Journalism and Mass Communication, BA

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Media writing and visual storytelling form the core of the undergraduate major in journalism and mass communication. Students are required to take introduction, foundation, application, and advanced or capstone courses offered by the school; they develop professional skills while studying the historical, legal, cultural, and institutional roles of media in society. They also complete extensive academic work outside the school, consistent with the university's commitment to the liberal arts and sciences.

First-year students completing a major in journalism and mass communication are advised at the Academic Advising Center. Students who have earned 30 s.h. or more and have declared the journalism and mass communication major are advised in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication by one of the journalism and mass communication academic advisors.

Transfer Students

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication may accept transfer credit earned at other institutions. A maximum of 9 s.h. of approved transfer credit may be applied to the major in journalism and mass communication unless the transfer institution has an approved articulation agreement with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to count additional coursework. Some journalism coursework taken at other schools may be used to fulfill the GE CLAS Core and/or second area of study requirements.

Students who wish to apply transfer credit toward School of Journalism and Mass Communication requirements must discuss the proposed transfer credit with a journalism advisor and must have approval from the head of undergraduate studies.

Learning Outcomes

Law and Ethics

Students will:

  • understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press in real space and cyberspace; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and their historical development.

Media Literacy

Students will:

  • understand the principles of media literacy; and
  • develop the skills necessary to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media messages across multiple media domains.

Writing and Storytelling

Students will:

  • understand that clear, concise, and correct writing is at the heart of journalistic expression and that reporting and communicating effectively requires knowledge and achievement of the highest, professionally accepted standards in all work.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Students will:

  • understand and value the diversity of groups (including communities defined by gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, and sexual orientation) and experiences in a global society;
  • recognize structural racism and inequalities that impact and affect marginalized communities and how our work perpetuates or challenges these systems; and
  • enhance their ability to effectively serve and communicate with people from different backgrounds and experiences.

Media Culture and Industries

Students will:

  • understand the history of media in the context of industries and identify transformations in audiences, engagement, and business practice over time;
  • grasp the significance of advances in mass communication technology for cultural production in domestic and global media markets from the printing press to the latest digital platforms; and
  • trace the production of cultural meanings across historical periods as well as connections between business models and news consumption.