The concentration in Journalism consists of 8-9 courses, for a total of 32-36 credits. All Journalism majors must also complete a second major within CAS and an Evaluation Portfolio, as outlined in the General Requirements for the major.

Students in the Broadcast sequence must take the broadcast sections of The Beat and Advanced Reporting — students may not mix broadcast and non-broadcast sections of these courses. In other words, if you take a broadcast version of The Beat, you must take a broadcast version of Advanced Reporting. The same applies for those in the Print/Online sequence — you must take non-broadcast versions of both classes.

All television, radio and visual reporting electives are open to any student in the major who meets the course prerequisites.

Two required lectures

Investigating Journalism

JOUR-UA 501 No prerequisites. For the Journalism major and the prospective Journalism major. Also for Public Policy and Law and Society students.

This is Journalism’s gateway course, a lecture centered on articles and primary historical documents that have had profound impact on the course of American Journalism as practiced today. In addition, recitation sections will meet once a week for further discussion of the readings and the writing of a series of essays designed to assess students’ understanding of important journalistic concepts and practices, as well as their potential as writers and reporters preparing for leadership in the field.

Journalism Ethics and First Amendment Law

JOUR-UA 502 Prerequisites: Investigating Journalism. For Journalism majors. Also for Public Policy and Law and Society students.

This lecture course provides a critical examination of the development of ethical standards for journalists and an understanding of the need to balance absolute freedoms of speech and press with other societal rights. Weekly recitation sections will involve intensive discussion of case studies and writing assignments. It can be taken at any point in the program, after Foundations, but preferably after Journalistic Inquiry or even The Beat.

Three required skills courses

Journalistic Inquiry

JOUR-UA 101 Prerequisites: Investigating Journalism

The Institute's first level reporting class. Emphasis in this course throughout the term is on sophisticated reporting and research technique as students concurrently survey the various forms of journalistic writing, from the essay, to the hard-news pyramid, to feature writing to broadcast style.

The Beat

JOUR-UA 201 Prerequisites: Investigating Journalism, Journalistic Inquiry

The Institutes's second level reporting class. The Institute offers a menu of choices of beat-based reporting classes, designed to sharpen the student’s ability to identify a good story, report it out fully and write it well across genres. Beats range from the geographical (New York neighborhoods) to government and politics and the courts, to arts and culture. The offerings, in both print, broadcast and converged formats, vary semester by semester. Broadcast students must take a broadcast-specific section.

Advanced Reporting

JOUR-UA 301 Prerequisites: Investigating Journalism, Journalistic Inquiry, The Beat

The Institute's third level reporting class. Again, these courses are subject-specific, much like The Beat courses, but the emphasis is on completing the graduation portfolio with a heavily reported piece of narrative, explanatory or investigative work reported and written in this course. Students will produce a major piece of narrative, explanatory or investigative writing of 3,000 to 5,000 words in length.  The course is offered in print, broadcast and converged formats. Broadcast students must take a broadcast-specific section.

A minimum of three electives:

IMPORTANT: Only one course may be taken from each of the following categories. The courses offered in each category vary by semester; take a look at recent course listings for examples.

Prerequisites—sometimes none—vary by course.

Journalism and Society


A variety of lectures and seminars that examine the role of journalists and journalism itself as they function in the wider culture.

Journalism as Literature


Reading seminars in courses that explore the intersection of literature and journalism through various prisms.

Issues and Ideas


Experimental seminars that examine contemporary issues in relation to the field.

Methods and Practice


Second-level elective skills classes, designed to provide a laboratory to help students improve their skill level in a variety of specific writing and reporting forms.

Methods and Practice: Visual Reporting


Multimedia and photojournalism courses are offered under this category.

Elective Reporting Topics


This category includes a variety of “back-of-the-book” reporting topics.

Media Criticism


Courses that analyze the forces—cultural, social, economic, ideological, and aesthetic—that shape the media and their messages.

Production and Publication


Advanced level elective skills courses that produce work for publication or broadcast.

The Senior Seminar


Varying offerings each semester taught by full-time faculty and designed for students to take in their final semesters before graduation.


JOUR-UA 351, JOUR-UA 451 Requires a 3.65 GPA (overall and within the Institute) as well as Institute approval.

Students electing to take honors for the first time will enroll in Honors sections of Advanced Reporting (JOUR-UA 351), which will feed into an honors section of a new elective called The Senior Seminar (JOUR-UA 451). Starting sections of Honors Advanced Reporting are offered in both the fall and spring terms.

Honors students may take 9-10 courses in the Institute instead of 8-9. Read more about the Honors Program.