Becoming a journalist begins with learning the fundamentals of good storytelling: training in the art of clear and concise writing, interviewing, identifying and cultivating characters and sources, and honing investigative skills to create journalism with impact. In small, nurturing classes, students go from introductory journalism courses to advanced classes in topics like investigative journalism, data journalism and magazine writing. Students have an opportunity to work in newsrooms in Boston or across the country as part of their degree through Northeastern’s acclaimed Cooperative Education (co-op) program.

The Professional track curriculum combines courses in the fundamentals of news and feature writing with courses in digital skills, such as video and data.

Students who pursue the Professional track come to the program from a variety of backgrounds. Some have no previous journalism experience; others have some background, but want to improve their skills and take their careers to the next level.

Our students study with award-winning faculty who have come to Northeastern with years of experience reporting in the field.  With their guidance, students are encouraged to publish their work at local and national news outlets.


The Professional track curriculum consists of nine courses and 36 credit hours.  Students must complete four required courses, one practicum course and four electives.  Additionally, students without previous reporting experience can enroll in JRNL 6100 Reporting and Writing Fundamentals, an optional one-credit intensive reporting class.  

Required courses:

  • JRNL 6200 Enterprise Reporting 1
  • JRNL 6201 Enterprise Reporting 2
  • JRNL 6202 Perspectives on Journalism Ethics
  • JRNL 6340 Fundamentals of Digital Journalism
  • Practicum (The Practicum requirement can be fulfilled by taking courses that require students to produce work. Students who participate in co-op, or do an internship also fulfill this requirement.)

Sample Elective Courses:

  • JRNL 5310 Photojournalism
  • JRNL 5311 Design and Graphics
  • JRNL 6300 First Amendment in the Digital Age
  • JRNL 6301 Historical Perspective on Media
  • JRNL 6310 Multimedia Journalism
  • JRNL 6352 Nonfiction Writing
  • JRNL 6354 Public Policy and the Press
  • JRNL 6355 Seminar in Investigative Reporting

Full-time students typically finish the program in 18 months to two years; part-time students generally complete the program in two to three years.  Full-time students have the option to accelerate their program to finish in one year.

Course Descriptions

Cooperative Education

As an international leader in cooperative education, Northeastern offers a unique option for its master’s degree students who want pursue a career in the news media.

Full-time students can complement their academic study with a four or six-month co-op job in a media organization.  Visit our cooperative education page for more information.

Graduate students interested in going on co-op should contact Kellianne Murphy at k.murphy@northeastern.edu.   Although co-op extends graduation, it is often a valuable experience for graduate students.  In order to participate in co-op, students must be enrolled in their program and cannot go on co-op post-graduation.

Student Work


Emails discovered by students reveal Boston official ‘choking’ on generous incentives to GE for WCVB-TV

Boston Police

Students uncover that discipline for Boston police officers are frequently overturned for WCVB-TV

Students Mailing

Northeastern students uncover that most localities in state fail test on records law with the help of The Boston Globe and WCVB-TV


While on co-op at WEEI, Lucy Burdge wrote for the pop culture blog Not the Game


Department Chair

07/24/15 - BOSTON, MA. - Jonathan Kaufman, Director of School of Journalism in the College of Arts, Media and Design. Photo by: Matthew Modoono/Northeastern

Jonathan Kaufman, Director, School of Journalism



Carlene Hempel, Teaching Professor, School of Journalism


Mike Beaudet, Professor of the Practice, School of Journalism

Dan Kennedy 1

Dan Kennedy, Associate Professor, School of Journalism


Laurel Leff, Associate Professor, School of Journalism

Jeff Howe

Jeff Howe, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism


Aleszu Bajak, Instructor, School of Journalism – Media Innovation



Gladys McKie, Graduate Coordinator, School of Journalism