Undergraduate journalism degree programs emphasize editing, communication and writing, so previous coursework in college-level English is required. Students can choose an emphasis in areas such as mass communications, marketing or public relations. Associate's degrees take two years to complete, while bachelor's programs usually require four years of study.
Graduate certificate programs in journalism are especially beneficial to currently employed journalists wanting to focus on a specific aspect of journalism, such as feature writing, and to further develop story-writing and reporting skills. These programs may require 1-2 years of study. Students at both levels have the opportunity to learn various styles of journalism and develop their own writing voice.
Associate's or Bachelor's Degree in Journalism
Undergraduate level degrees in journalism offer interdisciplinary coursework and cover areas that include English and media studies. In addition to journalism studies, core curriculum classes in humanities, math and foreign language are usually required. These undergraduate programs teach advanced skills in journalism through courses such as the following:
- Journalism writing topics
- Editing, writing and reporting
- Ethics in journalism
- Communication principles
Graduate Certificate in Journalism
The graduate certificate in journalism programs are typically designed for journalism professionals. These programs provide specialty training in specific journalistic areas like feature writing, cultural journalism and advocacy and immersion journalism. Students will expand on their writing skills while focusing on the research, techniques and analysis used in the journalism field. Some required and elective courses offered include:
- Business journalism
- Copy editing and headline writing
- Refined writing for publications
- Investigative journalism
Popular Career Options
Developing strong writing skills through postsecondary journalism training is a skill that can be applied to the following careers:
- Public relations specialist
- Broadcast journalist
- Technical writer
Students may choose to utilize their graduate-level journalism certificate for careers including the following:
- News reporter
- Magazine journalist
- Creative writer
Master's degree programs in journalism, communications and public relations are available for students who wish to continue their journalism studies. Some programs will accept graduate journalism certificate coursework for transfer credit.
Aspiring journalists are wise to consider an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field, while experienced journalists seeking new skills might look into graduate certificate programs. Depending on the program, students may explore investigative reporting, editing techniques, business journalism and more.