Science and Medical Journalism

  • uncunc

Course Category: Master and Master of Science

Course Description
Course Description
  • Focus of Study

    The overall mission of the program is to educate journalists so that they can communicate about medicine and science effectively. Competent science and medical journalists are needed to provide a bridge between the scientist and the consumer.

    The program would be of interest to both journalists and health professionals who

    • hold a bachelor’s degree,
    • have previous journalism education or experience,
    • have demonstrated writing skills.

    Course Description

    The Science and Medical Journalism Program at UNC is one of the nation’s first master’s programs of its kind. Science and medical journalists provide a bridge between scientists and consumers by making complex science understandable to a broad audience of readers, viewers and listeners.

    Core science and medical journalism courses

    Other required JOMC courses

    All master’s students must take the following journalism and mass communication courses:

    • JOMC 701: “Mass Communication Research Methods”
    • JOMC 740: “Mass Communication Law and Ethics”
    • JOMC 753: “Reporting and Writing News” (course designed to be cross-platform)
    • JOMC 782: “Multimedia Storytelling”

    Courses outside JOMC

    All master’s students in the Science and Medical Journalism Program must take two graduate-level courses outside the School of Media and Journalism. Those courses must be approved by the director of the Science and Medical Journalism Program and be in a content area pertinent to the student’s focus of interest.

    Other advanced JOMC courses

    • One seminar (in specialization if offered) at the 800 level
    • One additional graduate-level skills or conceptual course


    • JOMC 992: Non-traditional thesis OR
    • JOMC 993: Master’s thesis

    Students from varied academic and professional backgrounds have joined the program in its 15-year history. Some have been working journalists looking to sharpen their reporting skills or to specialize in science and medical writing. Others have been health professionals wanting to move into journalism. Some have worked for years before returning to graduate school, while others have come soon after completing undergrad or other master’s programs. Our students have majored in journalism, history, English, chemistry, applied physics, neurobiology, archaeology and many more.

    Above all else, we’re looking for students who love to write, are eager to learn about science and medicine, and want to learn how to communicate complex ideas to the public.