Newhouse DC Academics

The academic experience in Washington, D.C. supports Syracuse University’s goal of providing every student with a chance to study in one of the world’s greatest, most dynamic and diverse metropolitan areas.

As a Newhouse DC student, you will select from a variety of courses taught by professionals working in the industry. Blending practical experience in the field with a passion for education, our faculty foster a unique environment for students studying in Washington, D.C. Small class sizes lend itself to recognizing individual talents and continued development, fostering a positive and nurturing learning environment.  

Students can also select from a variety of online courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Newhouse/Maxwell duals can request permission to take Maxwell-in-Washington based courses.   

COM 300:  Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship (3 credits)

This course provides students with the tools to understand the erosion of public trust in democratic governance and the media and the connections between the two, and a roadmap to earn and maximize their own credibility with the public. 
Using data, guest speakers, readings and individualized study, we’ll examine relationship between media coverage and the state of democracy — from elections to technology, sports, the military, race, gender, education and the workforce. We’ll study the ethical pressures and codes that shape political candidates, public officials, journalists, non-news broadcasters and PR practitioners — and the differences in expectations and obligations between each field. 

COM 350: Media, Diversity and Politics (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to fundamental issues related to diversity and inclusion in the media industries as approached through the lens of specific topics, industries, and/or media products. This course will:  
Explain the concept of social identity and the role of media in the construction of social identities. 
Define and differentiate the relationship between stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, and such concepts including but not limited to racism and sexism. 
Define and apply the concepts of representation and symbolic annihilation, as well as relevant communication theories. 
Define and apply the concept of hegemony and its role in the production of messages. 
Describe and apply the concept of the intersectionality of identities and its relationship to media reception and production. 

COM 400: DC Industry Practicum (1-3 credits)

Practical experience in the Washington, DC communications industry. Includes media-based internship along with required in-person classroom sessions, field trips and guest speakers. Students will receive an internship grade that is determined by the internship supervisor performance evaluation, one-on-one meetings, class assignments, journal, and final paper.  

COM 509: Law for Public Communicators (3 credits)

This class will expose you to the elements of First Amendment and media-related law so as communications professionals or practicing journalists, you understand the legal implications of your work. Topics include defamation, privacy, newsgathering torts, access to court proceedings, confidential sources and open records.  Additional topics include commercial speech, broadcast regulation, copyright, obscenity, indecency, and the internet.

JNL 530: Specialized Reporting “Covering Washington” (3 credits)

This is an advanced reporting course designed to equip broadcast, print, and online journalism students with the skills necessary to cover campaigns, elections, and public policy. In this newsroom experience, you will write, edit, and produce content on deadline. 
You will cover local, state, and national races and significant political events. 
You will generate original reporting and cover a political race of your choice based on class discussion. 
You will gain a new perspective on beat reporting and how to develop, research and pitch news stories, 
You’ll also understand the role of various elected government officials on the state and federal level. 

BDJ 675:  DC Graduate Professional Experience (3 credits)

Master’s students will spend six weeks of their graduate program in Washington, D.C. During this capstone experience, they apply the hands-on and academic lessons they’ve learned from their previous semesters at another level.

Students cover Capitol Hill and the federal government as reporters for Nexstar television stations in markets as varied as Austin, Erie, Shreveport and Fort Wayne. As credentialed members of the Washington press corps, they develop, research, shoot, report and edit their own stories, which then air on their assigned stations’ newscasts. Students who are interested in producing the news work with a variety of organizations, such as CBS Newspath, Agence France Presse, NBC News, The Situation Room at CNN and the Cox News Washington Bureau.