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Program Requirements

Within the campus standard of 120 credit hours for the bachelor’s degree, the BA in Journalism requires 36 credit hours. The degree and course code for this program is JRNL. 

JRNL Core Curriculum

  1. Principles of Journalism—3 credit hours
  2. Fundamentals of Reporting—3
  3. Journalism Law and Ethics—3
  4. One Advanced Reporting course—3
  5. Two conceptual courses in Journalism – 6
  6. News Media internship—3
  7. Capstone course—3

Other Courses in Journalism

    Electives—12 credit hours
    Students choose from a variety of advanced journalism courses, including but not limited to the following: Covering Political Campaigns; Editing and Presentation; Advanced Reporting; TV Reporting; Opinion Writing; Broadcast Projects; Advanced Camera and Editing; Arts and Cultural Reporting; Feature Writing; Media Coverage of Diverse Populations; Concepts in Visual Culture; Critical Perspectives on Journalism; History of Documentary Film; History of Journalism; History of Broadcasting; History of Digital Journalism; Sociology of News; Literary Journalism; International Media and Global Crises; Reporting War, Conflict and Peace; News and Public Perception and others.

    Secondary Area of Study

    The required secondary area of study for JRNL majors is at least 18 credit hours.

    • At least 9 hours are in upper-division electives.
    • This policy is retroactive to students who entered CMCI in fall 2015. 
    • Courses taken for the minor may also be applied to CMCI core requirements.      
    • Students may pursue an existing minor prescribed by another department, or they may opt to create an individualized secondary area of study, also involving at least 18 credit hours.  In order to do this, students must identify the secondary area of concentration before earning 50 credit hours toward the degree; they must develop this concentration in consultation with a faculty member in JRNL and have it approved also by the JRNL chair; and they must complete at least 9 hours of upper-division coursework within this secondary area of concentration.  

    Undergraduate Course Offerings

    The following are Journalism undergraduate courses. Please see an advisor if you have any questions. See the course catalog for the most updated listing of courses.

    JRNL 1601 Principles of Journalism and Networked Communication
    Surveys the history, practices and responsibilities of journalism in a democracy. Examines ethics, best practices in institutional and network settings, reporting and writing, international news systems, personal branding, and strategies for creating and distributing content across media platforms. Promotes the highest professional values and encourages students to be leaders who recognize the possibilities of journalism in a democratic society.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 1871 Special Topics for First-Year Students
    Special studies in media that are specific for first-year students. May be repeated for a maximum of three credit hours.

    1-3 credit hours

    JRNL 2001 Fundamentals of Reporting
    Develops basic newsgathering skills for work in news enterprises. Students learn techniques central to research, reporting and writing stories for various media formats, including video, online and print.

    Requires prerequisite courses of CMCI 1010 and CMCI 1020 and JRNL/JOUR 2601 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 3102 Photojournalism I
    Introduces the basic elements of visual communication. Covers the use of camera systems, digital imaging techniques and other aspects of photojournalism including law, ethics, history and critical decision-making.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 2601 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) majors with a minimum of 57 hours taken.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 3552 Editing and Presentation
    Explores copy editing, graphic principles and processes and new media technology.

    Requires prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 2001 or JOUR/JRNL 2601 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or News Editorial (NSED-BSJR or JNED-BSJR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 3614 Principles of Audio Production
    Introduces audio production techniques using digital technologies. Students learn to apply fundamental principles to create professional radio and online programs including podcasting.

    Restricted to College of Media, Communication, and Information (CMCI) or Program in Journalism and Mass Communication (JOUR) majors with a minimum of 45 credit hours taken.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 3644 Principles of Television Production
    Emphasizes the use of video technologies in both field and studio production, camera and editing work, producing and directing for professional program production.

    Requires prerequisite course of JRNL 2001 or JOUR/JRNL 2601 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journal (JRNL) or Broadcast News (BCNS-BSJR or JBCN-BSJR) or Broadcast Production (BCPM-BSJR or JBCP-BSJR) majors with a minimum of 57 hours taken.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 3651 Journalism Law and Ethics
    Studies state and federal laws and court decisions that affect the media in order to develop knowledge of media rights and responsibilities and an understanding of the legal system. Provides students with an overview of the theories, ethics, codes, and analytical models that are used in journalism and introduces students to a variety of ethical issues that can arise in journalism.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 3674 Television Production 2
    Covers studio productions for "Newsteam Boulder." Students also do field projects to sharpen their writing, video production and editing skills.

    Requires prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3644 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Broadcast News (BCNS-BSJR or JBCN-BSJR) or Broadcast Production (BCPM-BSJR or JBCP-BSJR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4002 Reporting 2
    Assumes mastery of basic reporting and writing skills. Students produce more sophisticated stories on a variety of topics.

    Requires prerequisite course of JRNL 2001 or JOUR 3001 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or News Editorial (NSED-BSJR or JNED-BSJR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4102 Photojournalism Portfolio
    Advanced course intended to give students a forum in which technical skills will be brought to professional standards. Students build a polished portfolio of work to present to editors and buyers. Same as JRNL 5102.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3102 (minimum grade D-).

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4344 Video Documentary Production
    Designed to give students the experience of researching, writing, shooting and editing their own documentaries. Same as JRNL 5344.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3644 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4351 Reporting Wars, Disasters, and Peace
    Explores how journalists report international breaking news with a focus on war, disaster and peace and how these news events affect peoples' lives, governmental decisions and news media operations.

    Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Program in Journalism and Mass Communication students with a minimum of 73 hours taken.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4354 TV Reporting
    Students learn basic broadcast reporting skills—where to find news and how to cover it and how to analyze and organize news stories. Skills are linked with advanced concepts of shooting and editing video in order to produce news stories on deadline.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3644 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Broadcast News (BCNS-BSJR or JBCN-BSJR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4562 Digital Journalism
    Builds upon digital production skills through the creation of multimedia project. Applies media theory to evaluate digital media content and explore how digital forms influence the news industry, politics, culture and society. Same as JRNL 5562.

    Requires prerequisite course of JRNL 2001 or JOUR 3001 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Program in Journalism and Mass Communication (JOUR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4602 Editorial, Commentary and Opinion Writing
    Concentrates on several of the subjective areas of journalism. Emphasizes editorial and column writing, editorial pages and blogging. Same as JRNL 5602.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JRNL 2001 or JOUR 3001 (minimum grade D-).

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4614 Advanced Audio Practices
    Applies advanced skills in producing in-depth audio programming for radio stations in Colorado and for weekly discussion-critique sessions.

    Requires prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3614 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) majors only.

    1-3 credit hours

    JRNL 4624 News Team
    Students participate in “NewsTeam Boulder” a program broadcast live over the Boulder cable television system. Same as JRNL 5624.

    Requires prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 4354 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Broadcast News (BCNS -BSJR or JBCN-BSJR) majors only.

    4 credit hours

    JRNL 4634 Broadcast Projects
    Covers interpretation, preparation and/or reporting in programs for broadcast media. Prepares students for radio or television documentaries and informational/entertainment programs. Same as JRNL 5634.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3644 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) majors only.

    1-3 credit hours

    JRNL 4674 Television Production 3
    Provides in-depth experience in directing and producing television programs.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3674 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Broadcast News (BCNS-BSJR or JBCN-BSJR) or Broadcast Production (BCPM-BSJR or JBCP-BSJR) majors only.

    1-3 credit hours

    JRNL 4684 Advanced Camera and Editing
    Emphasizes the advanced techniques in digital video camera usage and digital editing for professional broadcast video production. Same as JRNL 5684.

    Requires a prerequisite course of JOUR/JRNL 3644 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Broadcast News (BCNS-BSJR or JBCN-BSJR) or Broadcast Production (BCPM-BSJR or JBCP-BSJR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4702 Arts/Cultural Reporting and Criticism
    Emphasizes composition of criticism for the performing arts and other areas of entertainment. Same as JRNL 5702.

    Requires prerequisite course of JRNL 2001 or JOUR 3001 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Program in Journalism and Mass Communication (JOUR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4802 Magazine and Feature Writing
    Provides practice in writing freelance articles. Considers types, sources, methods, titles, illustrations and freelance markets. Students submit work for publication. Same as JRNL 5802.

    Requires prerequisite course of JRNL 2001 or JOUR 3001 (minimum grade D-). Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Program in Journalism and Mass Communication (JOUR) majors only.

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4822 Reporting on the Environment
    Involves reporting and writing about the environment by taking into account the scientific, technological, political, economic and cultural dimensions of environmental subjects. Same as JRNL 5822.

    Requires prerequisite course of JRNL 2001 or JOUR 3001 (minimum grade D-).

    3 credit hours

    JRNL 4841 Undergraduate Independent Study
    1-4 credit hours

    JRNL 4872 Special Topics: Print
    Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) or Program in Journalism and Mass Communication (JOUR) majors with a minimum of 57 credit hours taken (Juniors or Seniors).

    1-3 credit hours

    JRNL 4874 Special Topics
    Restricted to Journalism (JRNL) majors with a minimum of 57 credit hours taken (Juniors or Seniors).

    1-3 credit hours

    JRNL 4931 Internship
    1-6 credit hours

    Need help or still have questions?

    View the advising page for more information on applying, or contact CMCI Advisors via email.

    CMCI Advisors
    Armory 1B12 (Student Resource Center)
    University of Colorado Boulder
    College of Media, Communication and Information
    Boulder, CO 80309-0478