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 49 credits in journalism and either six courses in a multi-disciplinary concentration, of which at least three are upper-division courses, or a minor. (The option to choose either a multi-disciplinary concentration or a minor is retroactive and open to all majors.) A concentration or minor is not required of dual majors. To satisfy all requirements, a student must earn a minimum of 124 credits to graduate with a degree in journalism, including a minimum of 72 credits outside of JRN-labeled courses.

Students must complete three developmental phases, with core requirements in each phase. In Phase I, The Fundamentals of Journalism, students will study basic skills and ethics, including news reporting and writing for print and broadcast. In Phase II, The Business of News, students will explore the changes sweeping the journalistic landscape and choose from a menu of upper-division reporting and writing courses. In Phase III, Entry Point into the Profession, students will take advanced courses in either a Visual/Web Track or a Text/Web Track. In addition, students will complete a senior project in their area of specialty and then adapt it for other media.

Note: Parts of this curriculum take effect in Fall 2013. Students who took JRN 110 before Fall 2013 will continue in that sequence.

Core Course Requirement

To maximize students’ knowledge in core areas of great importance to journalists, Journalism majors matriculating in Fall 2015 or later are required to complete the following courses. Higher-level courses in these disciplines may be substituted with the permission of the undergraduate director.

  • POL 102 Introduction to American Government 
  • BUS 111 Introduction to Business for Non-Business Majors OR ECO 108 Intro to Economics 
  • MAT 118 Mathematical Thinking 

Because the ability to converse in another language is so important in a global society, majors matriculating in Fall 2015 or later must:

  • Complete two intermediate courses in a language other than English. Generally these courses will be at the 211/212 level. Students can test or place out of all or part of this requirement based on their language skill level. 

Grammar and Editing Lab

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 115. 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: The Fundamentals of Journalism

Students must complete the following courses, not necessarily in this order.
All journalism students should see a departmental advisor.

B. Phase II: Journalism 24/7

1. Students must complete the following 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: Entry Point into the Profession

Students complete one of the following two tracks:

Visual/Web Track: 

Text/Web Track: 

  • JRN 364 Advanced Reporting
  • JRN 381 Web Presentation
  • JRN 385 Digital Academy
  • JRN 490 Senior Project
  • Advanced electives available to this group: JRN 370 or 380 

D. Experiential Requirement:

Students are required to successfully complete at least one experiential course. Choices include JRN 335, JRN 415, JRN 435, JRN 487, JRN 488, and others.

E. Required JRN Electives

Students are required to complete the major with elective journalism credits. Students may take any course for which they have the pre- and co-requisites.

F. Multi-Disciplinary Concentration or Minor

Majors must complete either six courses in a Multi-Disciplinary Concentration, of which at least three are upper-division courses, or a Minor. The option to choose either a Multi-Disciplinary Concentration or a Minor is retroactive and open to all majors. A concentration or minor is not required of dual majors.

A Minor is of the major’s choosing. The Minor must be completed.

For the Multi-Disciplinary Concentration, majors must complete six courses, including three upper-division courses, in one of the following four multi-disciplinary 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. A concentration is not required of students who 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 toward D.E.C. or SBC categories, and students may choose and apply D.E.C. or SBC 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 (also as EST 102)
    • ATM 237 Topics in World Climate/Atmosphere (Individual Topics need approval) (also as PHY 237-H)
    • BIO 103 Intro to Biotech
    • BIO 113 General Ecology
    • BIO 115 E Evolution and Society
    • BIO 201 Fundamentals of Biology Organisms to Ecosystems
    • BIO 353 Marine Ecology
    • BIO 358 Biology and Human Social and Sexual Behavior
    • BIO 386 Ecosystem Ecology and the Global Environment (also as ENS 311)
    • CHE 115 Chemistry, Life and Environment (also as ENV 115)
    • ECO 373 Economics of Environment and Natural Resources
    • ENS 101 Prospects for Earth
    • ENS 301 Contemporary Environmental Issues and Policies
    • ENS 311 Ecosystem Ecology and the Global Environment (also as BIO 386)
    • ENS 312 Population, Technology and the Environment
    • ENS 333 Environmental Law (also as POL 333)
    • ENV 115 Chemistry, Life and Environment (also as CHE 115)
    • EST 102 Weather and Climate (also as ATM 102)
    • EST 201 Technological Trends in Society
    • EST 291 Energy, Environment, and People
    • 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 109 Life Through Time
    • GEO 304 Energy, Mineral Resources & Environment
    • GEO 305 Field Geology
    • GEO 311 Geoscience and Global Concerns
    • GEO 313 Understanding Water Resources for the 21st Century
    • HIS 365 Environmental History of North America
    • HIS 399 Topics in U.S. History (Individual Topics need approval)
    • MAR 101 Long Island Sound Science and Use
    • MAR 104 Oceanography
    • MAR 340 Environmental Problems and Solutions
    • PHI 366 Philosophy of the Environment
    • PHY 113 Physics of Sports
    • PHY 237 Topics in World Climate/Atmosphere (Individual Topics need approval) (also as ATM 237)
    • POL 333 Environmental Law (also as ENS 333)
    • SBC 111 Introduction to Sustainability Studies
    • SOC 315 Sociology of Technology
    • SOC 340 Sociology of Human Reproduction (also as WST 340)
    • SOC 344 Environmental Sociology
    • WST 340 Sociology of Human Reproduction (also as SOC 340)

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 102 Eastern Religions (also as RLS 102 )
    • AAS 250 Language and Culture of Asian Americans (also as LIN 250)
    • AAS 280 Islam (also as RLS 280)
    • AAS 334 English in Asia
    • AAS 338 Contemporary India History, Politics & Diplomacy (also as POL 338)
    • AFH 382 ​Black Women's Literature of the African Diaspora (also as EGL 382 and WST 382)
    • AFS 277 The Modern Color Line (also as HIS 277)
    • AFS 310 American Attitudes Toward Race
    • AFS 319 The Politics of Race
    • AFS 325 The Civil Rights Movement (also as HIS 325)
    • AFS 350 Black Women and Social Change A Cross-Cultural Perspective (also as WST 350)
    • AFS 363 Blacks and Mass Media
    • AFS 394 Black Nationalism in America
    • AMR 102 Making American Identities
    • AMR 301 Ethnicity and Race in American History
    • ANT 203 Native Peoples of North America
    • CLT 235 American Pluralism in Film and Literature
    • ECO 316 U.S. Class Structure and Its Implications
    • EGL 382 ​Black Women's Literature of the African Diaspora (also as AFH 382 and WST 382)
    • EST 330 Natural Disasters Societal Impacts and Technological Solutions
    • HIS 277 The Modern Color Line (also as AFS 277)
    • HIS 325 Civil Rights Movement (also as AFS 325)
    • HIS 362 Making Peace with the 60s
    • HIS 368 Wealth and Inequality in the Modern Corporate Age
    • HIS 373 History of Crime & Criminal Justice in U.S.
    • HIS 396 ​Topics in U.S. History (Individual Topics need approval)
    • HUI 336 Italian Americans and Ethnic Relations
    • LIN 101 Intro to Linguistics
    • LIN 200 ​Language in the United States
    • LIN 250 Language and Culture of Asian Americans (also as AAS 250)
    • PHI 105 Politics and Society
    • PHI 383 Philosophical Issues of Race and Gender (III) (also as WST 383)
    • POL 101 World Politics
    • POL 102 Introduction to American Government
    • POL 320 Constitutional Law and Politics United States
    • POL 330 Gender Issues in the Law (also as WST 330)
    • RLS 101 Western Religions
    • RLS 102 Eastern Religions (also as AAS 102)
    • RLS 280 Islam (also as AAS 280)
    • SOC 105 Intro to Sociology
    • SOC 204 Intimate Relationships
    • SOC 243 ​Sociology of Youth
    • SOC 247 Sociology of Gender (also as WST 247)
    • SOC 248 Social Problems in Global Perspective
    • SOC 302 American Society
    • SOC 303 Social Inequality
    • 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 340 Sociology of Human Reproduction
    • SOC 348 Global Sociology
    • SOC 378 War and the Military
    • SOC 380 Social Psychology
    • SOC 390 Special Topics (Individual Topics need approval)
    • WST 102 Intro to Women’s Studies in the Social Sciences
    • WST 103 Women, Culture and Difference
    • WST 247 Sociology of Gender (also as SOC 247)
    • WST 310 Contemporary Feminist Issues
    • WST 330 Gender Issues in the Law (also as POL 330)
    • WST 335 Women at Work in 20th Century America
    • WST 347 Women and Politics (also as POL 347)
    • WST 350 Black Women and Social Change A Cross-Cultural Perspective (also as AFS 350)
    • WST 382 Black Women's Literature of the African Diaspora (also as AFH 382 and EGL 382)
    • WST 383 Philosophical Issues of Race and Gender (III) (also as PHI 383)
    • WST 399 Topics in Gender and Sexuality (Individual Topics need 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. 

G. 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.

Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with  university graduation requirements for General Education.  Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

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 six credits of elective journalism courses at 200 or above to complete the minor in Journalism.

See a journalism advisor. Prerequisites will be enforced.

Note: Parts of this curriculum take effect in Fall 2013. Students who took JRN 110 before Fall 2013 will continue in that sequence.

Grammar and Editing Lab

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 115. 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. 

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

A. Courses required of all minors:

  • JRN 101 or JRN 103 News Literacy
  • JRN 108 The History and Future of the American Press
  • JRN 105 News Reporting and Writing I
  • JRN 115/111 News Reporting and Writing II/Grammar and Editing Lab

Elective choice A:

JRN 390 Special Topics
or: 
SOC 330 Media and Society
or: 
POL 367 Mass Media in American Politics

And either Choice B or Choice C below:

Elective choice B:

JRN 301 The Business of News
• JRN 215 Intro to Multimedia Skills

Elective choice C:

• JRN 215 Intro to Multimedia Skills
JRN 220 Media Law

Minors are welcome to take additional courses beyond these, but should consult with the Undergraduate Director.