Program Overview

The Journalism Certificate Program trains students to be 21st-century thinkers, writers and media professionals. Journalism today is engulfed in change. Online technology and citizen journalism are altering how journalists gather, report and convey information, and students need to be ready.

Our instructors, many of whom are working journalists, combine lessons on reporting, interviewing and writing skills with discussions on how to use new media to convey information. The program, approved through the SUNY system, begins by teaching the fundamentals of reporting, writing, editing and producing stories for print, online and broadcast journalism. Introductory courses teach students where to go for information, how to conduct interviews and produce accurate and clear pieces on deadline. Advanced courses focus on feature, opinion and online writing, and the possibilities the web and video offer. The program is interdisciplinary and offers courses from the English, Media Study and Communication departments.

Our award-winning instructors serve as mentors and take time beyond class hours to assist students. UB has produced numerous successful journalists including CNN's Wolf Blitzer (1999, 1970), CNN Senior Producer Pam Benson (1976), NPR's Terry Gross (1972), and Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Tom Toles (2002, 1973) and has an active alumni network to help students get jobs. The program is housed in the English department.

The Journalism Certificate Program continues to add courses and to grow every semester.


Lisa Khoury, Spectrum managing editor, won first prize (and $400) in the investigative journalism category of the Camayak Student Media competition.

Aline Kobayashi, Spectrum senior photo editor, is a finalist in the 34th annual Serbin Communications college photo contest. The international contest is sponsored by Nikon and comes with a cash prize. Over 16,600 photos from around the world were submitted and judged by photojournalists and photojournalism professors in the US and Canada. Award placements will be announced at the end of March. All photos will be included in a book, “Best of College and High School and Photography 2014,” and the college students who place first through fourth in the contest will have their photos published in the May/Summer 2014 issue of Photographer’s Forum. The students will also be inducted into Nikon’s Emerging Photographers Hall of Fame.

Four Spectrum students are finalists in the Society of Professional Journalist's college media contest for 2013. Aaron Mansfield, Spectrum editor in chief, and Sam Fernando, Spectrum senior news editor, are finalists in the general news reporting category for their reporting on the crisis leading to the resignation of Student Associastion President Nick Johns. Mansfield is also a finalist in the sports column category. Lisa Khoury, Spectrum managing editor, is a finalist in the investigative category for her piece on problems in the University Heights. Spectrum students have won 13 national and international awards in the past four years.

Ben Tarhan and Chad Cooper are the winners of the 3rd annual Rosalind Jarrett Sepulveda Journalism Education Award.

The students won a $1,000 scholarship toward a two-night stay in New York City to attend the College Media Association's 2014 media conference from March 12-15. Tarhan, a senior computer engineering major, has written for The Spectrum since his freshman year and is currently senior sports editor. Cooper, a sophomore business administration major, has a passion for photojournalism and is currently a Spectrum photo editor.

Two other students -- Joseph Konze and Jeffrey Shalke -- were awarded honorable mentions and will have their $110 conference registration fees paid.

Over 1,000 journalists, journalism professors and students will attend the four-day media convention. Students will meet and mingle with professionals, learn from the nation's top media thinkers and meet students from across the country.



The Spectrum is always looking for new writers, cartoonists, photographers and videographers. If you are interested in working for New York's second-largest independent newspaper, contact Aaron Mansfield, editor in chief (


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    Contact Us

    Journalism Certificate Program
    311 Clemens Hall
    North Campus
    Buffalo, NY 14260-4610

    Phone: 716.645.0669
    Fax: 716.645.5980

    Program Director:
    Jody Kleinberg Biehl

The Journalism Certificate Program