Northeastern offers two journalism concentrations—the Professional Concentration and the Media Innovation Concentration—but both offer maximum flexibility to accommodate your individual goals.
We offer full- and part-time options. If time is a factor in your decision to pursue a graduate degree, full-time students in the Professional Concentration can complete the program in one year by enrolling in classes during the university’s two summer semesters. It takes longer to complete the program if you select the Cooperative Education option or are accepted to the Media Innovation Concentration.
Our faculty members are experts in their field with years of experience in top news organizations.
Please see the tabs below for a more detailed description about the Professional Concentration or the Media Innovation Concentration.
Students who pursue the Professional Concentration come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have no experience; others have some experience, but want to refine their skills or enter teaching. Those with little or no media experience can begin the program with an intensive three-week skills course.
The Professional Concentration curriculum balances basic news courses tailored for the digital world with preparation to enter the job market.
Full-time students can finish the program in a year. Part-time students, can take one or two courses each semester and complete the program in two or three years.
The Co-op Option
As a national leader in cooperative education, Northeastern offers a unique option for its master’s degree students in the Professional Concentration for those who want it. Full-time students can complement their academic study with a six-month job assignment as a reporter or editor at area media organizations. Co-op is not a requirement, but students who choose it generally take an additional six months to graduate.
The Professional Concentration curriculum consists of nine courses plus a one-credit Intensive Reporting class for students who have no reporting experience.
Required courses include: Introductory Digital Storytelling, Enterprise Reporting 1 in the fall semester, Enterprise Reporting 2 in the spring semester and Perspectives on Journalism and Professional Ethics in the summer semester. Students must take at least one practicum course and four journalism electives. A grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation and a total of 36 credits.
The Media Innovation Concentration is a new and exciting venture within the journalism academy. It’s designed for professionals who have significant prior journalism experience or have an undergraduate degree in journalism. This concentration emphasizes extensive collaboration with other disciplines, and can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students.
Who might be interested? A newspaper journalist might come to learn Web design. A longtime Web designer at a news site, on the other hand, might come to learn game design, a field increasingly relevant to today’s quickly changing news environment. A broadcast journalist might come to learn data-gathering and data visualization techniques.
The core of the concentration is work on a project students identify early and pursue throughout their tenure. They take an individually tailored sequence of courses outside the journalism department. This knowledge is brought to bear on the project on a weekly basis during intensive seminars with our faculty.
Here are highlights of the three core program elements: the Project, the Focus and the Innovation Seminar.
Students pursue a single work of journalism throughout their program, with the intention of publishing their work shortly after graduation. Prospective students should have some idea of a project they would want to create, and indicate this in their application essay.
Innovation students will be required to take at least four courses outside the School of Journalism. These classes will reflect the Focus chosen to advance the student’s individual project, and will generally all reside within one discipline
Possibilities for an individual project might be:
Game Design: A four-course program that would give students a firm grasp of the essential fundamentals of game design.
Entrepreneurship: A four-to five-course business school program designed to prepare students to create journalism start-ups.
Interactive Media: A four-course program in Art and Design that introduces students to the web and other graphical interfaces to develop news content.
Database Journalism: A four-course program in the Computer Science program that gives students an opportunity to understand how to parse vast amounts of data and tease front-page stories from them. This program should be combined with the Seminar in Investigative Reporting.
Data Visualization: A four- or five-course program that would be held in conjunction with the College of Arts, Media and Design Information Design graduate program to be developed.
The Innovation Seminar
The Innovation Seminar is where students apply the skills acquired in their focus areas to their projects. Each semester a small group of four or five students meet for three hours in a seminar led by a faculty member.
Students need 36 credits to graduate and a grade point average of 3.0.