After 2-Year Review, Columbia J-School Adds New Degree

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By: E&P Staff

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism will inaugurate a new one-year Master of Arts program this fall, which “grows out of an extensive two-year review of the future of journalism education led by Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger,” the school said in an announcement today.

The M.A. will be the first new professional degree offered by the School of Journalism since the introduction of its Master of Science program 70 years ago.

The new master’s program will offer intensive training in a number of broad academic disciplines, the announcement said, aimed at younger and mid-level journalists who seek “an enhanced ability to understand complex 21st century issues,” with specialization in one of four areas: arts and culture journalism, business and economics journalism, political journalism ,or science and medical journalism.

Columbia?s existing one-year M.S. degree concentrates on teaching the skills needed to be a general-assignment reporter in a variety of media,. The new M.A. program is offered as an optional second year for graduates of the M.S. program. It is also open to non-graduates “who can show mastery of journalistic fundamentals through professional accomplishment or an advanced degree in journalism comparable to the Columbia M.S.,” the school said.

?This new degree is in keeping with the vision of the school?s founder, Joseph Pulitzer, who believed that the journalism profession must constantly evolve and adapt to its changing roles in society,” President Bollinger said in a statement. “Given today?s rapid scientific discoveries and global transformation, it is important to equip journalists with the specialized knowledge needed to comprehend complex subjects and to report on them with accuracy, clarity and insight.?

The first-year class of the M.A. program, which will graduate in May 2006, will consist of 25 students and grow to approximately 60 students over the next few years.

?We hope to educate reporters and editors who can bring real subject-matter understanding to the stories they will write on difficult topics,? Nicholas Lemann, dean of the journalism school, said in a statement. ?The program will draw deeply on the expertise that resides throughout the University, bringing that expertise into the Journalism School and relating it to our profession?s mission and craft.?

Tuition for the new program has been set at $31,593 in its first year.

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