Environment. Health. Innovation. Technology. Climate Change.
Our M.S. and M.A. programs offer distinct, yet related, approaches to exploring science stories in rigorous, creative ways.
What We Offer
We provide students drawn to science stories with skills to identify and report them and to tell them in a range of forms. Our strong emphasis on investigative and data and on storytelling across formats supports robust, compelling science journalism.
Every M.S. course has something for students interested in science: business reporting can provide skills needed to cover health care; data courses can train students to find hidden stories; feature writing can teach students how to bring a researcher’s work to life. The M.S. program also offers several specialized science-focused classes.
Journalists in the M.A. Science concentration examine science close up—by studying fields such as climate change science and neuroscience—and with a landscape view, looking at history and patterns of discovery and innovation. They learn to probe deeply, ask advanced questions, and recognize context or comparisons that might be invisible to the uninitiated. They also receive high-level personal mentoring.
Three or four students are selected each year to work on the postgraduate fellowship The Energy and Environmental Reporting Project. The fellows work independently and in teams to rigorously examine issues related to the environment and energy resources on an international level. The fellows perform extensive archival public records and database research as well as conduct interviews with a variety of sources from government, academia and industry.
Recent work includes a two-year investigation into what Exxon knew about climate change and the adverse climate impacts of funds from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. These bodies of work were published in partnership with the Los Angeles Times and The Guardian.
M.S. students can take specialized seminars in the spring (not all are offered every year), such as Covering Science, Multimedia Storytelling: Science & Environment, Investigating Health Care, and Investigating the Failures of the Mental Health System.
M.A. students take a year-long science journalism seminar co-taught by scientists, Evidence & Inference, three outside courses in other departments (the Mailman School of Public Health, for example), and complete a narrative thesis on a science-, health-, technology-, or environment-related topic.
Cassandra Basler '15 M.S. followed two students from The Bronx as they decide if an intrauterine device is right for them.Listen to her master's project.
Roberto Kaz '15 M.A., Science Concentration, published his Master's Thesis in Nautilus about a "Black 6" mouse.Read about how the story came together.
Katie Jennings '14 M.A., Science Concentration, wrote about a secret committee behind America's soaring health care costs.Read her thesis published in Politico.
Bill Retherford '14 M.A., Science Concentration, writes about the scientific search to find an alien civilization.His thesis became the Kindle Single, "Little Green Men."
Associate Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Science & Environmental Journalism
Maxwell M. Geffen Professor of Medical and Scientific Journalism
James Madison Visiting Professor on First Amendment Issues