Science, Health &
Because science is too important to leave only to scientists, and journalism is too important to leave only to the scientifically illiterate.
Where Science Savvy Meets Journalistic Excellence
A globally renowned science journalism program, the world’s oldest, we seek curious thinkers and strong writers from diverse backgrounds who share our belief that true stories well told can change the world. Building on a 38-year tradition of excellence and a tight community of highly accomplished alumni (464 and counting!), SHERP prepares the next generation of great science storytellers committed to covering scientific, medical and environmental topics with passion and precision.
Work and Learn in the World Capital of Science Journalism
There are more opportunities for aspiring science journalists in New York than anywhere else, and SHERP is the beating heart of this community. Our students publish and intern at dozens of leading outlets, where their editors are often SHERP alumni. Class work is focused squarely on developing practical, high-level storytelling skills. Writing, reporting and editing text is core but multimedia is anything but peripheral. SHERP students start shooting video just days after arriving and later add audio podcasting, programming, graphics, and data-mining. Projects range from quick news stories to full-blown investigative features and even a book proposal. Every SHERP student graduates with a rich portfolio of diverse stories published in professional outlets and in our award-winning publication Scienceline, which gets more than two million visits per year. We also leverage our position in New York and NYU, a world-class center for science research, to bring in more than 120 journalists, scientists, and other speakers each year to visit classes and take part in our Kavli Conversations on Science Communication and other events.
A Commitment to Diversity and Affordability
Central to our mission at SHERP is to serve democracy by diversifying the ranks of science journalism. We seek high achieving students from varied backgrounds and support them with large financial aid awards funded by NYU and by our generous donors, including foundations, alumni and friends. For the five most recent SHERP classes, the average financial aid award per enrolled student has been approximately $50,500. (This average includes only the aid we provide, not scholarships and loans students secure on their own initiative, so the actual amount of aid per student is even higher.) The key point is this: If you think SHERP may be the right place for you, please don’t let financial concerns discourage you from applying!
An Unmatched Reputation in the Job Market
SHERP’s job placement track record is unequalled in science journalism. Our graduates are working at The New York Times, Vox, National Geographic, The Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, Scientific American, Popular Science, Radiolab, Science Friday, Quartz, Technology Review, and dozens of other major outlets. With the active assistance of our faculty and alumni, every student completes at least two high-level internships during their time at SHERP, giving them a major leg up in the job market.
An Alumni Network Spanning 39 Years and 18 Time Zones
Our 464 graduates are a tight-knit group who love to engage with our current students in the classroom, in our mentorship program, at internships. and at our frequent events, including the Kavli Conversations on Science Communication. That means you’ll finish the program with not only a diverse story portfolio, a broad array of skills, and the experience of at least two high-level internships, but also connections to a network of successful journalists who understand exactly what you bring to the table.
A World-Class Faculty
Every teacher at SHERP is a working science journalist and a leader in our rapidly changing industry. They are also all veteran instructors with proven track records of success in the classroom. Their journalism informs their teaching; their teaching informs their journalism.
Recent awards and fellowships won by graduates, students and faculty:
Four SHERP Alums Win Environmental Journalism Prizes
Lili Pike (SHERP 2020) won first place in the student category for a story about climate threats to public housing that started as a class assignment and was ultimately published in Undark. Lauren Young (SHERP 33) won second place in the small market-features category for a Valley Fever series for Science Friday. Lynne Peeples (SHERP 27) won third in small-market explanatory for an Ensia series on drinking water threats, while Katie Peek (SHERP 28) won honorable mention in the same category for an Audubon feature about ocean plastics.
Incoming SHERP student is NYU’s first McCormick scholar
Deborah Balthazar is the inaugural NYU recipient of the Anne O'Hare McCormick Memorial Fund Scholarship. The $3,000 award is given in honor of Fund board member emerita Elizabeth "Betsy" Wade, the first woman to edit news copy at the New York Times.
Recent Published Work
Like all good journalism, the work of our students, faculty, and alumni speaks for itself. Here’s a sampling of recently published stories: