Inside Columbia Journalism School: the M.S. Stabile Investigative Specialization

We are pleased to take you inside Columbia Journalism School to offer an in-depth look our Master of Science Program Investigative Specialization, also known as the Stabile Program. Since 2006, the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia Journalism School has been producing top-caliber graduates who are able to thrive in today’s fast-changing media environment. Stabile alumni are currently doing watchdog reporting for leading news organizations around the world, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, Bloomberg60 Minutes, VICE, and Buzzfeed.

In the video below, Sheila Coronel, the Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism and Director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, discusses the Stabile Program and the career trajectories of its students with two Columbia alumni: Caroline Chen (M.S. Stabile '13) and Emmanuel Felton (M.S. Stabile '13).

In the video discussion, both Stabile alums talk with Professor Coronel about why they chose to pursue investigative journalism and how the Columbia Journalism School trained them to become skilled and versatile reporters. Caroline Chen, now a health care reporter for ProPublica, explained that "what motivates me to be a reporter is to tell stories for people who don't have the platform to have a voice and who may not have the power to respond when there is injustice done to them." Emmanuel Felton, a staff writer at The Hechinger Report who is currently a Spencer Fellow at Columbia Journalism School, said that "it's holding the powerful accountable for wrongdoing that is really the essence of what investigative reporting is." 

In order to graduate with a specialization in investigative journalism, students must apply specifically to the Stabile Program as part of their application for admission to the Journalism School.

Students in the M.S. Stabile Investigative Specialization are required to take skills classes and seminars in investigative reporting. They spend the year learning investigative methods and are required to do an investigative report for their Master’s Project. The Stabile Center provides support for their research and reporting, including paying for travel costs. Stipends are also available to allow students to pursue their reporting projects after graduation.

If you would like to learn more about the program and other degree programs, please make an appointment to speak with a Columbia Journalism School admissions counselor by writing to