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Capstones

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism offers a number of capstone experiences that give our undergraduate students focused, hands-on journalism experience. Completion of a capstone is a Merrill College graduation requirement.

To enroll in a capstone course, students must fill out the college’s common capstone application by Tuesday, October 19 at 11:59 p.m.

In each capstone course, students work with faculty and classmates to produce original journalism that may be distributed through the college’s Capital News Service.

Merrill College administrators and capstone faculty will review applicants and inform students of their placement prior to the start of registration.

The following courses satisfy the capstone requirement. Please note that our offerings vary from semester to semester*:

  • JOUR325/625, JOUR655 or JOUR367/667: Full-time Capital News Service Bureau (9 credits for undergraduate students/6 credits for master's students). Students work four days a week in a Capital News Service bureau in Washington (reporting/writing), Annapolis (reporting/writing) or College Park (audience engagement and social media, broadcast, data investigations, and data and graphics).
  • JOUR353 or JOUR355 or JOUR357: Part-time Capital News Service Bureau (6 credits). Students work two days a week in a Capital News Service bureau in Washington (reporting/writing), Annapolis (reporting/writing) or College Park (audience engagement and social media, broadcast, data investigations, data and graphics, and investigative reporting).
  • JOUR328F/628N: Reporting on Journalists Imprisoned Overseas (3 credits). In this course, students will dip into national security and diplomatic reporting by learning to research the context, laws and international pressure surrounding an individual journalist imprisoned in a particular country. Students will learn how to find sources and conduct interviews with diplomats, experts, reporters and family members living overseas while never leaving College Park
  • JOUR328G/328P/628G: Professionalization, Commercialization, Youth Sports & the Media (6 credits for undergraduate students/3 credits for master's students). This course will explore the monetization of youth sports, including high school sports, on media platforms from ESPN to regional streaming platforms to community access channels.
  • JOUR328R/628R: Business & Economic Reporting (3 credits). Students will explore why economic and business themes are among the top stories generating reader interest. Topics vary each semester but can focus on the economic impact of immigration, employment, income inequality, wage stagnation, trade wars and affordable housing. Students will learn to identify newsworthy stories and interpret and integrate numbers and financial data into stories in a compelling way.
  • JOUR362/662: Broadcast News Producing (3 credits). Students work as producers overseeing the Capital News Service’s newscast, “Maryland Newsline.”
  • JOUR364/664: Advanced Audio and Podcast Reporting (3 credits). Students will receive professional skills training in the reporting, writing, editing, voicing and production of radio news. Students will be required to do extensive out-of-class field reporting, along with writing and mixing broadcast-quality radio pieces.
  • JOUR368F/668F: Studio Production (3 credits). This course will take you through every production aspect related to studio production. This includes learning how to plan and execute a live studio production featuring camera crews, a floor director, producer, director, technical director, audio and teleprompter.
  • JOUR368K/668K: Video Innovation (3 credits). Students will explore the intersection between social media, video and a live broadcast by creating new and innovative ways to “broadcast” news to an audience. The class will encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and give students the opportunity to produce a show from scratch, with content aired on UMTV and online.
  • JOUR389O/389P/689O: Reporting the Election of '22 (6 credits for undergraduate students/3 credits for master's students). We will study the daily coverage of the ’22 election, analyzing the differences in reporting by three networks. This emphasizes reporting, critical thinking and journalistic judgements. 

*For more information on courses, visit the common capstone application.

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