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.
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 students about journalism, the school requires its majors 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 interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
As an entering first-year student, you'll declare a journalism and mass communication interest as your major for advising assignments and course selection.
If you are a first-year student eligible for the University of Iowa Honors Program or are a Presidential Scholar or a Daily Iowan Scholar, you are guaranteed admission to the major as long as you complete the two pre-major foundation courses.
Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.
The university’s student-operated media, such as the Daily Iowan and radio station KRUI-FM, also offer opportunities to gain on-the-job experience.
Journalism and mass communication graduates work nationwide and worldwide at newspapers and magazines and in advertising, branding, broadcast news, social media, marketing, media research, photojournalism, publication design, public relations, radio, and other areas.
As communications media expand, so do job opportunities. More and more graduates are finding their first jobs in online social media.
In addition to more than 500 student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 study abroad programs and multiple undergraduate research opportunities.
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; and Ed on Campus, a group devoted to the magazine industry.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.
More than $200,000 in Scholarships and Awards is available to journalism and mass communication majors each year.
The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.
Journalism and mass communication students earn a BA degree. You'll be required to complete a second major, certificate, or 24 semester hours in a concentration area outside of journalism and mass communication, as approved by the department. 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.
Media writing and visual storytelling form the core of the undergraduate major in journalism and mass communication. Students are required to take introduction, foundation, application, and advanced or capstone courses offered by the school. They develop professional skills while studying the historical, legal, cultural, and institutional roles of media in society. They also complete extensive academic work outside the school, including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core program.
Course work includes:
- Two foundation courses (Media Uses and Effects, Media History and Culture)
- Introduction to 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
Every student majoring in journalism and mass communication must complete a second major, an approved certificate, or a concentration area outside the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Study in the second major or concentration area enables students to acquire a substantial body of knowledge or expertise in a relevant area, learn how another discipline views the world, and/or develop a companion set of skills to those in journalism and mass communication.
See Journalism and Mass Communication in the UI General Catalog to learn more about requirements for the major and graduating with honors.