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Undergraduate Admission to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications

There are 2 paths for admission to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications (the J-School):

Path 1: Direct admission from high school

Students will be considered for admission to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications directly out of high school if they

  • Have composite ACT scores of 24 or higher (1090 SAT-I scores) and
  • Graduate from high school with grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher

The conditions above are minimum requirements. Students must first meet admission requirements for the University of Kansas. Visit the Office of Admissions for information about admission to KU. Visit the International Recruitment & Undergraduate Admissions office for information about international admission. Admission is competitive. If the school must set an admissions quota, students with the highest ACT (or SAT-I) scores and grade-point averages will be accepted.

Path 2: Change of school admission

Transfer students and current KU students who do not declare journalism as their major during the first semester of the first year may apply for admission if they

  • Complete or are enrolled in 24 or more credit hours (either at KU or another institution) with grade-point averages of 2.5 or higher and
  • Complete or are enrolled in JOUR 101 Media and Society the semester of application and
  • Earn a C or higher in JOUR 101 (if applying while enrolled in JOUR 101, admission is rescinded if a C or higher is not earned) and
  • Current KU students must apply to the J-School by the following deadlines:
    – For fall or summer admission: February 15
    – For spring admission: September 15

Students applying with more than 60 hours of college credit (at KU, another institution, or a combination of both) must meet with a journalism advisor to determine their admission eligibility.

Admission is competitive. The number of students admitted each semester depends on the number graduating in the preceding semester and the school’s overall capacity. Candidate selection is based on grade-point average. 90 percent of available spaces are filled by the candidates with the highest KU cumulative grade-point averages. The remaining 10 percent are selected from among those who petition before the deadline, provided that the student has a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5. In reviewing petitions, the J-School considers elements such as ACT scores, socioeconomic factors, academic progress, and commitment to the profession. The school uses a student’s transfer cumulative grade-point average if he or she does not have a KU cumulative grade-point average. The school does not combine transfer and KU cumulative grade-point averages.

Admission requirements are subject to change. A student’s first semester of college is the first semester in which he or she enrolls after high school graduation.

Requirements for Good Standing

Students admitted to the school must do the following in order to remain in the school and in good standing:

  • Complete JOUR 101 Media and Society with a grade of 2.0 or higher. 
  • Maintain a 2.5 KU cumulative grade-point average and a 2.5 journalism grade-point average. If either GPA drops below 2.5, students will be placed on probation for 1 semester. At the end of the probation semester, the advising office will re-evaluate the student's cumulative GPA. If the student has not raised his or her GPA to 2.5 or higher, the student will be dismissed from the School. The student may reapply once his or her GPA is above 2.5. In extreme circumstances, the probation period may be extended to a second semester, if the student provides documentation of circumstances beyond the student’s control. This decision is made at the discretion of the associate dean, in consultation with the advising office.
  • Students must also pass JOUR 300, JOUR 302, and JOUR 304 with a grade of C (2.0) or better. If the student does not pass JOUR 101, JOUR 300, JOUR 302, or  JOUR 304 the second time, admission will be rescinded.

General Degree Requirements

Students may use up to 18 hours of journalism coursework to satisfy requirements for the KU Core.

Included or in addition to the KU Core requirements are the following general degree requirements:

  • A course in oral communication or an exemption.
  • An approved business and leadership course (approved courses are available in the Journalism Student Services Office or on the school’s website.)
  • Completion of a foreign language through 4th level proficiency. Or, a student may complete 3rd level proficiency and complete one course in another foreign language to fulfill the requirement.
  • An approved course in quantitative literacy (approved courses are available in the Journalism Student Services Office or on the school’s website.)
  • An approved historical context course (approved courses are available in the Journalism Student Services Office or on the school’s website.)
  • A required online grammar module and passage of the grammar exam with a score of at least 80%.
  • A course in arts or humanities.
  • A course in the social sciences.
  • A natural science with a lab.

The journalism diversity requirement may be satisfied by completing an approved journalism course (approved courses are available in the Journalism Student Services Office or on the school’s website.)

Graduation Requirements

In addition to admission requirements, the following graduation requirements must be met:

  1. The candidate must have earned at least 120 hours of college credit. Courses below the 100-level (like MATH 2), more than 48 hours of journalism, more than 4 hours of physical education activities, or more than 4 hours of military science are not included in the 120 hours required to graduate. Only 12 transfer hours in journalism may be counted toward the 120 hours needed for graduation. A maximum of 64 hours may be transferred from a community college.
  2. The candidate must have completed a minimum of 42 hours in journalism and at least 72 hours outside journalism within the 120-hour total. Student admitted to KU fall 2012 through summer 2015 must complete a minimum of 40 hours in journalism courses. Students admitted to KU before fall 2012 must complete a minimum of 33 hours in journalism courses.
  3. The candidate must have at least a 2.5 KU grade-point average overall and in all journalism courses.
  4. The candidate must have earned at least 45 hours in upper-division courses, numbered 300 and above.
  5. The candidate must complete area distribution requirements in one of 2 ways:
    1. an 18-hour minor outside journalism or
    2. a second degree outside journalism.
  6. The candidate must have met all requirements of the school. Transfer students must have met the equivalent of those requirements, as outlined above.
  7. The candidate must apply to graduate early in his or her final semester.
  8. The candidate must complete a minimum of 30 hours in residence after being admitted to the school.

The primary responsibility for meeting graduation requirements rests with the student. Some graduation requirements are subject to change.

Consult the Journalism Advising and Records Office for current information.

Two Undergraduate Degrees

A student who has earned a B.A. or B.S. degree and wishes to earn a second undergraduate degree in journalism is expected to meet the school’s requirements for area distribution, diversity, foreign language, and journalism and to complete a minimum of 72 hours outside journalism. A candidate for a second undergraduate degree must have earned a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 in previous college work to be considered for admission to the school. A student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in residence after admission to the school. Admission is competitive.

Course Requirements for Journalism Majors

To earn the Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree, students must complete a minimum required total of 42 hours in journalism courses. 6 journalism courses form the core and are taken by all students. 4 of these courses are taken at the foundation level, and 2 are taken at the upper level.

Foundation Core (12) 1
JOUR 101Media and Society3
JOUR 300Visual Storytelling3
JOUR 302Infomania: Information Management3
JOUR 304Media Writing3
Upper-Level Core (6)
JOUR 608Ethics and Professional Practice3
JOUR 618First Amendment and Society3
 
1

Completion of JOUR 101 with a grade of 2.0 or higher is a prerequisite for JOUR 300, JOUR 302, and JOUR 304 . Admission to the School of Journalism is a prerequisite for JOUR 302 and JOUR 304 .

After completing the foundation core, the student selects a track, News and Information or Strategic Communication. Each includes courses to develop critical- and creative-thinking ability and skills required by specific fields in journalism and mass communications.

Tracks

News and Information

The News and Information track prepares students for careers in reporting, writing, and editing for the media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and digital media. Students in News and Information gain skills and apply their learning by working on campus or professional media.

Required courses are

JOUR 101Media and Society3
JOUR 300Visual Storytelling3
JOUR 302Infomania: Information Management3
JOUR 304Media Writing3
JOUR 415Multimedia Reporting3
JOUR 419Multimedia Editing3
JOUR 550Digital Media4
JOUR 608Ethics and Professional Practice3
JOUR 618First Amendment and Society3
2 advanced media courses in newspaper, magazine, digital media, or broadcast.6

A student may take 1 advanced media course a semester. To enroll in more than 1 advanced media course in a semester, a student must have permission from instructors of both courses and from the news track chair. At least 9 hours of journalism electives in the student’s interest area must be taken. Three of these hours should fulfill the journalism diversity requirement.

Strategic Communication

The Strategic Communication track prepares students to work in marketing communications fields including advertising and public relations. All students complete a capstone course in which they apply classroom learning to professional practice by developing a strategic campaign for a client.

Required courses are

JOUR 101Media and Society3
JOUR 300Visual Storytelling3
JOUR 302Infomania: Information Management3
JOUR 304Media Writing3
JOUR 320Stratcom I: Introduction to Strategic Communication3
JOUR 420Stratcom II: Principles of Advertising and Public Relations3
JOUR 460Research Methods in Strategic Communication3
JOUR 560Message Development3
JOUR 608Ethics and Professional Practice3
JOUR 618First Amendment and Society3
JOUR 640Strategic Campaigns 13
1

To enroll in JOUR 640, a student must be in good academic standing and must have successfully completed JOUR 320, 420, 460 and 560.

Electives in the student’s interest area must be taken to meet the 42-hour minimum total of journalism hours. Three of these hours should fulfill the journalism diversity requirement.

B.S.J. Sample 4-Year Graduation Plan

Bachelor of Science in Journalism

120 hours are required to graduate.

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHours
JOUR 1013JOUR 3003
KU Core GE 1.23JOUR 3023
KU Core GE 2.13Business and leadership course3-4
Historical context course3KU Core GE3H3
Elective3KU Core GE223
 15 15-16
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHours
JOUR 3043JOUR requirement3
Foreign language5JOUR requirement3
Quantitative literacy course3Foreign language5
Minor course3KU Core GE3N with lab4-5
 14 15-16
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHours
JOUR requirement3JOUR 6083
JOUR requirement3Foreign language3
Foreign language3KU Core AE423
Minor course3JOUR requirement3
Elective3Minor course3
 15 15
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHours
JOUR 6183JOUR elective3
JOUR requirement3Journalism diversity3
KU Core AE413Minor course3
Minor course3Minor course3
Elective3KU Core AE63
 15 15
Total Hours: 119-121