Journalism: Common Journalism Adult Education Programs

If you are interested in journalism, you can take a class through an adult education center, or even to enroll in a degree program at a college or university. Read more about the types of classes and programs available, and find out what the career outlook is like for journalism professions.

Aspiring journalists have several course and program options to further their education in the field. Here we discuss a few of the programs and courses available.

Program Information

There are many types of journalism classes and programs available for adult learners, including standalone courses through continuing education departments and more traditional certificates and bachelor's degrees. Programs often include courses in various types of composition and literature, and internships may be required or optional. Some programs are available online for adult learners and others who need a more flexible schedule. Depending on the program selected, graduates may do freelance work from home, work at a busy copy desk or pursue a career in broadcasting journalism, helping to bring the news to viewers via TV, radio or webcasting.

Programs At a Glance

Bachelor's Degree Completion

  • Typically offered as a Bachelor of Arts program, the length of the program is dependent on student's prior credits.
  • These programs can be found online and on-campus.

Certificate of Journalism

  • These undergraduate certificate programs are usually 15 credits.
  • The program is offered online.

Standalone Courses

  • Continuing education courses can range from 3 to 5 credits.
  • These courses are offered on-campus.

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

The flagship campus of the state's higher education network, UMass - Amherst offers multiple programs for adult learners looking to take journalism courses. The school offers a bachelor's degree completion program, which is ideal for students with prior credits from other institutions, and a certificate, which is better suited for students with less experience in journalism.

Certificate Program

This program provides you with a basic background in reporting, writing and research. Some example coursework includes news writing, media ethics, and public relations. This program is ideal for students who are interested in journalism but not ready to commit to a full-time program as it only consists of 15 credits, which can also be transferred if students are seeking a bachelor's degree. Students can also choose to take individual courses from the program if they do not wish to take all 15 credits. The program is available online, meaning that working adults can fit coursework into their busy schedules.

Bachelor's Degree Program

A bachelor's degree in journalism gives you the skills and experience in writing and reporting that will enable you to land a job as a news reporter in print or broadcast media, writer or editor. The completion program at UMass - Amherst is designed for students who have already taken journalism courses but have yet to receive a degree. Students can even receive credit for prior learning, coursework and life experience. In addition to the standard general education courses and general electives, this program includes coursework in editing, feature writing, reporting, media law, social media, and Web design.

Columbia University

Through the Columbia Journalism School, students can take standalone professional development courses in topics related to the field. Columbia's courses stress leadership and management skills, and specialized workshops allow students to pursue topics that most directly relate to their personal and professional interests.

Video Journalism Course

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of journalism. Students begin by acquiring the most basic skills, such as handling a camera, before moving on to more advanced concepts, such as structuring a story and using post-production software. The program is structured with discussions and small-group lab work for hands-on experience.

Publishing Course

An intensive option for aspiring professionals, this course focuses almost exclusively on career development in the publishing field. Students gain hands-on work experience and have access to career placement support and an extensive alumni network. The course focuses primarily on book, digital and magazine publishing. This is a 6-week course that takes place on campus in the summer, and admission is competitive.

Investigate Reporting Course

This course focuses on the development of important skills related to investigative journalism. It is designed for students who already have some journalism experience. Students will learn about techniques such as acquiring data from outside sources, creating databases, locating and utilizing public records both in America and abroad, and proper interview strategies. The course takes place over the summer for three weeks.

Students can find standalone courses, certificate and bachelor's degree programs in journalism, some of which are offered online. Students will study a wide range of topics in the field, such as reporting, editing, industry technology and more.

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