Areas of Study

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B.A. in Journalism

The world of journalism is changing fast. Once-divergent media forms are rapidly coming together in ways that make it essential for 21st-century journalism educa- tion to reflect the complexity of actual practice. Graduates must be prepared to function and lead in a new and changing environment. The Division of Journalism prepares students to succeed in this dynamic setting.

Majors will study multimedia journalism, including broadcast, print and online formats. They will learn professional skills that will enable them to adapt swiftly to a changing journalism environment. Content that is useful and interesting will have value regardless of the delivery system or systems of a particular era. For this reason, students also are taught the intellectual and theoretical skills they will need to help them interpret the world around them and understand the role of the media in society. They will graduate as clear, concise thinkers and writers.

BA Majors and Professors, 2006The role of the journalist in today’s society has become increasingly complex and important because of a paradox: as the world shrinks amid the communication revolution, the journalist's horizons and responsibilities have vastly expanded. The rapid development of converging media technologies means journalists of the 21st century must know more about the world and also be capable of working in a variety of new media.

At the same time, the next generation of journalists must retain the core ethics and values of the craft. Journalism students will study multi-media journalism, learning the basic skills and conventions of broadcast journalism, print journalism and the emerging skill set needed to practice journalism on the Internet. The major requires 36 credit hours within the division. A total of 80 credit hours must be taken outside the division. At least 65 of these hours must be in the arts and sciences.

The only exceptions for the 65 hours in arts and sciences allowed are for those students with a second major or minor in a field not related to arts and sciences. A foreign language capability of eight credit hours or its equivalent is required, and students also must satisfy Meadows School of the Arts require- ments with three credit hours outside the Meadows communications divisions.

Courses may be used to fulfill only one of the student’s divisional requirements (i.e., a student may not fulfill two divisional requirements with one course). Note: All journalism majors must declare and complete a second major or a minor of their choosing. Ideally, any second major or minor would be outside the Meadows communications divisions.

Note: Only CCJN courses passed with a grade of C- or better will count for credit toward the major in journalism.

Internships and Practica

Upon achieving junior and senior status, students are encouraged to take on experiences that enable them to work under the guidance of professionals in the news industry (internships). Many on-campus activities also offer practical experi- ence (practica), and students are strongly urged to take advantage of the opportuni- ties available to them through both the Student Media Company, which publishes a daily newspaper and a yearbook, and the Journalism Division. Practica are taken for one credit hour at a time. Internships may be taken for one, two or three credit hours at a time, depending on the number of hours worked. A total of three credit hours of internships and practica may be counted toward a student’s degree require- ments but may not be counted toward the required six credit hours of electives within the division. Internships and practica are taken on a pass/fail basis only and are restricted to journalism majors and minors.

Class Attendance

Due to limited class space and enrollment pressures, a student who fails to appear on the first day of class may be administratively dropped from the class at the instructor’s discretion. Furthermore, students must comply with any more specific attendance policies spelled out in course syllabi; creation and enforcement of such policies are entirely at the instructor’s discretion. The division strives to keep class size small enough for individual attention, and large enough to ensure discussion and interaction among students. Very large enrollments will be limited and very small classes may be merged or canceled.

Program of Study

Requirements for the Degree Credit Hours
UC/GEC Requirements varies

Journalism Core Curriculum:

  • CCJN 2103 Writing and Editing Tutorial and Laboratory
  • CCJN 2302 Ethics of Convergent Media
  • CCJN 2304 Basic Video and Audio Production
  • CCJN 2312 Reporting I
  • CCJN 2313 Reporting II
  • CCJN 2380 Digital Journalism
  • CCJN 4316 Communication Law

Skills Requirement (one from the following):

  • CCJN 3357 Photojournalism
  • CCJN 3358 New Media News
  • CCJN 3360 Computer-Assisted Reporting
  • CCJN 3362 Magazine Writing
  • CCJN 3365 Investigative Reporting
  • CCJN 3382 Feature Writing
  • CCJN 3385 Broadcast I
  • CCJN 4310 Editorial/Opinion Writing
  • CCJN 4384 Broadcast II
  • CCJN 4385 Graphics and Design
  • CCJN 4388 Print Design and Editorial Decision-Making
  • CCJN 4390 Advanced Web Mastery
  • CCJN 5306 Topics in Journalism Practice

Topical Studies Requirement (one from the following):

  • CCJN 3325 Technology Reporting
  • CCJN 4300 Broadcast News Seminar
  • CCJN 4306 Business and Journalism
  • CCJN 4307 Business News Seminar
  • CCJN 4344 Sports Journalism
  • CCJN 4345 Media and Politics
  • CCJN 4387 Arts Beat
  • CCJN 4392 Journalism and Religion
  • CCJN 4395 Public Affairs Reporting
  • CCJN 4396 International Reporting
  • CCJN 5301 Topics in Journalism
  • CCJN 5302 Topics in Journalism
  • CCJN 5303 Topics in Journalism
  • CCJN 5304 Topics in Journalism

Critical Studies Requirement (one from the following):

  • CCJN 3345 Mass Media in Great Britain, Politics, Pin-Ups, and Propaganda
  • CCJN 3390 Literary Journalism
  • CCJN 3396 History of Journalism
  • CCJN 4331 Current Issues in the News
  • CCJN 4350 Human Rights and the Journalist
  • CCJN 4360 Women and Minorities in the Media
  • CCJN 4370 Law and Ethics in a High-Tech World
  • CCJN 4380 Objectivity and Bias
  • CCJN 4393 Civil Rights and the Media
  • CCJN 4394 Media Effects
  • CCJN 4397 Journalism in Latin America
  • CCJN 5305 Topics in Critical Studies

Journalism Electives


Second Language


Minor or Second Major and Free Electives (hours vary as needed to meet University residency and degree requirements


Honors Program

The honors program in journalism is highly selective. At midterm of the sophomore year, and again at midterm of the junior year, declared journalism majors with a GPA of 3.500 or better can apply to the honors program. All interested students, including those who have been previously awarded honors scholarships, need to apply for admission to the program. Those wishing to graduate with distinction in journalism must complete six hours of honors coursework within the Division of Journalism. Where specific honors sections are not offered in the Division of Journalism, students may work with individual professors to develop appropriate honors coursework within regular classes, subject to approval of the honors program director. Three hours must be in honors skills; the remaining three hours must come from either honors topical studies or honors critical studies. In addition, seniors must complete JOUR 5308 as a directed study and produce an honors thesis. For further information, students should contact the honors program director, Division of Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, 280 Umphrey Lee, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX 75275. The honor society is separate from the honors program. At midterm of the senior year, the top 10 percent of the graduating class is invited for membership in Kappa Tau Alpha, the Journalism Mass Communication Honor Society.

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