Professional Development | Columbia Journalism School

Professional Development

Learn a new skill. Advance your career.

Our professional education courses offer immersive, specialized training for nondegree students and meet Columbia’s rigorous standards. Invest one week, two weeks or more in your future. Join our mailing list to hear about upcoming courses in New York City, at our partner campuses around the world, and online.

Audio & Podcasts

Print to Podcast is an online only course for journalists who are ready to take their audio skills to the next level. Led by veteran audio journalist Robert Smith, this course is designed to recalibrate the skills that journalists have developed for print stories--interview technique, story structure, narrative writing--for an audio environment.

This course is designed for experienced journalists and storytellers with limited experience in audio, but a passion for narrative and reporting. It is appropriate for those who have taken our Three-day Audio Bootcamp, as well as those who feel comfortable with the basics but want to create more compelling audio stories. As this course will be held online, participants should be comfortable participating in class and reporting via zoom and other online applications. Editing will be done in Hindenberg. 

Class time will be devoted to interviewing for voice, writing for the ear, finding and using hot tape, story structure, hosting and finding your voice, and group listening and critique. Classes will be held synchronously from 6:30 to 8:30 pm ET via zoom on 

  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021;
  • Thursday, May 13 2021;
  • Tuesday, May 18, 2021;
  • Thursday, May 20, 2021;
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021;
  • and Thursday, May 27.

Participants will need internet connection, a computer with administrative access (you need to be able to download), and a smart phone. Actual reporting work will be done between classes, and participants should expect to work on assignments when outside of class. 

This course is $650 USD. Alumni of the Journalism School receive a 10% discount ($65) while current students, faculty and officers of other Columbia University schools receive a 5% discount ($32.50). Contact Professional Programs Director Kate Kennedy, krk16@columbia.edu, with any questions.  

Register here.

Video

Visual elements inform a story and engage an audience in powerful ways. Learn how to conceive and craft a compelling video story. All of our video programs are currently paused until we can safely host journalists for classes in person, on our campus.

Introduction to Video Storytelling is a six-week summer course for current college students earning credit. Students will learn to think critically about what makes for a good video story--what makes it newsworthy, what makes video the proper medium for conveying that story — and how to execute using the latest technology. This course will next be offered in summer 2022.

Multimedia Storytelling Intensive is a five-day intensive program that teaches the fundamentals to telling a story and engaging an audience, using on-site equipment. Our instruction team, headed by Director of Digital Media, Duy Linh Tu, leads participants through five days on the best techniques in shooting, audio, lighting, post production, and editing. This course is designed for individuals with no prior experience. 

The Columbia Journalism Video Workshop is a two‐week course that teaches the essentials of conceiving, researching and reporting a story through video. Students learn how to use and handle a camera, how to properly frame and light a subject or scene, how to structure a story and how to use post‐production software. Students learn from our faculty and from industry leaders, visit media labs and newsrooms and have their work professionally critiqued. Past visits have included trips to the New York Times, Bustle, and Vice.

No prior experience or course work is required.

Investigative Reporting

Learn new techniques and deepen your reporting skills. Our courses cover the fundamentals of investigative reporting. Participants learn to recognize when a story should be a long-term project, how to use data to form the backbone of a story and the multiple ways of reporting a long‐term investigation.

Summer Investigative Reporting Course meets in New York for three weeks in July and is appropriate for journalists worldwide who report stories, as well as editors who manage investigative projects or teams. This course has been postponed to summer 2022, and as of now, no applications are being accepted.

Latin America Investigative Reporting Course is conducted in Spanish over two weeks in either Santiago, Chile or Cartagena, Colombia. It is designed for journalists from throughout Iberoamerica who work in any news media platform. This course has been postponed until further notice, and as of now, no applications are being accepted.

El Curso de Periodismo de Investigación de América Latina se impartirá en español durante dos semanas en Santiago, Chile o Cartagena, Colombia. El programa en Chile solo está abierto a periodistas que trabajan en Chile; el programa en Colombia está abierto a periodistas en Iberoamerica. Está diseñado para periodistas que trabajan en diferentes plataformas de difusión de noticias. Lea la experiencia de los participantes y las lecciones que aprendieron en el programa. Este curso se ha pospuesto hasta nuevo aviso y, a partir de ahora, no se aceptan solicitudes.

Data

Use the skills of Big Data to investigate the stories you want to tell.

The Lede is an intensive, postbaccalaureate certification program that equips journalists and storytellers of all kinds with the computational skills needed to turn data into narrative. No prior experience with coding, data or computation is necessary. We start from square one. 

Publishing

 The Columbia Publishing Course is widely regarded as the best preparatory course for recent college graduates who want a career in book, magazine or digital media publishing. For 70 years, this six‐week course has been educating the industry's leaders who come back to lecture and go on to recruit from CPC's ranks.

Graduates can be found working as editors, literary agents, publishers, designers, publicists and more, at major magazines, websites and publishing houses across the nation. The compact, practical nature of the course allows students to hit the ground running in their first jobs while at the same time providing a comprehensive understanding of the industry that extends far beyond what can be learned in a typical internship.

The Columbia Publishing Course at Exeter College, Oxford was created in 2016 and continues to run through the month of September. Fully focused on book publishing, the four‐week course is designed after its New York counterpart but focuses on the British publishing world and is particularly recommended for U.K. and EU citizens.

Learn more about the Columbia Publishing Course in New York

Learn more about the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University

Leadership

Executive education courses at the Journalism School teach core management and thought leadership skills tailored for the context of a fast‐paced news organization. We can help you and your staff broaden your vision, reach new audiences, develop resilient strategies and effect lasting change.

The Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program immerses high‐ranking news executives in the use of strategy, innovation, marketing, demographics, journalism values and other approaches to address challenges confronting their organizations and create long‐term performance and change.

Courses for College Students

We are proud to offer select courses for current undergraduate students earning credit through the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. All courses are offered exclusively during the summer session. 

For Current College Students

New! Summer 2021 Political Reporting: On the Campaign Trail is led by New York Times National Political Correspondent, Lisa Lerer. The course offers an overview and critical examination of political journalism and the interaction of media with the White House, Congress, campaigns and statehouses. It will explore how technology and polarization have changed coverage of politics, as well as ethical considerations, shifting newsroom expectations and the challenges facing journalists as they cover campaigns and American political institutions.

New! Summer 2021 Journalism as Activism This course offers an overview and critical examination of journalistic coverage of protest and civil dissent over the last sixty years. It explores specific selections of protest reporting in a range of media formats, including photography and video journalism, audio news, investigative longform, and personal essays, as well as considers the ethical considerations, risks, and challenges that journalists navigate as they cover individual protests and protest movements writ large.  

New! Summer 2021 Medical and Health Reporting Medical journalism shapes the way people view health and disease. Coverage also influences scientific research and health policy. This course offers students an opportunity to critically analyze the coverage of medical news while also writing their own news pieces and features.

The aim is to learn to convey the true essence of scientific exploration and discovery, which is based on evidence uncertainty, and an analysis of risks.

War Reporting is led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, C.J. Chivers. Students will read reporting covering different wars and conflicts from different eras in U.S. history and examine the ethical and legal concerns, the risks to journalists and sources, and the impact on the public discourse of such reporting. 

Introduction to Video Storytelling teaches how to think critically about what makes for a good video story--what makes it newsworthy, what makes video the proper medium for conveying that story--and how to execute using the latest technology. This will be offered in summer 2022.

Introduction to Audio News offers students a chance to learn about the essentials of audio production using professional technology. Podcasting and radio are two of the fastest growing categories in media, and this course prepares students to jump in and make news. This will be offered in 2022.

Custom Training

Columbia Journalism School custom training focuses on the tools and techniques necessary for media organizations to remain competitive in an ever‐changing marketplace and engage audiences in new and innovative ways.

We recognize that every organization is unique. Our custom training programs are designed specifically for your organization, with your staff, resources and well‐defined objectives in mind.

For more information, please email Director of Professional Programs, Kate Kennedy, at krk16@columbia.edu