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Program Overview

MS student Amelia Williamson interning at Fermilab, 2007

Goals: The MS program in science and technology journalism at Texas A&M University is designed mainly to prepare students for careers as writers and editors specializing in the communication of science, technology, and medicine.  It also can serve as background for related careers and as preparation for doctoral study.

History: In 1996, Texas A&M University, long known for its strength in science and technology, implemented its MS program in science and technology journalism.  The program moved from the College of Liberal Arts to the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2006.

Philosophy: The program seeks to prepare graduates solidly grounded in both science journalism and science.  Thus, each student completes graduate courses in both realms. Each student's choice of courses is geared to his or her interests and goals.

Degree Options: Students choose between an internship track and a thesis track.  Examples of past internship sites include Sky & Telescope magazine, the National Cancer Institute, the American Chemical Society, Argonne National Laboratory, NOVA, and a variety of units on campus.  Thesis topics have included science reporting in Ghana and best practices of journalists winning awards for mental-health reporting.

Courses: All students in the program take the core courses Issues in Science and Technology Journalism, Research Methods in Science and Technology Journalism, and Reporting Science and Technology.  They also take other journalism courses of their choice.  Students choose from a wide range of science courses from throughout the university.  In addition, they can take courses in related realms such as history of science.

Eligibility: Individuals with undergraduate degrees in journalism, science, and other areas are eligible for the program.  Many entering students have previous graduate or professional degrees.

Graduates: Graduates have gone on to a variety of positions in science communication.  Examples include associate editor of Science News, news editor of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, editor of StarDate magazine, health reporter for the Nashville Tennessean, Washington correspondent for JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, science writer at the University of Georgia news service, associate editor at the Texas A&M University Press, communications specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, and communications coordinator for the office of the Texas A&M vice president for research.  Some graduates have pursued PhD degrees.

Contacts: For further information, please contact  program coordinator, Dr. Barbara Gastel (979-845-6887, bgastel@cvm.tamu.edu) or see vetmed.tamu.edu/vibs/stjr.