Student Life

How to have the best academic and extracurricular experience

The Student Affairs office helps students navigate all aspects of their journalism education – from academics to housing. Learn about student associations, school policies and the many resources available to you.

Student-only Events

New Student Information

Extracurricular Activities

Journalism Industry Leadership

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism explores the ways in which technology is changing journalism. It offers a full schedule of events throughout the year, including more intimate gatherings like bi-monthly Tow Teas with some of the top media players from outlets like Buzzfeed, Mashable, VICE among many others. Tow offers research fellowships that often lead to published work, like Vanessa Quirk ’15 M.A. Arts & Culture “Guide to Podcasting.” Tow seeks contributors to its blog and people to cover its events, write tips and tutorials.

The Brown Institute for Media Innovation is a collaboration between Columbia University and Stanford University, designed to encourage and support new endeavors in media. Brown awards renewable fellowships to postgraduate or graduate students who create engineering prototypes, innovative media products, or carry out related research. Brown also offers Columbia and Stanford communities the opportunity to submit proposals for Magic Grants. It looks for ideas that are original and have the potential to bring true innovation in the media world, like  Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian ’10 M.S. Cannabis Wire, and Jika Gonzalez ’14 M.S. “Cuba Interconectada.”

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma serves as a resource center and global network of journalists, journalism educators and health professionals dedicated to improving media coverage of trauma, conflict and tragedy. Dart provides travel and lodging assistance through a competitive process that allows students to participate in specialized training workshops on topics that include covering youth violence, suicide and gun violence. It hires a work-study student each academic year to help with editorial content and program promotion. Dart encourages students to pitch blog posts or feature stories for publication on its website.

Events & Lectures

Columbia Journalism School has lecture series to enhance and support the classroom and reporting work. Many of our events offer the opportunity to meet industry leaders, ask questions and network.

Dean's Roundtables bring together luminaries to have lunch with small groups of about 20 students invited by Dean Coll. People like author and journalist Gail Sheehy, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of Hearst Steve Swartz, publisher Alice Rogoff and executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. (formerly called Google) Eric Schmidt field questions from students during engaging Dean's Roundtable conversations.

The Thought Leaders Series brings to the Journalism School journalists and media leaders who will address current issues and concerns. The series, which takes place most Tuesdays in the fall semester, is designed to complement what students are learning in their classes and provide them the opportunity to meet leading practitioners.

The Alfred I. duPont Center for Broadcast & Digital Journalism sponsors many events at the school including the Film Fridays series, that screens a documentary and invites filmmakers to discuss their work like Alex Gibney, Joshua Oppenheimer, Barbara Kopple and Rachel Boynton ’97 M.S. It also holds a lecture series with current duPont winners at the School for students in January. duPont has also started a podcast series, OnAssignment, based on recorded J-School events, which duPont Fellows help produce.

Hearst Digital Media Lectures examine the changing media industry with an emphasis on digital media and online journalism, and supports the Hearst Digital Media Professional-in-Residence who participates in classes and programs, critiques student work, and delivers two lectures during the school year. The series and residency are sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Recent Hearst Digital Medial Professionals-in-Residence include Ken Lerer, Steven Berlin Johnson, Krishna Bharat, Rebecca MacKinnon, Amanda Cox, Mario Garcia, Kevin Delaney, Meredith Artley and Melissa Bell. 

Delacorte Lectures on Magazine Journalism examine aspects of magazine journalism by a leader in the field of magazine publishing. The series is headed by Keith Gessen, the George T. Delacorte Professor in Magazine Journalism and director of the Delacorte Center. Recent guests have included Calvin Trillin, Martha Stewart, Jake Silverstein, David Remnick and Robbie Myers.

The Poliak Center for the Study of First Amendment Issues was established in 1983 by Saul Poliak J'26 and Janice Poliak. Programs organized by the Poliak Center include The First Amendment Breakfast Series and an annual Poliak Lecture. The Poliak Center also provides sponsorship for two named professorships: The William J. Brennan Jr. Visiting Professor of First Amendment Issues, a chair named after the late Supreme Court justice, is now held by George Freeman. The James Madison Visiting Professor on First Amendment Issues is now held by Vanessa Gezari.

The Lorana Sullivan Lecture Series, founded in 2014, is held in honor of the award-winning, pioneer of investigative journalism, Lorana Sullivan J’64.  The series is designed to enhance the role of women in business and financial reporting and generally to improve the quality of investigative journalism. Recent speakers include Dean Steve Coll, Bethany McLean and Diana Henriques.

The Henry Pringle Lecture is named for a long-time faculty member of this school, a Pulitzer Prize winner in biography and a reporter for The Washington Post.  The Pringle Lectures were endowed by the school’s alumni in Washington, D.C. following Pringle’s death in 1958. The annual guest lecturer is asked to speak to graduates on Journalism Day, the day before graduation, on any aspect of Washington politics, public affairs or the media. Recent speakers include Jorge Ramos,  Jane Mayer, Carol Rosenberg, Jim VandeHei and David Brooks.

Important Student Dates


Fall 2016 Semester

Tuesday, July 5 – Fall course ballot opens for M.S. students
Tuesday, July 12 – Fall course ballot closes for M.S. students
Wednesday, Aug. 3 – International Orientation for M.S./SEAS students
Thursday, Aug. 4 – Friday, Aug. 5 - M.S./SEAS Orientation


Monday, Aug. 8 – M.S. classes begin
Monday, Aug. 15 – Add/Drop opens
Tuesday, Aug. 16 – Friday, Aug. 19 – Knight Bagehot Orientation
Monday, Aug. 22 – Knight Bagehot classes begin
Monday, Aug. 22 – Cross registration opens for NON–Journalism students
Wednesday, Aug. 31 – China Fellow/M.A./Ph.D. International Orientation
Thursday, Sept. 1 – China Fellow/M.A./Ph.D./Spencer Orientation
Friday, Sept. 2 – Fall prep day (a talk about journalism trends)
Monday, Sept. 5 – Labor Day – University holiday
Tuesday, Sept. 6 – M.A., Spencer, Ph.D., Lede and M.S. classes begin
Friday, Sept. 16 – Add/Drop ends 
Friday, Sept. 16 – Cross registration ends, M.A. cross registrations due
Friday, Sept. 18 – M.A. thesis overview
Wednesday, Oct. 19 – October degrees conferred
Monday, Nov. 7 – University holiday – NOT A HOLIDAY AT THE J-SCHOOL, CLASSES IN SESSION
Wednesday, Nov. 23 – Friday, Nov. 25 – Thanksgiving break
Saturday, Dec. 17 – Semester ends (M.A., M.S., PhD., KB, Spencer, JNCOMS)
Sunday, Dec. 18 – Sunday, Jan. 1 – Winter break
Friday, Dec. 23 – Semester ends – Lede students
Spring 2017 Semester
Monday, Jan. 2 – Monday, Jan. 16 – M.S. Master's Project reporting time (in NYC)
Monday, Jan. 2 – Add/Drop opens
Monday, Jan. 9 – Cross registration for NON-Journalism students opens
Monday, Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. birthday observed – University holiday
Tuesday, Jan. 17 – Spring semester begins (M.A., Ph.D., KB, Spencers and JNCOMS); 
Master's Project: First draft due
Wednesday, Jan. 18 – Spring prep day
Thursday, Jan. 19 – M.S. classes begin
Monday, Jan. 23  – M.A. Master's Thesis: First draft due
Friday, Jan. 27 – Add/Drop ends, cross registration ends
Wednesday, Feb. 8 – February degrees conferred
Monday, Feb. 20 – Master's Project: Second draft due
Wednesday, March 2 – M.A. Master's Thesis: Second draft due
Friday, March 10 – Master's Project: Final project due
Monday, March 13 – Friday, March 17 – Spring break
Friday, March 20 – Stabile Master's Project: Final project due
Monday, April 3 – Summer ballot 2017 goes live
Monday, April 10 – Summer ballot closed
Wednesday, April 12 – M. A. Master's Thesis: Final thesis due
Week of April 24 – Part-time M.S. students: First meetings with Master's Project advisors 
Friday, April 28 – Last day for M.S. students to submit stipend receipts for reimbursement
Week of May 8 – Part-time M.S. students: Second meetings with Master's Project advisors 
Saturday, May 13 – Last day of Spring classes
Tuesday, May 16 – Journalism Day
Wednesday, May 17 – Commencement

Graduation Rates

See recent graduation rates below.

FT Master of Science
Academic Year Enrolled Graduated Graduation Rate (%)
2011-2012 261 255 97
2012-2013 251 248 99
2013-2014 242 241 99
2014-2015 236 230 97
2015-2016 240 238 98
PT Master of Science
Academic Year Enrolled Graduated Graduation Rate (%)
2011-2012 34 33 97
2012-2013 38 35 92
2013-2014 32 31 97
2014-2015 32 30 94
2015-2016 30 28 93
Master of Arts
Academic Year Enrolled Graduated Graduation Rate (%)
2011-2012 50 50 100
2012-2013 58 56 97
2013-2014 48 47 98
2014-2015 44 44 100
2015-2016 53 52 98
Dual Degree Computer Science
Academic Year Enrolled Graduated Graduation Rate (%)
2011-2012 4 4 100
2012-2013 7 7 100
2013-2014 9 9 100
2014-2015 6 6 100
2010-2011 7 7 100


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