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 24-credit core, including writing, multimedia, and conceptual courses, as well as a capstone course. Students work closely with their Academic Success Coordinator and Faculty Advisors to select an additional 22 credits in a focus area crafted to match their career interests with options in Journalism and Storytelling, Media Production and Strategic Communication. Practical experience can be gained on the staffs of the 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.

Accelerated Program

The major in Journalism and Media Communication includes an accelerated program option for students to graduate on a faster schedule. Accelerated Programs typically include 15-16 credits each fall and spring semester for three years, plus 6-9 credits over two to three summer sessions. Students who enter CSU with prior credit (AP, IB, transfer, etc.) may use applicable courses to further accelerate their graduation. Visit the Office of the Provost website for additional information about Accelerated Programs.

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 2021

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 46 credits of JTC courses and a minimum of 66 credits outside of JTC.

Of the 66 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 46 JTC required credits include 24 credits specified in the curriculum below plus 22 credits of directed electives to create an individualized focus area from the following categories (Writing, Production, Internship/Practicum, Advanced, Additional credits).

Directed Electives for Individualized Focus Area

Over the sophomore, junior, and senior years, students must complete a minimum of 22 credits in an individually designed focus area. Students must select those 22 credits from among the following categories and courses in consultation with advisor, as follows:

Code Title AUCC Credits
Writing
Select at least six credits (two courses) from the following: 6
Media and Global Cultural Identity
Copy Editing
Science and Environmental Communication
Reporting: General News
Reporting: Sports
Feature Writing
TV News Writing, Reporting and Producing
Writing for Visual Media
Fact to Fiction
Public Relations
Publicity and Media Relations
Advertising
Advertising Creativity and Copywriting
Writing for Specialized Magazines
Data Journalism
Advanced Reporting 4A,4C
Entrepreneurial Journalism
Strategic Multicultural Communication
Specialized and Technical Editing 4A,4C
Production
Select at least six credits (two courses) from the following: 6
Radio Operations
Photography
Video Editing
Video Production
Audio Production
Producing Podcasts
Crisis Communication
Audience Insights
Publications Design and Production
Web Design and Development
Social Media Management
Data Visualization Design
Motion Graphics Design
Advanced Documentary Photography
Advanced Video Editing
Documentary Video Production
Advanced Media Production 4A,4C
Integrated Communication Campaigns
Immersive Storytelling
Advanced Web Design and Development
Internship/Practicum 2 1-4
Select a minimum of 1 credit (a maximum of 4 credits) from the following:
Internship
Practicum: CTV
Practicum: KCSU
Practicum: Collegian
Practicum: College Avenue
Practicum: Arts Production
Advanced Focus Elective
Select three additional credits (one course) from the following, not completed above: 3
Advanced Reporting
Entrepreneurial Journalism
Advanced Documentary Photography
Advanced Video Editing
Documentary Video Production
Advanced Media Production
Integrated Communication Campaigns
Immersive Storytelling
Additional Credits 3 6
Select six additional credits from the courses listed above under Writing, Production, Internship/Practicum, and Advanced Focus 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.
Journalism Seminar
Television Studio Production
News, Truth, and Deception
Mobile Media Technology and Communication
University Public Relations
Supervised College Teaching
Workshop
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: 22-25
Freshman
AUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
JTC 100Media in Society (GT-SS3)3C3
JTC 210Newswriting 3
JTC 211Visual Communication 3
Arts and Humanities3B6
Biological and Physical Sciences3A3
Diversity and Global Awareness3E3
Historical Perspectives3D3
Quantitative Reasoning1B3
 Total Credits 30
Sophomore
 
JTC 326Online Storytelling and Audience Engagement 3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses4 12
Statistics5 3
Advanced Writing 23
Biological and Physical Sciences3A4
Social and Behavioral Sciences63C3
Out-of-department course 3
 Total Credits 31
Junior
 
Select two courses from the following to fulfill the Concept Course requirement: 6
History of Media  
Multiculturalism and the Media  
Persuasion in Strategic Communication  
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  
Public Relations Cases  
Documentary Film as a Liberal Art  
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses4 15
Out-of-department courses 9
 Total Credits 30
Senior
 
JTC 460Senior Capstone4C3
Select one course from the following: 3
Media Ethics and Issues4A,4B 
Communications Law4A,4B 
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses4 16
Out-of-department course 2
Electives8 5
 Total Credits 29
 Program Total Credits: 120
Freshman
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
JTC 100Media in Society (GT-SS3)  3C3
JTC 210NewswritingX  3
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Biological and Physical Sciences  3A3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
JTC 211Visual CommunicationX  3
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Diversity and Global Awareness  3E3
Historical Perspectives  3D3
Quantitative ReasoningX 1B3
Quantitative Reasoning (AUCC 1B) and CO 150 must be completed by the end of Semester 2.X   
 Total Credits   15
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
JTC 326Online Storytelling and Audience Engagement   3
STAT ***   3
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   3
Biological and Physical Sciences  3A4
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
 Total Credits   16
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   9
Out-of-department course   3
Advanced Writing  23
 Total Credits   15
Junior
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select two courses from the following:   6
History of Media    
Multiculturalism and the Media    
Persuasion in Strategic Communication    
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    
Public Relations Cases    
Documentary Film as a Liberal Art    
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   6
Out-of-department course   3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Individualized Focus Area and/or Second Field courses (See List on Requirements Tab)   9
Out-of-department courses   6
 Total Credits   15
Senior
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)   8
Out-of-department course   2
Elective   2
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  8
ElectiveX  3
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   14
 Program Total Credits:   120