MS in Science Journalism

Boston University’s Science and Medical Journalism program offers an intense curriculum leading to a Master of Science degree, in which students develop the skills necessary to succeed in the competitive and rapidly evolving science communication industry. Although our emphasis is on writing, reporting, research, and analysis—the heart of all insightful and precise communication—students learn a variety of forms, including multimedia, radio, and documentary for both film and television.

The degree, awarded by the College’s Department of Journalism, comprises 40 credit hours taken over two semesters and a summer professional internship. In addition to courses within the program, students may take electives elsewhere in the College of Communication or in other colleges throughout the University, particularly in the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Public Health, or, in some cases, the School of Medicine. The classes within the program are small—usually eight to ten students, with an emphasis on professional-level reporting and writing.

Graduates have landed positions at Wired, NPR’s Living on Earth, Science, Nature, Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Discover, Science News, the Wall Street Journal, and PBS’s NOVA; as well as educational institutions and laboratories such as MIT, Harvard Medical School, Stanford’s Linear Accelerator Laboratory, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Degree Requirements

The Science Journalism Program consists of a minimum of 40 credits.

Curriculum

First Semester

  • COM JO 705 Science Unbound
  • COM JO 723 Science Newswriting
  • COM JO 724 Science in the Crosshairs
  • COM JO 742 Computer Assisted Boot Camp (2 cr)
  • COM JO 741 Multimedia for Science Communication

Second Semester

  • COM JO 702 Science Narrative
  • COM JO 732 Conflict and Commentary in Science Reporting
  • COM JO 881 Science Documentary Television Production
  • COM JO 743 Web Magazine (2 cr)
  • Elective—suggested courses: Advanced Radio, Advanced Photojournalism, or a graduate-level course in history and philosophy of science or public health (4 cr)

Summer

  • COM JO 502 SA2 Science Journalism Internship