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Journalism BS

Patrick Scanlon, Department Chairperson
(585) 475-2449, pmsgsl@rit.edu

http://www.rit.edu/journalism

Program overview

The journalism major 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 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 major prepares students for a converged digital media world. They 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 of courses from the colleges of Business, Computing and Information Sciences, and Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Curriculum

Students develop skills through a core of required communication courses, which cover news writing, news editing, multi-platform journalism, communication theory, mass communications, law and press ethics, and computer-assisted reporting. A professional core of four courses, chosen from the colleges of Business, Computing and Information Sciences, or Imaging Arts and Sciences, introduces students to photojournalism, multimedia, Web development, digital entrepreneurship, and building a Web business. Journalism electives, free electives, and liberal arts courses complete the curriculum.

Senior project

In a senior capstone course students apply what they've learned 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

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
COMM-271 Introduction to Journalism 3
COMM-272 Reporting and Writing I (WI) 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3, 4 12
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
COMM-261 History of Journalism 3
COMM-273 Reporting and Writing II 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
COMM-301 Theories of Communication 3
COMM-274 News Editing 3
  LAS Perspective 5‡, 6, 7A, 7B 12
COMM-263 Computer Assisted Reporting
  Professional Core Course
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
Third Year
COMM-361 Reporting in Specialized Fields 3
  Professional Core Courses 6
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  LAS Electives 9
COMM-362 Law and Ethics of the Press
  Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fourth Year
COMM-461 Multi-platform Journalism
  Professional Core Course
  Free Electives 9
  LAS Electives 12
COMM-561 Senior Project 3
COMM-497 Communication Portfolio 0
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 completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ 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.

Cooperative education

Students are required to complete one semester of cooperative education or an internship experience. This experience gives students the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to a professional work environment. Past co-op positions have been at newspapers, including the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester's daily newspaper. The Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services assists students in identifying and applying to co-op and internship positions as well as permanent placement upon graduation.

Additional information

Advisers

Every student is assigned a professional academic adviser and a faculty mentor in the department of communication. The professional adviser assists with course planning and registration; the faculty mentor provides advising about career development and planning, including information about research opportunities, graduate school, and jobs. Peer mentors, who are upper-level journalism students, are available to answer questions about classes, clubs on campus, student-run activities, and other matters from the student’s perspective.

Faculty

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.

Careers

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 interested in pursuing 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.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The journalism program 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 program 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.

Curriculum

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.

Senior project

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.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their academic advisers with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Journalism, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
0535-201 Introduction to Journalism 4
0535-482 Mass Communications 4
0535-471 History of Journalism 4
0535-416 Newswriting 4
4002-206 Web Foundations 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Mathematics and Science Requirement‡ 16
1105-051, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
0535-405 Information Gathering 4
0535-417 Newswriting II 4
0535-462 Digital Design in Communication 4
0535-474 Reporting in Specialized Fields 4
0535-472 News Editing 4
0535-445 Theories of Communication 4
0535-473 eJournalism 4
  General Education Elective 4
  Liberal Arts* 8
  Professional Core 6-8
  Wellness Education† 0
Third Year
0535-476 eJournalism II 4
0535-470 Law and Ethics of the Press 4
  Professional Core 6-8
  Liberal Arts* 12
  General Education Electives 8
  University-wide Electives 8
  Mathematics Requirement‡ 4
  Cooperative Education (two quarters) Co-op
Fourth Year
0535-464 Public Relations Writing 4
  Journalism Elective 4
0535-590 Senior Project 4
  Professional Core 6-8
  Liberal Arts* 4
  General Education Electives 8
  University-wide Electives 12
Total Quarter Credit Hours 187-189

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Please see Mathematics and Science General Education Curriculum for more information.

Journalism, BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
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
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
COMM-301 Theories of Communication 3
COMM-262 News Editing 3
  LAS Perspective 5†, 6, 7A, 7B 12
COMM-263 Computer Assisted Reporting
  Professional Core Course
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
Third Year
COMM-361 Reporting in Specialized Fields 3
  Professional Core Courses 6
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  LAS Electives 9
COMM-362 Law and Ethics of the Press
  Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fourth Year
COMM-461 Multiplatform Journalism
  Professional Core Course
  Free Electives 9
  LAS Electives 12
COMM-561 Senior Project 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.

Cooperative education

Students are required to complete two quarters 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 co-op and internship positions as well as permanent placement upon graduation.

Additional information

Advisers

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.

Faculty

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.

Careers

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.