The Master of Science degree is the foundational program of the Journalism School.
Students in the M.S. program are on the street reporting from day one, learning to think critically and act ethically. Classes are small, instructors give students intensive feedback and the pass-fail grading policy fosters collaboration. The result: A grounding in the fundamental skills that helps graduates stand out and makes a difference throughout their careers.
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 for several years and want to enhance their skills in order to advance to a new level.
Full-time & Part-time Options
Students can opt to complete their studies in in 9½ months in the full-time program, or two years in the part-time program. Either way, they share the same professors and take most of their classes together. Students who opt for the full-time program take an intense schedule of three to four classes at a time in each semester. Part-time students take one or two classes at a time (depending on the semester). Many part-time students are employed full-time while doing the program.
M.S. students begin their coursework by taking a reporting module that explores the ways journalists gather and analyze information. Students meet with instructors in small-group seminars to discuss techniques and issues, then put what they’re learning into practice as they cover beats, develop enterprise stories and report breaking news on deadline.
In addition, all M.S. students take the following classes:
- The Written Word, a 7-week module in which students learn to write engaging stories or scripts for an audience, and begin to develop a voice. They can opt, within this module, to take a class focusing on news, on feature writing, on long-form narrative, or on writing for the ear.
- Image & Sound, a 7-week module in which students pick a medium -- audio, data, photo or video -- and explore its technologies and its storytelling potential.
- Investigative Techniques, a 7-week module that teaches students how to think like investigative reporters as they dig into records, conduct internet forensics and do thorough background searches on individuals and corporations.
- Journalism Essentials, classes which focus on journalism law, ethics, history and the business forces affecting the news media.
- Two 15-week spring seminar and production courses, which give students a chance to dive deep into areas that interest them, whether that’s a medium such as book writing, broadcast news, photojournalism or digital publishing, or a subject area such as business journalism, conflict reporting or education writing.
- The Master’s Project, in which students, working under the guidance of individual advisors, conduct an in-depth exploration of a topic as a journalist would pursue it. Master’s Projects can take a variety of forms, some of them incorporating elements from more than one medium: print, photo, audio, video, data.
Applicants may request entry to the 9 ½-month M.S. program or to these areas of specialization:
- The Stabile Investigative Program gives students a rigorous grounding in investigative reporting techniques and methods.
- The Documentary Program trains students in the art of documentary filmmaking. Full-time students in the documentary program stay for a third semester to complete their films.
Students accepted into either of these specializations take designated classes in their specialty areas in addition to the general M.S. curriculum.
At the time of application, an applicant may request to be considered for the general M.S. program if they are not accepted into the specialized program.
Classes cover a wide range of journalistic specializations, practices and techniques, as well as the business of journalism and emerging technologies. Students can choose to focus on a medium, such as long-form narrative, photojournalism or video production; or on a subject area such as education, business or religion reporting.