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The journalism major offers a unique and multifaceted educational experience that prepares students to gather, critically analyze, and synthesize verbal and visual information to communicate accurate and clear news stories across multiple media platforms. In addition to writing and reporting, students learn to prepare audio and visual content for dissemination in a variety of media, making them a valuable asset to any future employer specializing in news reporting and factual storytelling.
The major is enhanced by RIT's reputation for using cutting-edge technology, yet is grounded in the traditional reporting and writing skills needed by professional journalists. The program prepares students for a converged digital media world. They will learn the conceptual and practical skills demanded by the digital newsroom through a combination of journalism, communication, and applied professional courses, along with a professional core offered through the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
Students develop skills through a core of required communication courses, which cover newswriting, news editing, e-journalism, communication theory, mass communications, law and press ethics, and digital design. A professional core of six courses, chosen by the student, from the School of Media Sciences, the School of Film and Animation, and the department of photographic arts provide an in-depth understanding of design principles, still photography, audio and video production, news and information management, and methods of new media publishing. Journalism electives, free electives, and liberal arts courses complete the program's curriculum.
The capstone course provides students with an opportunity to integrate, synthesize, and apply prior learning to a project similar to one they would encounter in their profession. Students produce a long-form piece of journalism, a website, and a digital portfolio of selected works.
Journalism, BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|COMM-161||Introduction to Journalism||3|
|COMM-162||Reporting and Writing I (WI)||3|
|LAS Perspective 1, 2||6|
|LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar||3|
|COMM-261||History of Journalism||3|
|COMM-163||Reporting and Writing II||3|
|LAS Perspective 3, 4||6|
|ENGL-150||LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar||3|
|COMM-301||Theories of Communication||3|
|LAS Perspective 5†, 6, 7A, 7B||12|
|COMM-263||Computer Assisted Reporting||3|
|Professional Core Course||3|
|LAS Immersion 1, 2||6|
|COMM-361||Reporting in Specialized Fields||3|
|Professional Core Courses||6|
|LAS Immersion 3||3|
|COMM-362||Law and Ethics of the Press||3|
|Cooperative Education (summer)||Co-op|
|Professional Core Course||3|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||120|
Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.
† Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3 or 4 credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, the student must take both the lecture and the lab portion.
Students are required to complete one semester of cooperative education or an internship experience in a professional position. This experience gives students the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to a professional work environment. Past co-op positions have included placements at newspapers, including the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester's daily newspaper. The Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services can assist students in identifying and applying to co-op and internship positions as well as permanent placement upon graduation.
Every student is assigned a faculty adviser, a co-op/placement adviser, and a peer mentor. Faculty advisers assist in academic advising and career counseling. They are helpful in course selection and scheduling, course planning, and post-graduation work. The co-op/placement adviser, located in the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services, offers career guidance and advice. Peer mentors, who are upper-level journalism students, are also available to answer questions about classes, clubs on campus, student-run activities, and other matters from the student’s perspective.
Nearly all 18 faculty members in the department of communication hold the highest degrees in their fields. Many have won awards for teaching, and all have been published within their areas of expertise.
Journalism majors have a wide range of career options to choose from. It is expected that the market for writers and editors will increase by nearly 20 percent in the next few years, and graduates with experience in new media technologies will have a significant edge.
The program also is ideal for those who wish to pursue graduate study in journalism or communication. The department of communication offers an MS degree in communication and media technologies. Please consult RIT's Graduate Bulletin for more information.