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School of Communication and Journalism Welcomes Largest Graduate Class in Its History

Students surrounded by fallen leaves walk across the academic mall on the Stony Brook campus.Within two years of launching two master’s programs, the School of Communication and Journalism (SoCJ) will welcome an incoming cohort of nearly 20 graduate students in Fall 2023. The new class will join the 9 graduate students already enrolled in these programs, bringing the school’s total master’s degree-seeking population to nearly 30.

“When I came in as dean three years ago, the School had no active graduate degree programs. I’m delighted that now we have two strong degree programs built and led by leaders with expertise in science communication and journalism,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the SoCJ and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “I’m proud that we have expanded these programs while ensuring the best possible students — and strong working professionals — are prepared to enter fields that are critical to the improvement of our society.” 

The Master of Science in Science Communication and the Master of Science in Journalism join an established Advanced Graduate Certificate in Science Communication that serves graduate students already pursuing graduate work at Stony Brook.

“The innovation and collaboration demonstrated by the School of Communication and Journalism’s master’s programs allow Stony Brook students to stand out as they develop their careers,” said Celia Marshik, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate and professional education. “Faculty with expertise in both academic research and industry have helped these programs to grow through their ability to educate and inspire students.”

The school enrolled its inaugural cohort in the master’s degree in science communication in Fall 2021. It relaunched a master’s degree in journalism at the end of the Fall 2021 semester, and enrolled its inaugural cohort in Fall 2022.

The science communication master’s program creates a pathway for individuals with backgrounds in science and research to learn the theory and practice of effective communication. The combination of skills, undergirded by the methods of the nationally known Alda Center for Communicating Science, is helping to establish the growing and vital field of science communication professionals. It also expands upon the Alda Center’s reputation as the nation’s foremost science communication training organization and its growing research portfolio. Already, the science communication master’s program has graduated two students. One works at the International Biomedical Research Alliance, and the other runs The Link, the Alda Center’s science communication research-to-practice platform. 

The journalism master’s program emphasizes solutions journalism and community-centered storytelling, teaching current and future media professionals to recognize and combat their own biases and work alongside communities to share stories that empower locally driven solutions. The program is bolstered by the School’s status as a Solutions Journalism Hub Institution, one of four in the country.

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