The role of journalism in a modern society is increasingly relevant in our globalized, interconnected world. The mission of the Policy Journalism and Media Studies Certificate is to meet the needs of students preparing for careers in media policy, journalism, or associated professions.

The DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, with support from Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Sanford School of Public Policy, utilizes an approach to the discipline emphasizing the analysis and understanding of public policy, and the complex relationships between media and public policy making, supported by courses in effective media writing and production.

The Certificate has interrelated learning objectives:

  • To be an interdisciplinary approach to the study of media and communications processes;
  • To investigate the machinery of contemporary media policy-making and its impact on the practice of journalism, and to understand the broad political dynamics which have conditioned both U.S. and International media policy, past and present;
  • To familiarize students with the institutional, economic, social and political complexities of media policies worldwide through the study of the interaction between the key players in media policy making, journalism, media-related non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academics specializing in media studies;
  • To explore the cultural and ideological underpinnings of contemporary conceptions of media, media policy, and journalism in a global market, as well as the current educational challenges facing journalists whose knowledge need to be increasingly specialized in order to explain increasingly complex global situations to their audiences; and
  • To apply what is learned in the classroom to real world experiences.


Certificate Requirements:
The Certificate draws upon established courses relating to journalism, public policy and media studies; it also recognizes the contributions to media studies originating in the disciplines of history, law, literature, economics and sociology.  The Policy Journalism and Media Studies Certificate is open to all Duke undergraduates, in any major.  The requirements include:

  • 6 courses are required: 1 core course on journalism ethics (PJMS 371-01), 1 practical course (PJMS 365S-01: Television Journalism, PJMS 366S-01: Magazine Journalism or PJMS 367S-01 News Writing and Reporting), 3 elective courses, and 1 capstone/internship course (PJMS 410).
  • No more than four courses may originate in PJMS: 3 of these are the core courses, which means that student may take only ONE more PJMS course as an elective.  The other 2 electives must be originate from outside  of PJMS.
  • At least four courses must be 200-level or above.
  • A progress requirement by the end of the junior year, of a minimum of 3 courses completed.
  • Students must complete a media-related internship. Students should complete the internship before the capstone course. Students will make a presentation on their internship experience during the capstone course and should keep this in mind while doing the internship. Students should return to Duke with print, audio or video clips which represent the student’s work during the internship.

Students must take PJMS 410S, the certificate capstone course. This course cannot be taken pass/fail. The capstone course will consist of a major research paper that integrates ideas and concepts learned in all previous coursework with the hands-on experience from the internship that the students have already done.