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  School of Communication and Information 2021-2023 Undergraduate Programs Undergraduate Programs of Study Journalism and Media Studies  

Journalism and Media Studies

The journalism and media studies (JMS) major provides an opportunity to study print, broadcast, electronic journalism, and new media, including law and ethics as well as media theory, with an emphasis on how the media affects individuals, social groups, and political processes in a democratic society. The major provides undergraduate students with a broad spectrum of courses in the theory and practice of journalism and media, preparing them for professional careers in magazines, the creative industries, television, newspapers, radio, web production, media management, the news agencies and wire services, publishing, and public information service in the government and private sectors. Journalism and media studies students are encouraged to take electives outside the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) to complement both their studies in the major and their career interests.

Graduates who successfully complete the program will be able to:
    • [EXPRESSION]  Write fluently, produce content, and tell stories across evolving media platforms.
    • [ANALYSIS]  Demonstrate analytical and critical thinking, formulate research questions and use appropriate methods, evaluate and use appropriate sources, identify and gather relevant data in journalism and media contexts.
    • [ETHICS]  Develop a critical understanding of the ethical standards and tensions in journalistic and media practices and institutions and apply this understanding to academic and professional activities.
    • [POWER]  Critically analyze issues of diversity, difference, social justice, and power in media in a global context.
    • [SYSTEMS]  Explain social, political, cultural, and economic dimensions of media technologies, institutions, practices, policies, and regulations.
    • [INNOVATION]  Innovate with tools and technologies appropriate for media professions.

      Career Opportunities
      The program offers a broad spectrum of courses in the theory and practice of journalism and media studies, preparing students for professional careers in print, broadcast, new media, advertising, and public relations and public information services in the government and private sectors. The courses focus on the practice of journalism and mass media and the impact of media on society, new technology and the media, public policy and understanding, and the planning and development of public information systems.
      The JMS major also provides strong writing skills and academic preparation for students who are preprofessional for law school, M.B.A. programs, and other advanced degrees.

      Admission to the Major
      The Department of Journalism and Media Studies seeks a highly motivated and diverse student body. Admission to the journalism and media studies major is competitive; meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Minimum requirements for admission include
      • completion of at least 15 credits at Rutgers, or 15 transfer credits, with a grade-point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better;
      • a grade of C or better in the required prerequisite course 04:189:102 Introduction to Media (or an equivalent transfer course);
      • a grade of C or better in 01:355:101 Expository Writing or an equivalent course or placement; and
      • completion of the application including a well-written personal statement.

      The admissions committee considers the following criteria when reviewing student essays: (a) evidence of your interest in the major; (b) your future plans and their relationship to the major; (c) your strength as a writer; and (d) any other qualities that make you a strong candidate for admission to the journalism and media studies major. Applications are available on the school's website at Students may be admitted for the fall, spring, and summer semesters; check the website for application deadlines each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to consult the school's website for up-to-date information regarding admissions procedures.

      Major Requirements
      The major demands that students carefully formulate their program of coursework. Students should consult an adviser for guidance at least once a year.

      SC&I Interdisciplinary Requirement (3 credits)
      Students must fulfill an interdisciplinary requirement within the school outside of the major prior to their senior year in order to graduate:
         04:189:101  Introduction to Communication and Information Processes (3) or
         04:189:103  Information Technology and Informatics (3)

      Core Major Requirements
      Several pathways in the major allow students to achieve their career goals:
      Journalism and Emerging Media:  Built upon the foundation of traditional media (broadcasting and print), this path offers students the opportunity to concentrate in newer journalistic pursuits such as online, social media, and citizen journalism.

      Media and Society:  Students study the impacts and effects of media, politics, social change, diversity, and other topics on the state, country, and world levels. This path is appropriate for students interested in a focus on media studies.

      Creative Media Practice:  Students learn different forms of media production, practice, and industry analysis. This path prepares students for careers emphasizing creative, managerial, and entrepreneurial media opportunities, including social media, entertainment media, and strategic communications. Students learn how to work with newer technologies and apply those skills in the ever-changing media environment. Creative media practice classes present the opportunity to analyze the role production plays in the development of media. 

      All JMS majors must complete 33 credits:
        • 04:567:200  Writing for Media (3)
        • 04:567:480  Media Ethics (3)
        • 1 foundation course (3 credits) from their selected pathway
        • 2 courses (6 credits) in expression, analysis, and innovation
        • 2 courses (6 credits) in analysis, ethics, power, and systems; at least one of these two courses must be at the 400 level
        • 12 credits of electives
        Students may opt to select a specialization in sports journalism or in global media. The program offers a number of study abroad opportunities and financial aid is sometimes available to support participation.

        Check the program's website for the most up-to-date list of courses and specializations.

        Students may take any course in the major as an elective, including foundation courses from another track.

        Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses in order for those courses to count towards the major.

        It is strongly encouraged and highly advantageous for students to pursue a second major, or at least a minor, if they wish to pursue a career in media.  This must be done outside of the School of Communication and Information since double majors within the school are not allowed.

        JMS Specializations
        You can focus on specific types of media, gain dedicated skills, and extend the value of your degree by participating in one of the JMS major's specializations:
        • Global Media
        • Sports Journalism

        Build Expertise
        The JMS specializations help you develop expertise in either global media or sports journalism that can set you apart from other job applicants. Each specialization is an 18-credit program that includes theory-based and practice-based courses by leading scholars and industry professionals.

        What You Need to Know
        • Specializations are open to Journalism and Media Studies majors.
        • Courses in a JMS specialization also count toward your major.
        • Each specialization requires a total of six courses (18 credits).
        • If you're using a specialization to fulfill JMS major requirements, at least 6 credits of the 18-credit specialization must be at the 400 level.
        • Once in the Journalism and Media Studies major, you can declare the specialization in one of two ways:
        • There are NO course substitutions permitted unless the Department of Journalism and Media Studies has approved a new course/special topics course for a specialization.
        • On occasion, Special Topics courses are offered that may also be appropriate; check the course subtitle to learn what the course subject will be in a given semester.
        • Courses already taken will count toward the specializations if they are on the approved list.
        • All pre-requisites apply regarding enrolling in a course.

        Internships and Other Educational Opportunities
        An internship is a highly recommended capstone experience for JMS majors. Students pursue placements in major media outlets throughout the New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia markets.

        The department internship coordinator assists students in finding an internship. Students must qualify, receive permission, and then register for either the 3-credit or 6-credit internship. To qualify, a student must be a major who completed a minimum of 75 overall credits and five journalism (567) courses, at least three of which must be skills courses; have an overall GPA of 2.5 or better; and have a 2.75 GPA or better in the major. JMS students are not allowed to take both the 3 and 6 credit internship in the same semester.

        Course Transfers

        A maximum of 6 credits from outside the JMS program may be counted toward the major.  A maximum of 3 transfer credits (or one course) may be applied to the conceptual requirement and a maximum of 3 transfer credits (or one course) may be applied to the skills requirement.

        Courses that students have taken at other New Jersey colleges, which are articulated through the NJ Transfer system and recorded on a student's transcript with a JMS course number, will be counted toward the major. However, such courses do count as transfer courses to the major and therefore a maximum of 6 credits may be applied to the major.

        Students who wish to have a course they have taken elsewhere at Rutgers or externally at another university considered as one of their required or elective courses in the journalism and media studies major must submit a request for transfer equivalency in writing to the Office of Student Services. To submit such a request, the letter of petition must include a copy of the full syllabus of the course, a copy of the student's transcript showing the grade achieved, note which JMS course it is requested to replace, and the reasons for consideration. The courses are evaluated in terms of their very close match of content and skills to the JMS course, the level of the course, and the grade achieved, which should typically be a B or better. Students will be notified in writing of the outcome of the petition.

        Dual-Bachelor's/Master's Degree Programs for Journalism and Media Studies Majors
        JMS majors in their junior or senior year may apply to the master's program in communication and media (M.C.M.) for a dual-B.A./M.C.M. program or the master's program in health communication and information (MHCI) for a dual-B.A./M.H.C.I program. Each dual-degree program allows completion of both degrees in as few as five years. If accepted, certain journalism and media studies courses taken in the senior year will count toward both the undergraduate degree and the master's. Once the bachelor's degree is completed, students will be in the master's program and complete requirements.
        Admission requirements are the same as for all M.C.M. and M.H.C.I. applicants. Details about the application process and degree requirements are on the school's website.
        For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
        Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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