School of Journalism
Dean Mills, Dean
Esther Thorson, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
Lynda Kraxberger, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration
Fritz Cropp, Associate Dean for Global Programs
Advising Contact: (573) 882-1045
Scholarship Information Contact: http://journalism.missouri.edu
Administration, 120 Neff Hall
Student Services, 76 Gannett Hall
About the School
The world’s first School of Journalism was established in 1908 at the University of Missouri to strengthen the effectiveness of public communication in a democratic society. The school’s first dean, Walter Williams (who went on to become president of the University in 1930) wrote the Journalist’s Creed, which stresses the profession’s rights and responsibilities as a public trust.
The faculty is committed to educating students in the responsibilities and skills of the professional journalist. It also has a broader commitment to advance the profession of journalism through scholarly research, analysis and criticism and through special programs to serve practitioners. The school also prepares students for careers in corporate communication through its strategic communication emphasis area. Students in that area typically pursue careers in advertising or public relations or in strategic communication, a combination of those fields.
The Missouri Method assures a journalism student will graduate with a broad, liberal education essential for a journalist whose work may span many segments of today’s complex society. In addition to a liberal arts education, students complete practical laboratory work in a variety of settings, including a public radio station, a commercial daily newspaper and a network-affiliated television station. The school offers the Bachelor of Journalism, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, along with cooperative programs with other divisions in the University. It was the first school in the world to offer all three of those degrees.
The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication has accredited the undergraduate program and a professional master’s degree.
- Special Programs
- Academic Regulations
- Opportunities for Graduate Study on MU Campus
Students must be admitted to the School of Journalism to pursue the Bachelor of Journalism degree. Students are admitted in one of two categories:
Directly Admitted Students
A freshman applicant will be directly admitted to the School of Journalism if he or she meets standard MU admissions requirements and any one of the following three criteria:
- Ranks in the top 10 percent of the student's high school class.
- Scores 29 or higher on the ACT Composite.
- Scores 1290 or higher on the math-verbal portions of the SAT.
Pre-Journalism A&S Students
Students accepted by MU who do not meet one of the criteria for direct admission are admitted as pre-Journalism students in the College of Arts and Science and apply for admission to Journalism as the student is completing the fifth journalism course, which is either JOURN 2100-News or JOURN 2150-Fundamentals of Multimedia Journalism. That usually occurs in the second semester of the sophomore year as the student is completing 60 credits and all other requirements.
NOTE: All undergraduate admissions to MU are handled by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, not the School of Journalism, and no exceptions are made to the standards for direct admission to Journalism. A student either meets one of the admissions standards or does not. There is no appeals process for direct admission.
However, once accepted to MU as a pre-Journalism student, the student may continue to take the ACT or SAT to try to improve his or her score. If the student receives the necessary score for direct admission, once the score is received by the Admissions Office the student may request a change of admissions status. The new test score must be received by the Admissions Office at least one month before the student is to begin classes at MU. Similarly, a student who was admitted outside the top 10 percent of his or her class but who subsequently achieves top 10 percent standing at the end of the senior year of high school may request a change of admissions status. No change is possible later than one month before the student begins classes at MU.
Differences in the Admission Categories
Directly admitted students have several advantages over students admitted as pre-Journalism students in the College of Arts and Science. Directly admitted students:
- Advance automatically to upper-class status in Journalism if they maintain a cumulative UM GPA of record of 3.0 or higher upon completion of 60 credit hours and fulfill all other requirements.
- Are guaranteed admission to the upper-class interest area of their choice provided they maintain a cumulative UM GPA of record of 3.0 or higher.
To continue to enjoy these benefits, directly admitted students are expected to maintain a UM cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students whose GPA fall below 3.0 after completion of 60 credit hours lose these benefits and will transition to another academic unit.
Unlike directly admitted students, pre-Journalism students:
- Are not guaranteed to advance to upper-class status in Journalism if they maintain a cumulative UM GPA of record of 3.0 or higher upon completion of 60 credit hours and after fulfilling all other requirements. Students in this category are accepted on a space-available basis. However, to date no one who has earned a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher has been rejected, and space has been available. The School merely reserves the right to reject students due to potential program space limitations.
- Are not guaranteed an interest area of choice even with a cumulative GPA of record of 3.0 or higher. Admission to the interest area of choice is dependent upon space availability. To date, no one with a 3.0 GPA or higher has been denied admission into their area of choice.
The School of Journalism is eager to accept hard-working pre-Journalism students who have demonstrated the necessary aptitude and drive to be successful in the upper division interest areas of the program.
Admission to Upper-Division Interest Area
As noted above, directly admitted students who maintain a UM GPA of record of 3.0 or higher and complete the necessary coursework are automatically admitted to upper-division status and their interest area of choice upon completion of 60 credits and other requirements for upper-division status.
Students who do not meet the criteria for direct admission and directly admitted students who have not maintained a cumulative UM GPA of record of 3.0 or higher must appeal for upper-division status upon completion of 60 credit hours and fulfillment of all other requirements for upper-division status. A Faculty Appeal Committee in each emphasis area will review applications for admission, and admission will be by interest area based on space available in the respective program.
GPA alone will not be used to evaluate the application appeals from pre-Journalism students and directly admitted students with UM GPAs below 3.0. In addition to GPA, the committees will consider a student’s stated desire to work in the fields of journalism or strategic communication, demonstrated commitment to journalism or strategic communication (as evidenced by work with student or professional media, high school activities or participation in journalism student groups), needs of the profession, etc. For example, it is possible for a student with a 2.87 GPA who has demonstrated strong commitment to the field to be selected over one with a 2.95 GPA who has shown no similar commitment. Students applying through this process must submit a letter of purpose stating a case for admission to an interest area. The letter should not exceed two pages.
The School will attempt to match interests of students applying through the appeal process with openings in the School’s various academic disciplines. The School does not guarantee first choice of interest area to students admitted through this process. It may be necessary from time to time to limit enrollment in high-demand areas.
Students who are rejected twice for upper-division status through this process must transfer to another MU academic division and will no longer be considered Journalism or pre-Journalism students. If, however, a student subsequently spends a semester taking non-journalism courses and raises his or her cumulative GPA of record above 3.0, the student may reapply. No such application will be accepted after a student has completed 70 or more hours of college credit.
Transfer Student Admissions Standards
Transfer students are admitted to upper-division status in Journalism when they complete 60 credit hours, fulfill all prerequisites and establish a cumulative GPA of record of at least 3.0. Completion of all pre-interest course requirements is required for transfer students to qualify for admission. Students who plan to major in Journalism are encouraged to transfer to MU after taking a maximum of 30 credit hours elsewhere.
Transfer students who have completed 60 credit hours and the necessary coursework but who do not have a 3.0 UM GPA of record must provide an appeal packet to a faculty interest area committee. Criteria used in evaluating these applications are similar to those for pre-Journalism applicants and direct admits who do not achieve a 3.0 GPA. The Admissions Committee will review the student’s GPA of record as well as a student’s stated desire to work in the fields of journalism or strategic communication, demonstrated commitment to journalism or strategic communication (as evidenced by work with student or professional media, high school or community college activities, or participation in journalism student groups), needs of the profession, etc. A transfer student in this category also must submit a letter of purpose stating a case for admission to an interest area. The letter should not exceed two pages.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 230 Jesse Hall, determines transfer equivalencies for the University, including the School of Journalism. Transfer students from other accredited schools and colleges in Missouri should check the MU website to see how coursework will transfer to MU or contact the Office of Admissions. Students should also contact an advisor to see how these courses would apply toward a degree at MU. The School of Journalism can accept up to six journalism credit hours from other accredited journalism programs or from Missouri colleges with which the School of Journalism has working agreements.
Current Missouri journalism students may not transfer journalism courses from other institutions. Many communications courses are similarly rejected and may not be used toward graduation requirements even as electives. Some other courses may not count toward the degree.
A minimum score of 100 (internet), 600 (paper) or 250 (computerized) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all pre-Journalism and Journalism students whose native language is other than English. Alternatively, students may take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam: overall-7.0, no band score below-6.0.
The School of Journalism attracts some of the best students at MU. The School encourages high-ability students to enroll in the MU Honors College (http://honors.missouri.edu) and take honors courses whenever possible. Such courses are taught by some of MU’s best professors. The School recognizes incoming high-ability students with two special designations and the following benefits:
Journalism Scholars Program
Qualifications: Any incoming freshman journalism major who has a composite ACT score of 29 or higher (or 1290 or higher on the combined math and verbal portions of the SAT) and who ranks in the top 10 percent of his or her high school graduating class qualifies for:
- Direct admission to the Missouri School of Journalism
- Designation as a Missouri Journalism Scholar
Student's who are eligible for the Honor's College are automatically accepted into the Journalism Scholars program
- The opportunity to participate in a Freshman Interest Group designed exclusively for Journalism students, space permitting
- Special advisement and programs directed by the school of Journalism's associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration
- Regular meetings with various members of the journalism faculty
- Space permitting, assignment to residence halls set aside for Journalism Scholars
- The opportunity to participate in many on-campus journalism events, and journalism clubs and organizations
- Social activities planned exclusively for Journalism Scholars
The Walter Williams Scholars Program
The highest-achieving Journalism Scholars win separate designation as Walter Williams Scholars. The Walter Williams Scholars program is named in honor of the school’s founding dean, a Missouri newspaper publisher who went on to become president of the University of Missouri. Qualifications: To win acceptance into the exclusive circle of top Walter Williams scholars, incoming freshmen must earn an ACT composite score of 33 or higher (1440 or higher on the SAT). They also must rank in the top 20 percent of the high school class (if the school ranks) or must have maintained a high school GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale. Admission is by invitation only.
Walter Williams Scholars are also Journalism Scholars and have all of the rights and privileges enjoyed by that group. Additional benefits include:
- Placement in a special Freshman Interest Group, space permitting
- Assigned individual faculty mentors
- A $1,000 scholarship that can be used for study abroad or in our New York or Washington programs. The scholarship can be used at any time before graduation
- Automatic admission to the one-year BJ/MA program at the School of Journalism, which allows students to complete their graduate degree in one year rather than two. Admission is contingent upon the following criteria:
- Maintenance of a 3.25 GPA in your journalism coursework and for your cumulative average, throughout you undergraduate career
- Submission of a complete MA application, including payment of the application fee, and with two (out of three) of your letters of recommendation from journalism faculty. You do not need to take the GRE. Details can be found on the Master's Application Checklist: http://journalism.missouri.edu/programs/masters/admissions/
Dual-Degree - Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Journalism
To receive two bachelor’s degrees, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Journalism, a student must complete a minimum of 132 credits and complete all of the specific requirements for both degrees. Normally, a minimum of one additional semester is required for both degrees. Each candidate for a dual degree is assigned an advisor in the School of Journalism and in the additional academic unit.
Science and Agricultural Journalism
The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the School of Journalism, offers an inter-divisional Bachelor of Science degree in Science and Agricultural Journalism. This is not considered a dual degree. For more information, see the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in this catalog.
Students may enroll in a maximum of 10 journalism credits each semester without permission from the associate dean for undergraduate studies.
All students must complete a capstone course during their last 45 hours of study. Each interest area provides a course(s) to fulfill this university requirement.
Mizzou Online offers a variety of courses that can be taken on your own through correspondence or online. Many of the courses can be used to satisfy degree requirements. Students may enroll themselves for as many as 3 hours per semester of online semester based or self-paced (9 months) courses. Any more than 3 hours per semester will have to be approved by an academic advisor.
Standards for Academic Performance
The School of Journalism is a challenging and rigorous environment in which students are expected to maintain high standards of academic achievement. In general, the faculty expects each student to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered in good standing. The academic standing guidelines are categorized by completed credit hours. Each category has a specific requirement to ensure students are making progress to achieving a 3.0 GPA. The credit hour classifications include University of Missouri courses, transfer courses, advanced placement credit and other credits by examination. While the credit hours from all of these sources are included in the following categories, only the grades in courses completed in the University of Missouri system will be computed for GPA purposes.
Students who do not meet the following standards will be dismissed from the School of Journalism and will not be permitted to re-enroll.
0-29 credit hours
A student admitted directly to the School of Journalism as a freshman must maintain a cumulative MU GPA of at least 2.5.
30-69 credit hours
A student admitted directly to the School of Journalism as a freshman must maintain a cumulative MU GPA of at least 2.75.
70 credit hours
Students with 70 or more credit hours who have not been admitted to their interest area will be dismissed from the School of Journalism.
Minimum Grade in Journalism Courses
Students must repeat any required journalism course in which they do not earn a grade of C- or higher. A student who fails to achieve a C- or better during the second attempt will be permanently dismissed from the School of Journalism for lack of acceptable progress.
Students may be readmitted only with the consent of the faculty chair of the student’s interest area and the associate dean for undergraduate studies. Before recommending approval for the student to re-enroll, the faculty chair will consult with the instructor or instructors of record in the required course to determine the likelihood of that student passing the course on the third attempt. The faculty chair will make a recommendation to the associate dean, who shall make the final decision to readmit or deny admission to the School of Journalism.
Students have the option to enroll in courses on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis instead of a traditional letter grade basis. A maximum of one non-journalism course per semester may be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. A satisfactory grade is defined as equivalent to the letter grade of C- or higher.
Journalism courses are not usually graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. If a required course, or a course being used to satisfy a specific requirement, is taken in this manner the School of Journalism will compute it in the GPA as a “C.”
Probation, Suspension and Dismissal
First Time Freshmen
GPA is between 0.50 – 1.99
First semester freshman journalism students are placed on final probation when their first term GPA is between 0.50 and 1.99. Students may remain on final probation no more than one term. They regain good standing when their term and cumulative GPAs are 2.0 or higher.
GPA is below 0.50
First semester freshman journalism students are dismissed and become ineligible to enroll for a period of one calendar year when their first term is below 0.50.
Journalism students are placed on probation when either their journalism major course, term or cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Students may remain on probation no more than one term. They regain good standing when their journalism major course, term and cumulative GPAs are 2.0 or higher.
Students are suspended and become ineligible to enroll for a period of one regular semester when their journalism major course, term or cumulative GPA is below 1.5, when they pass less than one-half of their work in any term or when they are on probation and their term GPA is 2.0 or lower.
Students are dismissed and become ineligible to enroll for a period of one calendar year when their journalism major course, term or cumulative GPA is below 1.0, when they pass less than one-fourth of their work in any term or when they fail to perform their academic duties. Students may be placed on academic probation and may be declared ineligible to enroll if they neglect their academic duties.
Excessive Incomplete Grades
A student may be placed on probation, suspended or dismissed for excessive incompletes at the discretion of the associate dean for undergraduate studies. In such cases, the associate dean shall set a time limit for successful completion of all the courses in which the student has an incomplete. The time limit will not exceed one calendar year from the scheduled completion of the course and may be of shorter duration. The associate dean also may place limitations on the number of additional credits hours in which the student may enroll until the incomplete grades are resolved. If the student fails to finish the required courses within the time limit set by the associate dean, the student is subject to dismissal.
A student who has been declared ineligible to enroll may be readmitted only on the approval of the dean of the school or college in which the student desires to enroll. As a condition of readmission, the dean may set forth stipulations with regard to minimum standards of academic work that must be maintained by the student. If the student, after readmission, again becomes ineligible to re-enroll, his or her ineligibility normally is considered permanent.
Ethics of Journalism
The School of Journalism is committed to the highest standards of academic and professional ethics and expects its students to adhere to those standards. Students should be familiar with the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists and adhere to its restrictions. Students are expected to observe strict honesty in academic programs and as representatives of school-related media. Should any student be guilty of plagiarism, falsification, misrepresentation or other forms of dishonesty in any assigned work, that student may be subject to a failing grade from the instructor and such disciplinary action as may be necessary under university regulations.
Students from other divisions with junior or higher standing may take non-laboratory courses in journalism without being admitted to the school. Permission of the journalism academic unit is required. Courses directly related to the skills in the media are usually not open to students while they are undergraduates in other disciplines. Students from other schools or colleges admitted to journalism courses are expected to meet the course prerequisites and grade point averages required of students in the School of Journalism.
Students directly admitted to Journalism as freshmen have a full-time academic advisor in the school.
Pre-Journalism students receive academic advising from the College of Arts and Science. Students admitted to an interest area in the school have a full-time academic advisor in the school and a faculty advisor from their selected emphasis area. Students are expected to seek the advice of the academic advisor in the selection of courses. The faculty advisor provides career counseling and specific journalism related issues.
The school provides advising worksheets so that students can maintain a record of academic course work. The worksheets are used by the student and advisor to plan the student’s program. Students are responsible for determining an appropriate schedule of courses each semester; however, the course schedule should be approved by the student’s advisor. The responsibility for meeting admission and graduation requirements rests with the student.
Opportunities for Graduate Study on MU Campus
The five-year combined bachelor/master degree program was designed for students in the Missouri School of Journalism who desire a graduate education after the undergraduate program is complete. Students in the program complete requirements as outlined for the Bachelor of Journalism degree and then spend one more year (approximately 12 months) to earn a master’s degree. The program requires students to carry an intensive load (12-15 credits) each semester. Course work in the program builds on the undergraduate program and enhances student’s skills and understanding of the chosen area of journalism. At the present time, areas include strategic communication, newspaper design, broadcast management, computer-assisted reporting and magazine areas such as magazine writing and magazine design.
About Our Graduate Programs
The University of Missouri's School of Journalism is the recognized leader for graduate study in journalism and strategic communication, having awarded the first master's and doctoral degrees in journalism in 1921 and 1934, respectively.
The Missouri Method is the time-honored process of journalism and strategic communication education: Graduate students gain valuable research-based, managerial experience while honing tactical skills. We operate the only network affiliate (NBC) television station in the country used to train journalism students. We publish a community daily newspaper (not a campus paper), and we operate four major web sites, a local magazine and an international magazine. Students also may train at our campus-based NPR affiliate. Our strategic communication students design media campaigns for local and national clients. Examples: Our students have created advertising and public relations campaigns for Nokia, Apple, Dr Pepper, Anheuser-Busch, Duncan Hines, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Kinko's, Eastman Kodak and many other leading international brands. Graduate studies in CAFNR are taking an innovative, high-tech approach to traditional agriculture, food and natural resources. Our students are highly engaged with expert faculty mentors who are impacting the future with findings on health breakthroughs, sustainable agriculture techniques and food safety. Prospective students are able to choose from a range of academic programs consistently recognized for excellence.
Note: Prospective graduate students must apply to both the degree program of interest and to the MU Graduate School. In most cases, the entire application process may be completed online. Find admission and application details by selecting the degree program of interest in the left navigation column.
We operate educational programs in Washington, D.C., New York, and Brussels where many of our students carry out their capstone projects or do research. We also partner with educational programs around the world.
Our 80+ faculty members have earned impressive credentials from years of working in journalism and strategic communication. School resources include an extensive journalism library and Freedom of Information Center, Center for Advanced Social Research, and the Stephenson Research Center, named for the late William Stephenson, known globally as the inventor of Q-methodology.