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Columbia University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :09 Jan 
International :09 Jan 

MA Journalism (Politics Concentration)

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

55802 USD
55802 USD

Application fee

International 100 USD
National 100 USD
School of Journalism
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315

World University Ranking

About this course

Students focus on the themes and ways of thinking that can be used to cover any scientific field, whether it’s health, technology or the hard sciences. They examine several disciplines up close – including, physics, climate science and ecology in the fall, and evolution, genetics and medicine in the spring. Students also get a landscape view, looking at history, patterns of discovery and innovation. The seminar emphasizes understanding the culture and practice of science, giving students the skills to interpret a peer?reviewed study as well as a clear?eyed view of the peer?review process. It places particular emphasis on writing creatively and compellingly, whether in a short news story or in a long piece of narrative nonfiction. Many of our most successful students come to the program without prior academic or professional exposure to the sciences; deep curiosity is far more important.

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Eligibility Criteria

The admission standards and selection procedures are identical to those followed by the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences for all of its M.A. Programs (with the exception of the Liberal Studies Program). 

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Course Modules

At the heart of the M.A. program is the Seminar­-in-­Concentration, which is offered in both the fall and spring semesters. Each seminar is taught by a faculty member with extensive experience covering the subject at hand. Professors also bring in experts from Columbia and beyond as teaching partners, providing an unparalleled level of depth and nuance. For instance, the Science seminar might spend one class session meeting with a medical researcher, the next examining journalism about that type of research and then another critiquing student work on a related assignment. Throughout, the seminars combine deep subject instruction with high?level journalistic mentoring.

Each M.A. student also takes:

Evidence and Inference

This fall course teaches a disciplined “journalistic method” of testing assumptions and hypotheses, recognizing the ways that stories can distort the truth and exploring how to make sure that reporting firmly proves its points.

Students also develop useful skills for working with statistics, conducting in­-depth interviews and combining anecdote and narrative with the big picture in their writing.

M.A. Essentials

Investigative techniques are key to 21st century journalism. Students learn the best ways to comb public records, conduct internet forensics and do thorough background searches on individuals and corporations. They gain an understanding of cutting­ edge concepts in data journalism and how to employ them in coverage of their concentrations.

Three Outside Electives

Students may enroll in almost any graduate­ level course offered by Columbia University, provided the course will deepen their understanding of the chosen area of study.

Each student’s individual course selections are approved by the faculty.

The Master’s Thesis

Each student undertakes a significant reporting project that results in a piece of longform journalism. The thesis gives students the opportunity to explore a topic in depth and synthesize what they learn in a sophisticated manner.

Graduates have published and aired their theses in top?tier outlets, such as Harper's, The New York Times, This American Life, The New Yorker and The Guardian.

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How to Apply

  • $100 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency (where applicable for non-native speakers of English)
  • General essays on personal and professional interests
  • Essay on your qualifications for your chosen concentration
  • Resume
  • Journalistic or written work samples
  • No GRE required

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