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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 Sunday, Oct. 16 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, and data and graphics).
  • JOUR328U/628U: International Corruption and Domestic Extremism (3 credits). This course will introduce students to the methodologies for researching financial corruption and domestic extremism through reporting, social media analysis and databases.
  • JOUR328G/628G Enterprise Sports Reporting (3 credits). In this course, students explore and report on plans for a $70 million ballpark planned in Hagerstown, Maryland to learn what a baseball team means to a community and how the project is viewed by fans, business owners, elected officials and others. This class will work with the Sports Business Reporting students.
  • JOUR328R/628R: Sports Business Reporting (3 credits).  In this course, students explore and report on plans for a $70 million ballpark planned in Hagerstown, Maryland (population: 40,000) to learn what a baseball team means to a community and how the project is viewed by fans, business owners, elected officials and others. This class will work with the Enterprise Sports Reporting students.
  • 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, investigative, broadcast, data and graphics, and data investigations).
  • 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.
  • JOUR368K/668K: Video and Documentary Lab (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.

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

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