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Business, Economics and Money

Business journalism is a dynamic and challenging field where reporters document, analyze and interpret economic activities to create stories with immediate impact. Reporters dive into stories about people, topics and events that shape the world from a financial perspective. Business journalists examine issues that matter not only to CEOs who are deciding their company’s strategy but also to consumers who are deciding whether to purchase a big-ticket item such as a car or a home. Business journalists convey what is sometimes complex financial and economic information in a way that is understandable to a wide audience, allowing citizens to make informed, thoughtful decisions. All this makes business reporters valuable, well-compensated members of media organizations.

About the specialization

Your courses in the business program will be at our downtown Chicago campus and will be paired with reporting in the third-largest U.S. city that is home to major companies and key financial markets. You will have the option to travel and report from Tokyo during the winter quarter. You’ll also spend time during the spring quarter in New York City visiting financial media outlets, meeting accomplished Medill alumni, talking with executives about their companies and more.

Six $30,000 scholarships are available to students accepted to the specialization. These will be awarded based on merit.

Why Business, Economics and Money?

When you graduate with your master’s degree, you will be qualified to work in the most highly paid and sought-after segment of the media – business journalism. The median annual salary for business reporters and correspondents is 38% higher than the average journalist, according to government statistics and a 2023 survey by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. More than 71 percent of business reporters said their salary had increased, according to the Reynolds survey.

Medill graduates have gone on to be some of the most successful and high-profile business reporters, editors and producers working today around the world, from the former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal to on-air talent at CNBC to many other media outlets, including The New York Times and Bloomberg.

What will I learn?

You’ll learn the fundamentals of finance, accounting, the stock and bond markets, personal finance, government finance and agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and much more. You’ll apply that knowledge to hands-on reporting to tell insightful and informative stories. Having this knowledge and these reporting experiences will give you an edge when looking for a job after graduation and widen your options to include not only business journalism but other areas of journalism, such as the business of sports, the business of health, the business of the environment and more.

In addition to discussions, workshops and reporting, you’ll participate in onsite training, have compelling conversations with experienced journalists and go behind the scenes at top media companies.

You’ll also work with award-winning business journalism faculty from top-tier media outlets who have taught and mentored students for many years.

Who will I meet?

In addition to our Chicago campus that puts you at the center of business action, Medill has a broad and enthusiastic alumni network. Everywhere you turn, our alumni are leading business journalism reporting. We have a board of alumni who are advising Medill on this specialization.

Watch an overview of the business specialization

Your Medill Experience

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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.

Learn about the curriculum
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Downtown Chicago is home to NYSE Chicago, formerly known as the Chicago Stock Exchange, Fortune 500 companies and Crain's Chicago Business.

Learn about Medill's Chicago campus
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Medill Explores

You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a faculty-led learning adventure during a week-long suspension of classes. Previous opportunities have included shadowing scientists, clinicians, researchers and field explorers.

Learn about Medill Explores
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Medill Fridays

We welcome renowned journalists and host health and science writing workshops to help you expand your skills. These sessions offer a chance to get to know your peers in an informal environment.

Learn about Medill Fridays
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Career Services

Journalists skilled in covering health, environment and science are in high demand at traditional and non-mainstream media organizations. Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations also value communicators who can make these topics accessible to a wide range of audiences.

Learn about Career Services

Our Faculty

Desiree Hanford

Desiree Hanford

Prior to joining Medill, Hanford, an assistant professor, was an equities reporter for Dow Jones & Co., where she covered publicly traded companies and mutual funds. 

View Hanford's Bio
Ceci Rodgers

Ceci Rodgers

Rodgers, an assistant professor at Medill, worked as a financial journalist for more than two decades, primarily reporting business stories for CNN’s "Moneyline."

View Rodger's Bio
Joe Mathewson.

Joe Mathewson

Mathewson, a professor, was previously a Supreme Court correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and a lawyer in Chicago.

View Mathewson's Bio

Our Alumni

Katanga Johnson.

Katanga Johnson (MSJ17)

Johnson is a banking regulation reporter at Bloomberg LP in the nation’s capital. He tells stories about how Washington regulators oversee Wall Street banks, and how those rulemakings affect investors and industry firms alike. He previous covered financial regulation at Reuters News Agency.

Henry Ren.

Henry Ren (MSJ20)

Ren is a producer at Bloomberg Quick Take, covering EMEA equities and U.S. pre-market trading, focusing on tech, media and telecom stocks and Chinese ADRs.

Dean Murphy.

Dean Murphy (BSJ80)

Murphy is the former business editor at the New York Times and currently serves as their associate managing editor for investigations. In his role, Murphy co-manages investigative journalists who take on particularly hard-to-crack subjects, ranging from government corruption to corporate malfeasance.