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.
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, an Old Gold Scholar, or a Daily Iowan Scholar, you are guaranteed admission to the major as long as you complete the two pre-major foundation courses.
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.
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.