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MA Creative Publishing & Critical Journalism

Course Description

Gain an in-depth understanding of contemporary publishing, intellectual writing, and the possibilities opened up by emerging technologies and media. The graduate program in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism cultivates media-savvy writers who are prepared to lead the future of serious intellectual publishing. Our unique curriculum—blending rigorous academic coursework and hands-on design practice across traditional and digital platforms—provides a new pathway for students who want to contribute meaningfully to contemporary cultural dialogue.

You can complete this 30-credit master of arts program on a full-time or part-time basis, during the day or in the evenings. And you can enhance your studies by choosing from a wide range of electives in other graduate programs at the university.

Guided by a faculty with extensive industry experience, you’ll
- Investigate the different facets of contemporary print and online publishing in New York City, including books, magazines, journals, alternative media, and print-on-demand small batch publications
- Acquire a foundation in the history, tradition, and styles of cultural criticism, critical theory, and fine writing
- Develop an understanding of the process of designing, editing, and distributing journals and books containing intellectually serious work across print and online platforms
- Gain hands-on experience in visual communications and new media technology, drawing on the expertise of Parsons, a world-class art and design school that is also part of The New School
- Establish relationships with industry professionals and build a professional network

Students emerge from the program with a portfolio of work created independently and collaboratively that demonstrates preparedness for careers in contemporary journalism and publishing. These projects reflect a wide range of skills relevant to conceptualizing, creating, designing, and distributing serious writing in traditional and new media.

About the Program
Since its inception, the New School for Social Research has attracted reflective journalists and experimental publishers. The founders included Thorsten Veblen, Charles Beard, and John Dewey — authors whose books reached a wide audience of general readers. After World War II, faculty and students at the New School helped create and launch the first alternative weekly urban newspaper, the Village Voice. The Graduate Faculty subsequently attracted public intellectuals like Robert Heilbroner and Hannah Arendt, whose work appeared in publications like the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. In more recent decades, the New School for Social Research has invited outspoken journalists like Christopher Hitchens, Jonathan Schell, and Katha Pollitt to discuss their contrarian views with its graduate students in substantive courses on timely topics.

This program trains students not only in the traditions of criticism, critical theory, and fine writing — but also offers students a variety of studio courses and working experiences that teach them how to design, edit, and distribute journals and books containing intellectually serious written work aimed at a general reader. In addition to surveying more traditional forms of book and magazine publishing, the program will explore the possibilities opened up by new media, such as the internet, tablet applications, and the rise of print-on-demand small batch publications.

Our unique curriculum equips students to think critically and historically about book publishing and journalism; to learn about the best practices of contemporary reporting and cultural criticism; to appreciate the business aspects of production and distribution; and to acquire an ability to work collaboratively in the writing, editing, design and publication of texts on a variety of platforms, both print and digital.

It will also explore the democratic potential in disseminating new "worlds made by words," whether in the form of so-called "open journalism," in which writers interact in new ways with engaged communities of readers, or in the form of political pamphleteering and frank advocacy.

Unlike other publishing programs, this program teaches students how to edit pieces, how to write better, how to think more clearly and critically — and how to design literary texts. Unlike other journalism programs, this program teaches students how to design a business plan, lay out a cross-platform publication, and offers a grounding in the history of written communication from the printing press to the internet. And unlike most design programs, this program regards design, communication technology, and form-making as part of the continuum of the exchange of ideas.

Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited American college or university, or the equivalent degree from a foreign college or university.

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Recipient: The New School

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