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 30 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-credit 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 707: Storytelling I: Writing (3 credits)
    • JOUR 720: The Future of Media (3 credits)
    • JOUR 756: Storytelling II: Multimedia (3 credits)
  • 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 755: Media Engagement and Innovation (3 credits)
    • Electives (6 credits)
  • Summer practicum (150 hours, for non-thesis option)

    Students apply the concepts and tools they have learned in the classroom while performing a professional internship. Learn more about the graduate practicum.

    • JOUR 695: Practicum (3 credits)
  • 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 (3 credits) OR Journalism 797: Thesis (6 credits)
    • Electives (6 credits)

Suggested courses

  • Suggested electives for strategic communications track (choose four)
    • JOUR 632 – Creative Solutions for Strategic Communications
    • JOUR 640 – Advanced Media Production Studio
    • JOUR 642 – Advanced Strategic Communications
    • JOUR 643 – Strategic Communications Campaign Studio
    • JOUR 646 – Crisis Communication
    • JOUR 681 – Race, Gender and Media
    • JOUR 691 – Special Topics in Professional Practice
    • BADM 726 – Personal Branding
  • Suggested electives for media studies track (choose four)
    • JOUR 601 – First Amendment & Society
    • JOUR 604 – Cybersecurity, Privacy and Surveillance in Society
    • JOUR 613 – Media History
    • JOUR 681 – Race, Gender and Media
    • JOUR 691 – Special Topics in Professional Practice
    • COM 700 – Research Methods
    • COM 740 – Rhetorical Criticism
  • Suggested electives for news innovation track (choose four)
    • JOUR 601 – First Amendment & Society
    • JOUR 605 – Motion Graphics
    • JOUR 618 – Magazine Writing
    • JOUR 625 – Audio: Radio, Podcasting and Beyond
    • JOUR 652 – Web Design for Media Professionals
    • JOUR 660 – News Studio
    • JOUR 662 – Documentary Filmmaking
    • JOUR 665 – Noticiero Móvil
    • JOUR 681 – Race, Gender and Media
    • JOUR 682 – International and Cross-Cultural Reporting
    • JOUR 691 – Special Topics in Professional Practice

Contact our grad program director

Ben Birkinbine

Benjamin Birkinbine

Phone: (775) 784-4155
Email: bbirkinbine@unr.edu