The study of journalism, mass communication, and specialized media combines high-level professional training with a broad foundation in the liberal arts. All students complete a common 21-credit core, including writing, multimedia, and conceptual courses, as well as a capstone course and an internship. Students work closely with a faculty advisor to select an additional 19 credits in a focus area crafted to match their career interests. Practical experience can be gained on the staffs of the daily Rocky Mountain Collegian, the award-winning campus television station Collegian TV, College Avenue magazine, and KCSU-FM Radio. Graduating seniors present professional portfolios for assessment by panels of faculty and communication professionals from Denver and elsewhere in Colorado. Because successful communicators require broad knowledge, this flexible program encourages development of a background in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and in-depth study in an area of interest outside journalism. The addition of a minor or double major in disciplines such as political science, information technology, history, economics, business, communication studies, psychology, the arts, or natural or applied sciences is possible.

The Department of Journalism and Media Communication is one of a relatively small number of departments formally recognized by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Participation in volunteer activities, cooperative education opportunities, or communication-related part time jobs is highly recommended to enhance practical training and development.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • Competence in writing, editing, and producing media messages as well as in planning, designing, and evaluating effective public information programs.
  • Knowledge and use of communication theory and research principles to guide the selection of communication audiences, message content and format, and media channels to enhance communication impact.
  • Understanding of the ethics, laws, and values associated with professional communication activity.

Potential Occupations

The Journalism and Media Communication program emphasizes the role of mass and specialized media in society and prepares students for entry-level work in private business, government, and education. Depending upon the focus of study, students may find career opportunities in a wide variety of professional communication venues. Specific career opportunities may include: advertising copywriter, designer, or producer; agriculture writer, reporter, or editor; attorney specializing in communication law; blogger, columnist, or editorial cartoonist; college professor; communications manager or director; company spokesperson; corporate media specialist; e-mail and direct mail strategist; environmental media specialist; freelance writer, editor, or photographer; health writer, editor, or producer; marketing coordinator; media relations director or strategist; multimedia producer; non-profit communications director; novelist or non-fiction author; reporter or photojournalist for the web, magazines, newspapers, or television; owner of public relations agency or production company; professional speaker; public affairs officer for government agency; public relations agency account executive; publication designer for magazines or newspapers; radio disc jockey, reporter, or music director; reality television producer, writer, photographer, or on-camera talent; science writer or editor; social media specialist; sports writer, photographer, or producer; technical writer or editor; teacher for any level of K-12 education upon completion of appropriate licensing (see the Center for Educator Preparation); television news anchor or program host; television or radio news program producer or director; television documentary producer; travel writer, photographer, or program host; video editor for news, corporate, or entertainment television; website designer and manager.

Effective Fall 2018

All majors in the department must earn a minimum grade of C (a grade of C- is not acceptable) in each course that carries the JTC subject code.

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Accreditation Requirements

Majors in Journalism and Media Communication must take a minimum of 40 credits of JTC courses and a minimum of 72 credits outside of JTC.

Of the 72 credits outside of JTC, 21 must meet one of the following Second Field criteria with approval of advisor:1

  1. a Minor;
  2. an Interdisciplinary Minor;
  3. 21 credits in one subject code;
  4. 9 credits from one subject code and 12 credits from a second subject code;
  5. a selection of 21 credits comprising a Second Field developed by the student and the advisor.

Courses taken outside of the department may include All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) courses, Minor or Second Field courses, or any other out-of-department (non-JTC) courses used to complete the major as approved by advisor.

The 40 JTC required credits include 21 credits specified in the curriculum below plus 19 credits of directed electives to create an individualized focus area from the following 4 categories (Writing, Production, Internship/Practicum, Additional credits).

Directed Electives for Individualized Focus Area

Over the sophomore, junior, and senior years, students must complete a minimum of 19 credits in an individually designed focus area. Students must select those 19 credits from among the following categories and courses in consultation with advisor, as follows:

Code Title AUCC Credits
Select at least six credits (two courses) from the following: 6
Copy Editing
Reporting: General News
Reporting: Sports
Reporting: Business
Reporting: Government and Political
Reporting: Health and Medicine
Reporting: Technology and Innovation
Reporting: Education
Reporting: Special Topics
Feature Writing
TV News Writing, Reporting and Producing
Writing for Specialized Electronic Media
Publicity and Media Relations
Advertising Creativity and Copywriting
Writing for Specialized Magazines
Data Journalism
Trends in Digital Communication 4A
Advanced Reporting 4A,4C
Entrepreneurial Journalism
Writing About Science, Health, and Environment
Technical Communication
Specialized and Technical Editing 4A,4C
Select at least six credits (two courses) from the following: 6
Digital Photography
Digital Video Editing
Advanced Television News Production
Electronic Field Production
Audio Production and Editing
Communications Campaigns
Advertising Media Buying and Selling
Web Programming for Media Producers
Publications Design and Production
Advanced Web Design and Management
Digital Promotion Management
Social Media Management
Information Graphics
Advanced Digital Documentary Photography
Advanced Video Editing
Documentary Video Production
Advanced Electronic Media Production 4A,4C
Public Relations Cases
Convergence and Hypermedia 4C
Transmedia Storytelling
Internship/Practicum 2 1-4
Select a minimum of 1 credit (a maximum of 4 credits) from the following:
Practicum: CTV
Practicum: KCSU
Practicum: Collegian
Practicum: College Avenue
Practicum: Arts Production
Additional Credits 3 6
Select six additional credits from the courses listed above under Writing, Production, Internship/Practicum, and Concept Courses and/or from the courses listed below. Students may select no more than a total of 4 credits of Internship/Practicum, and no more than a total of 7 credits of reserved number (-80 to -99) courses to satisfy this requirement.
Mobile Media Technology and Communication
Public Relations
Persuasion in Advertising
Strategic Multicultural Communication
Supervised College Teaching
Independent Study: Electronic Reporting
Independent Study: Editing
Independent Study: Photojournalism
Independent Study: Public Relations
Independent Study: Readings
Independent Study: Reporting
Independent Study: Technical Communication
Group Study
Program Total Credits: 19-22
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
JTC 100Media in Society (GT-SS3)3C3
JTC 210Newswriting 3
Arts and Humanities3B6
Biological and Physical Sciences3A7
Historical Perspectives3D3
Quantitative Reasoning1B3
Elective 2
 Total Credits 30
JTC 211Visual Communication 3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses4 15
Statistics5 3
Advanced Writing 623
Diversity and Global Awareness3E3
Social and Behavioral Sciences73C3
 Total Credits 30
Select one course from the following to fulfill the Concept Course requirement: 3
History of Media  
Multiculturalism and the Media  
Media Ethics and Issues4A,4B 
International Mass Communication  
New Media Trends and Society4A,4B 
Media Effects  
Communications Law4A,4B 
Journalism, Peace, and War  
Food and Natural Resources Communication  
Media, Business, and Economics  
Documentary Film as a Liberal Art  
Research for Public Communicators  
Communication in Human-Computer Interaction  
JTC 326Online Storytelling and Audience Engagement 3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses4 15
Out-of-department courses8 9
 Total Credits 30
Select one of the following: 3
Media Ethics and Issues4A,4B 
Communications Law4A,4B 
JTC 460Senior Capstone4C3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses4 10
Out-of-department courses8 14
 Total Credits 30
 Program Total Credits: 120
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
JTC 100Media in Society (GT-SS3)  3C3
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Biological and Physical Sciences  3A4
Elective   2
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
JTC 210NewswritingX  3
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Biological and Physical Sciences  3A3
Historical Perspectives  3D3
Quantitative ReasoningX 1B3
CO 150 must be completed by the end of Semester 2.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
JTC 211Visual CommunicationX  3
STAT ***   3
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   6
 Total Credits   15
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Advanced Writing  23
Diversity and Global Awareness  3E3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   9
 Total Credits   15
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   3
History of Media    
Multiculturalism and the Media    
Media Ethics and Issues  4A,4B 
International Mass Communication    
New Media Trends and Society  4A,4B 
Media Effects    
Communications Law  4A,4B 
Journalism, Peace, and War    
Food and Natural Resources Communication    
Media, Business, and Economics    
Communication in Human-Computer Interaction    
Documentary Film as a Liberal Art    
Research for Public Communicators    
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   9
Out-of-Department Course   3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
JTC 326Online Storytelling and Audience Engagement X 3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   6
Out-of-Department Courses   6
 Total Credits   15
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:X  3
Media Ethics and Issues  4A,4B 
Communications Law  4A,4B 
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   5
Out-of-Department Courses   7
30 Credits of JTC and JTC 326 must be completed by the end of Semester 7.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
JTC 460Senior CapstoneX 4C3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)X  5
Out-of-Department CoursesX  7
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   15
 Program Total Credits:   120