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The Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs curriculum provides you with a solid foundation in the principles of modern journalism as well as in-depth subject area knowledge on political and policy topics. 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)

In Evanston/Chicago

  • Take core MSJ courses:
  • Take the Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs Seminar
  • Your professors will meet with you, organize specialization meetings and arrange for you to attend events at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, to which you will have a membership.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.

Quarter 2 - Washington, D.C. (fall)

  • Take a core MSJ class:
  • Take specialization-specific courses: 
    • Politics and the Presidency
    • Data Visualization
    • News Reporting

Quarter 3 - Washington, D.C. (winter)

Washington Reporting on Politics and Government provides students with a four-day a week reporting experience focusing on writing and multimedia. Students are credentialed Washington reporters covering Congress, the White House and federal agencies for media partners such as, the Wisconsin State Journal, STATnews and others. The course emphasizes enterprise reporting.

  • Take a specializtion specifice course

Quarter 4 - Washington, D.C. (spring)

Medill Explores (Quarter 3 or Quarter 4)

In either your third or fourth quarter, Medill will offer the Medill Explores course that includes a week of travel. Learn about different cultures and report from a new location.