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 Wednesday, March 10 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, Annapolis or College Park.
  • 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, Annapolis or College Park.
  • JOUR327/627: Urban Affairs Reporting (3 credits). Students are immersed in coverage of issues affecting cities, working on a semester-long multiplatform reporting project that is based in Baltimore.
  • JOUR328F/628N: National Security Reporting (3 credits). Students will conduct in-depth, investigative reporting on a national security-related issue that will teach them to deepen their source-cultivation and rapport-building and their understanding of national security issues. As part of the course, they will also look at how Washington works and the importance of public affairs reporting in the democratic policy-making process.
  • JOUR328J/328K/628J: Title IX and Gender Equity in Sports (6 credits for undergraduate students/3 credits for master's students). In this course, students explore the history and implementation of Title IX and work on a reporting project related to opportunities for girls and women in sports.
  • JOUR328R/628R: Business & Economics 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.
  • JOUR328X/628X: Advanced Feature Writing (3 credits). Students will explore the journalistic components that make up compelling, richly reported, nonfiction feature stories for newspapers and magazines.
  • 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 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.
  • JOUR368V/668V: ViewFinder: Advanced Video Storytelling (3 credits). Students will learn advanced storytelling, shooting and editing techniques for multiplatform video, using character-driven, natural sound packages to produce in-depth projects on a common theme.
  • JOUR389O/389P/689O: Today's News Today - Daily Reporting Under Pressure (6 credits for undergraduate students/3 credits for master's students). Students will study the top news stories each day, analyzing the differences in coverage by the three major networks, all covering the same events and all aiming at the standards of journalism.

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

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