Skip to main content
Students experimenting with virtual reality technology


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.

We often add new courses and revise course content to remain at the forefront of the rapidly changing journalism and media landscape. As such, our courses are subject to change.

Quarter Overview

Quarter 1 - Chicago (summer)

Quarter 2 - San Francisco (fall)

  • Take specialization-specific courses:
  • Spend the quarter in San Francisco at Northwestern'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 - Chicago (winter)

  • Take core MSJ course: 
  • Take specialization-specific courses:
  • Take an elective course:
  • Start to complete a Master's Project. Recommended projects:
    • 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.
    • Local News Innovation
  • Travel domestically or internationally with students in your specialization through Medill Explores to learn about media innovation and entrepreneurship 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 - Chicago (spring)

Optional Quarter 5 (summer)