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Where Local News is National News

There is no better place to learn how to report the news than in the nation's capital, where news breaks every minute of every day. At American University School of Communication, students regularly report on Capitol Hill, local metropolitan governments, federal agencies, and the policies forged here that have impact in your community and around the world. You'll gain valuable experience and earn bylines and credits through internships at major national and international news outlets including The Washington Post, USA TODAY, Politico, NBC4, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, the major networks and more. 

Our journalism program helps you hone your skills with courses in various forms of writing, advanced reporting, digital media, journalism ethics, race and community reporting, investigative journalism, podcasting, and communication law. You will study with the School of Communication's richly experienced faculty. Our students take advantage of the most advanced video, audio, and film equipment in our Media Innovation Lab as they gain confidence being behind and in front of the camera. You'll graduate with strong writing and reporting abilities, an impressive multimedia portfolio, and connections throughout the industry.

Program Highlights
Minor in Communication

News in the Nation's Capital

Our faculty includes Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as journalists from the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, Bloomberg, and CBS — all media organizations where our alumni are now working.

  • Partnerships with The Washington Post, Center for Public Integrity, and the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and other top organizations mean SOC student work is published around Washington and across the country.
  • Our Media Production Center houses a high definition television studio, and our Media Innovation Lab features AVID editing systems and other top-tier film, audio, and video technology and equipment.
  • The School of Communication's journalism program is fully accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

Save Time and Money

Get a head start on your advanced degree with SOC's combined bachelor's/master's program and have up to six credits from your bachelor's degree count toward your master's. You may apply for admission to the program during the second semester of your junior year. Students in any undergraduate major at AU are eligible for consideration. An undergraduate degree in communication is not required.

How to Apply

The same intellectual rigor that defines our bachelor's degree majors is also a hallmark of our Minor in Communication. Whether your interest is in journalism, public relations and strategic communication, film and media arts, or foreign language and communication media, this minor will build your practical professional skills, give you a broad-based understanding of communication theory, and afford you hands-on, real-world work opportunities.

Since you apply to American University as a whole, not to any specific school or college, you may choose any major, and you may also choose any minor offered by AU. Formal admission to the minor requires a cumulative GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale). You'll need to complete 18 credit hours with grades of C or better, including two required courses (6 credits) and four electives (12 credits) across a range of communication disciplines. A minimum of 9 credit hours must be at the 300-level or above, and at least 12 credit hours must be unique to the minor.

Meaningful Real-World Experience

Our Dean's Internships offer exceptional School of Communication students significant opportunities to earn bylines, production credits, and professional recognition for their work.

World-class partners such as Bloomberg BNA, Discovery Communications, The Washington Post, National Geographic Fox, and National Public Radio reserve exclusive opportunities for our best and brightest students, connecting you with meaningful real-world assignments that provide recognition and future pathways to jobs.

After working part-time during the academic year, Dean's Interns are often invited back by their host partner to work full time for the summer or after graduation. Dean's Internship opportunities are announced throughout the year as opportunities arise.

Advanced Study at an Accelerated Pace

The School of Communication makes continuing on for your advanced degree a simple, straightforward process. You may apply for admission to our combined bachelor of arts/master of arts program during the second semester of your junior year (after completing 75 credits, but before you have completed 90 credits). Students in any undergraduate major at AU are eligible for consideration. An undergraduate degree in communication is not required.

You may apply for a combined degree in Journalism and Public Affairs or International Media. Degrees are also available in Political Communication, Strategic Communication, Film and Video, and Game Design. More information about admissions requirements can be found here.

Journalism at SOC

Learn more about how SOC can get you ahead. 

AU Students take home Capital Emmys

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American University Students Take Capital Emmys by Storm

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We Know Success

% of Graduates are now Working, Grad School, or Both
Award winners with Rodger Streitmatter and Thomas Grooms


Top Journalism Students Honored in Annual Awards Ceremony

The focus was on student excellence at the Streitmatter Awards and KTA induction ceremony.

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Tailor your Degree to Your Goals

Students who decide to major in Journalism will choose an area of specialization – either Journalism or Broadcast Journalism, with the ability to take critical courses in both areas. The Journalism track is aimed at online, newspapers, magazines, investigative journalism and long-form reporting, while Broadcast Journalism focuses more on audio, podcast, and video storytelling. Both provide skills for the mobile, digital world.

The major has 42 credits. Both tracks include core courses in Understanding Media, Writing for Communication and Quantitative Methods for Journalists as well as exciting foundational courses in Digital Skills, Reporting, Communication Law and Journalism Ethics. You also have a host of timely electives from which to choose, including courses in race, ethnic and community reporting, investigative journalism, politics and media and data journalism.

You top your academic career with a Capstone that pulls all you have learned into one place for your portfolio to show potential employers. Along the way, you will have likely enjoyed at least one of the impressive internships our Washington, D.C., location has to offer.

Finally, the faculty has created a series of concentrations that allow you to focus on your area of interest. You are not required to pick a concentration, but it is one way to showcase expertise gained through coursework for your portfolio, LinkedIn page and other social media profiles.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Practice the core values, customs and ethics of professional journalists. 
  • Articulate the role of journalism in a democracy both domestically and internationally.
  • Embody diverse and inclusive values in journalism.
  • Synthesize complex issues for public dissemination.
  • Demonstrate the skills and decision-making necessary to become a professional journalist.

Both our bachelor's and master's degrees are accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). Accreditation is an important mark of external validation. It means our programs have been vetted by industry influences, including scholars and professionals. Practitioners who hire our students know they have a firm grounding in the field.

The School of Communication offers a distinct advantage over comparable institutions in the wide variety of experiential learning opportunities offered to students. Internships are a way of life here. Undergraduate and graduate students can receive course credit for one internship, but most students have two or three, thanks to faculty and alumni who share their professional contacts.

We have an active and effective alumni mentoring program that will help you bridge the gap between the classroom and the professional world. Through our Dean's Internships, we work with world-class partners to connect select, highly qualified students with meaningful real-world assignments that create future pathways to jobs. And we have two full-time career advisors to help you land internships and plan your career.

Yes. We offer two professional tracks; one is called Broadcast Journalism and the other is Journalism. You can focus your degree based on your interests. The Broadcast Journalism track is for journalists who want to report or produce in television, radio, podcasting, investigative broadcast journalism or backpack journalism. Sometimes those journalists are called MMJs (multi-media journalists). The Journalism track is for people who want to focus on reporting, inevstigative journalism, writing, and editing for text, digital, newspapers, magazines, web sites and emerging platforms. Students in both tracks will learn digital skills, data skills and basic writing and enjoy a jost of offerings in race, community and ethnic reporting, political media, and in-depth journalism.

No, you'll apply to American University as a whole. You'll be able to indicate your intended major on your application, but your admission decision will not be affected by the major you indicate. You can change your mind after you apply. Because it's so easy to change your major, however, we highly recommend that you indicate a major within the School of Communication, even if you're not 100% certain. That way you'll be acclimated to our community right away.

Below are the journalism concentrations offered at SOC and a list of courses that apply to those concentrations.


COMM-280 Contemporary Media in a Global Society

COMM-323 Raking the Muck

COMM-418 Data-Driven Journalism

COMM-419 In-Depth Journalism

COMM-443 Foreign Policy and the Press

COMM-560 Backpack Documentary


COMM-270 How the News Media Shape History

COMM-385 Digital Audio Production

COMM-428 Advanced Television and Video Production

COMM-432 Backpack Video Journalism

COMM-503 Broadcast and Multimedia Journalism Management

COMM-560 Backpack Documentary


COMM-270 How the News Media Shape History

COMM-280 Contemporary Media in a Global Society

COMM-419 In-Depth Journalism

COMM-420 Presidential Primaries (application required)

COMM-509 Politics and the Media

COMM-514 Censorship and Media

Social Justice

COMM-275 Dissident Media: Voices from the Underground

COMM-324 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media

COMM-325 Feature Article Writing

COMM-411 History of Documentary

COMM-420 Topics in Mass Media - Identity, Power, and Misrepresentation**

COMM-588 Race, Ethnic, and Community Reporting

Emerging Media

COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture

COMM-415 Children, Youth, and Digital Culture

COMM-417- Fundamentals of News Design

COMM-420 Topics in Mass Media - Storytelling with Emerging Media**

COMM-422 Writing and Editing for Convergent Media

Journalism Courses That Can Be Applied to All Concentrations

COMM-105 Visual Literacy

COMM-326 Sports Journalism

COMM-330 Principles of Photography

COMM-359 Decisive Moments in Communication

COMM-426 Sports Writing and Reporting

COMM-521 Opinion Writing

COMM-538 Contemporary Media Issues

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