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Merrill College, iSchool to Offer ‘From-Anywhere’ Master’s in Data Journalism

By Josh Land

The University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and College of Information Studies (iSchool) will begin accepting applications this fall for a from-anywhere data journalism master’s degree launching in the Fall 2022 semester.

Courses will be offered online and in person; students can complete the degree entirely virtually, in person or via a combination of the two.

The program will teach students to find, access, gather, prepare and analyze data using journalistic and scientific methods, to help journalists take their investigative chops to another level and help information professionals use their data skills to make a difference.

Students will learn to responsibly leverage open data, results of public records requests, scraped (or otherwise automatically accumulated) data and acquired data in their assessment, evaluation and investigation of an issue.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Merrill College used new teaching grants to further embed data into every level of its curriculum. It now offers specialized classes in data journalism, data visualization, computational journalism and sports analytics.

In this master’s program, the faculties at Merrill College and the iSchool will prepare students to use open-source tools, application programming interfaces and low-cost computing resources to develop and visualize stories.

Students will also apply what they learn by receiving real-world experience with a capstone requirement, either within Merrill’s Capital News Service, the UMD Howard Center for Investigative Journalism or at one of the iSchool's many partner organizations.

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