Journalism & Mass Communication
Journalists work in all sorts of media and industries. You’ll find them practicing strategic communication as they work in advertising, public relations, marketing, and in areas such as health care, politics, gaming, and entertainment. They report and write about all kinds of news and information in today’s rapidly expanding communications media. The need for communication specialists in almost every company, institution, and organization provides endless possibilities for the profession.
Why Study at Iowa?
Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. In addition to teaching about journalism, the school requires its students to complete a substantial emphasis in another discipline, which will add depth to your professional skills and broaden your options for employment.
While you’re a student, you’ll be able to gain professional experience working at the Daily Iowan, recognized as one of the top five college newspapers in the country, or on Daily Iowan TV (DITV), a television news show that airs six days a week.
You’ll study under the guidance of expert faculty members who specialize in books and publishing, cultural studies, documentary and podcast making, health communication, history and cultural studies, international and global studies, investigative journalism, law, magazines, narrative nonfiction writing, public relations, political communication, web and publication design, and print and online news reporting.
Students in journalism and mass communication earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. No matter which degree you choose, you’ll be required to complete a second major or a substantial concentration area outside of journalism and mass communication. This degree is available in the university's four-year graduation plan as long as the second area of concentration is not a second major.
BA and BS students take these courses:
- Two pre-major foundation courses (Media Uses and Effects, Media History and Culture)
- Reporting and Multimedia Storytelling
- Journalistic Reporting and Writing
- Two or three courses in reporting and writing
- One or two workshop courses (e.g., media, photojournalism, publication design, public relations, television news)
- Two conceptual courses: Media Law and Communication and an additional advanced course
Second Major or Concentration Area
If you’re a BA student in journalism and mass communication, you’ll also complete a second major outside journalism in a program that offers a BA degree. Or you’ll complete a concentration (24 semester hours) of related course work in one or more departments that offer BA degrees.
BS students complete a second major in one of the mathematical, natural, or social sciences in a program that offers a BS degree. Or they complete a concentration (24 semester hours) of related courses in one of the natural, mathematical, or social sciences offered by another department or program that offers a BS degree. The concentration must include all of the special math, statistics, research methods, computer science, and cognate courses required for the BS in the second area.
Some majors are offered only with BA degrees or with BS degrees. Others are offered with both degrees, such as anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, political science, psychology, sociology, and more.
See Journalism and Mass Communication in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the major and graduating with honors.
Minor in Mass Communication
Admission to the journalism and mass communication major is selective. To be considered for admission, you must complete two pre-major foundation courses (Media Uses and Effects, Media History and Culture) and the General Education Program rhetoric requirement. You also must earn 45 semester hours (s.h.) of college course work (or 30 s.h. if you've been admitted to the University of Iowa Honors Program).
Overall academic performance is the primary criterion for admission. Other factors include demonstrated writing ability, prior media experience, participation in media student organizations, and performance in media courses. You will submit a résumé and statement of interest with your application for admission.
The number of students accepted each semester depends upon the number already in the program and available resources.
Upon initial application to the university, students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Admission Requirements Tabs
The school’s internship and assessment coordinator will help you find learning opportunities in journalism and public relations. The university’s student-operated media, such as the Daily Iowan, DITV, and radio station KRUI-FM, also offer opportunities to gain on-the-job experience.
Several campus chapters of national organizations offer leadership experiences and career preparation. They include Kappa Tau Alpha, a national society honoring scholarship in journalism; the National Association of Black Journalists; the Public Relations Student Society of America; the Radio and TV News Directors Association; the Society of Professional Journalists; and Ed on Campus, a group devoted to the magazine industry.
There is also a Journalism and Mass Communication Living-Learning Community in the residence halls.
Faculty, Facilities, and Resources
The Adler Journalism and Mass Communication Building opened in spring 2005. The 65,500-square-foot, three-story building features a student-centered design that gives you access to facilities for photography, digital broadcasting, electronic news writing, desktop publishing, and web publishing. It also houses the Daily Iowan and DITV.
Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.
Journalism and mass communication graduates work nationwide and worldwide at newspapers and magazines and in advertising, branding, broadcast news, marketing, media research, photojournalism, publication design, public relations, radio, and other areas.
As communications media expand, so do job opportunities. Over the past few years, more and more graduates have found their first jobs in online social media.
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.