The Program in Journalism’s undergraduate certificate program seeks to integrate journalism courses within the University by building a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of students, professors, and practitioners. Journalism certificate students will learn the practice of reporting and verification and the art of crafting compelling non-fiction narratives in a variety of media. The program offers students continuity of instruction, advising on fieldwork, and a capstone experience of presenting their work.
Important deadlines for students interested in pursuing a certificate from the Program in Journalism:
—The deadline for current seniors (Class of 2021) to apply for the certificate in journalism was January 31, 2020. (Each senior seeking a certificate must present a work of journalism to their peers and distinguished journalists at a colloquium held during Reading Period. The work must be based on field reporting or reflect on the challenges facing modern journalism.)
—The deadline for current juniors (Class of 2022) to apply for the certificate in journalism is January 31, 2021.
—Current sophomores (Class of 2023) may apply for the certificate in journalism at any point prior to the spring semester of their junior year.
Admission to the Program
The Program in Journalism’s undergraduate certificate program is open to students of all concentrations.
Students may apply for the certificate after having completed one journalism course with a grade of B or above. Students normally apply during the spring semester of their sophomore year, but no later than the fall semester of their junior year.
To obtain the certificate, students must complete three requirements: coursework, an approved fieldwork experience, and participation in a required senior colloquium.
Students must complete at least five courses, with a grade of B or above (no PDF), including:
—At least one gateway course (200-level) selected from the list below.
-JRN 240/CWR 240 Creative Non-Fiction (LA) This is a course in factual writing and what has become known as literary non-fiction, emphasizing writing assignments and readings of leading work in the genre.
-JRN 260 The Media in America (SA) This seminar explores the challenges and opportunities that today’s rapidly evolving media landscape presents to freedom of the press, and to the democracy that the media serve. Discussion focuses on where news comes from and how citizens can best assess the credibility of individual news reports.
-JRN 280 The Literature of Fact (LA) Students in this course strive to identify and emulate the best writing in a variety of journalistic genres, from news analysis to arts criticism to foreign correspondence.
Gateway courses focus on the ethics of journalism, media literacy, and fact-based reporting, developing a common vocabulary and methodology including interviewing, storytelling, and verification skills. Courses are writing-intensive, as students are required to “do journalism”–to report, write, workshop, and revise.
—At least two additional courses with a primary designation of JRN, at the 300- or 400-level.
These courses are taught by distinguished, practicing journalists. Some seats will be reserved for certificate students.
—At least two journalism-related courses with a grade of B or above (no PDF), each of which must be approved by the program director to fulfill this requirement, unless they are courses that are cross-listed with JRN, in which case they automatically count toward this requirement.
2. Fieldwork Experience
Students must participate in sustained journalistic activity for a minimum of six weeks—doing work that involves reporting, interviewing, researching, writing, copy editing, web design, photography, videography, etc.—contributing to factual news stories outside the classroom and/or beyond the University. Examples include interning at a major news organization, working for approved student journalism organizations, undertaking an independent reporting and writing project advised by a Princeton journalism instructor, or successfully completing a summer journalism seminar abroad. To fulfill this requirement, fieldwork experiences must be approved by the program director.
3. Senior Colloquium
Students must produce a piece of journalism based on field reporting or reflecting on the challenges facing modern journalists and, near the end of their senior year, present this work to peers and a jury of current and former Princeton journalism instructors at an interdisciplinary year-end colloquium.
Students normally apply for the certificate in journalism during the spring semester of their sophomore year, if they have completed one journalism course with a grade of B or above. Students should apply no later than the fall semester of their junior year. Applying early may make students eligible for reserved seats in select journalism seminars.