Our graduate journalism programs are designed to produce graduates trained to analyze and explain the complex events of our times as well as raise journalistic standards in all media forms.

Students are encouraged to cluster courses within one or more recommended focus areas. Throughout your career as a journalist, you will be called upon to tackle a number of issues and stories; as such, a cross-platform knowledge of the industry is essential. You will work with an adviser to design specializations in public policy, photojournalism, sports, magazine journalism, foreign reporting or other areas. Most importantly, you will become a content expert across all media.

With our large selection of courses available, journalism students have the opportunity to take a multitude of classes designed around focus areas. First-semester courses plunge you into the history, law, ethics and techniques of traditional journalism and introduce you to digital media. Those classes emphasize reporting, news judgment, writing and visual skills—all of which will prepare you to work across platforms in a professional newsroom. In later semesters, you will specialize in any of our defined concentrations, or you may work with a faculty adviser to tailor your own program from courses across the University. Under the direction of a senior faculty member, each student produces a professional-quality final Master’s Project that will showcase your skills and interests.

Core Requirements (24 credits)

  • Graduate Seminar in Journalism
  • Journalism Toolkit

4 credits

An examination of the many ethical issues and dilemmas that face reporters, photographers, editors, and producers and how to resolve them with professional integrity. Legal topics include First Amendment, libel, protection of sources, copyright and intellectual property. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

Required of journalism majors. This course introduces students to multi- platform journalism. Students will gain practical experience producing and editing news and features for delivery via digital platforms. This class critiques and analyzes news sites to examine how multiple elements such as text, photo's audio, video, social media and interactive graphics are currently used in multimedia reporting. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

Required of all journalism grad students. Students learn newswriting and reporting by covering a full range of news stories in a newsroom environment. This foundation course emphasizes stress on deadline pressure, writing, and reporting for all media. Includes weekly discussion of journalism principles as illustrated by current events and controversies. 4 cr., Fall sem.

Var credits

Student develops a portfolio of professional work while working in the field. The student works 120-200 hours per semester or summer at the internship. Comprehensive paper, employer evaluation, and portfolio required upon completion of internship. Credits: var.

Var credits

In their final semester, all candidates for the M.S. degree in Journalism undertake a capstone project of professional quality. In consultation with a faculty member, the student conceives the project, carries out all necessary reporting and editing, combines multimedia elements as warranted, and seeks to have the work published or broadcast. 4 cr., either sem.

Elective Credits (6 courses—24 credits)

Students are encouraged to cluster courses within one or more recommended focus areas. Throughout their careers journalists are called upon to tackle a number of issues and stories; as such, a cross-platform knowledge of the industry is essential.

Broadcast

4 credits

This course is designed to develop skills necessary for producing long-form documentaries. There is an emphasis on exploring new, more engaging forms of storytelling and a broad range of stylistic approaches. It covers the entire process: finding a topic, developing a story structure, conceiving a style, shooting, editing, and post-production. Students develop their own ideas and form small groups to produce them.

Var credits

Every year several courses have been created under this category to examine current journalism issues in seminar format. See the department for specifics.

4 credits

Students produce in-depth, character-drive, sound-rich narrative audio stories similar to what is heard on public radio programs such as This American Life, Radio Lab and Story Corps. They will use digital recorders and Protools audio software. Students also produce audio slide-shows and podcasts. Most stories air on WBTU, WBUR or other NPR outlets. Familiarity with public radio programming is essential. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

This introductory course is about reporting, writing and producing the news for television and the internet. Students learn the fundamentals of news- gathering, story generation, research, videography, writing, editing and presentation. Strong stories air on BUTV and are posted on the BU News Service website. 4 cr., Fall.

4 credits

Recommended for students in the TV journalism specialization. Students learn to set up, shoot and edit video news reports, using current HD cameras and editing software. This is a production class requiring students to produce several video news reports broadcast on television and posted to the Internet. 4 cr., fall.

4 credits

For students who like the teamwork and adrenaline of a real newsroom. Students produce a half-hour LIVE news show on the student radio station, WTBU, during each class. Students report, write, produce and engineer all the news sports and commentary on deadline. Students use social media to report stories. Content is uploaded to the Boston University News Service website. Students file stories frequently, and programs from NPR, BBC, WBZ and other audio news outlets will be critiqued. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

Required of journalism grad students in all specializations other than broadcast, photo, and science. Using the city as our subject, students cover working "beats" in Boston and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for proposing and covering stories dealing with courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting across all media. Stories may appear in the BU News Service or in professional news outlets. 4 cr., Spring sem.

4 credits

Students will produce in-depth, original video reports similar to those seen on network TV news magazine programs, news web sites or local television series. Course includes a review of job trends in the industry and instruction in how to produce a resume/reel website. 4 cr., Spring sem.

4 credits

Students produce a weekly half-hour newscast, broadcast on cable TV and the Internet, with live coverage and video reports on local, national and international news as well as sports highlights and weather. Students rotate positions weekly, using television studios and the control booth, collaborating to broadcast a fresh, informative and accurate newscast while facing the daily deadlines of a working newsroom. 4 cr., Spring sem.

Business and Economics

4 credits

Comprehensive training in writing business and economics stories, using articles in The Wall Street Journal and other publications as examples. Emphasis on developing clear, simple language to describe complex issues. Articles may be published in teh Worcester Telegram and Gazette. No previous economics or business experience is required. 4cr. either sem

Var credits

Every year several courses have been created under this category to examine current journalism issues in seminar format. See the department for specifics.

4 credits

Required of Journalism majors in the "Journalism" and "Magazine" specializations. A rigorous grounding in research and investigative methods from interviews and records searching to computer-assisted reporting and use of the Freedom of Information Act. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

This advanced seminar teaches select students the practice of depth reporting and writing. Students use a variety of reporting techniques from computer database searches to traditional "shoe leather" reporting -- in pursuit of long-term projects ideally destined for publication in one of several professional new outlets that have cooperative agreements with Boston University's Department of Journalism. Among them are The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. Story subjects range from public system failures to questionable criminal convictions, from narrative reconstructions to explanatory journalism. 4 cr, Spring sem.

  • Courses in School of Management (with adviser approval)

Digital Lab

  • Computational Journalism
  • 4 credits

    Required of journalism grad students in all specializations other than broadcast, photo, and science. Using the city as our subject, students cover working "beats" in Boston and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for proposing and covering stories dealing with courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting across all media. Stories may appear in the BU News Service or in professional news outlets. 4 cr., Spring sem.

4 credits

This course focuses on producing long-form, interactive multimedia projects. Working in teams, students learn to produce documentary-style multimedia packages that combine still photography, audio, video, interactives and text. The course will offer an overview of techniques and best practices currently employed by news organizations to produce advanced multimedia projects. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

For students who like the teamwork and adrenaline of a real newsroom. Students produce a half-hour LIVE news show on the student radio station, WTBU, during each class. Students report, write, produce and engineer all the news sports and commentary on deadline. Students use social media to report stories. Content is uploaded to the Boston University News Service website. Students file stories frequently, and programs from NPR, BBC, WBZ and other audio news outlets will be critiqued. 4 cr., either sem.

International Reporting

4 credits

Required of Journalism majors in the "Journalism" and "Magazine" specializations. A rigorous grounding in research and investigative methods from interviews and records searching to computer-assisted reporting and use of the Freedom of Information Act. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

This course covers the practical, critical, and theoretical issues involved in reporting the world for domestic audiences. How can journalists best report on different cultures? How can they demystify the other for their readers and viewers? How do you work with a fixer? Manage your own trauma? Stay safe? How does 19th Century colonialism still influence foreign coverage, and how do you escape this influence? What's to be learned from Conrad's Heart of Darkness about reporting on Africa? When is personalizing the news a bad idea and when is a good time to do it? Students read outstanding examples of foreign reporting, workshop their stories, and learn how to be successful given the current standards for foreign reporting. However, in light of such challenges as globalization, global warming, ethnonational conflict, and the rise of China, the class also debates how to develop better norms in the future. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

This advanced seminar teaches select students the practice of depth reporting and writing. Students use a variety of reporting techniques from computer database searches to traditional "shoe leather" reporting -- in pursuit of long-term projects ideally destined for publication in one of several professional new outlets that have cooperative agreements with Boston University's Department of Journalism. Among them are The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. Story subjects range from public system failures to questionable criminal convictions, from narrative reconstructions to explanatory journalism. 4 cr, Spring sem.

  • Crisis Reporting Fellowship and courses in International Relations are recommended.

Magazines

4 credits

How well have the media covered recent U.S. wars? Do the media have political biases? What effect has Fox News had on the mainstream media? In the face of growing competition from the Internet, what is the future of traditional journalism? What impact are changes in the business model having on editorial integrity? Does political satire such as the "Daily Show" elevate or debase the political process? This timely course takes a critical look at the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the news media, including current controversies. 4 cr. either sem.

4 credits

This course explores the nature of arts and entertainment criticism, and helps students develop their critical writing skills. Topics include: structuring a review; critical biases; profiling celebrities from a critical perspective; cultural criticism (how to write about entertainment or the arts to make broader points about our culture) and, style - how to get it. Assignments include TV, film, music and theater reviews, screenings and a trip to a Boston theater. Guest speakers feature some of Boston's most prominent critics. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

This is a studio course where students learn the elements of design. Students design a newsletter and sample pages for a magazine on topics of their own choosing. Students design with Adobe Creative applications. This course covers the principles of typography, composition, and visual language and encourages creative/innovative ideas. All projects will be portfolio pieces. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

This course covers the practical, critical, and theoretical issues involved in reporting the world for domestic audiences. How can journalists best report on different cultures? How can they demystify the other for their readers and viewers? How do you work with a fixer? Manage your own trauma? Stay safe? How does 19th Century colonialism still influence foreign coverage, and how do you escape this influence? What's to be learned from Conrad's Heart of Darkness about reporting on Africa? When is personalizing the news a bad idea and when is a good time to do it? Students read outstanding examples of foreign reporting, workshop their stories, and learn how to be successful given the current standards for foreign reporting. However, in light of such challenges as globalization, global warming, ethnonational conflict, and the rise of China, the class also debates how to develop better norms in the future. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

What famous journalist took a handgun to his typewriter? Which literary lion shamelessly stole his wife's WWII press credentials? Which U.S. journalist chronicled the AIDS epidemic, but postponed the results of his own AIDS test so his reporting would not be compromised? This course is an examination of cultural history as seen by our fellow journalists. It rests on the premise that to be a great writer, one must also be a great reader. Students will go beyond the conventions and limitations of lower-level courses. With readings from Mark Twain to the present, we examine the tools and techniques that make nonfiction writing memorable. Subjects include Twain, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson and the great misanthrope, H.L. Mencken. 4 cr.

4 credits

This is a course in long-form magazine journalism such as appears in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Outside, and the New York Times Magazine, as well as websites such as Medium, The Atavists and others. Students read and analyze superb examples of the genre and report, research and write long-form pieces. Topics intensive, in-depth reporting and research; the writing process; the use of fine language and the development of a personal voice; the importance of a point of view; structuring long pieces; digging deeply into subjects in order to truly enlighten readers. Also discussed is a reporting and writing strategy rooted in the methods of anthropology and ethnography. Other issues: the importance of complexity, the organic development of characters, the nature of narrative, the depiction of otherness and difference; the use of empathy; mindful journalism; and the development of relationships with sources through deep preparation, emotional connectedness, and conversation. 4 cr.

4 credits

This capstone magazine writing course is designed to create a published magazine as a writing portfolio for students. This is a studio course, taught by two professors, that covers writing and design in a setting that captures the dynamics of professional practice. Working in groups, students assume professional positions and conceptualize, write, edit, design, and publish magazines. Magazines are designed and published using required Adobe Creative applications. Design concepts and techniques, along with computer programs used in this course, are taught with step-by-step instructions. 4 cr 2nd sem

4 credits

In this course, students are invited to go beyond the demands of hard-news writing and to explore a much broader range of topics and a richer array of approaches. The essence of feature writing is "enterprise" -- feature stories are those that do not have to happen and cannot be written by formula; individual journalists make them happen. Through readings and by reporting and writing their own features, students develop a sophisticated sense of stories and a stylish prose technique. Emphasis is on telling great stories at various lengths and in different formats. 4 cr.

Narrative

Var credits

Every year several courses have been created under this category to examine current journalism issues in seminar format. See the department for specifics.

4 credits

This course covers the practical, critical, and theoretical issues involved in reporting the world for domestic audiences. How can journalists best report on different cultures? How can they demystify the other for their readers and viewers? How do you work with a fixer? Manage your own trauma? Stay safe? How does 19th Century colonialism still influence foreign coverage, and how do you escape this influence? What's to be learned from Conrad's Heart of Darkness about reporting on Africa? When is personalizing the news a bad idea and when is a good time to do it? Students read outstanding examples of foreign reporting, workshop their stories, and learn how to be successful given the current standards for foreign reporting. However, in light of such challenges as globalization, global warming, ethnonational conflict, and the rise of China, the class also debates how to develop better norms in the future. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

Students produce in-depth, character-drive, sound-rich narrative audio stories similar to what is heard on public radio programs such as This American Life, Radio Lab and Story Corps. They will use digital recorders and Protools audio software. Students also produce audio slide-shows and podcasts. Most stories air on WBTU, WBUR or other NPR outlets. Familiarity with public radio programming is essential. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

An intensive seminar and workshop in the techniques and strategies of narrative non-fiction reporting and writing. Topics include: interviewing for narrative, creating a workable structure for long-form writing, understanding the concept of arch of narrative, developing scenes and description and understanding the elements of revision. 4 cr.

4 credits

What famous journalist took a handgun to his typewriter? Which literary lion shamelessly stole his wife's WWII press credentials? Which U.S. journalist chronicled the AIDS epidemic, but postponed the results of his own AIDS test so his reporting would not be compromised? This course is an examination of cultural history as seen by our fellow journalists. It rests on the premise that to be a great writer, one must also be a great reader. Students will go beyond the conventions and limitations of lower-level courses. With readings from Mark Twain to the present, we examine the tools and techniques that make nonfiction writing memorable. Subjects include Twain, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson and the great misanthrope, H.L. Mencken. 4 cr.

4 credits

This is a course in long-form magazine journalism such as appears in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Outside, and the New York Times Magazine, as well as websites such as Medium, The Atavists and others. Students read and analyze superb examples of the genre and report, research and write long-form pieces. Topics intensive, in-depth reporting and research; the writing process; the use of fine language and the development of a personal voice; the importance of a point of view; structuring long pieces; digging deeply into subjects in order to truly enlighten readers. Also discussed is a reporting and writing strategy rooted in the methods of anthropology and ethnography. Other issues: the importance of complexity, the organic development of characters, the nature of narrative, the depiction of otherness and difference; the use of empathy; mindful journalism; and the development of relationships with sources through deep preparation, emotional connectedness, and conversation. 4 cr.

4 credits

In this course, students are invited to go beyond the demands of hard-news writing and to explore a much broader range of topics and a richer array of approaches. The essence of feature writing is "enterprise" -- feature stories are those that do not have to happen and cannot be written by formula; individual journalists make them happen. Through readings and by reporting and writing their own features, students develop a sophisticated sense of stories and a stylish prose technique. Emphasis is on telling great stories at various lengths and in different formats. 4 cr.

News

Var credits

Every year several courses have been created under this category to examine current journalism issues in seminar format. See the department for specifics.

4 credits

Required of Journalism majors in the "Journalism" and "Magazine" specializations. A rigorous grounding in research and investigative methods from interviews and records searching to computer-assisted reporting and use of the Freedom of Information Act. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

Whether you go to work for a print, broadcast or digital only newsroom, or produce content for your own start-up or non-profit, knowing how to properly edit content for multiple platforms is critical. This course is designed to give you hands-on experience with editing for multiple platforms. Examples of typical assignments: Editing a text story for print and web; writing a headline and description for YouTube video, copy editing photo captions for a photo gallery; fact checking social media. Student's will put what they've learned to practical use by editing content that will run on bunewservice.com, the departments award-winning showcase news site for journalism students' work.

4 credits

This class provides instruction in covering state government, including legislative process, analyzing data, interviewing, and developing beats. Students learn how to write so that readers understand significant issues. Guest lectures, readings, and exercises explore the dynamics of political and public affairs reporting. Taken in the same semester as JO546 (Statehouse Program) as part of the Boston Statehouse Program. Class is open to journalism majors in all specializations. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

This advanced seminar teaches select students the practice of depth reporting and writing. Students use a variety of reporting techniques from computer database searches to traditional "shoe leather" reporting -- in pursuit of long-term projects ideally destined for publication in one of several professional new outlets that have cooperative agreements with Boston University's Department of Journalism. Among them are The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. Story subjects range from public system failures to questionable criminal convictions, from narrative reconstructions to explanatory journalism. 4 cr, Spring sem.

4 credits

What famous journalist took a handgun to his typewriter? Which literary lion shamelessly stole his wife's WWII press credentials? Which U.S. journalist chronicled the AIDS epidemic, but postponed the results of his own AIDS test so his reporting would not be compromised? This course is an examination of cultural history as seen by our fellow journalists. It rests on the premise that to be a great writer, one must also be a great reader. Students will go beyond the conventions and limitations of lower-level courses. With readings from Mark Twain to the present, we examine the tools and techniques that make nonfiction writing memorable. Subjects include Twain, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson and the great misanthrope, H.L. Mencken. 4 cr.

4 credits

In this course, students are invited to go beyond the demands of hard-news writing and to explore a much broader range of topics and a richer array of approaches. The essence of feature writing is "enterprise" -- feature stories are those that do not have to happen and cannot be written by formula; individual journalists make them happen. Through readings and by reporting and writing their own features, students develop a sophisticated sense of stories and a stylish prose technique. Emphasis is on telling great stories at various lengths and in different formats. 4 cr.

4 credits

Required of journalism grad students in all specializations other than broadcast, photo, and science. Using the city as our subject, students cover working "beats" in Boston and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for proposing and covering stories dealing with courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting across all media. Stories may appear in the BU News Service or in professional news outlets. 4 cr., Spring sem.

Photojournalism

4 credits

An intensive course designed to give students the skills necessary to produce professional quality work meeting publication standards, with emphasis on storytelling in the visual medium. Weekly assignments require students to produce original picture packages complete with written material and captions. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

Required of students in the photojournalism specialization. A course preparing students for entry into a career in visual journalism. Weekly assignments are designed so that students build a portfolio allowing them to compete for opportunities in the professional world. Students will master critical skills including story development, use of multimedia, writing, and meeting deadlines. 4 cr., Spring sem.

4 credits

Students will refine editing and workflow, learn lighting technique, add strong portrait work to their portfolio and complete a long-form multimedia story. Students are required to manage and edit their images and to produce multimedia. The final project is a four to five minute multimedia piece with an emphasis on story, lighting, technical results, continuity and camera work. There will be continual class discussion on ethics in photojournalism and class critiques of assignments. All photos and videos must be welled tagged and captioned with complete and accurate information.

Government and Politics

4 credits

This class provides instruction in covering state government, including legislative process, analyzing data, interviewing, and developing beats. Students learn how to write so that readers understand significant issues. Guest lectures, readings, and exercises explore the dynamics of political and public affairs reporting. Taken in the same semester as JO546 (Statehouse Program) as part of the Boston Statehouse Program. Class is open to journalism majors in all specializations. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

Students follow the week-to-week interaction of the president and the news media, while examining the evolution of relations between journalists and American presidents from FDR to the present. 4 cr.

4 credits

This advanced seminar teaches select students the practice of depth reporting and writing. Students use a variety of reporting techniques from computer database searches to traditional "shoe leather" reporting -- in pursuit of long-term projects ideally destined for publication in one of several professional new outlets that have cooperative agreements with Boston University's Department of Journalism. Among them are The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. Story subjects range from public system failures to questionable criminal convictions, from narrative reconstructions to explanatory journalism. 4 cr, Spring sem.

4 credits

This course examines the role of the press in covering international conflicts, as well as the responsibilities of the news media to cover military policies, procedures, and programs during peacetime. 4 cr.

8 credits

Taking advantage of our location in the state capital of Massachusetts, the Journalism Department offers students the chance to cover the Statehouse for professional news clients. The prime component of The Boston Statehouse Program, this advanced study in government and political reporting offers the opportunity to write and report from Beacon Hill for a Massachusetts news organization. The course goal is to develop writing and reporting skills through the daily experience of covering state government that will apply in many fields. Working with a professor and a professional editor, students acquire the skills necessary to work in a daily news environment, including interviewing, developing sources, archival research and deadline writing. Students develop a substantial portfolio of published work. Taken with JO511, 8 cr., either sem. See Statehouse Program: http://www.bu.edu/statehouse

4 credits

Required of journalism grad students in all specializations other than broadcast, photo, and science. Using the city as our subject, students cover working "beats" in Boston and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for proposing and covering stories dealing with courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting across all media. Stories may appear in the BU News Service or in professional news outlets. 4 cr., Spring sem.

Sports

Var credits

Every year several courses have been created under this category to examine current journalism issues in seminar format. See the department for specifics.

4 credits

A special-topic writing course for students interested in a career in sports journalism. Topics include game stories, features, columns, and profiles, as well as examining sport as a commercial enterprise. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

Students produce in-depth, character-drive, sound-rich narrative audio stories similar to what is heard on public radio programs such as This American Life, Radio Lab and Story Corps. They will use digital recorders and Protools audio software. Students also produce audio slide-shows and podcasts. Most stories air on WBTU, WBUR or other NPR outlets. Familiarity with public radio programming is essential. 4 cr., either sem.

4 credits

Students produce a weekly sports TV show "SportsNight" and learn producing, writing, anchoring and technical skills. Course provides a foundation for a career in broadcast sports journalism. 4 cr, either sem.

4 credits

Explore the issues that writers and broadcasters face as they pursue their careers in sports journalism. Each week, we invite working professionals to join us on campus discussing such topics as ethics, sports and its place in society, reporting, women in sports and how to find that first job. Students are expected to ask thoughtful questions and will be required to write an evaluation each week. A great opportunity to start the networking process. 4 cr.

  • Courses in Sports Management and Law may be taken (with adviser approval).