University Bulletin 2019-20

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Communication (BA) - Journalism Concentration

Majors in Arts and Sciences may be completed with a minimum of 120 semester hours unless designated otherwise. At least 30 hours of course work, which represents 25% of the required 120 hours, must be at the upper division level in order to fulfill the University’s residency requirement. At least 15 of the 30 upper-division hours must be in the major or concentration area. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the student’s major or concentration area. 

Requirements For A Major In Communication

Communication majors must complete the College of Arts and Sciences Public Speaking requirement (CA 110) and 5 additional Communication Core classes: CA 101, Introduction to Communication Media or CA 100, Introduction to Communication; CA 220-W, Introduction to Writing and Reporting for the Media (W) or CA 210, Argumentation; CA 260, Digital Writing and Production; CA 300, Foundations of Communication Research; and CA 445, Ethics and Social Responsibility in Communication.

In addition to these 6 courses, all communication majors must complete 27 semester hours in one of the Department's  concentrations listed below. At least 5 communication classes (15 hours) must be numbered 300 or higher and must be taken at USA. Only 3 hours of credit from CA 394 or CA 494 can be used to satisfy this requirement.

Special Requirements For Mass Communication Concentrations: Digital Cinema And Television, Journalism (Multimedia And Broadcast), And Strategic Communication

  1. Students in these concentrations must take CA 101 and CA 220, either as part of the core or as additional classes.
  2. At least 72 hours in courses outside the Department of Communication are required, including general education requirements required by the College of Arts and Sciences.

General Education Requirements For Communication Majors

General Education Requirements for Communication are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences Section. Communication majors and minors may use CA 222, Rhetoric Culture and Society, in the Humanities and Fine Arts Section.

General Education Technology Requirement

Students in the Department of Communication may take CA 260 or CIS 150 to fulfill the College's General Education Requirement for a technology training course.

Backed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, journalism promises to provide citizens with useful information about public issues and be a watchdog on powerful institutions, including government and business. Students in the journalism track choose between multimedia journalism and broadcast news, but also receive cross-training to provide them with as broad a range of skills as possible within the confines of an academic degree.
Required: CA 350, CA 370-W, CA 455
Choose Group A or Group B:  Or, if you choose not to specialize, choose a total of 18 hours (6 courses) from groups A &B
Group A. Multimedia Journalism: CA 281, CA 382, CA 387, CA 482; and Choose 2 from CA 288, CA 354, CA 456,CA 481-W, CA 496
Group B. Broadcast Journalism: CA 250, CA 353, CA 450, CA 454; and Choose 2 from CA 288, CA 354, CA 382, CA 482, CA 496

Department of Communication website

The purpose of the Department of Communication is to provide students with core competencies, within the context of a broad liberal arts and sciences curriculum, which will prepare them to be independent, critical thinkers who uphold the highest ethical standards as communication leaders in a global society.

Given this purpose, the Department attempts to meet individual performance and career needs with a flexible curriculum. Students select one of the concentrations offered and confer with their advisors to plan their courses of study. These focused areas of study help prepare students for a variety of careers in the communication field.

The concentrations of study offered in Communication are: Communication Studies, Digital Cinema and Television, Journalism (Multimedia Journalism and Broadcast Journalism), and Strategic Communication. Students pursuing a degree in Communication must also have a minor in another discipline.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.

Honors in Communication

The Communication Departmental Honors program offers undergraduate students an opportunity to prepare for a graduate program or professional career. Students in this program will use their communication skills to develop a formal research project.
To be awarded Departmental honors in communication, students must:

  1. Complete the standard requirements for the major in communication.
  2. Have an overall institutional GPA of 3.5 or higher (University requirement).
  3. Have a minimum 3.5 GPA in all communication courses (Department requirement).
  4. Complete a communication research methods course (CA 300, mass communication concentrations or CA 424, communication studies concentration) with an earned grade of "B" or higher. This course may be counted toward the communication degree and toward 3 hours of upper division credit.
  5. Complete a minimum of 3 credit hours, and no more than 6 credit hours in the Senior Honors Project, CA 499. Students receiving honors in communication will be required to take a minimum  of 48 hours in communication (including CA 110, Public Speaking).
  6. Successfully defend the final research project during an oral presentation to a faculty committee. It is recommended that the student present a summary of the project during the Department's colloquium series and/or another appropriate public forum.

Application procedure - Students must:

  1. Have earned an overall institutional GPA of 3.5 or higher and a minimum 3.5 GPA in all communication courses.
  2. Apply by April 1 of their junior year.
  3. Receive agreement of a tenure-track faculty member of the Department of Communication to serve as mentor, and obtain a letter of recommendation from that faculty member.
  4. Receive permission of the Department Chair.