Video Newsroom, Food Writing and Data Visualization.
All M.S. students complete a Master's Project that spans the autumn and spring terms (or the summer for part-time students). The Master’s Project will test your ability to conduct and sustain in-depth research, challenge you to gather and organize large amounts of material and train you to present this material in a clear and professional way.
The Master’s Project is your opportunity to practice the highest level of longform reporting, writing and producing.
Sample Full-time Schedule
- Digital Media and Audience Engagement Intensive
- M.S. Essentials: Business, Ethics, History & Law
- Image & Sound or Investigative Techniques (you will take the other in the spring)
- Master's Project
- Seminar/Production Class #1
- Seminar/Production Class #2
- Image & Sound or Investigative Techniques (whichever you didn't take in the fall)
- Master's Project
- Optional: On-air Skills for Broadcast Journalists
M.S. students may apply for the general M.S. degree program or may choose an area of specialization:
- Data Journalism Intensive training in data and computing to expand reporting techniques to find and tell new kinds of stories.
- Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism Rigorous focus on investigative reporting techniques and methods.
- The Documentary Program A full-time third semester designed to train students in the art of documentary filmmaking.
Students accepted into one of the specialty areas take designated classes in their specialty areas in addition to the general M.S. curriculum.
Students applying to one of the specialty areas may opt to also be considered for acceptance into the general M.S. program if they are not accepted into the specialized program.
Our classes cover every spectrum of journalism practice and business. Students can choose from a wide range of options offering them the opportunity to dive deep into a subject and work on multiple platforms.