Columbia Journalism School

Cross Registration Spring 2015

Registration Information for Non-Journalism Students

Graduate students from other Columbia Divisions/Schools looking to register for Spring 2015 classes at the Journalism School must follow the steps outlined below . All classes listed below are 3 point courses and detailed information including course description have been listed. 

Cross-registration will be open on Monday, January 12, at 10am and it will close Friday, January 30, at 10am.

To cross register, students must submit this form:




3 points

Day/Time: W 1:00pm-4:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 1/28/2015 - 5/13/2015

Instructor: Paula Span

There’s a reason one of the most successful magazines launched in the past 40 years is called People. You’ll learn and practice the specialized interviewing, reporting and writing skills used to portray individuals. We’ll read and discuss some of the best classic and contemporary profiles, of subjects from Ty Cobb to a sex-toys saleswoman. We’ll talk a lot about structure. I’ll take a machete (at first) or a scalpel (later on) to every sentence you write. Some gifted current practitioners will tell us how they do it. I’ll schedule two to three individual conferences with each student to review your stories. We’ll discover how to leverage readers’ intrinsic interest in other people to inform them about things they think they don’t want to know..


3 points

Day/Time: M 2:30pm-5:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 1/26/2015 - 5/11/2015

Instructor: Howard French

This course aims to deepen students' understanding of China and sharpen the ways we think and write about the country as journalists. The class involves intensive and eclectic reading about China, including works of reportage, political science, history and literature. It also requires that students read current coverage of China from a variety of important Western and (in translation) Chinese media. A portion of each class will be set aside for a running comparative examination of this coverage. Written assignments will include both critical assessments of current coverage and student-reported analysis of current events.


3 points

Day/Time: T 1:00pm-4:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 1/27/2015 - 5/12/2015

Instructor: LynNell Hancock

The course introduces students to the rich landscape of education reporting, a beat that encompasses everything from politics, business, culture and juvenile justice, to teen violence and the art and science of learning. Students have the opportunity to embed themselves for the semester in a New York City public high school, elementary school or charter school, cultivating sources, ideas, and knowledge. Seminar time will be devoted to a combination of history, ethics, ideas, and serious debate with leaders in the field. An emphasis will be on reporting, writing, and producing news, a narrative feature, and a long form project outside your embed schools. The aim is to publish on our site, as well as with our partner news organizations:, Hechinger Report, and/or New York Times/  Check out past students’ work:  More info here!


3 points

Day/Time: T 10:00am-2:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 1/27/2015 - 5/12/2015

Instructor: Marguerite Holloway

The environmental beat is wide-ranging, requiring that reporters understand many different realms, including basic science, public health, law, business, and politics. Through extensive readings, visits with working journalists and scientists studying issues such as climate change and toxicology, and various kinds of assignments, students taking this class will learn to how to report on, think about, and compellingly write about this complex and important beat.



3 points

Day/Time: W 1:00pm-4:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 1/28/2015 - 5/13/2015

Instructor: Judith Matloff

Covering conflict poses unique challenges to reporters and is one of the trickiest from an ethical point of view. Your reporting could get someone killed – including yourself. This course will cover all areas of coverage from moral minefields to logistics. The aim is to prepare you to work responsibly when faced with a barrage of propaganda and bullets. We will have tutorials on roadblock savvy, satellite technology and interviewing traumatized victims.  These skills are also applicable at home, for crises such as 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. Each student will “adopt” a conflict and track it throughout the semester. Although there will be a practical component to the course, we will focus on how to deepen reportage with context and robust questioning. One assignment will prepare you to parachute into a strange country. Others will examine the implications of events and whether solutions can be found to intractable hostilities. In addition, students will hone pitches for story ideas. Guest speakers will include prominent war correspondents and editors



3 points

Day/Time: M 6:00pm-9:00pm Location: To be announced

Dates: 1/26/2015 - 5/11/2015

Instructor: Charles Ornstein

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the most significant health care overhaul in a generation, has been plagued by one problem after another. That’s what makes taking this course in the spring semester such a great opportunity. You will learn how to navigate one of journalism's most complicated beats, all with an investigative reporter's eye. And you will do real-time reporting on the rollout of the act. Individual classes will focus on hospitals, health professionals, our aging society, controversies in medicine, insurance companies, health reform and the pharmaceutical industry. The course will explore many issues beyond health care, including politics, consumer affairs, finances, the law, ethics and demographics. Along the way, students will become skilled in using public records, understanding bureaucratic agencies and querying databases that can be put to use on practically any beat. Class assignments will require use of investigative skills, interviewing techniques and interaction with bureaucracies.

For the most part, spots in J-School classes are assigned to non-Journalism graduate students on a space available basis (with top priority given to IMC SIPA students).

To request cross registration in a Journalism School course, please complete the form.

The form will be active as of Monday, January 12, at 10am.

Please note that this is only a REQUEST and we cannot guarantee your request will be accommodated.

Cross registration request forms are processed on a first come, first served basis.

If your form is submitted correctly you will receive a request confirmation e-mail within 24 hours. Please remember to include the after your UNI.

You will NOT receive an e-mail from my office saying that your request was granted or not granted.

To learn if your request was granted, you must keep checking your class schedule on the web using All requests remain on file during the cross registration period (January 12 - January 30 at 10:00 a.m.).

You do not need to submit multiple forms for the same cross registration request. If I am able to grant requests I do it as soon as possible but sometimes it takes days for a space to open in a class. Sometimes the space never opens up.

Please remember that you are submitting a cross registration REQUEST. There is no guarantee that I will be able to approve your request. Until you see a change reflected on your class schedule on STUDENT SERVICES ONLINE (, your request has not been approved.

If you have more than one course for which you want to be considered, please submit a separate form for each class.

Also, please be certain that you are not requesting a class that conflicts with any of your other classes.

Direct any questions to Melanie Huff at


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