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Certificate Program

Digital Journalism

Program Description

The Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs offers the Digital Journalism Program. Incorporating elements of new media, audience engagement, and news reporting, the Digital Journalism Program is designed to help you combine practical journalism with contemporary digital media.

The program features courses created to help participants elevate their journalistic research and reporting skills, and successfully apply the best of their journalistic know-how to a variety of digital platforms. Digital Journalism courses offer the rare opportunity to individuals who seek to:

  • Hone their abilities in fact gathering, fact checking and ethics building
  • Sharpen their skills in feature- and breaking-news writing and editing
  • Deliver news online to audiences through news sites, blogs, podcasts, social media sites and other new media

Individuals who successfully complete the required core courses and all program components of the Digital Journalism curriculum will earn the Digital Journalism Certificate.

Who Should Enroll

Target participants for the Digital Journalism Certificate Program include:

  • Writers, reporters and editors
  • Marketing and public relations professionals
  • Individuals seeking to develop contemporary journalistic/web-writing abilities

Participants may enroll in one or all of the Digital Journalism courses. The certificate, however, will be awarded only to participants who successfully complete all components of the Digital Journalism Certificate Program at Emerson College.

Required Courses

CE0382 Fundamentals of Digital Journalism
Ten-session course, fall semester, $650.00
In the online information age, the elements of news presentation – clarity, accuracy, desire to inform – have been infused with a new sense of urgency and stylistic freedom to create an new kind of journalism. Participants will explore the freedom and the challenges that come with this new era, and learn to write and present compelling narratives across digital platforms. Participants also will master the basics of building a personal online brand, a key skill for those seeking success in today’s online news environment. (Required for certificate candidates)

CE0383 Feature Writing for the Web
Ten-session course, spring semester, $525.00
The focus of this course is on community and creating original feature stories for your chosen community. In Feature Writing for the Web, you will focus upon developing your ability to collect facts, tell the story with accuracy, and develop editing and rewriting skills for Internet news sites and other online media. (Required for certificate candidates)

CE0384 Capstone Project: Creating Your Online Presence
Ten-session course, semester to be announced
The capstone project involves creating a dynamic and easily navigable web home for content along with developing channels of distribution and interactivity with readership. In completing this final project, participants will put to use all they have learned in the certificate program. The capstone will involve writing regular journalistic content, meeting deadlines, maintaining a blog, and integrating video and images into stories. In addition to building an Internet presence, participants will learn how to reach readers through leveraging social networks and podcasts. Participants will learn to manage, present and grow their enterprise, and will explore ways of making it sustainable through various funding models. (Required for certificate candidates)

Certificate Program Completion Requirements

Professional Studies participants may choose to work toward a Digital Journalism Certificate. The following guidelines apply to all non-credit, non-degree certificate individuals at Emerson College:

  • Individuals must satisfy the certificate program requirements published for the term in which they register for the first course toward the certificate.

  • All individuals must complete coursework for a certificate program within a period of three years from their initial date of registration.
  • Only learning activities offered by Emerson College’s Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs may be applied to fulfill the requirements of a certificate program.
  • Enrollment in non-credit, non-degree certificate programs is open to all individuals who have a high school diploma or GED. Prerequisite requirements apply in some instances. To receive a certificate, individuals must submit a Request for Certificate Form to the Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs within one year of program completion. Request for Certificate (PDF)


Art Hennessey, instructor of Capstone: Creating Your Online Presence

Art Hennessey has written for online publications since the late 1990s and has reviewed movies and theater as a freelance writer. Art started blogging about theater in Boston in 2001. His internationally recognized theater blog, The Mirror Up To Nature, has covered theater and culture in Boston and beyond since 2003. His posts have been linked to by such mainstream publications as the Boston Globe and the Guardian. Art is also an award-winning playwright, actor, and director.

Ralph Ranalli, instructor of Fundamentals of Digital Journalism

Ralph Ranalli is an award-winning journalist and media producer who has created multi-platform content for some of New England's largest media organizations, including WGBH-TV, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald.

Ralph Ranalli's digital work has included video, text, radio reporting, blogging, podcasts, and multimedia presentations. Before founding his own production company, The Word Syndicate LLC, he was the producer and principal writer for Beat the Press, the creator and chief blogger for, and field producer for Greater Boston on WGBH-TV Boston (PBS). During the decade before his work in public television, Ranalli was a reporter, multimedia producer, and assistant city editor for the Boston Globe and During the 1990s, he covered the federal courts for the Boston Herald and was a nationally recognized expert on the organized crime, the FBI, and crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger. He is the author of Deadly Alliance: The FBI's Secret Partnership with the Mob (HarperCollins, 2001) and the recipient of a number of journalism awards, including a national prize for feature writing from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Stephanie Schorow, instructor of Feature Writing for the Web

Stephanie Schorow is a Boston-based freelance journalist and book author. Her articles appear regularly in the Boston Globe and the Harvard Gazette, as well as in numerous web-based publications. She has worked at newspapers around the country, and spent three years covering features and news at the Associated Press. For 12 years, Stephanie was the lifestyles editor at the Boston Herald, where she focused on arts and entertainment, culture, health, and science. At the Herald, she was among the first journalists to cover the emerging world of chat rooms, blogs, and wikis.

Currently, Stephanie reviews restaurants for the Globe North section and teaches freelance journalism and nonfiction writing at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She has written five nonfiction books, including: Boston on Fire: A History of Fires and Firefighting in Boston, East of Boston: Notes from the Harbor Islands, and The Crime of the Century, about the infamous Brink’s robbery. She co-authored The Boston Mob Guide: Hit Men, Hoodlums and Hideouts. Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from New York University.

How to Register

Head to our Registration & Payment page to learn more about registration and payment.

Participating in the Digital Journalism Program

Tuition is due upon registration for all Digital Journalism Program courses and workshops offered through the Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs. Tuition is calculated per course and individuals must pay tuition in full prior to participating in the courses of their choice.

Participants may incur additional course-related expenses. Such additional expenses are separate from tuition costs and payments.

At the present time, Emerson College is not authorized to issue I-20’s for study in its Professional Studies and Special Programs (“PSSP”) courses. Depending on an international student’s immigration status and personal circumstances, enrollment in a PSSP course may be permissible or may result in an immigration status violation. Maintaining valid immigration status while in the United States is the responsibility of the individual, not Emerson College. PSSP staff cannot advise individuals about their immigration status. If you have any questions about the requirements for maintenance of your specific immigration status, please contact the U.S. Consulate in your home country prior to enrolling in a PSSP program.

Emerson College reserves the right to change any provision of its programs and courses at any time. The College specifically reserves the right to change its tuition rates and any other financial charges. The College also reserves the right to rearrange its courses and class hours, to drop courses for which registration falls below the minimum enrollment, and to change instructor assignments.