Writing | Columbia Journalism School


Every journalist must be able to write clearly and accurately.

Polish your prose, develop your voice and use words effectively to engage your audience through M.S. coursework across feature journalism, narrative journalism, book writing and more.

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Journalism is changing rapidly but the written word remains as important to journalists today as it was a century ago. All M.S. students at the Journalism School take a seven-week writing module in the fall semester; options include news writing, feature writing and classes in writing for the ear. In the spring, students who want to pursue writing careers can take more in­-depth classes such as literary journalism, digital longform or the book seminar. Students who plan to pursue multimedia or broadcast careers can opt for classes that will help them sharpen their script­-writing skills and use words effectively to complement images.

Explore degree programs.



Writing well is a foundational skill for any journalist. Fall and spring classes allow students to explore a range of styles and formats – from news stories written on deadline to longform narrative features.

Please note: The classes listed here represent recent offerings at the Journalism School. Choices vary each semester depending on faculty availability and other considerations. Classes described now may change or be dropped to make room for new additions.


800 Words

Book Writing

Business and Economic Reporting

Business and Financial News

China Seminar

City Newsroom

Covering Religion

Deadline Writing

Feature Journalism: Writing True Stories

Feature Writing

Feature Writing

Food Writing

How to Cover Armies and Spies

International Newsroom

International Newsroom: Human Rights Reporting

International Reporting

Journalism of Ideas

Literary Journalism

Magazine Writing

Managing the 21st-Century News Organization

Narrative News Features

Narrative Social Issues

Narrative Writing

Narrative Writing: The Rise and Fall Story

Off the News

Reporting and Writing Profiles

Sports Reporting

The Journalism of Death and Dying

The Memory Project

Writing Social Justice with Style

Student Work

three members of BTS in suits, one speaking into mic

As part of the Fall 2018 Reporting class, Chaewon Chung, '19 M.S., wrote about the K-pop industry and the Korean government’s efforts to monetize on its international popularity despite critics who accuse its stars of misogyny. The piece was published in Korea Exposé.

BTS: Generational Icons or Misogynists?


Jelani Cobb

Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism

Steve Coll

Professor of Journalism; Dean Emeritus

Marguerite Holloway

Professor of Professional Practice of Journalism; Director, Science and Environmental Journalism

Nicholas Lemann

Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism; Dean Emeritus

Alisa Solomon

Professor of Journalism; Director, Arts Concentration, M.A. Program

Jonathan Weiner

Maxwell M. Geffen Professor of Medical and Scientific Journalism; Co-Director, M.A. Science Journalism Program

Amy Singer

Adjunct Faculty; Deputy Director, Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism

LynNell Hancock

H. Gordon Garbedian Professor of Journalism Emeritus, Director, Spencer Fellowship Program