Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

7 Reasons to Pick SOC's Journalism Program

Why study journalism at AU in Washington, DC?

1. Brand New Home

The School of Communication gutted and expanded the historic 1907 McKinley Building, transforming it into a high-tech, high-touch, 55,000 square-foot multimedia marvel. It boasts a 145-seat theater with 4K digital cinema projection and a state-of-the-art Media Innovation Lab to showcase faculty band student work.

2. World-class Center for Investigative Reporting


The investigative Reporting Workshop is a nonprofit, professional newsroom at SOC. The Workshop publishes in-depth stories at about government and corporate accountability, on topics ranging widely from the environment and health to national security and the economy. The Workshop pairs experienced professional reporters and editors with graduate students, and co-publishes with mainstream media partners and nonprofit newsrooms. We also have an ongoing relationship with the PBS FRONTLINE –producer Rick Young and his team is based at the School of Communication as well –and with The Washington Post.

3. Faculty Who Color Outside the Lines

SOC John Sullivan vertical

SOC Faculty have written a boatload of books in the last six years, including the most recent, the critically acclaimed 935 Lies by Chuck Lewis, the founder of the Center of Public Integrity and SOC's Investigative Reporting Workshop. Newly tenured Professor Angie Chuang last spring published a literary memoir centered on her post-9/11 reporting on Afghanistan and Afghan immigrants, Four Words for Home;Professor Declan Fahy sees the publication next spring of his book, The New Celebrity Scientists: Out of the Lab and Into the Limelight, explaining how scientists became famous and their ideas shaped society. And out scholarship crosses media –Professor Carolyn Brown is in production on her fourth film, Las Mujeres, The Woman, exploring the struggles, successes and changes facing Latina women living in the United States.

4. The Rebirth of Washington, D.C.

Lynh Bui

Fast Company magazine found that Washington, D.C. has more venture-funded startups per capita than any of the 50 states. DC even has earned the top spot as 2014 "America's Coolest City" by Forbes Magazine. The home of a new wave of media experimentation from Vox Media to the new regime of The Washington Post, the real Washington is enjoying a new generation of innovators at NGOs, startups, and world-class media organizations.

5. Partnerships You Can Only Do Here

SOC media logos collage

In a joint program with The Washington Post, Journalism Professor John Sullivan heads an investigative unit that brings AU students into the newsroom to work on stories and multimedia. Students are selected for positions, in a unique program that has provided a template for other journalism schools. SOC students also work with a variety of other top media organizations –USA TODAY, National Geographic, Center for Public Integrity, Bloomberg-BNA and more.

6. Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Media Production Center

American University was the first local university to forge a partnership with the top D.C. startup incubator, 1776DC, a perfect match for our new M.A. in Media Entrepreneurship, which is described as where media and businesses meet. Faculty and students have access to entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and content experts from the DC startup scene. When President Obama sought a location for a recent jobs report, he went up the street to 1776.

7. Endless Opportunities for Students

Kate Musselwhite ’11 interviews curator Barry Blackman at the Anacostia Art Gallery and Boutique.

Our students dive deeply into the policy and politics of official Washington, side-by-side with major global media. But they also explore an explosively expanding city via internships and places from networks to startups. In a bold pilot, Professor Andrew Lih holds classes at the National Archives and the Smithsonian museums, where students add to the nation's public knowledge by creating verified Wikipedia content on premises, on demand.