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BA Journalism Degree and Course Requirements

University Requirements

  • A total of 120 credit hours
  • 6 credit hours of college writing
  • 3 credit hours of college mathematics or the equivalent by examination

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of one foundation course and one second-level course in an approved sequence from each of the five curricular areas
  • No more than 6 credit hours may be taken in the same discipline

Tracks

Broadcast Journalism or Print Journalism

Major Requirements

  • A minimum of 36 and a maximum of 40 credit hours with grades of C or better within the School of Communication including core, professional, media studies, internship, independent study, and independent reading courses.
  • With approval of the student's advisor, up to 6 credits taken abroad may be applied toward the communication major requirements.
  • Related course requirements taken outside the School of Communication with grades of C or better
  • A minimum of 80 credit hours outside the field of communication, including 65 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences, are required for the major.

Subject to the approval of an advisor, a maximum of 12 credit hours in communication transferred from another university may be substituted for required communication courses. Transfer students majoring in journalism are required to graduate with a total of 80 credit hours outside the field of communication. Students must maintain a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.

Related Course Requirements

Students must complete the following with grades of C or better:

  • 3 credit hours in American history (HIST-xxx)
  • 3 credit hours in economics (ECON-xxx)
  • A minor or second major outside the School of Communication

Communication Course Requirements (36 credit hours)

Core Courses (9 credit hours)

  • COMM-100 Understanding Media FA4 (3)
  • COMM-200 Writing for Communication (3)
  • COMM-320 Reporting (3)

Broadcast Journalism Track (27 credit hours)

  • COMM-305 Digital Skills (3)
  • COMM-385 Broadcast Journalism I (3)
  • COMM-401 Communication Law (3)
  • COMM-428 Advanced Television & Video Production (3)
  • COMM-432 Television Field Reporting (3)
  • Four courses from the following:

COMM-270 How the News Media Shaped History FA2 (3)

or

COMM-275 Dissident Media: Voices from the Underground FA4 (3)

or

COMM-280 Contemporary Media in a Global Society FA3 (3)

COMM-365 Digital Media & Culture (3)

COMM-391 Internship (3)

or

COMM-392 Cooperative Education Field Experience (3)

or

COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3)

COMM-396 Selected Topics (3) with permission of the student’s advisor

COMM-433 Broadcast Delivery (3)

COMM-490 Independent Study Project (3)

COMM-503 Broadcast & Multimedia Journalism Management (3)

COMM-504 Journalism Ethics (3)

COMM-505 History of Broadcast Journalism (3)

COMM-508 The Media and Government (3)

COMM-509 Politics and the Media (3)

COMM-510 Women in Journalism (3)

COMM-511 History of Documentary (3)

or

COMM-515 Children, Youth & Digital Culture (3)

COMM-514 Censorship and the Media (3)

COMM-516 Topics in Film and Media Arts (3)

COMM-535 Selected Topics in News Media (3)

COMM-546 Foreign Policy and the Press (3)

COMM-560 Backpack Documentary (3)

COMM-596 Selected Topics (3) with permission of the student’s advisor

COMM-599 Media, Technology and Society (3)

Print Journalism Track (27 credit hours)

  • COMM-305 Digital Skills (3)
  • COMM-401 Communication Law (3)
  • COMM-425 Advanced Reporting (3)
  • Three courses from the following:

COMM-323 Computer Techniques for Communication Studies (3)

COMM-325 Feature Article Writing (3)

COMM-330 Principles of Photography (3)

COMM-391 Internship (3)

or

COMM-392 Cooperative Education Field Experience (3)

or

COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3)

COMM-502 In-Depth Journalism (3)

COMM-521 Opinion Writing (3)

COMM-545 Business and Economic Journalism (3)

COMM-596 Selected Topics (3) with permission of the student’s advisor

  • Three courses from the following:

COMM-270 How the News Media Shaped History FA2 (3)

or

COMM-275 Dissident Media: Voices from the Underground FA4 (3)

or

COMM-280 Contemporary Media in a Global Society FA3 (3)

COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture (3)

COMM-396 Selected Topics (3) with permission of the student’s advisor

COMM-490 Independent Study Project (3)

COMM-504 Journalism Ethics (3)

COMM-505 History of Broadcast Journalism (3)

COMM-508 The Media and Government (3)

COMM-509 Politics and the Media (3)

COMM-510 Women in Journalism (3)

COMM-511 History of Documentary (3)

or

COMM-515 Children, Youth & Digital Culture (3)

COMM-514 Censorship and the Media (3)

COMM-535 Selected Topics in News Media (3)

COMM-546 Foreign Policy and the Press (3)

COMM-596 Selected Topics (3) with permission of the student’s advisor

University Honors Program

All University Honors students must complete at least 12 credit hours of advanced-level (300-level and above) Honors courses including a 3 to 6 credit hour Honors Senior Capstone Project. Students may graduate with University Honors in the major if they complete at least 12 advanced-level Honors courses including the Senior Capstone Project in the department. Each department has three levels of University Honors requirements: Level I Options (100-200-level Honors classes); Level II Options (300-level and above Honors classes); and Level III Options (Honors Senior Capstone). The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding departmental options.

Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs. Undergraduate students may complete up to 3 credits for every 9 credits required for the graduate degree that may be applied to the requirements for both degree programs. The department that oversees the graduate program the student enters will determine if the courses the undergraduate student completes will satisfy master’s degree requirements.

Bachelor’s/master’s students must complete at least 18 in-residence credit hours at the graduate level after the bachelor’s degree is earned and maintain continuous, sequential enrollment in the two programs. Students must finish the master’s degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master’s program.