School of Journalism
David D. Kurpius, Dean
Earnest Perry, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
Lynda Kraxberger, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration
Fritz Cropp, Associate Dean for Global Programs
Administration, 120 Neff Hall
Undergraduate Student Services, 76 Gannett Hall
Graduate Advising, 181 Gannett Hall
About the School
The Missouri School of Journalism was established in 1908 to strengthen the effectiveness of public communication in a democratic society. The school awarded the world’s first undergraduate degree in journalism (1909), master’s degree in journalism (1921) and doctorate in journalism (1934).
The school emphasizes hands-on learning-by-doing, a philosophy that began with the publication of a community newspaper in 1908 and continues today through its public-facing professional newsrooms and agencies. Known as the “Missouri Method” this approach allows students to prepare for careers in journalism and strategic communication. Students gain experience at an NBC affiliate television station, NPR-member station, a digital-first community newspaper, monthly arts and culture magazine and at niche media outlets focused on current issues in business or international affairs. Students learn about advertising and public relations work through two strategic communication agencies creating campaigns for local, regional and national paying clients.
The faculty is committed to educating students in the responsibilities and skills of the professional journalist and strategic communication practitioner. Faculty members work to consistently improve a dynamic array of course offerings that lead the way in journalism education and research. Faculty also have a broader commitment to advance the profession of journalism through scholarly research, analysis and criticism and through special programs to serve practitioners.
Through the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Novak Leadership Institute, the school creates entrepreneurial and innovative methods to build future leaders and to sustain the flow of news and information for the betterment of society. At the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism, students create films with journalism’s strong tradition of accuracy and fact-finding.
The school has 25 study away programs in 18 countries – where students earn credit and gain work experience. The school maintains year-round offices in Barcelona, Brussels, New York and Washington, D.C. and provides strategic communication programs in Hong Kong, Prague and Tokyo.
Graduates are assured of a well-rounded liberal arts education, plus a balance of theory and hands-on courses. Employers routinely report Missouri School of Journalism students are ready for the workforce, from day one.
The school has maintained continuous accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication since the accrediting process began in 1949, with the most recent re-accreditation in 2017.
First-time college students admitted to the University of Missouri are eligible to pursue a Bachelor of Journalism degree.
As a worldwide leader in journalism and strategic communication, the Missouri School of Journalism welcomes all students who meet MU Admission standards into the program as undeclared journalism majors.
Students who maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA and complete all prerequisite coursework with a minimum grade of C- matriculate into one of six career paths: Cross-Platform Editing and Producing, Photojournalism and Documentary, Reporting and Writing, Social and Audience Strategy, Strategic Communication and Television.
The program allows students to take hands-on and theoretical courses in their first year of study. The courses are designed to acquaint students with an array of career options, while building a foundation in core skills.
The flexible program allows students the ability to customize their degree by providing them with 15 elective credits and giving them the option of taking courses in more than one career path.
Students are expected to seek the advice of an academic advisor in the selection of courses and semester planning. Students are encouraged to seek advice from the faculty and career services for career counseling and specific journalism and strategic communication-related issues.
The university provides degree audits for students to track the completion of degree requirements. Students are responsible for enrolling in an appropriate schedule of courses each semester; however, students are highly encouraged to consult with their advisor when necessary. The responsibility for meeting admission and graduation requirements rests with the student.
To receive two bachelor’s degrees, 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 to earn a second degree. Students planning to earn two degrees are assigned an advisor in the School of Journalism and in the academic unit which houses their second degree.
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.
In addition to meeting the standards for admission to the university, international students must meet the following English-language proficiency standards:
Minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based score of 550 or minimum TOEFL electronic score of 80 or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 6.5 with minimum section scores of 6.
Opportunities for Graduate Study on MU Campus
The accelerated bachelor/master degree program was designed for students in the Missouri School of Journalism to attain a graduate education. The program allows students whose GPA is 3.5 to apply when they have completed 75 undergraduate credit hours and begin their master’s program during the senior year of the undergraduate program. 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. Students accepted into the program will be expected to take 9 credit hours in their undergraduate program in order to complete the degree in one additional year. The program requires students to enroll in 9-12 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, photojournalism/documentary, strategic communication (PR & advertising), data/investigative, broadcast/digital news, cross platform editing & producing, research, science and health communication, social media & audience development, and sports.
Journalism Assessment Plan
In compliance with the standards set forth by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) and guidelines established by the University of Missouri, the Missouri School of Journalism regularly conducts assessments of student learning.
Methods of assessment in journalism and strategic communication include both direct and indirect measures. Assessment data provide faculty and administration information to improve student learning on 11 program outcomes.*
- Schoolwide assessment mapped to required courses
(includes three measurements for each program outcome from 1st year through 4th year of students’ journalism and strategic communication curriculum)
- Portfolio reviews (in select course)
- Employer feedback (Recruitment visits, Internship supervisors, visiting professionals)
- Client feedback (Adzou and MOJO Ad presentations)
- Schoolwide career outcomes survey
- Student awards
The primary direct measure of student learning is known as the J-School’s assessment map -- a series of assessments linked to required courses throughout the curriculum. Faculty evaluate students on 11 program outcomes from students’ first year of learning through their capstone coursework. Data are aggregated, analyzed and evaluated to show trends in student learning. The School’s Teaching and Assessment committee prioritizes areas for improvement that are implemented each spring.
The school also routinely solicits feedback from visiting alumni and industry professionals, as well as from clients served by our agencies. The assessment information is regularly used to guide curriculum decisions and inform teaching and learning practices. The school has provided continuous assessment of graduating students since 1994.
The School’s program outcomes are aligned with the professional values and competencies as defined by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) which states that irrespective of a student’s particular specialization all graduates should be able to:
1. Apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press, in a global context, and for the country in which the institution that invites ACEJMC is located;
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the multicultural history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications;
3. Demonstrate culturally proficient communication that empowers those traditionally disenfranchised in society, especially as grounded in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and ability, domestically and globally, across communication and media contexts;
4. Present images and information effectively and creatively, using appropriate tools and technologies;
5. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
6. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
7. Apply critical thinking skills in conducting research and evaluating information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work;
8. Effectively and correctly apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
9. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
10. Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.
In addition, faculty collectively agreed that all students graduating from the program should be able to:
11. Work collaboratively in a professional environment that provides opportunities for management and leadership.
*Program outcomes last updated in December 2020 with approvals by the School of Journalism Curriculum and Teaching and Assessment Committees.
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. The faculty expects each student to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered in good standing.
Probation and dismissal are the two potential academic actions for students who are not meeting the standards for academic performance.
Probation indicates a student is struggling to meet academic expectations.
Students placed on probation are required to meet with their advisor frequently during the subsequent semester. During these meetings, students will be assessed to determine which types of intervention are needed to return to good academic standing.
Removal from probation occurs when the student meets satisfactory academic standards.
Students who are ineligible are having significant challenges in meeting academic expectations. Students are encouraged to seek admission to another academic college at the University at Missouri to regain eligibility for course enrollment.
Students can appeal to return to the School of Journalism when the student meets satisfactory academic standards.
Each category ensures students are making progress toward achieving a 3.0 GPA. The standards for academic performance are applied based on the following two categories:
First Semester Freshmen and Transfer Students
Probation: GPA is between 0.50 – 2.50
First-semester freshman and transfer journalism students are placed on probation when their first semester GPA is between 0.50 and 2.50. They are removed from probation when the student meets satisfactory academic standards.
Ineligible: GPA is below 0.50
First-semester freshman and transfer journalism students become ineligible to enroll for a minimum of one semester when their first semester GPA is below 0.50.
Students Who Have Completed One Semester at MU
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 have completed one semester at MU with a journalism major course, term, or cumulative GPA between 1.5 and 2.0 will be placed on probation.
Students who have completed one semester at MU who do not meet the following standards will be ineligible to enroll in the School of Journalism and will not be permitted to re-enroll for a minimum of one semester:
0-29 credit hours
Students must maintain a minimum cumulative MU GPA of 2.5.
30-59 credit hours
Students must maintain a minimum cumulative MU GPA of 2.75.
60 or more credit hours
Students with 60 or more credit hours who have not been admitted to their major area.
Students with a journalism major course, term, or cumulative GPA below 1.5 will be ineligible to enroll.
A student who has been dismissed and 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, their ineligibility normally is considered permanent.
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 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 major 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.
Excessive Incomplete Grades
A student may be placed on probation 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.
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 can also contact the Journalism Student Services office to see how these courses could apply toward the degree. The School of Journalism can accept courses from other accredited journalism programs or from Missouri colleges with which the School of Journalism has working agreements.
Current MU journalism students may not transfer journalism major courses from other institutions.
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.