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Master's Cohort 2019

Master's Degree

If you're a recent graduate, a professional journalist looking to up your game or a data/information studies major wondering how to apply your degree, then this is the program for you.

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism offers three Master’s Degree Programs and several specialized tracks of study.

The Master of Arts in Journalism is a research-oriented, thesis program of 30 credits. The program is intended for experienced journalists, academics and others who are looking for a more scholarly master’s program. Students in the M.A. program must successfully complete a thesis under the supervision of a graduate advisor. Students must complete a theory class, a methods class, and 6 credits of master’s thesis research.

The Master of Journalism degree is a nonthesis program that requires up to 36 credits. This program is intended for students, whether experienced or not, who want to work as professional journalists after graduation. M.J. students’ degree program culminates in a review of their journalism portfolio by a panel of faculty and professionals. There is no thesis requirement for M.J. students. Broadcast or multiplatform students may further specialize in investigative, computational/data or sports focuses and may also steer their degree into other types of journalism through course selection. In their last semester, M.J. students enroll in a six-credit capstone course in one of the Capital News Service (CNS) bureaus on campus, in Annapolis or Washington, D.C.

The Master of Professional Studies in Data Journalism degree is a nonthesis program that requires up to 36 credits. It is offered jointly by Merrill College and the UMD College of Information Studies. Courses will be offered both online and in person, with it being possible to complete the degree from anywhere. Students can complete the degree entirely virtually, in person or via a combination of the two. This program is intended for students who want to work as data journalists in newsrooms, and for those who want to use investigative data skills to work at NGOs, nonprofits or private industry. M.P.S. students will apply what they learn in a required six-credit capstone course either through Merrill College or the iSchool.

Master's Program Mission

Our master’s education concentrates on professional development, providing postgraduate education to those seeking to enter the field and intensive professional training for mid-career journalists with a particular focus on investigative, sports, security and computational journalism.

M.J. Specializations

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism provides master’s students an opportunity to learn about sports coverage in the modern era while gaining hands-on experience. The college offers a number of sports-related courses, such as sports reporting, sports media and society, and protest in sports. In addition, The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism offers a wide range of learning opportunities with panel discussions, student workshops and even a summer camp. There are additional opportunities to cover sports with Capital News Service, The Diamondback student news outlet, the student-run WMUC radio and the Maryland Athletic Department’s TerpsTV. Big Ten Network also provides opportunities for our students to learn by doing.

Students can receive elite investigative training from an experienced faculty of award-winning journalists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporters Dana Priest and Deborah Nelson, and Mark Feldstein, a former Peabody-winning investigative correspondent at CNN. Students can take courses in investigative journalism, data reporting, national security, cybersecurity, urban affairs and history. The master's program offers opportunities to travel abroad for research and reporting. Even more opportunities are available through the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism.

Learn to develop data-driven reporting, analysis and visualization skills in the context of journalistic work. Students will advance their knowledge of web development, as well as interactive design and coding in languages such as Javascript and Python. Courses in computer-assisted journalism, storytelling with data visualization and computational journalism help students develop portfolios of interactive, data-driven projects.

Curriculum

To see the current offerings, visit the Graduate Course Catalog.

Students may choose to specialize in Multiplatform Journalism or Broadcast Journalism. Students who choose Multiplatform Journalism may further specialize by completing a suggested sequence of courses.

Multiplatform

Summer | 1 credit

Basics of Writing and Editing (JOUR502) 1 credit

  • This course is delivered online over three weeks
  • Students with significant journalism experience may test out of this course

Fall | 12 credits

Public Affairs Reporting (JOUR620) 3 credits
Data Journalism (JOUR772) 3 credits
Journalism Elective 3 credits

  • Options include but are not restricted to:
    • Interactive Design and Development (JOUR 652)
    • Social Media Content Creation, Audience Engagement and Analytics (JOUR657)
    • Photojournalism (JOUR 670)
    • News Videography (JOUR 603)

Journalism Law and Ethics (JOUR702) 3 credits

Spring | 9 credits

Intermediate Reporting 3 credits

  • Options include but are not restricted to:
    • Urban Affairs Reporting (JOUR627)
    • Advanced Audio and Podcast Reporting (JOUR664)
    • Advanced Public Affairs Reporting: Investigative Journalism (JOUR 635)

Journalism Elective 3 credits

  • Options include but are not restricted to:
    • Understanding Audiences and Analytics (JOUR475)
    • Sports Writing and Reporting  (JOUR682)
    • Audio and Podcasting Reporting (JOUR 634)

Visual Journalism Elective 3 credits

  • Options include but are not restricted to:
    • Photojournalism (JOUR 670)
    • News Videography (JOUR 603)
    • Interactive Design and Development (JOUR652)
    • Designing Stories with Motion Graphics (JOUR 637) 

Fall | 9 credits

Capstone 6 credits

  • Capital News Service (4 days/week)
    • Advanced Capital News Service Bureau (JOUR625) Annapolis
    • Advanced Capital News Service Bureau (JOUR625) Washington
    • Advanced Online News Bureau (JOUR655) Data/Design
    • Advanced Online News Bureau (JOUR655) Audience/Social

Critical thinking 3 credits

  • Options include but are not restricted to:
    • Theories of Journalism and Public Communication (JOUR 601)
    • History of Investigative Journalism (JOUR 757)
    • Sports, Protest and the Media (JOUR 447)

Broadcast

Summer | 1 credit

Basics of Writing and Editing (JOUR502) 1 credit

  • This course is delivered online over three weeks
  • Students with significant journalism experience may test out of this course

Fall | 12 credits

Journalism Law and Ethics (JOUR702) 3 credits

Public Affairs Reporting (JOUR620) 3 credits 

Broadcast News Writing (JOUR660) 3 credits

News Videography (JOUR603) 3 credits

Spring | 9 credits

Television Reporting and Production (JOUR661) 3 credits

Intermediate Broadcast Elective Menu, 3 credits

  • Options include but are not restricted to:
    • Audio & Podcast Reporting (JOUR634)
    • Broadcast News Producing (JOUR 662)
    • Studio Production (JOUR636)
    • Designing Stories with Motion Graphics (JOUR637)

Journalism Elective Menu, 3 credits

  • Options include but are not restricted to:
    • Interactive Design and Development (JOUR652)
    • Data Journalism (JOUR772)
    • Social Media Content Creation, Audience Engagement and Analytics (JOUR657)
    • Sports Writing and Reporting (JOUR682)
    • Advanced Public Affairs Reporting: Investigative Journalism (JOUR 635)

Fall | 9 credits

Capstone 6 credits

  • Capital News Service
    • Broadcast News Bureau (JOUR667)

Critical thinking 3 credits

  • Options include, but are not restricted to:
    • Theories of Journalism and Public Communication (JOUR 601)
    • History of Investigative Journalism (JOUR 757)
    • Sports, Protest and the Media (JOUR 447)

Students may also be invited to spend a fourth semester embedded in the college’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. The Howard Center semester is an additional six credits.

Total Credits: 30-37

To fulfill degree requirements, Master of Journalism students on the Multiplatform track may mix-and-match elective courses or select a series of courses under the headings below to complete the program deeply prepared for a specific journalism job. The courses described satisfy the degree’s “Journalism Elective” requirements and, in some cases, the “Intermediate Reporting,” “Visual Journalism Elective” and “Capstone” requirements.

NOTE: Not every course is available every semester. The number of courses a student may take is limited by time and course load. Courses must be approved by the Director of the Master’s Program.

Audience Engagement & Analytics

Social Media Content Creation, Audience Engagement and Analytics (JOUR657) 3 credits
Understanding Audiences and Analytics (JOUR475) 3 credits
Advanced Online News Bureau (JOUR655) 6 credits

Audio Storytelling

Audio and Podcast Reporting (JOUR634) 3 credits
Advanced Audio and Podcast Reporting (JOUR664) 3 credits

Business and Money

Follow the Money: Reporting on Business (JOUR471) 3 credits
Specialized Topics in News Writing and Reporting; Business and Economics (JOUR628R) 3 credits
Media Entrepreneurship (JOUR455) 3 credits
Special Topics in Journalism; Managing Nonprofit Newsrooms (JOUR458N) 3 credits

Investigative Data Journalism (see Investigative Journalism)

Data Journalism (JOUR772) 3 credits 
Advanced Data Journalism (TBD, Topical and Investigations-focused) 3 credits
Investigative Methods (JOUR679D, or optional data elective like computational journalism, news apps) 3 credits 
Visual Data Journalism Elective 3 credits
Howard Center Data Investigations Capstone 6 credits

Data Analysis & Web Development

Interactive Design and Development (JOUR652) 3 credits
Data Journalism (JOUR772) 3 credits
News Applications Development (JOUR628O) 3 credits
Advanced Online News Bureau (JOUR655) 6 credits

Digital Design and Visualization

Interactive Design and Development (JOUR652) 3 credits
Data Journalism (JOUR772) 3 credits
Specialized Topics in News Writing and Reporting; Data Visualization (JOUR628T) 3 credits
Designing Stories with Motion Graphics (JOUR637) 3 credits
Advanced Online News Bureau (JOUR655) 6 credits

Investigative Journalism (see Investigative Data Journalism)

History of Investigative Journalism (JOUR757) 3 credits
Advanced Public Affairs Reporting: Investigative Journalism (JOUR635) 3 credits

Photojournalism/Visual Journalism

Photojournalism (JOUR670) 3 credits
Topics in Broadcasting and Electronic Media; Advanced Photojournalism (JOUR668N) 3 credits
News Videography (JOUR603) 3 credits
Topics in Broadcasting and Electronic Media; Documentary Filmmaking (JOUR668X) 3 credits
Topics in Broadcasting and Electronic Media; Video Innovation (JOUR668K) 3 credits
Designing Stories with Motion Graphics (JOUR637) 3 credits

Sports and Society

Sports Reporting and Writing (JOUR682) 3 credits
Specialized Topics in News Writing and Reporting (JOUR628J or JOUR628M) 3 credits
Special Topics in Journalism; Sports, Protest, and the Media (JOUR 447) 3 credits

More information in Master's Program Handbook (Updated 2022).

For More Information

Portrait of Rafael Lorente

Rafael Lorente

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Director of the Master's Program; Senior Lecturer
Portrait of Serap Rada

Serap Rada

Assistant Director, Graduate Studies
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