Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism 2017, USA

Publish Date: Jan 23, 2017

Deadline: Feb 15, 2017

Program overview

The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism offers qualified journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics and finance in a yearlong, full-time program administered by the Journalism School. Fellows take courses at Columbia's graduate schools of journalism, business, law and international affairs; participate in off-the-record seminars and dinner meetings with corporate executives, economists and academics; and attend briefings and field trips to New York-based media companies and financial institutions.
In scope and depth, it is the most comprehensive business journalism fellowship in the country. Eligible Knight-Bagehot fellows (those with a B.A. degree from an accredited college) may qualify for a Master of Arts degree in journalism upon completion of this rigorous program.

The program runs during Columbia’s academic year from August through May and accepts up to 10 fellows each year. Each Fellow receives free tuition plus a stipend to offset living expenses in New York City. For the 2017­-2018 academic year, a stipend of $60,000 will be granted to each fellow. Housing is available in a Columbia ­affiliated facility.

The fellowship is named for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami, which established an endowment for the program, and Walter Bagehot, the 19th­-century editor of The Economist. The Knight Foundation has been the principal sponsor of the fellowship since 1987. The program also depends on grants from a number of other charitable foundations, corporations and publishing organizations for a portion of its annual budget.

The sponsors have no role in the selection of fellows or the organization of the curriculum, which are controlled by the Journalism School.

Who Should Apply

The fellowship is open to full-time editorial employees of newspapers, magazines, wire services, digital media and broadcast news organizations as well as to freelance journalists. Applicants must have at least four years of experience. There are no academic prerequisites. The affiliation of applicants is not a factor in the selection process. Journalists from nationally known organizations are not given preference over those from smaller regional media.

The chief criterion for selection is demonstrated journalistic excellence. While essays and letters of recommendation are important parts of the application, the greatest weight is given to work samples. All materials, including letters of reference, college transcripts, essays and work samples should be compiled and submitted with the application form.

Applicants' employers, except under unusual circumstances, should submit a letter supporting the application, but applicants are not required to obtain formal employer approval. Fellows are encouraged to return to their employers at the end of their year at Columbia.

Fellowships are announced by May 1. The number of fellowships awarded each year, as well as the level of the living expenses stipend, is determined by the program's financial resources. For the 2017-2018 academic year, we anticipate awarding 10 fellowships that include full tuition plus a $60,000 living stipend.


The core of the Knight­-Bagehot curriculum consists of courses offered by Columbia University. Beginning with the 2017­-2018 academic year, Knight­-Bagehot fellows will be allowed to choose from two academic tracks: the Certificate in Economics and Business Journalism or the Master of Arts in Journalism.


To earn this certificate, fellows must complete at least 30 hours of university credit during their two semesters. Fellows may select any university courses relating to business, economics or finance. Fellows typically take most classes at Columbia’s highly regarded Business School (link is external) or through the Law School (link is external) and School of International and Public Affairs (link is external). The most commonly chosen courses cover such subjects as microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, corporate finance, business law, international economics, marketing, business finance and securities analysis. For those who are considering applying to the Business School to stay a second year and complete a Master’s in Business Administration, this track is the suggested option.


To earn this degree, fellows will take most of their courses at the Journalism School, including a business reporting seminar, Evidence and Inference, and M.A. Essentials, which covers data, technology and investigative techniques in journalism. Fellows will take three electives outside the Journalism School and will be required to complete a master’s thesis. Fellows who choose this track will not be able to apply credits earned during their fellowship year toward an MBA.


All fellows attend seminars twice a week to hone journalistic skills. They also take regular field trips to New York financial institutions and media companies and meet weekly over dinner with senior corporate executives, well­-known economists and academics, ranking government officials and others with a special perspective on business affairs. Past guests have included Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett, Abby Joseph Cohen, Jamie Dimon, Timothy Geithner, Carl Icahn, Andrea Jung, Sallie Krawcheck, Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Volcker.

Because of the demanding nature of the curriculum, fellows are not permitted, except under unusual circumstances, to take on outside assignments while school is in session.


We are now accepting applications for the 2017­-2018 academic year. The application deadline is Feb. 15, 2017. To apply, you must create an account through our online system in order to submit the application (link is external) and required materials. Please remember to write down your username and password to access your application at a later time.
You can return to the application (link is external) at any time and submit materials as you are ready. The application outlines the details of the required submission materials. Please review carefully and allow yourself plenty of time to write your essays, get recommendations and gather samples of your work.

Find the application in the "Further official information" link below this announcement.

The key things you will need to submit include:

  • $100 application fee
  • A professional resume
  • An essay of no more than 1,000 words on a business or economic trend
  • Four original samples of work
  • College or university transcript(s)
  • Three letters of reference

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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United States