Undergraduate 2017-2018

Journalism BA - Strategic Communications Emphasis

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact: Thomas G. Endres, Ph.D., Director

Location: Candelaria 1265

Telephone: 970.351.2726

Website: http://www.unco.edu/hss/journalism-media-studies/

Advising Information

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

Assigned advisor is available through the Ursa login; ursa.unco.edu; under Student Tab Academic Profile channel and is term specific. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.


This program consists of four parts:


1. Liberal Arts Core (LAC) Credits

2. Required Major Credits


3. Required Minor Credits


4. University-Wide Credits



Program Description:

The strategic communications emphasis combines theory and application to create an experience rich in social scientific research, creative concept development, writing and editing, media planning, and persuasive campaign execution. This emphasis combines the principles of public relations, marketing and advertising to form an inclusive study of strategic message design and distribution through various media. Students will also become familiar with the history and ethical and legal issues facing professionals in this career field. Graduates of this emphasis are prepared with techniques and tools for entry-level employment in public relations, marketing, and advertising.


Program Admission Requirements:

To become a Journalism major, you first become a Pre-Journalism major. This is done by filling out a "Letter of Acknowledgment" and a "Change of Major/Minor" form, available from the School of Communication. The pre-major should be declared in the freshman or sophomore year.

Application for admission to full JMS-major status should take place during the sophomore year. It is important to note that the JMS major is a two-year program beyond the time at which a pre-major is admitted with full Journalism major status. Whether admitted as a sophomore, junior or senior, the newly admitted Journalism major will often need two full academic years to complete the major course requirements. In particular, seniors and transfer students who are considering applying to become Journalism majors are advised that it is not usually possible to complete the process of application to the major and all the required coursework in fewer than four regular semesters.

To apply to become a Journalism major, a student must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Completed 30 credits of undergraduate semester credit;
  • Received a "C" or better in ENG 122 (C- is not acceptable);
  • Received a "C" or better in JMS 100 (C- is not acceptable);
  • Complete and submit, in person, an "Application for Admission to Journalism Major" form, available online at http://www.unco.edu/hss/journalism-media-studies/pdf/jms-major-application-2016-rev.pdf. Your application must be submitted to the School of Communication office between October 1 and October 15 for fall admission and between February 1 and February 15 for spring admission. Application deadlines are October 15 and February 15 and are firm. No admission decisions are made during the summer.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended other than UNC, if any, with the application form noted above.
  • Should the number of qualified applicants exceed space available in required courses, the school will admit only those students ranking highest in cumulative grade point averages.


Program Requirements:

  • Students majoring in Journalism are not permitted to apply more than 48 credits with JMS prefix toward meeting the required 120 semester credits for graduation.
  • Students taking more than 48 credits in Journalism will need 72 credits outside of Journalism in order to graduate, making the total number of credits need for graduation in excess of 120.
  • To graduate with a B.A. in Journalism, all students must receive a minimum grade of "C" (C- is not acceptable) in all courses in the major. In order to take courses that require prerequisites, students must earn a minimum grade of "C" (C- is not acceptable) in all prerequisites.
  • Journalism majors may not take the Media Studies minor. Students cannot declare a minor until they have been admitted to the major.
  • Journalism majors must complete courses for only one Journalism emphasis, and changing from one emphasis to another after admission to the major may be prohibited by the program.

1. Required LAC - 40 credits

2. Required Major - 39 credits

Remaining Major

Take three additional credits in course(s) with the JMS prefix.

(JMS 492 Internship (1-3) is strongly recommended)

Take all of the following courses:

JMS 100Introduction to Journalism and Media Studies


JMS 210Media Writing


JMS 212Visual Media


JMS 345Introduction to Strategic Communications


JMS 351Editing and Design for Strategic Communications


JMS 380Strategic Communications Techniques


JMS 385Media Planning and Research


JMS 390Impact of Mass Media on Society


JMS 460Media Management


JMS 481Strategic Communications Campaigns


JMS 485Media Ethics


JMS 497Media Law


3. Required Minor - 18 credits

4. University-Wide Credits - 23 credits

Complete additional credits to achieve the minimum credits needed for this degree at UNC; for this degree that will typically be 23 credits.