Journalism and Mass Communication Major

The Journalism and Mass Communication faculty is committed to an academic and professional program that encompasses the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in 21st century media. The program will emphasize critical thinking, research, writing and visual communication skills within an ethical framework across all media and professional disciplines.

The JMC faculty recognize that media throughout the world are changing. New information technologies, media convergence, cross-cultural perspectives and new economic realities are shifting the ways we communicate. At the same time, the principles of journalism and mass communication remain essential to a democratic society. Accuracy and balance in reporting, upholding high ethical standards, and a commitment to serving the interests of the public are central to our aims. 
 
The core required courses are the foundation of the program. They provide the theoretical, historical, ethical and cultural background that underlies journalism and mass communication today. The elective courses, presented in two tracks, focus on the skills needed to function in the global media. The internship, either professional or academic, further enhances the acquired concepts and skills, as does participation in extracurricular activities on campus (i.e. magazine, online news websites, 24/7 radio station).

JMC students are encouraged to enroll in other courses to expand their cultural and disciplinary perspectives, and also to major or minor in a separate discipline. This opportunity to shape a multi-disciplinary course of study within the liberal arts tradition is an invitation for students to enrich their knowledge base in preparation for further inquiry, research and understanding.
 
Upon graduation, students are prepared to pursue a range of careers in a variety of fields ranging from media organizations, advertising/PR agencies, design studios, production houses and others, or continue their education with graduate studies at leading universities around the world.

Theoretical Student Learning Outcomes (core courses):

  • Understand the history, function and development of journalism and mass communication in society.
  • Analyze global media issues and functions.
  • Develop media and visual communication literacy; awaken creativity.
  • Integrate liberal arts knowledge in research, study and professional activity.
  • Understand the role of advertising and public relations.
  • Apply principles of media law, policies and ethics

Professional Student Learning Outcomes (elective courses)

  • Master research methods by learning to evaluate and use documents from a variety of sources.
  • Learn interviewing techniques and critical thinking / analytical skills.
  • Learn to write, report and edit content for print and online media platforms.
  • Learn to respond creatively to challenges and apply principles of design in shaping communications.
  • Learn to use software programs to design, produce and communicate effectively.
  • Develop presentation and public speaking skills.

Total: 36 credit hours

Required Courses (15 credit hours)
 
JMC 141 Communications, Media & Society 
JMC 150 Writing for Media
JMC 200 Visual Communication Theory and Practice
JMC 220 Multimedia Journalism
JMC 356 Media Law and Ethics

Internship Requirement (0-3 credit hours)

 Either Professional Internship (0 credits) or
 Academic Internship (3 credits; counts as a JMC elective)

Elective Courses (18-21 credit hours)

 Any six (6) or seven (7) JMC Electives depending on the type of internship completed.

The traditional approach to the major requires completion of the core courses, internship, six (6) or seven (7) electives, and sitting for the Bulgarian State Exam.

Track Options

Students majoring in JMC may also choose to focus their studies in either Journalism or Mass Communication by completing a minimum of 5 courses from electives in either the Journalism Track or the Mass Communication Track:

Journalism Track (5 courses)

To complete a Journalism Track, students must complete at least five (5) of the JMC Electives from the following:

JMC 233 Introduction to Video Journalism
JMC 250  Writing and Reporting
JMC 321  Digital Photojournalism
JMC 345  Specialized Writing
JMC 430  Television News Reporting
JMC 435  Magazine Journalism
JMC 455  Global Comparative Media
JMC 470  Topics in Journalism
JMC 491  Capstone Project*

*The Capstone Project requires minimum 3.25 GPA in the major and may count as a state exam.

Mass Communication Track (5 courses)

To complete a Mass Communication Track, students must complete at least 5 of the JMC Electives from the following:

INF  240  Website Design
JMC 370  Introduction to Public Relations
JMC 389  Introduction to Advertising
JMC 411  Design and Layout
JMC 425  Advanced Communications Design
JMC 480  Topics in Media
JMC 491  Capstone Project*

* The Capstone Project requires minimum 3.25 GPA in the major and may count as a state exam.

Disciplinary Honors in Journalism and Mass Communication
Disciplinary Honors may be given to a JMC major who upon graduation has met the following requirements:

  • has achieved a grade point average of at least 3.5 in the JMC major
  • has completed a capstone project and publicly defended the project before a panel of JMC faculty
  • has received a grade of A for the capstone project

The final decision to award honors rests with the panel.

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