MLitt in Investigative Journalism-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

MLitt in Investigative Journalism

Interested MAPW students can specialize in Investigative Journalism (IJ) through a unique partnership between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. The program, which requires a 4th semester of study, weds the broadly foundational skills of the MAPW with hands-on training in the history and methods of both traditional and investigative reporting. As a capstone project, students complete an original investigative project and a related thesis under the joint supervision of faculty at Carnegie Mellon and Strathclyde. 

Students in the IJ option spend their first two semesters at Carnegie Mellon, study at Strathclyde for their third semester, and then return to Pittsburgh for a fourth semester during which they complete their capstone projects. At Strathclyde, students focus on IJ history and methods in both the U.S. and UK and study with Scottish and international students enrolled in Strathclyde's graduate programs. Dr. Eamonn O'Neill, the director of the Strathclyde IJ program, is both a faculty member and an internationally recognized investigative reporter. O'Neill, whose work can be viewed at, also co-supervises the capstone project during the final semester. At the end of their 3rd semester, IJ students receive their MAPW degree. Upon successful completion of the project and thesis in the 4th semester, they receive a second masters degree from Carnegie Mellon, the MLitt in Investigative Journalism.

IJ students select the IJ option when they enter the MAPW program and complete the first two of their three required semesters for the MAPW at CMU. Two MAPW core requirements—Communication Design Fundamentals and Organizational Communication—are replaced with two required core courses of the IJ degree—1) Investigative Journalism History & Theory, taught at Strathclyde, and 2) Investigative Journalism Methods, generally taken at Strathclyde in the 3rd semester but also occasionally completed at Carnegie Mellon in the 4th semester. Thus, during their first 2 semesters at Carnegie Mellon, IJ students have 4 core requirements and 4 electives. Students entering the program with limited background in journalism are required to use 2 of the electives to complete our two-course foundations sequence in journalism—Introduction to Journalism and Advanced Journalism—as part of their study. Students entering the MAPW with sufficient journalism experience (as assessed by the faculty and generally defined as a combination of coursework plus college newspaper and/or internship experience on a daily newspaper) have 2 free electives in place of the journalism sequence. Options for the remaining two electives are chosen from a specified set of courses particularly relevant to IJ and offered by the English Department and other units at Carnegie Mellon. 

Course Sequence for MAPW + MLitt in Investigative Journalism

Fall Semester #1
at CMU

Professional & Technical Writing


Rhetorical Grammar

Intro to Journalism
or Elective

Spring #1
at CMU

Document Design or Web Design

Advanced Journalism or Elective

Theory/ Practice/ Method Elective

Theory/ Practice/ Method Elective


Required Journalism Internship

Fall Semester #2
at Strathclyde

Investigative Journalism: History & Theory

IJ Methods

Journalism or Media Studies

Journalism or Media Studies

 Spring #2 at CMU

Investigative Journalism Project & Thesis.

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Financial Aid Information for the IJ Option

Students in the IJ option receive the standard tuition remission scholarship made available to all full-time students enrolled in the MAPW program and pay full-time tuition to Carnegie Mellon for their first three semesters. Tuition for the 4th semester is based on the number of credits undertaken. Because the project and thesis are both done via independent study, tuition for the 4th semester is reduced to about 50% of the full-time rate
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4+1 (actually 4+2) Option in Investigative Journalism

MAPW 4+1 students are also eligible for the Investigative Journalism option, which will add a second year (and a second degree) to their studies in the program. Through a combination of the 4 courses from their undergraduate study for which they get credit toward the MAPW degree and their first year of coursework, they will fulfill the 4 MAPW core requirements for the IJ option—Professional & Technical Writing, Grammar, Style, and Document Design or Web Design—and 4 electives, 2 of which need to be journalism courses if they have not already completed this requirement, and two of which are Theory/Practice/Method Electives chosen from the list of possible options.
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