Digital Journalism and Media, B.A.

Program Code: DGJRM_BA

Program Description

The Digital Journalism and Media degree, to be offered via the World Campus, will prepare students for the fast-changing field of digital journalism and other web-based communications careers, including multimedia storytelling, digital production and digital media management. This new major, as structured, requires courses on writing, law, ethics and multimedia skills in its core. There are three suggested pathways of courses which can allow students to develop expertise in certain subject areas within mass communications: Digital Journalism, Visual Media and Media Management. They will understand the industries that operate in today's societies and be prepared for jobs as writers, content producers, leaders and policy makers.

The program will be accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

What is Digital Journalism and Media? 

The field of journalism has been radically transformed by the onset of new opportunities to engage an audience using technology. The bachelor’s degree in digital journalism and media can prepare you for the fast-changing field of digital journalism and other web-based communication careers, including multimedia storytelling, digital production, and digital content management. While offering a cutting-edge education in digital media, this program also focuses on writing, editing, and journalistic ethics. Students may focus on one of several areas as they prepare to be leaders in digital media. Those areas include digital journalism, visual media, media management or an individualized program created from the program’s courses to suit the student’s career aspirations.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You’re curious, inquisitive, observant and organized.
  • You have an interest in telling stories, no matter the medium, and trying technologies that engage an audience.
  • You have an ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  • You have excellent verbal and written communications skills.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DIGITAL JOURNALISM AND MEDIA

Direct Admission to the Major

Incoming first-year students who meet the program admission requirements are admitted directly into the major. Admission restrictions may apply for change-of-major and/or change-of-campus students.

For more information about the admission process for this major, please send a request to the college, campus, or program contact (listed in the Contact tab).

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Digital Journalism and Media, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 17-28
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 34

13-24 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
COMM 160Basic News Writing Skills1
COMM 271Principles of Journalism3
COMM 280Introduction to Telecommunications Technologies3
COMM 403Law of Mass Communications3
COMM 409News Media Ethics3
COMM 428APrinciples of Strategic Communications3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
COMM 100NThe Mass Media and Society Keystone/General Education Course3
or COMM 180 Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications Keystone/General Education Course
COMM 230WWriting for Media3
or COMM 260W News Writing and Reporting
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 12 credits from:12
Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications Keystone/General Education Course
Basic Photography for Communications
Photojournalism
Introduction to Multimedia Production
Digital Media Metrics
Intermediate Documentary Production
Idea Development and Media Writing
Writing for the Screen I
Telecommunications Management
Strategic Communications Law
Reporting Methods
News Editing and Evaluation
Photography for the Mass Media
Issues for Newsroom Managers
Advanced Multimedia Production
Advanced Telecommunications Management and Leadership
Internet Law and Policy
Entrepreneurship in the Information Age

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)

Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Learning Outcomes

Professional Values and Competencies

Individual professions in journalism and mass communication may require certain specialized values and competencies. Irrespective of their particular specialization, all graduates should be aware of certain core values and competencies and be able to:

  1. understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press for the country in which the institution that invites ACEJMC is located, as well as receive instruction in and understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and assemble and to petition for redress of grievances;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of gender, race ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society;
  5. understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;
  6. demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
  7. think critically, creatively and independently;
  8. conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work;
  9. write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
  10. critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
  11. apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
  12. apply basic tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Career Paths

Skills earned by pursuing the major provide students with the ability to create, execute, and evaluate communication strategies – making them a valuable asset for businesses, corporations, government, news outlets, and nonprofit organizations. Because students should be able to write and produce content for digital journalism organizations, to apply multimedia skills to develop, create, research and assess pieces appropriate to specific mediums and audiences, and to understand ethics and laws regarding freedom of the press and speech, they are especially valuable to any number of organizations who value those skills.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE DIGITAL JOURNALISM AND MEDIA PROGRAM

Accreditation

The Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications is evaluated regularly by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and the Bellisario College has consistently met the high standards of the organization that is dedicated to excellence in professional education in journalism and mass communications. For undergraduate students, accreditation most practically means that upper-level professional classes in each major will be conducted in rooms with 20 or fewer students.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACCREDITING COUNCIL ON EDUCATION IN JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATIONS

Contact

World Campus

DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM
304B James Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-2682
Michelle.Baker@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-digital-journalism-and-media-bachelors-degree/overview