Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024

Journalism, Bachelor of Arts (736P, 736)

Program Coordinator

Gordon D. McKerral, mac.mckerral@wku.edu, (270) 745-4144

The world of journalism is changing. However, the need for excellent journalists is not. The Journalism major grounds its curriculum in the skills that all employers within the news media and professional communications want: strong writing and editing skills; excellent storytelling skills; the ability to find and process complex information, and share it in a way that helps others understand it.

The core of the curriculum remains reporting, writing, and editing for print and the Web. That core is joined by a range of classes aimed at developing a foundation in multimedia storytelling: digital photojournalism, audio-visual gathering, and editing; and Web site development and content delivery. Ethical and professional standards, First Amendment principles, and media law concepts are incorporated throughout the curriculum to complete the program.

Specific objectives of the Journalism program:

  1. To prepare students for professional careers in journalism and media information;
  2. To instill in students a high degree of professionalism, which consists principally of practical competence and ethical understanding;
  3. To enhance the student’s understanding of the role of the press in a democratic society.

Program Admission Requirements

Students wishing to enter the major in journalism initially are admitted as majors seeking admission (reference 736P). Prospective majors may take no more than 15 hours in the major before admission. Students must meet the following requirements before they can be admitted:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 24 hours of coursework applicable to a baccalaureate degree;
  2. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.5;
  3. Completion of ENG 100 with a grade of “C” or better and 9 additional hours in general education;
  4. Completion of the following courses with a grade of “C” or better: SOM 101, SOM 102, and JOUR 202.

Students not meeting the above admission requirements will not be admitted to the Journalism major and cannot register for any additional courses in the major.

Program Requirements (42 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

The major in Journalism requires 42 semester hours. No course with a grade of “D” or below may be counted toward the major or fulfill prerequisite requirements for any major in the School. One-half of the hours in the major must be at the 300- or 400-level. Students must take a minimum of 72 semester hours in courses outside of the School of Media unit including the general education requirements.

In addition to meeting institutional requirements for graduation, the Journalism major must have a minor or second major outside of the School of Media and Film Studies that is approved by the major faculty advisor. Students may not select a minor in Film Studies, or those offered within the School, unless taken as a second minor.

SOM 101Understanding Media Content, Ethics and Technology3
SOM 102Media Content, Collaboration and Community3
ART 243Digital Media3
JOUR 202Introduction to News Writing3
JOUR 301Press Law and Ethics3
JOUR 302Intermediate Reporting3
JOUR 323Multiplatform News Presentation3
JOUR 325Feature Writing3
VJP 131Fundamentals of Photography3
VJP 261Mobile Media Storytelling3
BCOM 264Digital Video Production and Distribution3
Diversity Elective
Select one from the following:3
Media Diversity
Visual Anthropology
Advanced Intercultural Communication
Gender, Crime, and Justice
Cultural Connections and Diversity
Sociology of Gender
Social Institutions: Race, Class, and Gender
Diversity in American Society
Topics in Spanish
Diversity class approved by an academic advisor.
Select one of the following:3
Advanced Reporting
First Amendment Research and Reporting
Elective 1
Select one of the following3
Survey of Electronic Media Writing
News Videography and Editing
Current Issues in Mass Communication
News / Editorial Internship Practicum
Problems in Mass Communication
Internship or Practicum
Creative Nonfiction Writing
Editing and Publishing
Writing Memoir and Autobiography
Folklore and the Media
Picture Editing
Interactive Design
American News Media History
Total Hours42

Some courses among these electives might have prerequisites. Please check the catalog.

Finish in Four Plan

First Year
SOM 1013JOUR 2023
SOM 1023VJP 1313
ENG 1003PS 110*3
COMM 1453Colonnade: Arts & Humanities3
Colonnade: Quantitative Reasoning3Colonnade: Natural & Physical Science w/lab3
 15 15
Second Year
BCOM 2643JOUR 3023
ART 2433VJP 2613
JOUR 3233Colonnade: Literary Studies3
HIST 101 or HIST 1023Colonnade: Natural & Physical Science3
Minor Course or Foreign Language, if needed3General University Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
JOUR 3013JOUR Elective3
JOUR Diversity Elective3Colonnade: Writing in the Disciplines3
Colonnade: Connections (Social and Cultural)3Colonnade: Connections (Local to Global)3
Minor Course3Minor Course3
Minor Course3General University Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
JOUR 3253JOUR 4263
Minor Course3Colonnade: Connections (Systems)3
Minor Course3Minor Course3
General University Elective3General University Elective3
General University Elective3General University Elective3
 15 15
Total Hours 120

PS 110 is the pre-requisite for BCOM 301.