The master's program in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism responds to a critical need for journalists trained to tell compelling stories that illuminate the complex relationship between nature and society. Our graduate students work with world-class science and journalism faculty to produce cutting-edge stories in a spectacular physical and academic setting.
Set in the heart of the Northern Rockies, surrounded by wilderness, forests, rivers and national parks, the University hosts interdisciplinary programs in Environmental Studies, Climate Change Studies, and Natural Resources Conflict Resolution. Together with journalism's new graduate focus, these programs draw from disciplines ranging from the hard sciences to geography, ethics and the law to create a dynamic intellectual community concerned with understanding the relationship between humanity and the earth.
UM is also home to the internationally acclaimed College of Forestry and Conservation, with programs studying ecosystem management, forestry, wildlife biology, and the interaction of society and nature, from research facilities in space, in forests and rangelands, and on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the western United States.
Beyond their practical training and research in environmental journalism, our students choose courses from an array of subjects reflecting The University of Montana's commitment to the conservation of nature and the well-being of humanity.
They produce print and photo stories, multi-media projects, web and broadcast documentaries that address global as well as regional issues like wilderness policy, environmental health, endangered species, forestry and mining practices, and the management of public lands, climate change and natural resources.
Where will our graduates work?
Our graduates will find work everywhere that journalists are working today and in the future, from traditional news media to online news organizations, nonprofits, government agencies and educational institutions. The practical skills and special knowledge they acquire in Montana will expand the venues for them to practice their craft.
Who can apply to the program?
We want applicants with degrees or professional experience in journalism. We also seek applicants with undergraduate degrees in science, environmental studies and natural resource issues who are willing to take foundational journalism courses to qualify for admission to the program. Similarly, journalists without a background in the sciences may have to take foundational science courses that will not count toward the degree.
|Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism
M.A. Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism
Students working toward the 36-credit degree must successfully complete:
18 credits in journalism (15 credits in required courses and 3 credits in journalism electives).
12 credits in approved non-journalism graduate courses in natural resource issues and/or environmental science.
6 credits of professional project work in journalism.
Required journalism courses:
JOUR 505 - Seminar in Environmental Journalism
JOUR 567 - Studies in Press and Broadcast Law
JOUR 570 - Covering Environmental Science and Natural Resource Issues
JOUR 575 - Story Lab
JOUR 690 - Externship
Required non-journalism courses:
Students are required to successfully complete 12 credits of approved non-journalism courses relevant to the coverage of natural resource issues or environmental science. Registration in such courses is subject to availability, prerequisites and consent of instructor.
To help students in their choices, we've assembled a list of potential courses, divided into specialties. Students are not limited to the courses on this list, and they may select courses from each specialty. We've contacted department heads or instructors for permission to advertise each course on this list.
GEOG 432 - Human Role in Environmental Change
ECON 433 - Economics of the Environment
PHIL 504 - Colloquium on the Philosophy of Ecology
HIST 564 - U.S. Environmental History
LAW 650 - Introduction to Environmental Law (Students would also be welcome in Environmental Law II and in a new course, the Law of Climate Change.)
FOR/RSCN 422 - Natural Resource Policy and Administration
FOR 513 - Natural Resources and Environmental Dispute Resolution
FOR 622 - Advanced Problems in Environmental Policy
WBIO 410 - Wildlife Policy and Biopolitics
COMM 575 - Seminar in Rhetoric & Environmental Controversy
ECON 445 - International Environmental Economics and Climate Change
WBIO 470 - Conservation & Wildlife Populations
BIO 575 - Frontiers in Conservation Research
GEOSCI 488 - Snow, Ice & Climate
FOR 532 - Forest Ecosystem Analysis
FOR/RSCN 570 - Graduate Seminar in Political Ecology
FOR/RSCN 571 - International Conservation and Development
FOR 501 - Research Methods
Analysis & Representation studies:
GEOG 468 - Community & Regional Analysis
GEOG 580 - Seminar in GIS & Cartography
MATH 444 - Statistical Methods
FOR 503 - GIS Methods and Applications
What does the professional project entail?
All students must produce a professional project, a work of journalism suitable for online dissemination at reputable, credible Web sites. The work must represent an original and in-depth contribution to the public knowledge of environmental science and natural resource issues, subject to the approval of a faculty project committee. Students may choose to produce one large, documentary-style project or three shorter but thematically related pieces.
Project committees must include a chair and reviewer chosen from the School of Journalism faculty and a faculty member from another school or department.
1. Application Materials and Deadline
Instructions for applying to the Graduate School are in the Applying for Admission section on this web site.
All applicants must apply through the online process established by the Graduate School. Beyond the general requirements of the Graduate School, applicants must submit a resume, a statement of interest and five samples of their professional or academic writing. Applicants with a background in broadcast, photo or multimedia journalism must submit samples of such work as well.
In addition, applicants must:
Submit GRE scores. We do not consider LSAT scores.
Show strong academic potential for successful completion of the program.
Show evidence of strong interest and potential in the field of journalism.
Three letters of recommendation (We prefer electronic submission through the Admission Application. If the electronic method is used there is no need to send paper copies to the department.)
Environmental issues must be addressed around the world, which is why we highly encourage qualified international students to apply.
The TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB exam may substitute for the GRE under the following conditions: TOEFL scores must be at least 600 (paper-based exam), at least 250 (computer-based exam) or at least 100 (Internet-based exam); IELTS scores must be at least 7.0; MELAB scores must be at least 82.
Due to journalism's necessary emphasis on language skills, applicants for whom English is not the native language may be asked to successfully complete an interview in English with the program director.
See information in the International Admission section on this web site.
For additional information about financial assistance, see the Financial Information section on this web site.
The School of Journalism offers at least two graduate teaching assistantships each academic year. TAs assist faculty in a variety of ways, including researching class materials, grading assignments, delivering lectures and leading labs and discussion groups. The assistantships are available only to students admitted to full-time (nine-credit) graduate status by the Graduate School. Full-time TAs work approximately 15 hours per week for 15 weeks each fall and spring semester. In addition to their salaries, TAs receive a tuition waiver and a waiver of the registration fee. Other fees charged by the University are not included in the TA fee waiver package. Students must reapply each semester for their assistantships. Both current and incoming graduate students are urged to apply.
To be considered for an assistantship, please indicate your interest on the online application or by e-mail to the director of the journalism graduate program.
Fellowships and Scholarships
The School of Journalism offers several fellowships for graduate students. We encourage mentioning your interest in a specific fellowship in the letter that accompanies your Graduate School application.
The Kim Williams Fellowship is awarded to graduate students in journalism who are interested in environmental reporting.
The Billings Fellowship is awarded to a female graduate student with outstanding potential as a public affairs reporter.
The Ted Delaney Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student with outstanding potential as a journalistic writer.
Graduate students frequently receive other journalism scholarships awarded each spring at the Dean Stone banquet.
Don Anderson Hall, Room 201
Federal Express Delivery - Street Address
Don Anderson Hall 201
32 Campus Drive #0648
Missoula, MT 59812-0648
Office: (406) 243-4001
Fax: (406) 243-5369
Director of Graduate Studies