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- Program Overview
The M.S. program in Journalism focuses on coverage of science, health, the environment and technology, while providing grounding in the skills of print, multimedia, video and broadcast reporting. In-depth reporting and engaging presentation are emphasized. The program is designed to meet the needs of students of varying backgrounds, including those with a strong science or health background who may be new to journalism, as well as journalism majors and working journalists who want to specialize or update their skills. The 40-credit program, can be completed by fulltime students in three semesters and two summers. It is SUNY’s only journalism master's program.
Faculty with real-world experience, working in a state of the art $1.3 million newsroom, will help students build their skills, while proximity to New York City provides access to valuable internships and distinguished visiting lecturers. The program also takes advantage of the rich resources in science and health at Stony Brook and its affiliated institutions, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. But although the program focuses on coverage of science and related fields, the skills learned will serve graduates well no matter what kind of journalism they pursue. For more on the M.S. program, please visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/journalism/ms
In addition, the School of Journalism offers innovative courses in Communicating Science to the Public, developed in cooperation with Stony Brook’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. These courses, which do not lead to a journalism degree, are intended to help graduate students in the sciences learn to communicate more effectively with the public, public officials, the press, and others outside their own field, including colleagues in other disciplines. These courses can be taken separately or as part of the Advanced Certificate in Health Communications, which is offered jointly by the School of Journalism and the Program in Public Health. For more on the Advanced Certificate, please visit: http://publichealth.stonybrookmedicine.edu/
Interim Dean of the School of Journalism
Laura Lindenfeld, Melville Library N-4004, (631) 632-7403
Graduate Program Director
Karen Masterson, Melville Library N-4004, (631) 632-7403
Maureen Robinson, Melville Library, N-4004, (631) 632-7403
Master of Science (M.S.) in Journalism
For information about the School of Journalism, please visit
Students can be admitted with degrees in any field. Admissions requirements include:
- Bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or better from an accredited college or university.
- Official transcripts from all postsecondary schools.
- Official GRE (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) scores. Applicants can submit scores from the MCAT, DAT, or GMAT instead of the GRE. This requirement is waived for applicants who have a doctoral degree from an accredited college or university.
- Three references that can address the applicant's capacity to succeed in the field of health and science journalism or related fields and complete a course of graduate study. If the applicant is a student or has graduated within the last two years, at least one letter must be from a faculty member with whom the applicant has studied. If the applicant has been working as a journalist, at least one letter must be from an editor or supervisor familiar with the applicant’s work.
- Portfolio of journalistic work (3-5 samples of your work) or a 500-word essay on an issue of current interest in science, health, the environment or technology, explaining why you think this issue is important.
- An interview, if requested by the Admissions Committee. We expect to interview candidates whenever possible.
- Licensed health professionals need proof of licensure and good standing
- International students who trained in non-English-speaking schools and live in a non-English-speaking country are required to take the TOEFL exam. The expected minimum score is 100 for the Internet-Based Test, 250 for the Computer-Based Test and 600 for the Paper-Based Test.
- Degree Requirements
To earn the master's degree in journalism, students must complete 40 credits. Faculty advisors will guide students in creating educational plans that best fit their backgrounds, interests and aspirations. The curriculum is built around a core group of required courses:
- JRN 500, Introduction to News Media Concepts and Institutions, or JRN 507, Introduction to Science and Health Concepts and Institutions. (JRN 500 is intended for students with little journalism background, JRN 507 for students with little science background.)
- JRN 525, the 6-credit intensive core course, Health, Environment, Science and Technology Reporting (HESTR)
- JRN 530, The Big Story: Science Issues Seminar
- JRN 550, Investigative Reporting Techniques
- JRN 555, Seminar in Ethics and Law
- JRN 588, Internship
- JRN 600, Long-Form Reporting: Master’s Project
Students must attain a grade of at least B, or 3.0, in the core courses to have them count toward the degree.
In addition, a course in statistics or epidemiology, such as HPH 585: Introduction to Biostatistics & Epidemiology or HAS 550 Statistics and Data Analysis, will be required for students who have not had a college-level course or equivalent experience in basic statistics.
Along with the core courses, students will take skills courses in broadcast, print, or online multimedia reporting and presentation, as well as electives in the sciences, health, environmental studies or technology.
The School of Journalism maintains a technologically advanced, $1.3 million, bi-level Newsroom. It is located on the ground floor of Melville Library, with an electronic news ticker that faces the Academic Mall. The Newsroom is equipped with 38 iMac Workstations, with a collaborative learning system that allows any piece of work to be displayed simultaneously on any or all desktops, as well as on a large projection screen. Each workstation has two displays and industry standard software such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Students have access to national and local news wires. Students have access to national and local news wires.
Besides housing classes, the Newsroom serves as a bustling home base and informal workspace for journalism students. Video conferencing software allows guest lectures, remote interviews and course collaboration between the Newsroom and other sites.
The School of Journalism also has a fully equipped HD TV studio, with three studio cameras, teleprompters, an anchor desk, an interview set, chroma key green-screen set and a control room. Mobile equipment available for use by journalism students in the field includes Padcasters to broadcast live remotely, JVC 4K video cameras, Nikon D610 and D7500 DSLR video/still cameras SB700 Speedlights and digital audio recorders.
Students in the M.S. program will have access to a wide range of library and online resources.
Lindenfeld, Laura, Interim Dean, School of Journalism Ph.D., 2003, Cultural Studies, University of California, Davis; M.A., 1992, German and Scandinavian Literature and Language Studies, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn. Science, medical and environmental communication, film and media studies.
Klurfeld, James. B.S., 1967, Syracuse University. News literacy, beat reporting, political reporting, the presidency and the press.
Haddad, Charles H. MPA, 1989, Kennedy School, Harvard University; M.S. Journalism, 1977, Northwestern University. News writing, advanced reporting techniques, business journalism, study abroad program (China).
Reiner, Steven. BA, 1970, University of Wisconsin, Madison. News literacy, international outreach, advanced reporting techniques, broadcast news, audio journalism, new models of digital journalism.
Sanders, Jonathan. Ph.D., History, 1985, Columbia University; M.A., 1975, Columbia University. Broadcast journalism, history of the press.
Selvin, Barbara. M.S., Journalism, 1983, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The impact of the digital revolution on journalism, grammar, numerical literacy, advanced reporting, reporting in New York City, internship coordinator. Winner of President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching as Part-Time Faculty, 2005.
Calvi, Pablo. Ph.D., Journalism, 2011, Columbia University School of Journalism. Multimedia journalism, Latin American literary journalism. Associate Director for Latin America for the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting.
Masterson, Karen. M.F.A., Science Writing, 2005, Johns Hopkins University, M.A. Journalism, 2004, University of Maryland. The mind of the reporter, news reporting and writing, science and health reporting.
O’Connell, Christine. Ph.D. Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University. Distilling your message, talking science, communicating to decision makers.
Giokas, George. B.A., Journalism, 1973, Long Island University. News literacy, business journalism, health news editing.
Moore, Elizabeth. M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Investigative reporting, health, science, environmental and technology reporting.
Ricioppo, Richard E. M.S., Communication, 2006, Illinois State University. Interim director of the School of Journalism’s graduate program. Broadcast writing and reporting, video camera operation and nonlinear video editing.