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 twenty-first-century media. The program emphasizes critical thinking, research, writing, and visual communication skills within an ethical framework across all media and professional disciplines.

The JMC faculty recognizes 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. Central to our aims are accuracy and balance in reporting, high ethical standards, and a commitment to serving the interests of the public.

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 global media. The internship further enhances the acquired concepts and skills, as does participation in extracurricular activities on campus (e.g., magazines, online news websites, 24-7 radio station).

JMC students are encouraged to enroll in other courses to expand their cultural and disciplinary perspectives and to major or minor in a separate discipline. This opportunity to shape a multidisciplinary 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 and public relations agencies, design studios, production houses, and others or to 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 and awaken creativity;
  • integrate liberal arts knowledge in research, study, and professional activity;
  • understand the role of advertising and public relations; and,
  • 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 and 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; and,
  • develop presentation and public speaking skills.

Total: 37 credit hours

Required Courses (16 credit hours)

JMC 141 Communications, Media, and Society
JMC 150 Writing for Media (WIC)
JMC 200 Visual Communication Theory and Practice
JMC 220 Digital Storytelling
JMC 356 Media Law and Ethics
JMC 481 Professional Internship (Cr. 0)

Elective Courses (21 credit hours)

The traditional approach to the major requires completion of the core courses, a professional internship, twenty-one credit hours of elective courses, and sitting for the Bulgarian state exam.

JMC electives include any JMC course beyond the required courses, BUS 260 Marketing (or ENT 261 Marketing for Entrepreneurs), INF 240 Website Development, and MLL 275 Language, Culture, and Communication.

The Capstone Project requires a minimum 3.25 GPA in the major and may count as a state exam. A professional internship does not count towards the required credit hours.

Disciplinary Honors in Journalism and Mass Communication

Disciplinary Honors may be given to a JMC major who upon graduation has

  • achieved a GPA-in-major of at least 3.50;
  • completed a capstone project and publicly defended the project before a panel of JMC faculty; and,
  • received a grade of A for the capstone project.

The final decision to award honors rests with the panel.

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