Jul 16, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 


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The non-journalism requirements comply with standards of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. To reflect the move towards convergence in the journalism professions, as well as the types of skills news media professionals value most, the journalism program offers students the opportunity to gain experience working in specific media (such as print journalism, broadcast journalism, and digital photography) and encourages them to develop expertise in more than one area of the field. The curriculum also emphasizes ethics, critical thinking skills, and the important role journalists play in society.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

Requirements in Department (36)

Required courses (6)

Requirements outside Department (B.A., 0-12; B.S., 10-15)

For the B.A. degree
Fulfillment of B.A. foreign language requirement (0-12)
See “Foreign Language Requirement for the B.A. Degree” in the Other Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

For the B.S. degree
Mathematics/laboratory science sequence (10-15)
See “College Requirement for the B.S. Degree” in the Other Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

Total Hours for Major in Journalism: 36-48 (B.A.) OR 46-51 (B.S.)

Special Requirements

At least 80 semester hours of the total hours required for the baccalaureate degree must be taken in subjects other than journalism, with at least 65 of those hours in the liberal arts. The department currently considers liberal arts courses to be most of the courses offered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and courses in art history and appreciation, music history and literature, and theater history and criticism. Students considering courses in communication studies or computer science should consult a department adviser to determine whether the courses can be included in the liberal arts category.

Students must also fulfill the requirements of a minor or a second major, which must be selected in consultation with a department adviser. Since disciplinary academic standards limit the number of professional courses that journalism majors may take, students thinking of including major or minor work in communication studies (with courses, for example, in media studies or organizational/ corporate communication) are particularly urged to see a department adviser before proceeding.

Journalism majors must earn a grade of C or S or better in all required journalism courses. Journalism prerequisites are deemed to be met only by obtaining a grade of C or S or better. It is necessary to repeat a journalism course in which a grade below C or S is earned before taking any course for which it is a prerequisite.

A student’s program of courses must be designed in consultation with, and periodically reviewed by, a department adviser.


Students interested in international affairs are advised to develop a high degree of competence in one or more foreign languages, to become familiar with political systems other than that found in the United States, to take JOUR 482, International News Communications, and to enroll in the interdisciplinary international studies minor. Students interested in ethnic studies are advised to take JOUR 490, Ethnic Minorities and the News Media, and to enroll in a minor such as black studies, Latino/Latin American studies, or Southeast Asian studies.

The following courses are recommended for all journalism majors and students are advised to include at least four of them among their elective courses.

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