Columbia Journalism School

Master of Science Degree

Master of Science Degree


Study the skills and principles of journalism in a digital world using words, images, sound, and data—with New York City as a laboratory.

As a student in our Master of Science program, you’ll learn how to think critically and be both ethical and street smart. Experienced journalists are your instructors, offering one-on-one critiques and intensive feedback to help you improve.

These methods have been the cornerstone of the J School’s curriculum for a century—but the way we teach them continues to evolve.  Today’s news organizations seek journalists who understand the core values and principles of newsgathering, and apply them to deliver dynamic stories that span words, images, sound, and data.

Our Curriculum

Kick off your journalism education with an 11-week course called Reporting. Spend four weeks devoted to digital training and the remaining seven weeks learning reporting methods: how to gather and evaluate information, how to interview people, and how to write a compelling story. You’ll even be assigned your own beat.

You’ll also complete four short courses in the essentials: the law, business, ethics, and the history of journalism.

Before graduating, all M.S. students take one course in each of three modules:

·      The Written Word, where you’ll learn deadline news, profile writing and feature writing;

·      Image and Sound, with classes in video, audio, photography, and data visualization;

·      Audience and Engagement, with courses like Social Media for Journalists and Digital News Design.

In the spring term, tailor your schedule to your particular interests. Concept courses include the in-house broadcasting of nightly news or magazine-format video programs, production of a magazine, documentary, news websites including The Bronx Ink and The Brooklyn Ink, the Columbia News Service and  

You’ll also take two 15-week seminar and production classes on topics ranging from National Affairs Reporting to Video Storytelling, from Literary Journalism to Data Visualization.

Those interested in investigative reporting or documentary filmmaking may apply to the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism or to The Documentary Project, both sub-specializations of the M.S. program.

Finally, all M.S. students complete a master’s project that will test your ability to conduct and sustain in-depth research, challenge you to gather and organize large amounts of material, and train you to present that material in a clear, accessible, and professional way.

Enrollment Options

Applicants can opt for either the full-time 10-month program or the part-time program, which takes two years to complete.

The part-time program is an option for those who cannot commit to full-time study. The rigorous curriculum and the professors are the same as in the full-time program, and full- and part-time students take many of their courses together. 

Part-time students begin the program in May with Reporting, which is completed during the summer months. Students are required to take at least six points each semester to finish the required courses in the M.S. within two years.

Select the academic degree that interests you: