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Curriculum

The MSJ Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship curriculum provides you with a solid foundation in the principles of modern journalism as well as in-depth subject area knowledge of how to develop and launch digital media businesses. You’ll also have an opportunity to take a few additional elective courses that match your interests and career goals.

In addition to coursework, the MSJ program offers a variety of experiences that enable you to travel to different cities and countries, gain additional skills, meet alumni and industry professionals, and plan for post-graduation.

Course Overview

Quarter Overview

Quarter 1 (summer)

  • Take core MSJ courses.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.

Quarter 2 (fall)

In San Francisco

  • Take specialization-specific courses
  • Spend the quarter in San Francisco at Northwester's campus there. The central focus of the San Francisco experience is on design thinking and research—techniques and approaches for learning and understanding the needs of users or audiences. Two days a week, you will have an internship at a Bay Area company, giving you a chance to learn from people doing cutting-edge work in the world’s center of technology innovation. You’ll also learn the business fundamentals for media product development and get hands-on experience with mobile technology, preparing yourself for the NUvention Web+Media capstone class.

Quarter 3 (winter)

  • Take NUvention Web+Media course—a real-world “lean startup” experience in which interdisciplinary student teams come up with a product idea, build a prototype, repeatedly iterate on it based on user research and develop a business strategy. As a Medill media-innovation student, you can bring a product idea you’ve researched into the class and try to assemble a team to build it, or you can join teams whose product idea came from someone else. Either way, you’ll collaborate with developers (computer science students), business experts (for instance, from Kellogg or Medill IMC) and designers to bring a product idea to the point where the team could seek investment. Teams also benefit from practical feedback from the class Advisory Board, made up of experienced entrepreneurs, technologists and venture capitalists.
  • Take elective courses. You may also enroll in classes in Medill’s Integrated Marketing Communications program or the Kellogg School of Management.
  • Travel domestically or internationally with students in your specialization through Medill Explores to learn about health, environment and science reporting in other geographies. 
  • Engage with Medill Career Services and faculty on professional goal setting and planning for post-graduation.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.

Quarter 4 (spring)

  • Continue the NUvention Web+Media course.
  • Complete a practicum or thesis project or take elective courses.
  • Continue to engage with Medill Career Services and faculty on professional goal setting and planning for post-graduation.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.

Optional Quarter 5 (summer)