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Journalism: BS, BA

Journalism

The Department of Journalism and Communication (JCOM) prepares students for careers in a wide range of communication fields. Students develop knowledge and skills in such areas as information gathering, writing, video production, online journalism, and media literacy.

JCOM students routinely win state, regional, and national awards in video and print journalism, multimedia and new technologies, and public relations. The faculty members are more than just teachers and researchers; they are veteran mass media professionals and nationally recognized scholars with experience as newspaper journalists, magazine writers, photographers, editors, TV producers, public relations specialists, and Web designers.

The department recommends that all students complete a one-semester internship before graduation. Because of the hands-on learning students receive while in the program, they graduate with substantial experience and are more likely to be hired.

Students in the major are required to have a minor to build expertise in another subject area.

Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.


Emphases:

  • Broadcast/Electronic Media: This emphasis focuses on the distribution of video and audio content to a wide audience through television, radio, and the Internet. Students learn to write radio and TV scripts and to use electronic media equipment. They gain hands-on experience through the department’s Aggie TV News. Opportunities are also available through Utah Public Radio and Aggie Radio.
  • Print Journalism: Students work toward mastery of the written word, telling stories and aspiring to accuracy, integrity, and artistry. They typically enter careers writing for newspapers, magazines, or other print and online media. Many students in this emphasis write for the on-campus newspaper, The Utah Statesman, or for the student-run Aggie BluePrint magazine.
  • Public Relations/Corporate Communications: Students learn to help the public better understand organizations, businesses, and issues. They gain experience working with on- and off-campus clients through coursework and internships. After graduation, PR students often move into careers in event planning, image building, media relations, crisis management, Web communications, social media, employee relations, and more.
  • Social Media: This emphasis prepares students for careers as digital media directors, content curators, digital content developers, and online strategists for a variety of organizations. Students learn content development and curation using the latest tools, interpret analytic data, and develop data-based strategies for clients. Internship opportunities are available with local companies, public relations and marketing firms, and media organizations.

With a degree in journalism, students can pursue the following careers:

Broadcast/Electronic Media Emphasis

  • News anchor
  • Radio host
  • Meteorologist
  • Talk show host
  • News analyst
  • Announcer
  • Actor
  • Professional blogger
  • News associate
  • Associate producer
  • Entertainment agent
  • Broadcast assistant

Print Journalism Emphasis

  • News writer/editor
  • Magazine writer/editor
  • Professional blogger
  • News analyst
  • Columnist
  • Designer
  • Creative writer

Public Relations Emphasis

  • PR specialist (image building, media relations, social media, etc.)
  • Writer
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Event planning
  • Crisis Management

 

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the journalism program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission as pre-majors.
  • Transfer Students: As many as nine semester credits in journalism and communication coursework may be transferred from other institutions to count toward the major.
  • To be a journalism major, students must meet the following prerequisites:
    • Complete at least 60 semester credits with a GPA of 2.5 or higher
    • Pass a departmental English proficiency test
    • Complete the journalism pre-major core courses

International students have additional admissions requirements.


Program Requirements

Students must complete a minor and they have an internship requirement.


Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Society of Professional Journalists: Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Members of the society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the society's principles and standards of practice.

Aggie Radio: Aggie Radio is Utah State University’s full-time radio station operated entirely by students. In partnership with Utah Public Radio, it provides Cache Valley with a quality college radio station through Internet streaming.

Aggie TV: Aggie Television is Utah State University's own private cable TV system. It broadcasts an exciting and varied line-up of channels to more than 20,000 students, on-campus residents, faculty, and staff. Award-winning programs include Aggie TV News and Cache Rendezvous. Students working with Aggie TV have access to a multimedia computer news room, a digital non-linear video editing lab, and a full TV studio.

Hard News Café: Hard News Café started in 1996 as the first independent student news website in the country. Hard News Café is an award-winning online newspaper written and operated by students. Hard News Café partners with two local newspapers: Cache Valley Daily and the Smithfield Sun.

Public Relations Students Society of America: PRSSA is a student chapter of Public Relations Society of America, the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence, and upholds principles of ethics for its members. The society also advocates for greater understanding and adoption of public relations services and acts as one of the industry’s leading voices on the important business and professional issues of our time.

True Blue Communication: True Blue Communication is a student firm with real-life business clients. The firm allows students to have hands-on experience working with a client for either internship credit or pay. Students mainly focus on the public relations and marketing aspects of business.

Utah Statesman: The Utah Statesman is the student newspaper of Utah State University, an independent newspaper published three times each week of the academic school year. During summer semester, news can be found at Statesman Online. The Statesman is a student activity, open to students of all majors and class rank. 


Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.