Specializing in teaching critical thinking and professional
communication concepts, strategies, and skills

The School of the Journalism and Mass Communication undergraduate program prepares students for modern careers in both traditional and new communication fields. The prestigious program’s mission is to “enhance creativity, skills, knowledge and critical thinking abilities."  We continually add new, exciting courses to keep current with revolutions happening every day in the media world.

We are the only unit at the University of Iowa that specializes in teaching the professional skills of multimedia and social media storytelling. In the SJMC, students explore media writing, video production, social media storytelling, and new technologies that are changing the contours of the media landscape.  Our courses integrate the development of professional skills, especially the skills of writing and storytelling, with a theoretical foundation in the role of media in an ethical and global society.  Our program also builds on the University's commitment to the liberal arts, requiring that majors complete extensive academic work outside the School.

Our graduates pursue many career paths in the media professions, from broadcasting to public relations, event planning to digital storytelling, print journalism to nonprofit work.  Moreover, they work for some of the most visible and successful companies in the world, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, ESPN, Major League Baseball, Disney, Twitter, and many more.  When you graduate from the SJMC, you will become part of an alumni network that numbers in the thousands and spans the media industries in the United States and around the globe.

Interested in joining one of our student groups?  Visit the Student Organizations page.

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Media writing and visual storytelling form the core of the undergraduate major in journalism and mass communication. Students are required to take introduction, foundation, application, and capstone courses offered by the school; they develop professional skills while studying the historical, legal, cultural, and institutional roles of media in society. They also complete extensive academic work outside the school, consistent with the University's commitment to the liberal arts and sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • an understanding and the application of the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press in real space and cyberspace, and demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and their historical development.
  • an understanding the principles of media literacy and develop the skills necessary to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media messages across multiple media domains.
  • an understanding that clear, concise, correct writing is at the heart of journalistic expression and that reporting and communicating it effectively requires a knowledge and achievement of the highest, professionally-accepted standards in all work.
  • an understanding of the diversity of groups (including communities defined by gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion and sexual orientation) in a global society in relationship to communications.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Minor in Media Management

The minor in media management prepares students to succeed in the fast changing media industry. Opportunities exist for students to invent new revenue streams or business models for media companies, to create new media products, to work as part of an innovation team for an established media company, or possibly build a new business. Students will also have a foundation to pursue advanced degrees related to media management.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge/remembering.
  • Comprehension/understanding.
  • Application/applying.
  • Analysis/analyzing.
  • Evaluation/evaluating.
  • Synthesis/creating.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Minor in News and Media Literacy

The minor in news and media literacy provides students with an introduction to news and media literacy, such as media uses, history and culture.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the principles of media literacy and develop the skills necessary to access, analyze, and evaluate media messages across multiple media domains;
  • an understanding of the history of media in the context of industries and identify transformations in audiences, engagement, and business practice over time;
  • an understanding of the application of the principles and laws of freedom of speech and demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and their historical development;
  • an understanding of the diversity of groups (including communities defined by gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion and sexual orientation) and experiences in a global society; and
  • a recognition of the impact of structural racism and inequalities on marginalized communities and how our work perpetuates or challenges these systems.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Certificate in Event Management

The Certificate in Event Management provides students with an opportunity to learn about the profession of event management.  It combines experiential learning with academic coursework, resulting in students who have the practical and intellectual skills to succeed in this growing industry.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge/remembering.
  • Comprehension/understanding.
  • Application/applying.
  • Analysis/analyzing.
  • Evaluation/evaluating.
  • Synthesis/creating.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Certificate in
Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy

The Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy provides students with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to participate effectively in the growing world of nonprofits. It gives students the tools to do good in the world, choosing a career in the nonprofit sector or by making a difference through volunteerism.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to:

  • gain practical experience within the nonprofit environment;
  • acquire knowledge of nonprofit processes, policies and best practices;
  • apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a work setting;
  • experience the activities and functions of nonprofit professionals; and
  • develop and refine oral and written communication skills.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.