Degree requirements

Our intensive, 18-month program develops the journalist of the future to practice quality journalism, use diverse tools and adapt and apply this knowledge in new ways and environments.

The degree requires completing 33 credits of graduate credit. Students may select the thesis or the non-thesis option. With the thesis option, students enroll in a 6-credit thesis course; with the non-thesis option, students enroll in a 3-credit professional project or research paper course and also sign up for a 3-hour summer internship course. The program features seven specific graduate courses and an additional four electives. Most of our required courses are scheduled late in the day (4-7 p.m.) to make the program manageable for students with full-time employment.

Our cohort-based program is built on a collaborative model that includes theoretical structure as well as practical training. The four electives are organized within three different tracks of study:

  • Strategic communications
  • News innovation
  • Media studies

Program timeline

  • First semester

    Graduate students register for three required courses. In the program’s foundational course, students analyze the democratic implications of journalism and its networked future. Students take an intensive reporting and writing class and an intensive multimedia narrative course:

    • JOUR 720: The Future of Media, taught by Patrick File
    • JOUR 707: Storytelling I: Writing, taught Alan Deutschman
    • JOUR 756: Storytelling II: Multimedia, taught by Kari Barber
  • Second semester

    This hands-on semester introduces the concepts and tools of participatory journalism (engagement) with a focus on social media and interactive multimedia. Students study innovation and, as a cohort, build a new product. Students take one or two electives in their area of specialization:

    • JOUR 703: Innovation
    • JOUR 755: Engagement
    • Electives (One to two courses)
  • Summer practicum (150 hours, for non-thesis option)
    • JOUR 695: Students apply the concepts and tools they have learned in the classroom while performing a professional internship. Learn more about the graduate practicum.
  • Third semester

    Students complete their final semester in an area of specialization. For the final project, each student develops an innovative prototype that requires integration and application of the tools and theories of advanced interactive journalism and media innovation. Alternatively, with the thesis option, students complete their work on a research project resulting in their master’s thesis.

    • JOUR 796: Professional Project OR Journalism 797: Thesis
    • Electives

Suggested courses

  • Suggested electives for strategic communications track (choose four)
    • JOUR 432/632 – Creative Solutions for Strategic Communications
    • JOUR 442/642 – Advanced Strategic Communications
    • JOUR 443/643 – Campaigns Studio
    • JOUR 652 – Web Design for Media Professionals
    • JOUR 680 – Communicating Innovation
    • JOUR 6XX – Health Communication (proposed course)
    • BADM 726 – Personal Branding
    • COM 604 – Principles of Persuasion
    • COM 700 – Research Methods
  • Suggested electives for media studies track (choose four)
    • JOUR 681 – Race, Gender and Media
    • JOUR 601 – First Amendment & Society
    • JOUR 646 – Crisis Communication
    • JOUR 652 – Web Design for Media Professionals
    • COM 612 – Intercultural Communication
    • COM 664 – Communication and Leadership
    • COM 700 – Research Methods
    • COM 740 – Public Communication
  • Suggested electives for news innovation track (choose four)
    • JOUR 601 – First Amendment & Society
    • JOUR 613 – History Of Journalism
    • JOUR 618 – Magazine Writing
    • JOUR 621 – Video/Audio Field Reporting
    • JOUR 625 – Audio: Radio, Podcasting, and Beyond
    • JOUR 652 – Web Design for Media Professionals
    • JOUR 660 – News Studio
    • JOUR 723 – Media Entrepreneurship
    • COM 700 – Research Methods

Contact our grad program director

Kari Barber

Kari Barber

Phone: (775) 784-1791