Center for Environmental Journalism

Is The Program For Me?

Master's Program

 Although few news organizations hire specialists right out of graduate school, the research skills and substantive knowledge you gain in the environmental program will allow you to write better stories and build a portfolio that will help you achieve your career goals in environmental journalism.

Aside from the news media, many positions in the public and private sectors require people with well-rounded environmental knowledge and good communications skills.

Having a master's degree also opens up teaching opportunities, particularly for those graduates with extensive hands-on journalism experience. Going on to earn a doctoral degree is another option.

Journalism experience isn't necessary to be admitted into the JMC. Most of the master's students do not have previous journalism experience. Extensive course work and an internship give students the skills to enter the profession of journalism.

Doctoral Program

Environmental problems are becoming increasingly complex and uncertain. We no longer live in an era where environmental problems are easily contained, defined, or solved. With this in mind, we also know that media influence society in a number of important ways. The manner in which media communicate the complex issues associated with environmental problems can have significant consequences for public policy, politics, culture, and science.

As a doctoral student in Journalism and Mass Communication, students learn about the influences and importance of media in society and research methods to investigate these influences. Doctoral students working at the University of Colorado Boulder are fortunate to be located in one of the world’s foremost environmental research communities. University researchers, government labs, non-profit organizations, and private sector researchers all collaborate and create an exciting research environment.

Working in the Center for Environmental Journalism, doctoral students will have access to faculty from within the JMC and around campus. Students who are interested in media influences on environmental politics and policy, risk communication, scientific communication, and other interactions between mass media and environmental outcomes are welcome at JMC and the CEJ.

Taking classes in the JMC at CU-Boulder and conducting research in the CEJ will prepare doctoral students to pursue a variety of professional tracks. Students will be well prepared to work in the academic research and teaching fields. Additionally, our graduates will be prepared to work in or with government, the non-profit, and private sectors.

Doctoral students admitted to the JMC Ph.D. program generally are expected to hold a master’s degree. In certain situations exceptions may be made.


Undergraduates also can pursue environmental journalism. However, because the prerequisite for becoming a good environmental journalist is first to be a good journalist, the fundamental requirements in Journalism and Mass Communication's undergraduate curriculum do not leave room for an environmental specialization. Many students choose to earn dual degrees in journalism and another field such as environmental studies.

Undergraduates may also take the environmental reporting and science writing classes in their senior years, with instructor permission. They may further individualize their education experience through environmental journalism internships, seminars and independent study.

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