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Professional Master's Program: 36 Credits
Master's student Adriane Goetz of Phoenix follows a presentation by Cronkite Assistant Professor Leslie-Jean Thornton.
The Cronkite School’s 12- to 15-month professional master’s program centers around real-world experience that prepares students for careers in today’s rapidly evolving media industry.
The full-time program is unique in scope, focus and intensity. It begins with immersion in the journalism skills, values and principles embodied by Walter Cronkite, the school’s guiding light for the past three decades. But it also is designed with the future in mind. Students learn how to navigate a dramatically different 21st-century media environment through classes and a symposium specifically focused on the future of journalism. And they are able to apply that knowledge through an intensive, practical experience in one of the school’s signature professional programs.
With news bureaus in Phoenix and Washington, Cronkite News Service has become a major provider of public policy news about Arizona for newspapers, TV and radio stations and news websites across the state. Student work is published in professional outlets across Arizona and beyond.
Students will produce multimedia content in partnership with sports networks from a Southern California sports bureau in Santa Monica.
Students cover news across the state and in Washington, D.C. and produce a live, four-day-a-week, 30-minute newscast that reaches 1.4 million homes on Arizona PBS. The newscast is regularly recognized as the nation’s best by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Broadcast Education Association.
Journalism students work side by side with computer science, design and business students to create cutting-edge digital media products for regional and national media companies and other organizations. Students also pursue entrepreneurial projects in the digital space.
Professional Immersion Experiences
Business journalism means jobs--online, in print and on air. Students take courses in economics and finance and get experience reporting on those subjects. Many intern at one of 20 high-profile media outlets, including Bloomberg, Reuters, CNN Money, the Los Angeles Times and CNBC. Students can pursue business journalism beginning their first semester.
Robust course offerings give students the opportunity to cover sports for broadcast, print and online. In addition to sports reporting, sports production and sports photography classes, students can cover Major League Baseball spring training in the Phoenix metropolitan area for class credit. Their reporting has been featured on websites of The Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, San Diego Union-Tribune, MLB.com and The Seattle Times.
Selected Cronkite students are named Fellows in the national Carnegie-Knight News21 program, an investigative, multimedia reporting initiative that brings top journalism students from around the country to Cronkite each year to report in depth on a topic of national significance. The 2013 project on post-9/11 veterans follows others on voting rights, food safety and transportation safety, all of which have been published by The Washington Post, NBCnews.com and other major national news outlets.
Each year, advanced Cronkite students travel to another country to produce an in-depth multimedia report on immigration and border issues. Students have traveled to Mexico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and other locales. These projects have won the international Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award three times in recent years.
Students do all of this in a world-class facility in the heart of downtown Phoenix and in the nation’s sixth largest city and 13th largest media market. Student journalists can walk to their internships at the state’s largest newspaper, the NBC affiliate and Fox News or to cover major events at city hall; county, state and federal agencies; and at major sporting and cultural venues. The state’s public television station – one of the largest in the country – is housed inside the school’s state-of-the-art $71 million facility.
Students have the chance to study under a remarkable faculty of national journalism leaders. They include former CNN anchor Aaron Brown, former Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor Tim McGuire, former BET Vice President Retha Hill, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Steve Doig, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning editor Jacquee Petchel, former executive editor of the Sacramento Bee Rick Rodriguez and Leonard Downie, Jr., longtime executive editor of The Washington Post.
Other veterans head up the school’s professional immersion programs, which are a cornerstone of the graduate experience.
Justin McHeffey, of Montana, participates in an online media class for graduate students.
For the most part, students come to the master's program with limited or no professional experience. The course of study, which begins with a “boot camp” in basic journalism skills, is designed to prepare those without such training for careers in print, digital media and broadcasting.
The program is designed so that each class moves through as a cohort, entering in the fall semester and attending full time for three semesters.
Many students gain their final credits in Cronkite News Service in D.C. in the summer after entering, enabling them to graduate in 12 months. Others take the summer off and complete their studies in the fall of their second year.
Students must meet the admissions requirements of both the Graduate College and the Cronkite School and apply no later than Feb. 1. The admission process is conducted on a rolling basis between December and March.
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