Health, Environment and Science

Students in this specialization trek the Andes Mountains in Colombia with a medicine woman practicing ancient techniques, research rural clinics in Nicaragua and study trees in New Zealand to learn the effects of climate change. In the Health, Environment and Science program, you can travel the world to tell some of the most important and interesting stories.

I specialized in neuroscience and mental health reporting while at Medill. My experience made the learning curve at my first job post-graduation undoubtedly less steep than it would have been had I not gone to Medill."

-Jordan K. Turgeon (MSJ10), Senior Lifestyle Blogger, Huffington Post

If you choose this program, you’ll be able to specialize in health, environment and science stories throughout your time at Medill. For the quarter spent at the Chicago newsroom, students in the program have covered topics like children’s health, nutrition, consumer technology, climate change and urban wildlife. In the Washington newsroom, stories reported for major media clients can focus on science and incorporate legislation and policy. A fourth quarter capstone offers students the option to embed with science field research teams across the world or students can choose instead to embed with D.C. agencies such as the NIH, research institutions and think tanks. If you choose the optional fifth-quarter global residency, you can pursue any number of science stories abroad.

Alumni of the program go on to work at such respected media sites as The Huffington Post, National Public Radio and Slate.

Watch a recorded information session about the Health, Environment and Science Specialization.

Students in this specialization begin the MSJ program in Summer Quarter. For more information, contact Assistant Professor Abigail Foerstner at or Professor Donna Leff at

I came to Medill with the Comer Scholarship for Health & Science reporting. My scholarship helped fund a reporting trip to New Zealand’s North Island, which led to articles on tree-ring science and the country’s war on 30 million possums for The Atlantic and National Geographic News. Graduating with national reporting clips doubtless helped me stand out in the job applicant pool.

- Rachel E. Gross (MSJ13), editorial assistant,