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Curriculum

The MSJ Social Justice and Investigative Reporting curriculum provides you with a solid foundation in the principles of modern journalism as well as in-depth subject area knowledge in reporting on social justice issues and conducting investigative reporting. 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.

Summer Start Quarter Overview

Quarter 1 (summer)

Quarter 2 (fall)

  • Take a core MSJ course:
  • Take MSJ courses:
    • News Reporting
    • Context Course:
      • Framed: Media and the Marginalized, or
      • The Permanent Campaign: Politics and Social Policy
  • Take specialization-specific course:
    • Social Justice Seminar
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.

Quarter 3 (winter)

  • Take a specialization-specific course:
    • Advanced Social Justice Reporting
  • Take an elective course. View sample elective courses on our MSJ curriculum page.
  • Take the Medill Explores course, which includes travel domestically or internationally with students in your specialization to learn about social justice reporting in other geographies.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.
  • Engage with Medill Career Services and faculty on professional goal setting and planning for post-graduation.

Quarter 4 (spring)

  • Complete a practicum or Master's Project. You may choose to complete your thesis project with the Medill Justice Project. You may also complete your thesis project at Medill's Washington, D.C. campus, where you will practice reporting in Washington with a focus on social justice issues.
  • Take an elective course. View sample elective courses on our MSJ curriculum page.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.
  • Continue to engage with Medill Career Services and faculty on professional goal setting and planning for post-graduation.

Optional Quarter 5 (summer)

Fall Start Quarter Overview

Quarter 1 (fall)

Quarter 2 (winter)

  • Take a core MSJ course:
  • Take MSJ courses:
    • News Reporting
    • Context Course:
      • How 21st Century Media Work, or
      • The Journalist Abroad: Legal Risks and Dilemmas, or
      • The Vote: Rigging Elections, Stacking the Deck, Subverting American Democracy and Defying Demographics
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.

Quarter 3 (spring)

  • Take a specialization-specific course:
    • Advanced Social Justice Reporting
  • Take elective courses. View sample elective courses on our MSJ curriculum page.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.
  • Engage with Medill Career Services and faculty on professional goal setting and planning for post-graduation.

Quarter 4 (summer)

  • Complete a practicum or Master's Project. You may choose to complete your thesis project with the Medill Justice Project. You may also complete your thesis project at Medill's Washington, D.C. campus, where you will practice reporting in Washington with a focus on social justice issues.
  • Take an elective course. View sample elective courses on our MSJ curriculum page.
  • Participate in Medill Fridays events, including speakers, interactive workshops, career-preparation seminars and community-building activities.
  • Continue to engage with Medill Career Services and faculty on professional goal setting and planning for post-graduation.

Optional Quarter 5 (fall)

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