Curriculum

Graduates of our program earn a master’s degree in journalism with a concentration in cultural reporting and criticism. Students will take a total of 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)

The Writing and Reporting Workshop is designed to teach cultural journalists the essentials of news reporting and the conventions of journalistic practice across media platforms. Students read and discuss articles on a wide range of topics and work on news reports, features, and a short audio piece. The course teaches students to synthesize complex information into concise, compelling, and accurate articles and to develop news judgment—not just deciding what stories are worth covering, but making careful decisions about what details to focus on in a story and what to leave out. See full course description here.

The Cultural Conversation places cultural reporting and criticism in historical perspective, asking students to understand what has been said in the cultural conversation before they came to it, and what experiences, ideas, emotions, and prejudices they bring to the conversation. Through reading, writing, and discussion, students will grapple with cultural issues and debates that go back half a century—debates about the nature of art and criticism, technology and mass media, high culture versus mass culture, art and politics, and social groups and cultural difference. See full course description here

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, Greil Marcus, Emily Nussbaum, George Orwell, Ellen Willis, Carl Wilson, James Wood and Virginia Woolf, and work on perfecting the review. See full course description here.

CRC Electives Include:

  • The Longform Essay
  • Writing Social Commentary
  • Reporting Social Worlds
  • The Art of Argument and Polemic
  • The Critical Profile

Additional Offerings

  • Reporting Belief
  • Political Cinema
  • Reporting the Arts
  • Writing Trouble
  • Audio Journalism for Radio and Podcasts
  • The Personal Essay

CRC students may also take other courses offered by the Journalism Institute and, with permission, up to two electives within other departments at NYU. See a full list of past and current Journalism Institute courses here.

Students also have the opportunity several times a year to attend CRC events and workshops with journalism professionals and to attend weekend workshops in multimedia skills organized by the Journalism Institute.

Internships

Although internships are not required, almost all students complete at least one internship while enrolled in the CRC program. Internships enable students to gain real-world experience, learn new skills, and make contacts in the magazine, newspaper, and publishing world.

Internships are facilitated with the help of the Journalism Institute’s career services office, or through our network of CRC alumni.

In recent years, Cultural Reporting and Criticism students have interned at, among many others:

  • Art News
  • Artforum
  • The Atlantic Monthly
  • Bookforum
  • Buzzfeed
  • The Daily Beast
  • Guernica
  • Harper’s
  • The Independent
  • Mashable
  • N+1
  • The Nation
  • The New Republic
  • New York
  • The New York Observer
  • The New Yorker
  • The New York Times
  • The Paris Review
  • Public Books
  • Salon
  • Slate
  • Spin
  • Vice
  • The Village Voice
  • Vulture
  • Wired
  • The Wall Street Journal