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Undergraduate Bulletin 2009-2010

Journalism Program


 Thomas Bass, Ph.D. 
  University of California, Santa Cruz
 Nancy Roberts, Ph.D. 
  University of Minnesota

Associate Professor
 William Rainbolt, Ph.D.
  Director, Journalism
  University at Albany

Assistant Professor
 Rosemary Armao, M.A.
  Ohio State University

 Don Forst, B.A.
  University of Vermont

Adjunct Faculty
 Bill Ackerbauer, B.A.
  Union College
 Steven Barnes, B.A.
  Ithaca College
 Sebrina Barrett, J.D.
  Southern Illinois University
 Benning De La Mater, M.S.
  Syracuse University
 Richard D’Errico, M.A.
  Empire State College
 Dennis Gaffney, B.A.
  Wesleyan University
 David Guistina, M.A.
  University at Albany
 Michael Hendricks, B.A.
  University of Michigan
 Michael Hill, B.A.
  SUNY Geneseo
 Ronald Kermani, B.S.
  Syracuse University
 Stephen Leon, M.S.
  Northwestern University
 Darryl McGrath, M.S.
  Columbia University
 Holly McKenna, B.A.
  University of Tennessee
 Thomas Palmer, B.S.
  Auburn University 
 Shirley Perlman, B.A.
  SUNY at Buffalo
 Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.
  University at Albany
 Christopher Ringwald, M.S.
  Columbia University
 Katherine Van Acker, B.S.
  Montana State University
 Laney Salisbury, M.S.
  Columbia University
 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 Program’s courses and internships prepare students for work as journalists, freelance writers, TV producers, broadcasters, webcasters, editors, m
agazine 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 student’s Journalism adviser. Normally, these 6 credits will be in major-oriented courses offered by a program related to the student’s 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 student’s Journalism adviser.

Of the required 30 credits in A JRL courses: 9 credits are required at the 100-200 level: A JRL 100, 200Z, and 270; and 3 credits of electives chosen from A JRL 220, A ENG 202Z, 216, A COM 238, or A SOC 255.

At the 300-400 levels, 18 credits are required: 9 credits in a student’s 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, 366Z, 460Z,
465Z or 475; 3 credits in a non-workshop A JRL course at the 300 or 400 level, 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, 470Z; 3 credits from A JRL 350, 366Z, 465, or 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, 390Z or 392Z, 380, and 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 366Z, 350, and 460Z; 3 credits from A JRL 355Z, 385, or 490Z; 3 credits from non-workshop A JRL courses; and 3 credits of electives from A JRL courses.

Honors Program

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 “with honors in journalism” and is recognized individually at commencement. Honors students get priority scheduling for Journalism courses and receive master’s 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 A 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. Course work taken elsewhere can be submitted as part of the application but may not qualify for admission.

Curriculum: In addition to the 36 credits of required courses for the major and for individual concentrations, honors students must take A JRL 499, Senior Honors Project in Journalism, making a total of 39 credits required for the major.

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 full-time faculty member in the Program for advisement throughout the student’s 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.