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Bachelor of Science in Journalism

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Undergraduate Admission to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications

There are 3 categories or paths for admission to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications (the J-School):

Path 1

Journalism School Scholars may declare a journalism major directly out of high school. They must

  • Have composite ACT scores of 30 or higher (1330 SAT-I scores) and
  • Have cumulative grade-point averages of 3.7 or higher and
  • Apply for admission and scholarships to KU, indicating a journalism major, by December 1.

Each year, 15 to 20 students are selected as Journalism School Scholars. They are eligible to receive scholarships from the school during the first year. Meeting the criteria above does not guarantee selection as a J-School Scholar. The selection process is competitive.

Path 2

Students will be considered for admission to the School of Journalism directly out of high school if they

  • Have composite ACT scores of 24 or higher (1090 SAT-I scores) and
  • Graduate from high school with grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher and
  • Apply to the J-School by the following deadlines:
    – Fall or summer: February 1
    – Spring: September 1

The conditions above are minimum requirements. Admission is competitive. If the school must set an admissions quota, students with the highest ACT (or SAT-I) scores and grade-point averages will be accepted.

Path 3

Transfer students and current KU students who do not declare journalism as their major during the first semester of the first year may apply for admission if they

  • Earn 24 or more credit hours (either at KU or another institution) with grade-point averages of 2.5 or higher and
  • Complete or are enrolled in JOUR 101 Media and Society the semester of application and
  • Earn a C or higher in JOUR 101 (if applying while enrolled in JOUR 101, admission is rescinded if a C or higher is not earned) and
  • Apply to the J-School by the following deadlines:
    – Fall or summer: February 1
    – Spring: September 1

Students applying with more than 60 hours of college credit (at KU, another institution, or a combination of both) must meet with a journalism adviser to determine their admission eligibility.

Admission is competitive. The number of students admitted each semester depends on the number graduating in the preceding semester and the school’s overall capacity. Candidate selection is based on grade-point average. 90 percent of available spaces are filled by the candidates with the highest KU cumulative grade-point averages. The remaining 10 percent are selected from among those who petition before the deadline, provided that the student has a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5. In reviewing petitions, the J-School considers elements such as ACT scores, socioeconomic factors, academic progress, and commitment to the profession. The school uses a student’s transfer cumulative grade-point average if he or she does not have a KU cumulative grade-point average. The school does not combine transfer and KU cumulative grade-point averages.

Requirements for Good Standing

Students admitted to the school must do the following in order to remain in the school and in good standing:

  • Complete JOUR 101 Media and Society with a grade of 2.0 or higher.  
  • Maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average and a 2.5 journalism grade-point average. If either GPA drops below 2.5, students will be placed on probation for 1 semester. At the end of the probation semester, the advising office will re-evaluate the student's cumulative GPA. If the student has not raised his or her GPA to 2.5 or higher, the student's admission will be rescinded. The student may reapply once his or her GPA is above 2.5. In extreme circumstances, the probation period may be extended to a second semester, if the student provides documentation of circumstances beyond the student’s control. This decision is made at the discretion of the associate dean, in consultation with the advising office.
  • Complete ENGL 101 (or exemption) and ENGL 102 or ENGL 105 (or exemption or advanced placement) and 1 of the following courses — ENGL 203, ENGL 205, ENGL 209, ENGL 210, or ENGL 211 — with a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher. (Students can complete these courses after they are admitted.) The English GPA, figured from course grades for ENGL 101 and 102 and the 200-level required English course, is calculated when the student completes the third required English course. Students who have an English GPA below 2.5 may remain in the journalism school if they passed the grammar test with a grade of 76 or higher*. The student may have 2 attempts to pass the grammar exam.

Students failing to meet any of the conditions above are placed on probation for one semester.

  • Students must also pass JOUR 301/304 with a grade of C (2.0) or better. If the student does not pass JOUR 301/304 the second time, admission will be rescinded.

*All students take the grammar test when admitted to the school. If they do not earn a score of 76 or higher, they must take JOUR 002 Grammar and Usage and complete it with a C (2.0) or higher while enrolled in JOUR 301/304.

Visit the Office of Admissions for information about admission to KU. Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admission.

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First- and Second-Year Requirements

We strongly recommend that students complete the first- and second-year requirements by the beginning of the junior year (fifth semester, not including summer sessions).

  • ENGL 101 (or exemption) and ENGL 102 or ENGL 105 (or exemption or advanced placement) and 1 of the following courses — ENGL 203, ENGL 205, ENGL 209, ENGL 210, or ENGL 211 — with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.*
  • Complete the sequence of math courses through 1 of the following: MATH 105, MATH 106, MATH 111, MATH 115, MATH 121, MATH 141, MATH 365, or BIOL 570. If a student takes MATH 002, those 3 credit hours do not count toward the 120 hours needed for graduation.
  • COMS 130 or COMS 230 or exemption for 1 year of high school work with a grade of 3.0 or higher. This exemption is granted by the Communications Studies department.
  • One 4- or 5-credit-hour natural science course with a laboratory. (The following subjects fulfill this requirement when taken as a lecture and lab: biology, physics, astronomy, geography, geology, or chemistry.)
  • A principal course in humanities designated H by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • A principal course in a social science designated S by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • A basic economics course (ECON 104 or ECON 142 or ECON 144 or equivalent).
  • Completion of a foreign language through the second course. Completion of a foreign language through the fourth course is required for graduation. Students should complete the foreign language requirement during the first 2 years.

*All students take the grammar test when admitted to the school. If they do not earn a score of 76 or higher, they must take JOUR 002 Grammar and Usage and complete it with a C (2.0) or higher while enrolled in JOUR 302.

Admission requirements are subject to change. A student’s first semester of college is the first semester in which he or she enrolls after high school graduation.

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