Academic Programs Catalog

College of Communication Arts and Sciences

School of Journalism

Lucinda Davenport, Director

 


Undergraduate Programs

Whatever way consumers get their news and information, journalists provide the content and storytelling in words and/or visuals.

Students become experts in written or visual forms for news and other information on the web, mobile apps, social media, magazines, newspapers, books, radio, TV, public relations and other media. 

The undergraduate program is a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Concentration areas include writing, reporting and editing; broadcast; environment, science and health; international; sports; design; photojournalism; information graphics and media relations. Students can choose optional minors in animation and comics storytelling, broadcast, public relations, sports journalism, documentary production, and entrepreneurship and innovation.

Journalism students work in various student-produced media, become members of student organizations, have internships, win professional awards and get job offers.

Using the nation’s newest, state-of-the-art newsroom, students produce stories for news Web sites and for radio and TV news shows. Some students create stories with augmented reality and learn motion capture to place audiences inside issues and events.

Students learn valuable storytelling skills across media, become critical thinkers, excellent writers. superb visual communicators, and effective communicators in any industry. They will be prepared for the future of media and be a leader in the field because of its flexibility.

Transfer students are welcomed. For additional information about admission and transferring courses, please contact the Undergraduate Student Affairs Office, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, 1-517-355-1794.


 


Journalism

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Journalism major is met by completing Journalism 300. That course is referenced in item 3. a. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
a. All of the following core courses (19 to 24 credits):
JRN 108 The World of Media 3
JRN 200 Writing and Reporting News 3
JRN 203 Visual Storytelling 3
JRN 300 Multimedia Writing and Reporting (W) 3
JRN 325 Journalism History 3
JRN 430 News Media Law and Ethics 3
JRN 493 Journalism Professional Field Experience 1 to 6
Students must achieve a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 or higher in Journalism 200 and 300 in all credits attempted.
b. One of the following courses (3 credits):
CAS 110 Creative Thinking 3
CAS 111 Design and Layout 3
CAS 112 Story, Sound and Motion 3
CAS 114 Creativity and Innovative Entrepreneurship 3
CAS 116 Media Sketching and Graphics 3
c. Complete a concentration or minor (12 to 15 credits). 
Students may choose from the following concentrations (12 credits). Students may select special topics to fulfill concentration requirements with advisor approval.
Broadcast Journalism
All of the following courses:
JRN 206 Video Storytelling with Cell Phones 3
JRN 306 Introduction to Radio, Podcasting and TV News 3
JRN 403 TV News 3
JRN 406 Advanced TV News Storytelling and Producing 3
Environment, Science and Health Reporting
Both of the following courses:
JRN 372 Environment, Science and Health Journalism Special Topics 3
JRN 472 Environment, Science and Health Reporting 3
Complete 6 credits from the following:
JRN 372 Environment, Science and Health Journalism Special Topics 3
JRN 472 Environment, Science and Health Reporting 3
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 3
A 300-level or above environment-relevant non-Journalism course with advisor approval.
Students who reenroll in JRN 372, 472, or 492 must select a different topic than previously taken.
Information Graphics
All of the following courses:
JRN 338 Information Graphics 3
JRN 345 Images and Messages 3
JRN 438 Advanced Information Graphics 3
Complete 3 credits from the following:
JRN 336 Designing for Media 3
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 3
Study Abroad, Creative Journey – Barcelona to Berlin 3
Students who reenroll in JRN 492 must select a different topic than previously taken.
International Reporting
All of the following courses:
JRN 265 International Journalism and Media 3
JRN 365 International News and Government Dynamics 3
JRN 465 International Reporting 3
Complete 3 credits from the following:
JRN 365 International News and Government Dynamics 3
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 3
Study Abroad in Journalism 3
Students who reenroll in JRN 365 or 492 must select a different topic than previously taken.
Journalism Education
All of the following courses:
JRN 206 Video Storytelling with Cell Phones 3
JRN 310 Photojournalism 3
JRN 336 Designing for Media 3
JRN 409 Advising Student Publications 3
Media Design
All of the following courses:
JRN 336 Designing for Media 3
JRN 345 Images and Messages 3
JRN 436 Design for Web and Mobile Devices 3
Complete 3 credits from the following:
JRN 338 Information Graphics 3
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 3
Students who reenroll in JRN 492 must select a different topic than previously taken.
Media Relations
All of the following courses:
JRN 206 Video Storytelling with Cell Phones 3
JRN 310 Photojournalism 3
JRN 336 Designing for Media 3
JRN 402 Public Relations Topics in Journalism 1
Complete at least 2 credits from the following:
ADV 402 Public Relations Topics in Advertising 1
COM 402 Public Relations Topics in Communication 1
JRN 345 Images and Messages 3
JRN 402 Public Relations Topics in Journalism 1
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 2
Students who reenroll in ADV 402, COM 402, JRN 402, or JRN 492 must select a different topic than previously taken.
Photojournalism
All of the following courses:
JRN 310 Photojournalism 3
JRN 345 Images and Messages 3
JRN 410 Advanced Photojournalism: Documentary 3
Complete 3 credits from the following:
CAS 110 Creative Thinking 3
CAS 112 Story, Sound and Motion 3
CAS 205 Photography in Media Settings 3
CAS 396 Integrated Media Arts Special Topics 3
CAS 496 Advanced Media Project Design and Production (W) 3
JRN 483 Photo Communication in Europe 3
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 3
Students who reenroll in JRN 492 must select a different topic than previously taken.
Students enrolling in CAS 396 or 496 must have advisor approval to ensure appropriate content.
Sports Journalism
All of the following courses:
JRN 218 Sports in Contemporary Media 3
JRN 317 Sports Journalism 3
JRN 416 Sports Multimedia Content Management 3
JRN 418 Advanced Sports Reporting 3
Writing, Reporting and Editing
All of the following courses:
JRN 305 Editing for Print and Digital 3
JRN 407 Advanced Reporting 3
JRN 432 Magazine, Feature and Freelance Writing 3
One of the following courses:
JRN 420 Capital News Service 3
JRN 472 Environment, Science and Health Reporting 3
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 3
Study Abroad in Mass Media with a writing component 3
Students may choose from the following minors (15 credits):  
Animation and Comics Storytelling in Media, Broadcast Journalism, Documentary Production, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Public Relations, or Sports Journalism.  Students should consult the Academic Programs catalog statement in the department that administers the minor to learn the requirements.
d. The following courses from an approved list in the School of Journalism, in departments outside the College of Communication Arts and Sciences:
(1) Literature: One course (3 credits)
(2) Civics: One course (3 credits)
e. Journalism majors must complete a minimum of 72 credits in courses outside of the School of Journalism, and mass communication. Journalism majors may complete up to 48 credits in journalism and mass communication.

Other Programs

Environmental Studies and Agriscience - Communication concentration:  see the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources section of this catalog for courses in Journalism appropriate to this major.

Engineering Arts:  see the College of Engineering section of this catalog for courses appropriate to this major.

Suggestions for Program Success

Students should pursue the University’s Integrative Studies requirements during their freshman and sophomore years. Students should complete Journalism 108 in the freshman year and Journalism 200, 203 and 300 and Economics 201 before the end of the sophomore year.

In order to ensure enrollment in required courses, majors should plan their sophomore, junior and senior year programs with the advice and assistance of academic advisors and faculty.

Today’s journalists should have a broad education in the liberal arts, social sciences, and physical and natural sciences.  Many courses in literature, history, economics and foreign languages are open to freshmen and sophomores.


Minor in Animation and Comics Storytelling in Media

The Minor in Animation and Comics Storytelling in Media, administered by the School of Journalism, provides a strong foundation in history, theory and production of storytelling using animation and comics. Students acquire production skills to visually represent issues, events, narrative, instruction, history and entertainment and use critical thinking as they study storytelling content, context, ethics and the cultural, global and historical impacts of these forms for various media platforms and audiences. Upon completion of the minor, students will have gained necessary skills to research, create and produce digital, interactive and immersive 2D/3D animation, comics, graphic novels, and cartoons.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements of the minor should consult the undergraduate advisor in the School of Journalism to apply. Applications will be reviewed prior to semester enrollment.

Requirements for the Minor in Animation and Comics Storytelling in Media

Complete 15 credits from the following:

1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
JRN 212 2D Animation Storytelling 3
JRN 213 Animation, Comics, Culture and Graphic Novels in Media 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
JRN 338 Visualizing Data with Information Graphics 3
JRN 413 3D Animation Storytelling 3
3. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
ENG 325 Readings in Graphic Narrative 3
JRN 312 Stop Motion Animation Storytelling 3
JRN 313 Political Cartoons 3
JRN 338 Visualizing Data with Information Graphics 3
JRN 413 3D Animation Storytelling 3
JRN 445 Images and Messages 3
Journalism 338 and 413 may not be used to fulfill both requirement 2. and 3.


 

Minor in Broadcast Journalism

The Minor in Broadcast Journalism, which is administered by the School of Journalism, provides students a strong foundation for a career in broadcast journalism. Using cutting-edge technology, students will gain experience in audio and video storytelling, on-air performance, and the production of high-end newscasts, replicating the real-world of visual media for television and other digital platforms.

The minor is available to students who are enrolled in the Journalism major at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

To be considered for admission, a student must have been formally admitted to the Journalism major. Students who plan to apply to the program should complete an application and submit it to the School of Journalism.

Requirements for the Minor in Broadcast Journalism

Complete 15 credits from all of the following courses:
JRN 206 Video Storytelling with Cell Phones 3
JRN 303 On-Air Announcing, Interviewing and Hosting 3
JRN 306 Introduction to Radio, Podcasting and TV News 3
JRN 403 TV News 3
JRN 406 Advanced TV News, Storytelling and Producing 3


 

Minor in Sports Journalism

The Minor in Sports Journalism, which is administered by the School of Journalism, provides students a strong foundation and marketable skills necessary to conceptualize, develop, research, interview, create and deliver traditional, multimedia, broadcast, and social media sports journalism content. Sports journalism content includes news issues, events, narrative and linear journalistic storytelling techniques, history, global sports and media relationships, social media, sports terminology, game play, rules, equipment and processes, and impact on society at all levels. Students will demonstrate critical thinking combined with journalistic frame working, enabling professional content, context and ethics across global media platforms and audiences.

The minor is available to students who are enrolled in the Journalism major at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

To be considered for admission, a student must have been formally admitted to the Journalism major. Students who plan to apply to the program should complete an application and submit it to the School of Journalism.

Requirements for the Minor in Sports Journalism

Complete 15 credits from the following: 
1. All of the following courses (12 credits):
JRN 218 Sports in Contemporary Media 3
JRN 317 Sports Journalism 3
JRN 416 Sports Multimedia Content Management 3
JRN 418 Advanced Sport Reporting 3
2. One of the following courses (3 or 6 credits):
JRN 303 On-Air Announcing, Interviewing and Hosting 3
JRN 432 Magazine, Feature and Freelance Writing 3
JRN 492 Journalism Special Topics 3
Students interested in a journalism study abroad experience may contact the advisor for the minor. The study abroad experience is a 6 credit experience taken under a special section of JRN 492.

 

Teacher Certification Options

The journalism disciplinary major leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree is available for teacher certification.
A journalism disciplinary minor is also available for teacher certification.

Students who elect the journalism disciplinary major or the journalism disciplinary minor must contact the School of Journalism.
For additional information, refer to the statement on TEACHER CERTIFICATION in the Department of Teacher Education section of this catalog.


Minor in Public Relations

Students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts degree program with a major in journalism may elect a Minor in Public Relations. For additional information, refer to the Minor in Public Relations statement.


Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree in Health and Risk Communication

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism
Master of Arts Degree in Health and Risk Communication

The department welcomes applications from Michigan State University undergraduate Journalism majors with at least 86 credits.  Admission applications must be made prior to the final semester as a Journalism undergraduate.  The number of students admitted to this linked program will be limited by availability. Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.50, a statement of goals for the master’s degree, Graduate Record Examination scores, at least two letters of recommendation from faculty in the School of Journalism or Health and Risk Communication faculty, a resume, and an approved program of study for the master’s degree at the time of admission.  It is recommended that students complete a special topic in the area of health and risk communication through COM 399 Special Topics. Admission to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program allows the application of up to 9 credits toward the master’s program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or an external accredited institution.  The number of approved credits, not to exceed 9, are applied toward the credit requirement of the master’s degree.  No 400-level courses with a grade lower than 3.0 will count toward the master’s degree.  Credit obtained from 400-level pass-fail courses and internships will not count toward the degree.  Credits applied to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.

 


Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree in Journalism

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism
Master of Arts Degree in Journalism

The department welcomes applications from Michigan State University undergraduates majoring in Journalism with at least 86 credits. Application for admission must be made prior to the final semester as a Journalism undergraduate major. Admission to the program requires the following: a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 based on all courses taken at MSU, a statement of goals for the master’s degree, a statement of the applicant’s background, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, at least two letters of recommendation from  faculty in the School of Journalism, and an approved program of study for the master’s degree at the time of admission.  Applicants must have already completed JRN 108, 200, 203,300, 400, and 430 with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 in these courses.  The number of Journalism majors admitted into this linked degree program will be limited by availability. Admission to the Linked Bachelor's-Master's program allows the application of up to 9 credits toward the master's program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at Michigan State University. No 400-level courses with a grade lower than 3.0 will count toward the master’s degree. Credit obtained from 400-level pass/fail courses and internships will not count toward the degree.



Graduate Study

A Master of Arts degree in Journalism helps students who want to learn journalism skills and/or study research. Other options include a linked bachelor's-master's degree, and professional and graduate certificates in journalism that help professionals and graduates update their industry skills. A Doctor of Philosophy degree in Information and Media focuses on research in journalism and news, audiences, media technology, media effects or other subjects of their choice related to journalism and media. They learn how media and society influence each other.


Journalism - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree program provides students with the exciting opportunity to acquire lifelong skills and knowledge as critical thinkers, excellent writers, and visual communicators in preparation for journalism careers in new media technologies and traditional mass media anywhere in the world. It provides flexibility to adapt to the needs of individuals for advanced study or for those without prior media experience or journalism education. It also encourages students to gain expertise in an area of study outside journalism that coincides with their future goals.

The program appeals to applicants who seek employment in related areas of innovative journalism including mobile or online media, radio and TV news, documentaries, newspapers, magazines, photojournalism and other visual communication, media management, public relations, and journalism for domestic or international markets. It serves applicants who seek fundamental, advanced and specialized courses in journalism and related fields, who wish to pursue doctoral study, who are professional journalists planning to advance in the industry, and those who will seek opportunities in fields such as environmental journalism and teaching.

The Master of Arts Degree program in Journalism is available under either Plan A (with thesis), usually for those who plan a career in research or to pursue doctoral study, or Plan B (without thesis), usually for those who seek a professional career in journalism or a related area. Students work closely with an academic advisor to successfully complete a program plan for this master’s degree.

In addition to the requirements of the University and of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

In addition to meeting the established standards required for admission to graduate study in the college, applicants for admission are asked to provide the Journalism Graduate Committee with the following:

  1. An official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from persons who are familiar with the applicant's academic and professional work.
  3. Scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  4. A 750–word autobiography.
  5. A 1000–word statement of goals for the master's degree.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Journalism

A minimum of 30 credits is required for the master’s degree in journalism under either Plan A or Plan B.
Requirements for Plan A (with thesis)
1. All of the following courses (13 to 15 credits):
COM 803 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods 3
JRN 815 Media, Society and Theory 3
JRN 825 Journalism History and Qualitative Methods 3
JRN 899 Master’s Thesis Research 4 to 6
2. Complete 15 to 17 additional credits of elective course work approved by a program plan committee which may include a 9 credit concentration in: Environmental, Science, and Health Journalism; Scholastic Journalism; or International Journalism.
Requirements for Plan B (without thesis)
1. All of the following courses (12 credits): 3
JRN 800 Multiple Media Reporting I 3
JRN 801 Multiple Media Reporting II 3
JRN 815 Media, Society and Theory 3
JRN 816 Applied Research Methods in Journalism 3
Journalism 800 may be waived for students with appropriate background.
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
JRN 808 Journalism Education Visual Topics 3
JRN 821 Social Media News and Information 3
JRN 873 Environment, Science and Health Journalism Seminars 3
JRN 875 Global Affairs Reporting 3
3. One of the following courses (3 credits):
JRN 493 Journalism Professional Field Experience 3
JRN 896 Journalism Professional Project 3
4. Complete 12 additional credits of elective course work approved by a program plan committee which may include a 9 credit concentration in: Environmental, Science, and Health Journalism; Scholastic Journalism; or International Journalism.
Optional Concentrations
The following concentrations will fulfill elective requirements in either Plan A or Plan B.
Environmental, Science and Health Journalism
All of the following courses (9 credits):
JRN 872 Environment, Science and Health Reporting Topics 3
JRN 873 Environment, Science and Health Journalism Seminars 3
Any advisor approved environmental, science, health or risk course.
Journalism Education
All of the following courses (9 credits):
JRN 808 Journalism Education Visual Topics 3
JRN 809 Journalism Education Advising Topics 3
Any advisor approved education course.
International Journalism
Select 9 credits from the following:
JRN 475 International News and Government Regional Dynamics 3
JRN 875 Global Affairs Reporting 3
JRN 887 Journalism Study Abroad Topics 6
Any advisor approved international course.


Journalism - Doctor of Philosophy

The School of Journalism participates in the interdepartmental doctoral program in Information and Media and in the interdisciplinary doctoral emphasis in American Studies.

The doctoral program in Information and Media is described under the College of Communication Arts and Sciences listing.

A description of the American Studies emphasis may be found under Interdepartmental and Interdisciplinary Programs in the College of Arts and Letters section of this catalog.

Additional information about graduate study in Journalism and Information and Media may be obtained from the School of Journalism.


Journalism/Law Institute

The Journalism/Law Institute was established in the School of Journalism to study areas of common interest to the mass media, the courts, and the legal profession. The Institute holds seminars and workshops and fosters research and study into First Amendment concerns.

 


Journalism - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Journalism is designed to help students understand the fundamental processes of gathering, organizing, presenting and disseminating news and information in various text and visual forms for different news media platforms. Students learn about the newest innovative media technology and develop an understanding of the influence and effects of media in society.

Admission

To be considered for admission into the Graduate Certificate in Journalism, applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree. For additional information, refer to the Admission section in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Journalism

               
Students must complete all of the following courses (9 credits):
JRN 800 Multiple Media Reporting I 3
JRN 815 Media, Society and Theory 3
JRN 821 Social Media News and Information 3