NYU Arts & Science



Course TitleNo. of Credits
Required CoursesIntroduction to Literary Reportage4
Writing, Research, Reporting I4
Writing, Research, Reporting II (or reporting elective)4
Portfolio Workshop I4
Portfolio II (with Master Class)4
Non-Fiction Narrative I and/or II4
Master’s Project1
Elective Courses
See list below for Reading and Writing Literary Reportage options
One reporting course from the Institute’s Specialized Reporting Workshops4
One reading course from the Institute’s Seminars4
Open Elective4

A standard Literary Reportage course load looks like this


G54.1182.xx Introduction to Literary Reportage
G54.1021.xx Writing, Research and Reporting
G54.1050.xx Non Fiction Narrative I


G54.1182.xx Portfolio I
G54.1023.xx Non-Fiction Narrative II
Open Elective


G54.1182.xx Portfolio II
Open Elective
Open Elective
G54.1290.xx One-credit Apprenticeship


G54.1299.xx One-credit Masters’ Project

Required courses for the concentration:

  • G54.1182.xx Introduction to Literary Reportage
  • G54.1021.xx Writing, Research and Reporting I
  • G54.1022.xx Writing Research and Reporting II (or reporting elective)
  • G54.1182.xx Portfolio I and Portfolio II
  • G54.1050.xx and/or G54.1023.xx Non-Fiction Narrative I and/or II
  • G54.1290.xx One-credit Apprenticeship
  • G54.1299.xx One-credit Masters’ Project

Literary Reportage Courses

Required Courses

  • G54.1021 and G54.1022 Writing, Research and Reporting I and II (4 credits each). This one-semester course, a keystone of the Literary Reportage program, develops students as rigorous, curious observers of the world, arming them with the tools to become resourceful reporters and literary journalistic writers of precision, originality, and flair. Specifically, we’ll focus on 360 Degree Reporting: doing background/orbit research on a subject, coming up with varied and informative secondary subjects, covering the subject’s environment—and pay particular attention to the art of the interview. We’ll determine how to find a good story and tell it engagingly (addressing those crucial “what’s the point?” and “who cares?” questions), train in gathering information doggedly and thoughtfully, examine journalistic ethics, and generally learn the nuts and bolts of the profile form—all in an effort to most vividly and authentically bring our subjects to life on the page. Advanced students may substitute with a reporting elective, with permission of concentration director.
  • G54.1182.xx Portfolio Workshop I and II (4 credits each). A two semester, structured workshop during which Literary Reportage students will build a body of work. Additionally, every semester an expert in some facet of literary reportage will conduct a two session Master Class that focuses on a particular skill.
  • G54.1050.xx OR G54.1023.xx Non-Fiction Narrative I OR II (4 credits) Non-Fiction Narrative, Part I: Through careful reading, analysis of structure, a survey of critical literature and a look at books about books (Wayne Booth’s Rhetoric of Fiction, for example) we will attempt to discover how fine non-fiction books are made. We will read at least five book-length narratives (among them, Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean, Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Faye Greene, The Duke of Deception by Geoff Wolf). The final paper can take several forms: either a chapter from a work in progress (yours), a monograph that might appear in the middle of a book you are considering writing, a detailed outline for a book you want to write or a formal academic paper. Non-Fiction Narrative, Part II: The course focuses on “the language of narrative,” those compelling and interesting sentences that drive narrative discourse, and how to create them. We do this through close reading of literary non-fiction and through regular workshop writing exercises. We will read a survey of non-fiction literature in English from John Milton to John McPhee… and beyond.
  • G54.1299.xx Master’s Thesis (1 credit) The degree will conclude with a substantial piece of literary reportage (6,000 to 10,000 words). The Project will be evaluated by the faculty member designated as the project’s adviser, reported during the second and third semesters, and completed during the student’s fourth semester.
  • G54.1290.xx Apprenticeship (1 credit) All students will be paired with a working writer, whom they shall assist with research and reporting. In exchange, the writer will meet with the student for a weekly critique of his or her work.

Elective Courses

Writing Literary Reportage (Students must take one of these Specialized Reporting Workshops) (4 credits) They will be offered in informal rotation, depending on professor availability. Other options may be added as the concentration evolves.

  • G54.1182.003 SPECIALIZED REPORTING: Ethnography for Journalists
  • G54.1182.xx SPECIALIZED REPORTING The First Person
  • G54.1231.xx The Storytellers

Readings in Literary Reportage (Students must take one of these Reading/Writing Seminars) (4 credits). Other options may be added as the concentration evolves.

  • G54.1023.xx Great City Books
  • G54.1023.xx Storied New York
  • G54.1023.xx Magazines of the 20th Century
  • G54.1023.xx Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception

Other Shared Existing Department Electives of Particular Interest to this group (Students may take one of these electives) (4 credits)

  • G54.1050.xx The Fiction of Nonfiction
  • G54.1182.xx The Newest New Yorkers
  • G54.1182.xx The Journalism of Empathy
  • G54.1182.xx Plagues and Panics
  • G54.1182.xx Journalism of Ideas
  • G54.1171.001 Radio Reporting
  • G54.1080.001 Hyperlocal Newsroom
  • G54.1231.002 Eating New York
  • G54.1019.002 Work, and Working People in America