Getting Registered for Classes

Journalism Major

Department Website

Welcome to the Journalism Program at UAlbany.  Journalism has been part of the University curriculum since 1973, and in 2006 became the SUNY system’s first B.A. in Journalism at a University Center.  The Journalism Program is part of the Department of Communication. We prepare students for a wide variety of media careers in this Age of Information – careers not only in traditional print news, but also in broadcast journalism, Web journalism, photojournalism, digital imaging/design, magazine journalism, book publishing, public relations, advocacy communications, and more.  A student who is a Journalism major or minor, and who meets the qualifications, can arrange to work on a media internship through the Journalism program during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semester, and can work at any location, not just in the Capital District.

The MAP(Major Academic Pathway) shows how the Journalism major might be completed in four years.

As a transfer student it is important for you to use your Degree Audit Report(DARS) to determine what you’ve already completed and what is left for you to finish at Albany.  As you do this, please consider the following information that we have found to be important to transfer students:

1. Previous Coursework: While the University at Albany has a particularly large transfer equivalency databank, the Journalism major is widely variable across institutions, and often might include courses listed under departments such as Communication, Mass Communication, or English. There may be instances in which your coursework at a previous institution does not have a University at Albany equivalent. If you find previous coursework has not been applied to the major, it may be re-evaluated by the Journalism advisors if you provide supporting documentation (syllabus, course description, written work from the course, etc). You can do this by making an appointment with the Journalism Program Director, once the semester starts.

2. Core Courses (15 credits): The Journalism major requires the completion of five core courses and (one prerequisite course). You need to complete AJRL 100 with a grade of “C” or better before you may take AJRL 200Z. And you need to complete AJRL 200Z before you may take AJRL 201Z. You should take AJRL 100, 200Z, and 201Z in this order, during your first three semesters. It is important that you take AJRL 2000Z, followed by AJRL 201Z, as soon as you can because in most cases, you cannot take upper-level workshop courses (at the 300 and 400 levels) until you have passed 201Z. The five core courses are:

  • AJRL 100, Foundations of Journalism

  • AJRL 200Z, Introduction to Reporting and News Writing

  • AJRL 201Z, Introduction to Reporting and News Writing II

  • AJRL 225, Media Law and Ethics

  • AJRL 490Z, Digital Publication (Note: To take AJRL 490Z, you need to have completed AJRL 390, Digital Media Workshop I or AJRL 392, Digital Media Workshop II).

3. OTHER COURSES YOU CAN TAKE AS A TRANSFER.  Unless your Audit indicates you are being given equivalency credit for AJRL 201Z, you will not be able to enroll in most 300-400 level "skills" courses.  However, you can enroll in our “context” courses – normally, courses which have enrollments of 40 or more – because they do not require 201Z as a prerequisite.  These context courses are:

AJRL 225, 230, 330, 340, 363, 410, 420, 468, and 475 (when the topic is not a workshop)

4. Journalism majors are required to complete a minor.  For a list of minors and the courses required to complete them, click here.

5. Building a schedule.  We will work to ensure that you can enroll in at least one, and probably two Journalism courses for your first semester; for most transfer students, these courses will be drawn from AJRL 100, 200Z, and context courses (such as AJRL 225, one of the core courses).  In general, we recommend that you build a schedule containing:

  • 1-2 Journalism courses

  • General Education requirements

  • Minor courses (if you know what your minor will be)

  • Electives  (courses that do not fulfill a requirement, but will be counted toward the 120 credits you need to graduate)


An Advisor in our department is available by appointment for additional consultation if necessary, and can be reached by calling 518-442-4875 or The department is located in Social Science 351. The office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30-12:00 and 1:00-4:30.