Requirements for the Major and Minor in Journalism (JRN)

Transfer students

Transfer students may transfer up to 9 credits of equivalent journalism courses in which they have earned a C or better. Transfer courses will be evaluated individually for equivalency by the under­graduate director.

Requirements for the Major

The major in journalism leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Students must complete each course with a letter grade of C or higher in all JRN courses and Satisfactory in JRN labs for a course or lab to count toward the JRN major. Students must also satisfy the upper-division writing requirement. Completion of the major requires 65 credits, including 47 credits in journalism and six courses in a multidisciplinary concentration, of which at least three are upper-division courses. To satisfy all requirements, a student must earn a minimum of 127 credits to graduate with a degree in journalism.

Students must complete three developmental phases, with core requirements in each phase. In Phase I, Values and Skills, students will study basic skills and ethics, including news reporting and writing for print and broadcast. In Phase II, New Challenges, students will explore the changes sweeping the journalistic landscape and choose from a menu of upper-division reporting and writing courses. In Phase III, Finding an Entry Point into the Profession, students will specialize in broadcast, print, or online journalism, and take advanced courses. In addition, students will complete a senior project in their area of specialty and then adapt it for two other media.

Grammar Immersion

To progress in the major and minor program, students must pass a grammar proficiency test as part of JRN 111, a grammar course that is co-requisite with JRN 110. The grammar course includes an eight-week immersion lab in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. In the ninth week, all students take a proficiency test. Those who pass are excused from the lab for the rest of the semester. All other students must continue attending the lab and will be required to take a second test on the last day of class. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Students must receive a Satisfactory grade in JRN 111 in order to continue in journalism skills courses.

Note: WRT 200 may be used as a substitute for JRN 111 in satisfying the major or minor requirements.

Note: Not all courses are offered every semester.

A. Phase I: Values and Skills
Students must complete the following seven courses, not necessarily in this order:

  • JRN 101 or JRN 103 News Literacy
  • JRN 108 The History and Future of the American Press
  • JRN 110/JRN 111 News I: Basic Reporting and Writing/Writing Immersion Lab
  • JRN 210/JRN 211 News II: Advanced Reporting and Writing/Digital Photojournalism lab
  • JRN 220 Journalism Law and Ethics
  • JRN 288 On-Campus Internship
  • JRN 310 News III: Reporting, Writing and Production for Broadcast

B. Phase II: New Challenges
1. Students must complete the following four courses:

2. Electives for Phase II. Students must choose one course from the following:

  • JRN 333 Business Reporting
  • JRN 334 Science and Health Reporting
  • JRN 335 Reporting in New York City / Print
  • JRN 336 Sports Reporting
  • JRN 337 Intro to Narrative Journalism
  • JRN 355 Reporting in New York City / Broadcast

C. Phase III: Finding an Entry Point into the Profession
Requirements: completion of both courses in either Group A, B, or C. All students must complete JRN 490.

Group A: For Print

Group B: For Broadcast

  • JRN 370 Advanced Reporting, Writing and Production for Broadcast
  • JRN 371 Television Production

Group C: For Online

  • JRN 380 Advanced Editing and Presentation for the Web
  • JRN 381 Advanced Digital Storytelling

For all students:

D. Required JRN Electives
Students are required to select a minimum of four elective credits in Jour­nalism courses as part their major. Students may take any course for which they have the pre- and co-requisites.

E. Multidisciplinary Concentrations
Majors must complete six courses, including three upper division courses, in one of the following four multidisciplinary concentrations. Students may substitute a course within a concentration or propose a new concentration with the permission of the undergraduate director. Specific multi-disciplinary concentrations and suggested courses are listed below. In lieu of a multidisciplinary concentration, students may complete a second major.

The purpose of the Multi-Disciplinary Concentration is to complement the journalistic knowledge and skills that students are developing. These courses, offered by departments around the university, are intended to help students expand their perspective in major areas of importance to journalists.

Students select one of four concentrations, each of which is designed to add breadth, depth and understanding to their reporting. Students may also may propose their own concentration.

The four concentrations are:

  • Diversity and American Society
  • Global Issues and Perspectives
  • Public Affairs / Public Policy
  • Science and the Environment

Majors must take six courses, including at least three upper-division courses, in one of these four concentrations. Students are not restricted to the listed courses, which are the types of survey courses recommended by the School of Journalism.

Majors may substitute courses that fit the theme of their concentration or propose a different concentration tailored to their interests. Either option requires permission in advance from the Undergraduate Director.

A concentration is not required for dual majors.

Please note:

  • Many of these courses also count as DEC courses, and students may choose and apply DEC courses towards the concentration. Courses carry only the assigned number of credits for the course.
  • Not all courses are offered every semester. Check prerequisites.
  • Concentration courses taken prior to Spring 2013 remain valid. Starting in Spring 2013, concentration courses must come from these revised lists or be approved by the Undergraduate Director.

The multidisciplinary concentrations are as follows (complete 6 courses in any one area):

Science and the Environment

Students study trends, acquire foundation knowledge, and get multiple perspectives on science and environmental issues that will help them report insightfully in the future. See Bulletin course descriptions for details and prerequisites. At least three of the courses must be 300 or above. Note: Not all courses are offered every semester. Some have prerequisites.

  • ATM 102 Weather and Climate
  • ATM 237 Topics in World Climate/Atmosphere (individual topics need pre-approval)
  • BIO 103 Intro to Biotech
  • BIO 113 General Ecology
  • BIO 201 Fundamentals of Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems
  • BIO 353 Marine Ecology
  • BIO 358 Biology and Human Social and Sexual Behavior
  • ENS 101 Prospects for Earth
  • ENS 301 Contemporary Environmental Issues and Policies
  • ENS 311 Ecosystem Ecology and the Global Environment
  • ENS 312 Population, Technology and the Environment
  • ENS 333 Environmental Law
  • ENV 115 Chemistry, Life and Environment
  • EST 201 Technological Trends in Society
  • EST 330 Natural Disasters: Societal Impacts
  • GEO 101 Environmental Geology
  • GEO 102 The Earth
  • GEO 103 The Earth Through Time
  • GEO 107 Natural Hazards
  • GEO 311 Geoscience and Global Concerns
  • MAR 101 Long Island Sound: Science and Use
  • MAR 104 Oceanography
  • MAR 340 Environmental Problems and Solutions
  • PHI 366 Philosophy of the Environment
  • POL 333 Environmental Law
  • SOC 340 Sociology of Human Reproduction
  • SOC 344 Environmental Sociology
  • SOC 340/WST 340 Sociology of Human Reproduction

Diversity and American Society

Students study trends and acquire knowledge, insights, historical context, and multiple perspectives on important societal issues that will help them report insightfully in the future. See Bulletin course descriptions for details and prerequisites. At least three of the courses must be 300 or above. Note: Not all courses are offered every semester. Some have prerequisites.

  • AAS 250 Language and Culture of Asian Americans
  • AFH 382 Black Women’s Diaspora
  • AFS 319 The Politics of Race
  • AMR 102 Making American Identities
  • HIS 325 Civil Rights Movement
  • HIS 362 Making Peace With the 60s
  • HUI 336 Italian Americans and Ethnic Relations
  • PHI 105 Politics and Society
  • POL/WST 330 Gender Issues in the Law
  • RLS 101 Western Religions
  • RLS 102 Eastern Religions
  • SOC 105 Intro to Sociology
  • SOC 204 Intimate Relationships
  • SOC/WST 247 Sociology of Gender
  • SOC 302 American Society
  • SOC 304 Sociology of Family
  • SOC 310 Ethnic and Race Relations
  • SOC 315 Sociology of Technology
  • SOC 330 Media and Society
  • SOC 336 Social Change
  • SOC 337 Social Deviance
  • SOC 338 Sociology of Crime
  • SOC 378 War and the Military
  • SOC 380 Social Psychology
  • WST 102 Intro to Women’s Studies in the Social Sciences
  • WST 103 Women, Culture and Difference
  • WST 310 Contemporary Feminist Issues
  • WST 335 Women at Work in 20th Century America
  • WST 347 Women and Politics
  • WST 350 Black Women and Social Change: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • WST 399 Topics in Gender and Sexuality (individual topics need pre-approval)

Public Affairs/Public Policy

Students study trends, acquire knowledge and historical context, and gain multiple perspectives on public policy issues that will help them report insightfully in the future. At least three of the courses must be 300 or above. Note: Not all courses are offered every semester. Some have prerequisites.

Global Issues and Perspectives

Students study trends, acquire knowledge and historical context, and gain multiple perspectives on global issues that will help them report insightfully in the future. See Bulletin course descriptions for details and prerequisites. At least three of the courses must be 300 or above. Note: Not all courses are offered every semester. Some have prerequisites.

  • AAS 201 Intro to Civilization of the Indian Subcontinent
  • AAS 250 Language and Culture of Asian Americans
  • AFS 240 Issues in Caribbean Society
  • AFH 339 Arts of the African Diaspora
  • AFH 390 Issues in Africana Studies (individual topics need pre-approval)
  • AFS 337 Politics of Africa
  • AFS 375 Slavery
  • AMR 101 Local and Global: National Boundaries, World Systems
  • ANT 250 African Peoples and Cultures
  • ATM 237 World Climate and Atmosphere
  • EST 330 Natural Disasters: Societal Impacts
  • EUR 101 Foundations of European Culture
  • GEO 311 Geoscience & Global Concerns
  • HIS 221 Modern African History
  • HIS 281 Global History & Geography
  • HIS 341 20th Century China
  • HIS 378 War and the Military
  • HUF 219 Modern France
  • HUI 239 Modern Italy
  • HUS 254 Latin America Today
  • HUS 255 Modern Spain
  • POL 101 World Politics
  • POL 103 Intro to Comparative Politics
  • POL 309 Politics in the European Union
  • POL 313 Problems / International Relations
  • POL 336 U.S. Foreign Policy
  • POL 337 Politics of Africa
  • POL 338 Contemporary India: History, Politics, Diplomacy
  • POL 350 Contemporary European Political Theory
  • POL 374 Global Issues in the United Nations
  • RLS 280 Islam
  • SOC 248 Social Problems in Global Perspectives
  • SOC 348 Global Sociology
  • SOC 365 Intro to African Society
  • SOC 374 Global Issues in the UN

F. Upper-Division Writing Requirement
All students majoring in Journalism must submit two samples of their journalism course work (longer articles, term papers, case studies, or independent research projects) along with the instructor's written confirmation that the work demonstrates suitably advanced writing proficiency, in JRN 490 Senior Project. If this evaluation is satisfactory, the student will have fulfilled the upper-division writing requirement. If it is not, the student must fulfill the requirement before graduation.

Requirements for the Minor

The journalism minor emphasizes knowledge and exposure to basic skills for students who seek an understanding of broadcast, online, and print media but who are not necessarily planning careers in journalism or intending to major in journalism. Courses in the minor provide students with a broad introduction to journalistic principles and practices as well as an understanding of the role of journalism in society. This program will be useful to students who are interested in sharpening their information-gathering and analytical skills, improving the speed and clarity of their writing, and improving their ability to communicate in whatever career they pursue.

Eighteen credits are required for the Minor in Journalism. Courses must be passed with a C or higher in all JRN courses and Satisfactory in JRN labs for a course or lab to count toward the JRN minor. Students are required to complete at least nine credits of upper-division journalism courses to complete the minor in journalism.

Not all courses are offered each semester, so programs should be planned as early as possible. Prerequisites will be enforced.

Grammar Immersion

To progress in the minor program, students must pass a grammar proficiency test as part of JRN 111, a grammar course that is co-requisite with JRN 110. The grammar course includes an eight-week immersion lab in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. In about the ninth week, all students take a proficiency test. Those who pass are excused from the lab for the rest of the semester. All other students must continue attending the lab and will be required to take a second test on the last day of class. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Students must receive a Satisfactory grade in JRN 111 in order to continue in journalism skills courses.

A. Courses required of all minors:

B. Minors need two additional upper-division electives:

  • JRN 310 News III: Reporting/Writing for Broadcast*
  • JRN 320 The Promise and Perils of Online Journalism*
  • JRN 337 Introduction to Narrative Journalism
  • JRN 390 Special Topics in Journalism*

C. Optional elective (students may take one):

*Students majoring in Journalism have priority registration for JRN 310, JRN 320, and JRN 390. Seats open to students minoring in Journalism based on availability.

Note: See a journalism advisor for additional elective options.