Journalism

(BA, BS, minor)

Incoming first-year and transfer students may declare journalism as a major upon entering the University. Students of sophomore standing or above who wish to declare a major offered by the Department of Journalism must have achieved a TCU cumulative GPA of 2.5 before they can declare a major inside the school. A journalism minor is offered through the department.

Bachelor of Art in Journalism

The BA with a major in journalism requires 124 hours with 33 hours of journalism, including JOUR 10113JOUR 10203JOUR 20003JOUR 20203JOUR 30204JOUR 30543 and JOUR 40523. Students must take at least one class from the following: JOUR 40003JOUR 40203JOUR 40213JOUR 40453JOUR 40463JOUR 40643JOUR 40820 or JOUR 40983, meaning all journalism majors must have a minimum of one Capstone course. Also, students must take at least one class from the following: JOUR 10103JOUR 30853JOUR 40443JOUR 40553JOUR 40563JOUR 40573JOUR 40613JOUR 40813JOUR 40993JOUR 50143JOUR 50183JOUR 50193 or JOUR 50523, meaning all journalism majors must have a minimum of one seminar course. Five hours of journalism electives complete the degree requirements. By combining electives and required courses, a student may earn certificates that accompany the BA degree and demonstrate advanced proficiency in a specific area of news media.

The BA degree in journalism requires proven competency at the fourth semester of college-level foreign language (the equivalent of 12 hours, which can be accomplished either through taking courses or testing out through examinations as required by the foreign language programs on campus). This requirement is consistent with international opportunities in emerging media.

A minor is required. Additionally, students may pursue a specialty by fulfilling requirements for a certificate in broadcast journalism, sports journalism or business journalism.

Students must declare their intent to earn specific certificates in the semester in which they intend to graduate and prior to the beginning of academic advising in that semester. Declaration is made in writing to the chair or the chair’s designee.

The Journalism minor takes a minimum of four semesters to complete. The Department of Journalism welcomes minors in journalism who are committed to significant journalism instruction while they specialize in majors that educate them in broad subject areas that may relate to news coverage. Students should recognize that it usually takes four regular semesters to complete the journalism minor. Students are strongly encouraged to become active in TCU student media.

22 hours in journalism, including JOUR 10113, JOUR 10203, JOUR 20003, JOUR 20203, JOUR 30204, JOUR 40523, And be enrolled in JOUR 30204 before enrolling in any elective course in the Department of Journalism.

Bachelor of Science in Journalism

The BS with a major in journalism requires 120 hours with 39 hours of journalism, including JOUR 10113JOUR 10203JOUR 10303JOUR 20003JOUR 30204JOUR 40523 and JOUR 40983. Students must take at least one class from the following: JOUR 40203JOUR 40453JOUR 40463JOUR 40483JOUR 40643, or JOUR 40820, meaning all journalism majors must have a minimum of one upper-level reporting course. Also, students must take at least one class from the following: JOUR 30853JOUR 40443JOUR 40553JOUR 40563JOUR 40613JOUR 40813, or JOUR 40993, meaning all journalism majors must have a minimum of one seminar course. Eleven hours of journalism electives complete the degree requirements.

A minor is required. Additionally, students may pursue a specialty by fulfilling requirements for a certificate in broadcast journalism.

Students must declare their intent to earn specific certificates in the semester in which they intend to graduate and prior to the beginning of academic advising in that semester. Declaration is made in writing to the chair or the chair’s designee.

Minor in Journalism

The journalism minor is a complement to many majors and prepares students to apply journalistic skills to many fields, or produce journalism with an intense focus in another area. Minors will take several skills courses that provide them with experiential learning opportunities and can expect to create a significant body of work as part of the journalism minor. Minors must complete the four core courses of the minor and be enrolled in the Reporting before enrolling in any elective course in the Department of Journalism.

The Journalism minor takes a minimum of four semesters to complete. The Department of Journalism welcomes minors in journalism who are committed to significant journalism instruction while they specialize in majors that educate them in broad subject areas that may relate to news coverage. Students should recognize that it usually takes four regular semesters to complete the journalism minor. Students are strongly encouraged to become active in TCU student media.

22 hours in journalism, including JOUR 10113, JOUR 10203, JOUR 20003, JOUR 20203, JOUR 30204, JOUR 40523, And be enrolled in JOUR 30204 before enrolling in any elective course in the Department of Journalism.

Assessment Plan

In accordance with the requirement of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC), the department of journalism at Texas Christian University adopted an assessment plan to better help it track student success and concerns. The plan uses both direct and indirect measures of assessment to evaluate course effectiveness and determine areas that need strengthening. The areas being measured are reflected in the department’s Schieffer Seven, the learning outcomes members of faculty are expected to build into their respective courses and syllabi. These competencies also reflect those recommended by ACEJMC.

Students are expected to develop competencies in the following areas:

  1. Writing and editing: Students will learn to write clearly for diverse audiences across appropriate multimedia platforms, to apply the conventions of the language, to edit, and to critically evaluate their work and that of others.
  2. The tools of mass communication—statistics, research and technology: Students will apply the tools of effective communication practice: research and the evaluation of research, the use of numerical and statistical concepts, and the technology skills used to communicate effectively in their professional area.
  3. Free media: Students will understand and value the principles and laws that underlie a free media system, including their historical antecedents.
  4. Diversity: Students will value diversity in a global society and its impact on information-gathering and adapting messages to an ethnically and culturally heterogeneous audience.
  5. Critical and creative thinking: Students will apply critical, creative, and independent thinking to their professional projects.
  6. Theory: Students will understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
  7. Ethical standards: Students will understand professional ethical standards and their relationships to critical professional choices.

The direct measures of assessment are knowledge-based polls, which are administered to students in entry-level courses and again to students in their final semester. Graduating seniors are also given an exit poll, which asks them to reflect on their coursework and how it prepared them for entry into the profession or for graduate education.

The indirect measures of assessment are student achievements and internships. Student achievements includes awards and programs, which compare student work to that of students in other programs, or in some cases work done by professional journalists. The supervisors of students who earn internship credit are asked to evaluate their ethics, workmanship and professional demeanor.

The department also participates regularly in TCU university assessment of required courses, which considers how students are mastering concepts in required courses and what instructors are doing to close possible loops that limit student comprehension and success.