The Program in Journalism’s new undergraduate certificate program seeks to integrate journalism courses within the University by building a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of students, professors, and practitioners. It offers students continuity of instruction, advising on fieldwork, and a capstone experience of presenting their work.

Interested students are encouraged to sign up for announcements and updates. Questions about the program may be directed to Margo Bresnen, Journalism Program Manager, at mbresnen@princeton.edu.

Eligibility and Prerequisites

Students of all concentrations are welcome to apply to earn an undergraduate certificate from the Program in Journalism.

Students may apply for the certificate after having completed one journalism course with a grade of B or above. Students will normally apply during the spring semester of their sophomore year, but no later than the fall semester of their junior year. (Members of the Class of 2019 may apply at any point, and members of the Class of 2020 may apply at any point prior to the spring semester of their senior year.)


To obtain the certificate, students must complete three requirements: coursework, an approved fieldwork experience, and participation in a senior colloquium.

1. Coursework

Students must complete at least five courses, with a grade of B or above, including:

At least one 200-level JRN gateway course selected from the following list. Gateway courses allow students to develop a common skill set and a core of shared concerns, practices, and ethical principles.

—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.

At least two additional courses with a primary designation of JRN, at the 300- or 400-level.

At least two journalism-related courses, 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 will automatically count toward this requirement.

2. Fieldwork Experience

Students must participate in sustained journalistic activity for a minimum of five 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 a student publication, 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 will normally apply (or “register”) 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.

Complete the application

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