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Bachelor of Science in Journalism

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Graduation Requirements

In addition to admission requirements, the following graduation requirements must be met:

1. The candidate must have earned at least 120 hours of college credit. This total is increased if the student has taken MATH 002, JOUR 002, more than 40 hours of journalism, more than 4 hours of physical education activities, more than 4 hours of military science, or more than 15 miscellaneous non-liberal-arts hours. Only 12 transfer hours in journalism may be counted toward the 120 hours needed for graduation. A maximum of 64 hours may be transferred from a community college.

2. The candidate must have completed a minimum of 40 hours and no more than 65 hours in CLAS courses within the 120-hour total. Students admitted to KU before fall 2012 must complete a minimum of 33 hours in journalism courses.

3. The candidate must have at least a 2.5 grade-point average overall and in all journalism courses.

4. The candidate must have earned at least 45 hours in upper-division courses, numbered 300 and above.

5. The candidate must have the equivalent of 16 semester credit hours of college work in one foreign language. Proficiency through the fourth course is required.

6. The candidate must have completed HWC 204 and HWC 205 or HWC 114 and HWC 115. These courses do not count in an HWC three-by-three area distribution block (see no. 8 below).

7. The candidate must have completed an approved non-Western culture course.

8. The candidate must complete area distribution requirements in one of 3 ways:
(a) a three-by-three or
(b) an 18-hour minor plus a 9-hour concentration or
(c) a degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or a co-major in European Studies or in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

  • The candidate may complete the three-by-three area distribution by taking 3 courses in one department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences designated humanities, 3 courses in one CLAS department designated social science, and 3 courses in one other CLAS department. Each group of 3 courses must include at least one that is numbered 300 or above. Each group of 3 courses may include one 2-hour course. 2 of the 3 courses must be offered for at least 3 hours of credit. Courses listed as undesignated (U) may not be used for area distribution requirements. These include but are not limited to ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, MATH 002 and MATH 101, COMS 130 and COMS 230, HWC 114 and HWC 115, or HWC 204 and HWC 205.
        Approved areas in the humanities are classics, communication studies (H), East Asian languages and cultures, English, film and media studies, French and Italian, Germanic languages and literatures, history, history of art, humanities and Western civilization (except HWC 114-HWC 115 and HWC 204-HWC 205), linguistics (H), musicology, philosophy, religious studies, Slavic languages and literatures, Spanish and Portuguese, and theatre (H).
        Approved areas in social sciences are anthropology (S), applied behavioral science, communication studies (S), economics, geography (S), linguistics (S), political science, psychology, and sociology.
        Area studies programs that offer at least 3 designated courses may be taken to fulfill one of the required blocks. Students also may take the third block of courses in one of the natural sciences or mathematics.
  • The candidate may complete an approved minor in a department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences plus a 3-course concentration in another CLAS department. The concentration must have a designation different from that of the minor. For example, if the minor is in a humanities department, the concentration must be in a social science or natural science department. 1 course in the concentration must be numbered 300 or above. No substitutions in the courses that constitute the minor are allowed. Students who choose the minor and concentration option are responsible for declaring the minor in College Student Academic Services, 109 Strong Hall.
  • The candidate may complete a CLAS degree. A degree is all the courses that a given department requires for the degree, including principal distribution courses. Students who opt for a double degree must be dually enrolled in the 2 units and complete requirements for both degrees simultaneously or finish the CLAS degree first. Students who drop the CLAS degree must take the minor option plus a 3-course concentration or three-by-threes. A student also may earn a CLAS co-major in European studies or Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

9. The candidate must complete an approved Diversity Requirement, effective for students new to KU beginning in fall 2007. It may be met in one of the following ways:

  • By completing a specified journalism course or
  • A specified course in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or
  • An area distribution requirement in a foreign language or CLAS area studies program or
  • An approved Study Abroad program or the KU Global Awareness program or
  • a CLAS minor in a foreign language or area studies program or
  • A KU co-major or
  • A CLAS major in a foreign language or area studies program or
  • International students studying at KU or military service abroad.

Consult the Journalism Advising and Records Office or the journalism website for a current list of courses, CLAS minors, co-majors, and majors that meet the diversity requirement.

10. The candidate must have met all requirements of the school. Transfer students must have met the equivalent of those requirements, as outlined above.

11. The candidate must apply to graduate early in his or her final semester.

12. The candidate must complete a minimum of 30 hours in residence after being admitted to the school.

The primary responsibility for meeting graduation requirements rests with the student. Some graduation requirements are subject to change.

Consult the Journalism Advising and Records Office for current information. To set up an advising appointment, please see our online reservation system.

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Two Undergraduate Degrees

A student who has earned a B.A. or B.S. degree and wishes to earn a second undergraduate degree in journalism is expected to meet the school’s requirements for area distribution, diversity, foreign language, and journalism and to complete a minimum of 65 hours in CLAS. A candidate for a second undergraduate degree must have earned a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 in previous college work and meet the English grade-point averages listed under First- and Second-Year Requirements to be considered for admission to the school. A student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in residence after admission to the school. Admission is competitive.

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Course Requirements for Journalism Majors

To earn the Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree, students must complete a minimum required total of 40 hours in journalism courses. 6 journalism courses form the core and are taken by all students. 4 of these courses are taken at the foundation level, and 2 are taken at the upper level.

Foundation Core

  • JOUR 101 Media and Society (3 credit hours)
  • JOUR 300 Visual Storytelling (3 credit hours)
  • JOUR 302 Infomania (3 credit hours)
  • JOUR 304 Writing for Media (3 credit hours)

Completion of JOUR 101 with a grade of 2.0 or higher and admission to the school are prerequisites for JOUR 300, JOUR 302, and JOUR 304.

Upper-Level Core

  • JOUR 608 Ethics and the Media (3 credit hours)
  • JOUR 618 First Amendment and Society (3 credit hours)

After completing the foundation core, the student selects a track, News and Information or Strategic Communication. Each includes courses to develop critical- and creative-thinking ability and skills required by specific fields in journalism and mass communications.


The News and Information track prepares students for careers in reporting, writing, and editing for the media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and digital media. Students in News and Information gain skills and apply their learning by working on campus or professional media.

Required courses are

A student may take 1 advanced media course a semester. To enroll in more than 1 advanced media course in a semester, a student must have permission from instructors of both courses and from the news track chair. At least 6 hours of journalism electives in the student’s interest area must be taken.

The Strategic Communication track prepares students to work in marketing communications fields including advertising and public relations. All students complete a capstone course in which they apply classroom learning to professional practice by developing a strategic campaign for a client.

Required courses are

  • JOUR 101 Media and Society,
  • JOUR 300 Visual Storytelling,
  • JOUR 302 Infomania,
  • JOUR 304 Writing for Media,
  • JOUR 320 Stratcom I: Introduction to Strategic Communication,
  • JOUR 420 Stratcom II: Principles of Advertising and Public Relations,
  • JOUR 460 Research Methods in Strategic Communications
  • JOUR 560 Message Development,
  • JOUR 608 Ethics and the Media,
  • JOUR 618 First Amendment and Society, and
  • JOUR 640 Strategic Campaigns, the capstone course.

To enroll in JOUR 640, a student must be in good academic standing. Electives in the student’s interest area must be taken to meet the 40-hour minimum total of journalism hours.

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