Graduates of our program earn a Master’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Cultural Reporting and Criticism. Students take 9 courses for 36 credits. A full-time course load is three courses per semester, and students normally finish in three semesters (fall, spring, fall). Full-time attendance is required; after the first semester, students are occasionally permitted, under exceptional circumstances, to attend part-time.

Students must apply and be admitted to the CRC concentration. It is not possible for journalism students enrolled in another area of study in the Institute to transfer to CRC.

First-Semester Core Courses (12 credits)

Writing and Reporting Workshop is designed to teach the basics of reporting and writing while getting students to think creatively about what constitutes news. Students write, read, and discuss articles on a wide range of cultural topics.

The Cultural Conversation orients students to a broad view of culture and places cultural reporting and criticism in historical perspective. Through reading, writing, and discussion, the course focuses on the debates that have informed cultural journalism in the past half century — debates about such issues as high versus mass culture; the relationship between art and politics; universalism and multiculturalism. It emphasizes that “thinking like a critic” is an integral part of the reporting and writing process, and challenges the conventional distinction between theory and practice.

The Critical Survey is an intensive course aimed at developing students’ ability to write criticism that combines clear, vivid prose and a distinctive individual voice with close analysis of specific works. At the same time, the class examines some of the major trends of 20th-century criticism, including the rise of popular culture as a critical subject and the meaning of modernism. Students read and discuss works by critics such as Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, James Agee, Gilbert Seldes, Robert Hughes, Jane Kramer, Jed Perl, Greil Marcus, and John Berger, and work on perfecting the review.

CRC Electives Include:

  • Cataclysm and Commitment: Politics and Violence in the 20th Century
  • The Longform Essay
  • Specialized Reporting: The Arts
  • Reporting Social Worlds
  • Perspectives on Race and Class
  • Political Cinema
  • The Critical Profile
  • Art of Argument and Polemics
  • Radio Reporting

Additional Offerings

  • Eating New York: Covering the Politics and Pleasures of the Food World
  • Non-Fiction Narrative
  • The Personal Essay
  • Ethnography for Journalists

CRC students may also take other courses offered by the Journalism Institute and, with permission, up to two electives within other departments at NYU.

Internships: Almost all students do at least one internship while enrolled in the CRC program, though this is not required.