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Undergraduate Bulletin 2006-2007
Bulletin Homepage |College of Arts & Sciences | Bulletin Information

Journalism Program



Thomas Bass, Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Cruz

Nancy Roberts, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota
Associate Professor, English and Journalism

William Rainbolt, Ph. D.
Director, Journalism
University at Albany SUNY

Adjunct Faculty

Sebrina Barrett, J.D.
Southern Illinois University

Elizabeth Benjamin, M.S.
Columbia University

Richard DíErrico, M.A.
 Empire State College

Dennis Gaffney, B.A.
 Wesleyan University

David Guistina, M.A.
 University at Albany

Mike Hendricks, B.A.
University of Michigan

Mike Hill, B.A.
SUNY Geneseo

Ronald Kermani, B.S.
Syracuse University

Stephen Leon, M.S.
Northwestern University

Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Katherine Van Acker, B.S.
Montana State University

Mike Virtanen, M. A.
 University at Albany

David Washburn, M.S.
 Syracuse University

The Journalism Program offers a wide array of courses in nonfiction writing, media analysis and production, and the history and global context of journalism in the 21st century. The Program also offers workshops that concentrate on student writing and editing, as well as courses that address the legal and ethical issues confronting journalists today.

The Programís courses and internships prepare students for work as journalists, freelance writers, TV producers, broadcasters, webcasters, editors, magazine and book publishers, copy writers, and public advocates. The Journalism Program also provides excellent preparation for students who wish to pursue careers in related fields, such as law, government, history, educational policy, teaching, and graduate study.

While offering survey courses that review the history and development of journalism from its early days in print to its new electronic formats, the Program also gives students hands-on experience with writing newspaper and magazine articles and producing webzines and other electronic forms of journalism. Our internship program encourages students to work at television and radio stations, newspapers and magazines, publishing houses, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and public relations firms.

Students may choose Journalism as either a major or minor, and--space permitting--our courses are open to undergraduates in all fields. Journalism majors may apply for admission to the Honors Program. Students majoring in Journalism are strongly encouraged to study at least one foreign language.

The program offers four concentrations in Journalism. Students studying in the Program will select courses from one or more of these special areas of interest. The four concentrations available to students working toward a B.A. in Journalism include:

- Public Affairs Journalism

- Science, Technology, Environment, and
  Medicine Journalism

- Visual and Digital Media

- General Journalism

The last of these is a concentration which might include topics such as Business and Economics Reporting, Arts Reporting, and Literary Journalism.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Journalism

General Program B.A.: The requirements for a Journalism major will be fulfilled by a minimum of 30 credits in A Jrl courses, plus 6 credits in another department or program, as approved by the Director of the Journalism Program or the studentís Journalism adviser. Normally, these 6 credits will be in major-oriented courses offered by a program related to the studentís area of concentration. Beyond this 6-credit requirement, courses in other departments or programs will not be accepted as part of the Journalism Major except as approved by the Director of the Journalism Program or the studentís Journalism adviser.

Of the required 30 credits in A Jrl courses: 9 credits are required at the 100-200 level: A Jrl 100, A Jrl 200Z, and A Jrl 270;

and 3 credits of electives chosen from A Jrl 220, A Eng 202Z, A Eng 216, A Com 238, or A Soc 255.

At the 300-400 levels, 18 credits are required: 9 credits in a studentís chosen concentration from the four offered by the Journalism Program, 3 credits in a non-workshop A Jrl course, and 6 credits of A Jrl electives. At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level.

For students in the Public Affairs Journalism concentration, 9 credits are required: A Jrl 480Z; 6 credits from A Jrl 350, A Jrl 366Z, A Jrl 460Z, A Jrl 475, or A Jrl 465Z; 3 credits in a non-workshop A Jrl course at the 300 or 400 levels, and 6 credits of electives in A Jrl courses.

For students in the STEM (Science-Technology-Environment-Medicine) concentration, 9 credits are required: A Jrl 370Z, A Jrl 470Z; 3 credits from A Jrl 350, A Jrl 366Z, A Jrl 465, or A Jrl 480Z; 3 credits from a non-workshop A Jrl course; and 6 credits of electives from A Jrl courses.

For students in the Visual & Digital Media concentration, 12 credits are required: A Jrl 220, A Jrl 390Z or A Jrl 392Z, A Jrl 380, and A Jrl 490Z; 3 credits from non-workshop A Jrl courses; and 3 credits of electives from A Jrl courses.

For students in the General Journalism concentration, 9 credits are required: A Jrl 308Z or A Jrl 366Z, A Jrl 350, and A Jrl 460Z; 3 credits from A Jrl 355Z, A Jrl 385, or A Jrl 490Z; 3 credits from non-workshop A Jrl courses; and 3 credits of electives from A Jrl courses.


The Journalism Honors Program supports highly qualified Journalism majors who want to increase their expertise in contemporary journalism practices and analysis. A student who successfully completes all the Honors Program requirements graduates ďwith honors in journalismĒ and is recognized individually at commencement. Honors students get priority scheduling for Journalism courses and receive masterís degree-level privileges at the University Library.

Selection and Evaluation In order to be considered for the Journalism Honors Program, a student must: (a) be a declared Journalism major; (b) have completed 12 credits in JRL courses; (c) have a minimum 3.25 overall GPA and a minimum 3.50 journalism GPA; and (d) submit an application essay. Transfers can apply after they have completed one semester at the University. Coursework taken elsewhere can be submitted as part of the application but may not qualify for admission.

Curriculum In addition to the required courses for the major and for individual concentrations, honors students must take: one workshop at the 300 or 400 level; one course from A Jrl 320 Media Law or A Jrl 325 Media Ethics or A Jrl 340 Global Perspectives on the News; A Jrl 330 History of Journalism in the United States; A Jrl 460Z Advanced Reporting; A Jrl 420 Political Economy of the Mass Media; and A Jrl 499 Senior Honors Project.

Graduating with Honors In order to graduate with honors, a student must maintain a minimum 3.25 overall GPA and a minimum 3.50 journalism GPA in each semester of enrollment. Honors students may be put on a probationary status, and may not be allowed to finish the Honors program, if they fall below either one of the minimum GPAs, or get a C+ or below in any of the required Honors courses, or do not complete the Senior Project by the end of the semester in which they are graduating.


During the course of three decades, the Journalism Program has established a solid reputation for giving students individual attention in the areas of curricular advising, placement in internships, and career planning. This strong tradition will continue for the Journalism major. An undergraduate majoring in Journalism will be assigned to a fulltime faculty member in the Program for advisement throughout the studentís career. In addition, faculty members in the Program are available to meet with students intending to declare Journalism as a major, or others interested in learning about the program.