Specializations

All Cronkite students become well-rounded communicators and skilled storytellers, but many choose to pursue deeper knowledge in an area of focus. Immersion students pursuing the BA in journalism or BA in sports journalism may select one of the following specializations. There’s no paperwork; simply complete the required courses to earn the specialization.

Want to learn more about pursuing a specialization? Contact your adviser.

Business journalism specialization

The Cronkite School has long been a leader in answering the growing demand for journalists who are trained to report on business, economics and finance. The school serves as the hub of U.S. business journalism, housing both the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Students may specialize in business journalism through courses that emphasize an understanding of business and economic principles in hands-on learning and robust portfolio work.

Two business journalism classes are required:

  1. JMC 450: Issues in Coverage of Business and the Economy, a seminar that introduces students to business and economic coverage. From balance sheets to regulation to business personalities, the course helps students set their own professional parameters for coverage and learn effective ways to communicate complex topics effectively.
  2. JMC 453: Reporting on Business and the Economy, in which students pursue deadline stories on local and regional business and economic stories. Students learn how to present complex financial topics in clear and compelling ways with the goal of publication, preparing them for their internships and first jobs.

Students in the specialization are encouraged to complete their required professional program in Cronkite News, covering business stories.

Public relations specialization

The Cronkite School prepares the next generation of PR and communications leaders. Students who choose a public relations path build the necessary foundation to excel in strategic communications roles across any organization, within any industry. Students develop skill and strategy in crisis communications, media relations, event planning/promotion, internal/external communications, multimedia client storytelling and more.

Three strategic communications classes are required:

  1. JMC 310: Principles of Strategic Communication, a seminar that introduces students to the practices and principles of public relations in corporate, nonprofit, agency, government and other settings. The course covers the role of public relations professionals, how the field is changing and career opportunities.
  2. JMC 415: Writing for Public Relations, where students develop the professional-level writing and strategic skills expected of public relations practitioners. Students learn how to design and produce strategic plans, news releases, media kits and executive communications. They are exposed to communications approaches required for different audiences and media and learn about public relations theory as well as audience research and analysis.
  3. JMC 436: Public Relations Research, where students learn about the importance of research in communications, conduct research using qualitative and quantitative methods, and analyze data to understand implications within a specific communications context. They also critically evaluate published academic and professional research and are exposed to types of research and their application in the field of public relations.

Students in the specialization are encouraged to complete their required professional program in the Public Relations Lab.

Latino specialization

The Latino specialization helps students develop expertise in border and immigration issues, and teaches students how to ethically and effectively tell stories about and affecting Latino communities.

Two courses are required:

  1. JMC 435: Latino and Transnational Issues, a seminar that gives students a nuanced understanding of topics such as immigration, trade, health care, politics and cross-border conflict and cooperation, preparing them to report on some of today’s most important issues. Students who complete the course are considered for a spring in-depth reporting course, which includes a reporting trip to another country.
  2. JMC 470: Depth Reporting, an advanced course in which students learn to conceptualize, report and write or produce long-form, in-depth stories for publication or broadcast. Students may complete a version of the course that includes a Spring Break reporting trip directed by Rick Rodrigues, former executive editor at the Sacramento Bee, who is the school’s first Carnegie Professor of Journalism specializing in Latino and transnational news coverage.

Students in the specialization are encouraged to complete their required professional program in Cronkite Noticias or on the borderlands team of Cronkite News, and complete their foreign language requirements in Spanish.

Bilingual specialization

The bilingual specialization is designed for students who want to build their cultural knowledge and tell the important stories of diverse communities throughout Arizona and the world in both English and another language. Students produce award-winning work about people and places in Phoenix, on the U.S.-Mexico border, in Indian country and in other parts of the world, from Peru and Puerto Rico to Hungary and Nicaragua.

Two courses (of four choices) are required. One of the following is required:

  1. JMC 333: Advanced Bilingual Broadcast Reporting, where students produce bilingual television packages on a wide range of issues. Students also report and produce an occasional Spanish-language newscast. Students develop advanced reporting, interviewing, visual storytelling and writing skills in English and Spanish, preparing them for entry-level positions in a television newsroom.
  2. JMC 434: Advanced Bilingual Reporting, a project-based class in which students work together to cover various angles of a topic related to Latinos in the U.S., often resulting in publication. Students need some ability to report in Spanish, although fluency is not required.

And one of the following is required:

  1. JMC 435: Latino and Transnational Issues, a seminar that gives students a nuanced understanding of topics such as immigration, trade, health care, politics and cross-border conflict and cooperation, preparing them to report on some of today’s most important issues. Students who complete the course are considered for a spring in-depth reporting course, which includes a reporting trip to another country.
  2. JMC 470: Depth Reporting, and advanced course in which students learn to conceptualize, report and write or produce long-form, in-depth stories for publication or broadcast. Students may complete a version of the course that includes a Spring Break reporting trip directed by Rick Rodriguez, former executive editor at the Sacramento Bee, who is the school’s first Carnegie Professor of Journalism specializing in Latino and transnational news coverage.

Students in the specialization are encouraged to complete their required professional program in Cronkite Noticias, or on the borderlands team in Cronkite News.