Skip to main content
CNS

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. 15 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). Washington and Annapolis prerequisite: JOUR320/JOUR620. Audience Engagement and Social Media prerequisite: JOUR368D/JOUR657. Broadcast prerequisite: JOUR361/JOUR661. Data and Graphics prerequisite: JOUR352/JOUR652.
  • JOUR328F/628N: International Reporting on Imprisoned Journalists (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. Prerequisite: JOUR320/JOUR620.
  • JOUR328G/628G: Sports Enterprise Reporting (3 credits). Students will work as a team on a sports enterprise project. Previous topics have included gender equity in sports, youth sports & the media, betting and college sports, the economic impact of a new stadium on a city, and the future of football. Prerequisite: JOUR320/JOUR620.
  • JOUR328K/628K: 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. Prerequisite: JOUR320/JOUR620.
  • 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). Washington and Annapolis prerequisite: JOUR320/JOUR620. Audience Engagement and Social Media prerequisite: JOUR368D/JOUR657. Broadcast prerequisite: JOUR361/JOUR661. Data and Graphics and Data Investigations prerequisite: JOUR352/JOUR652. Investigative prerequisite: JOUR320/620.
  • JOUR362/662: Broadcast News Producing (3 credits). Students work as producers overseeing the Capital News Service’s newscast, “Maryland Newsline.” Prerequisite: JOUR262/JOUR603.
  • 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. Prerequisite: JOUR334/JOUR634.
  • JOUR368O/668O: Advanced Studio Production (3 credits). This course will take you through every production aspect related to studio production and work as production support for live sports or video game news shows. Prerequisite: JOUR368L/JOUR636.
  • JOUR389L/689L: Local News Investigation (3 credits). This class will research and report on the local (Maryland and D.C.) real-life consequences of the nationwide 2020 police reform movement that followed the death at police hands of Black men and women. Prerequisite: JOUR320/JOUR620.

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

Below is a list of the courses that have been offered since Fall 2021 that qualify for the JOUR major’s capstone requirement. While some classes may appear every semester or in multiple terms, past appearances are not a guarantee of future offerings. Each semester, new capstone courses and topics are created and offered. Applications for fall capstone courses are due in March, while those for spring capstone courses are due in October of the preceding year.

Fall 2021
CNS Annapolis (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS DC (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS Broadcast (JOUR357 or JOUR367)
CNS Data (JOUR355)
CNS Audience Engagement (JOUR355)
Urban Affairs Reporting (JOUR327)
Gender Equity in Sports (JOUR328J and JOUR328K)
Advanced Feature Writing (JOUR328X)
Broadcast News Producing (JOUR362)
Advanced Podcast Reporting (JOUR364)
Today’s News Today (JOUR389O and JOUR389P)

Spring 2022
CNS Annapolis (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS DC (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS Broadcast (JOUR357 or JOUR367)
CNS Data (JOUR355)
CNS Audience Engagement (JOUR355)
CNS Data Investigations (JOUR355)
CNS Investigative Reporting (JOUR353)
Studio Production (JOUR368F)
Journalists Imprisoned Overseas (JOUR328F)
Youth Sports & Media (JOUR328G and JOUR328P)
Business Reporting (JOUR328R)
Broadcast News Producing (JOUR362)
Advanced Podcast Reporting (JOUR364)
NewsBIN (JOUR368K)
Reporting on Election ‘22 (JOUR389O and JOUR389P)

Fall 2022
CNS Annapolis (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS DC (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS Broadcast (JOUR357 or JOUR367)
CNS Data (JOUR355)
CNS Audience Engagement (JOUR355)
Urban Affairs Reporting (JOUR327)
Betting & College Sports (JOUR328M and JOUR328N)
Broadcast News Producing (JOUR362)
Advanced Podcast Reporting (JOUR364)

Spring 2023
CNS Annapolis (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS DC (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS Broadcast (JOUR357 or JOUR367)
CNS Data (JOUR355)
CNS Audience Engagement (JOUR355)
CNS Investigative Reporting (JOUR353)
CNS Data Investigations (JOUR355)
International Corruption & Domestic Extremism (JOUR328U)
Enterprise Sports Reporting (JOUR328G)
Sports Business Reporting (JOUR328R)
Broadcast News Producing (JOUR362)
Advanced Podcast Reporting (JOUR364)
Video & Documentary Lab (JOUR368K)

Fall 2023
CNS Annapolis (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS DC (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS Broadcast (JOUR357 or JOUR367)
CNS Data (JOUR355)
CNS Audience Engagement (JOUR355)
International Reporting on Imprisoned Journalists (JOUR328F)
Broadcast News Producing (JOUR362)
Advanced Podcast Reporting (JOUR364)
Advanced Studio Production (JOUR368O)
The Future of Football (JOUR389M)

Spring 2024
CNS Annapolis (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS DC (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS Broadcast (JOUR357 or JOUR367)
CNS Data (JOUR355)
CNS Audience Engagement (JOUR355)
CNS Investigative Reporting (JOUR353)
CNS Data Investigations (JOUR355)
Urban Affairs Reporting (JOUR327)
Enterprise Sports Reporting (JOUR328G)
Business and Economic Reporting (JOUR328K)
Broadcast News Producing (JOUR362)
Advanced Podcast Reporting (JOUR364)
Video & Documentary Lab (JOUR368K)
Advanced Studio Production (JOUR368O)
Local News Investigation (JOUR389L)

Fall 2024
CNS Annapolis (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS DC (JOUR353 or JOUR325)
CNS Broadcast (JOUR357 or JOUR367)
CNS Data (JOUR355)
CNS Audience Engagement (JOUR355)
Journalists Imprisoned Overseas (JOUR328F)
Enterprise Sports Reporting (JOUR328G)
Broadcast News Producing (JOUR362)
Advanced Podcast Reporting (JOUR364)
Advanced Studio Production (JOUR368O)
Local News Investigation (JOUR389L)

Back to Top