Journalism, Minor

Program Code: JOURN_UMNR

Program Description

The Journalism minor will offer students the skills required to practice journalism, including researching, writing, interviewing, and using equipment and technology necessary to tell non-fiction stories. Students will also learn journalism theory - the reason journalism and the First Amendment are critical to a functioning democracy as well as the ethics that shape news media decision-making. Courses on the "skills" side of the minor will include COMM 160 and COMM 260W, the foundational journalistic reporting and writing courses that can be followed by upper-division courses in print/digital and broadcast. In addition, students will be able to pursue visual story-telling via photojournalism and multimedia/video courses. At the same time, theory courses such as COMM 271 will introduce students to the history of journalism in this country and show how the news media has reacted to changes in the industry.

What is Journalism?

The core skill set of journalism is gathering information and organizing it to tell a story in a compelling fashion. While consumption and delivery methods change almost daily for information, journalism exists in more forms than ever before: broadcast, digital, online, multimedia, print, and more. Faculty emphasize a fact-based approach to information that serves the public interest. In the department, professionally focused classes and hands-on opportunities prepare students for an ever-changing and important industry that marries a tradition of history-as-it-happens with cutting-edge technology and information delivery.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You have an appreciation and understanding of popular culture.
  • You have excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • You have an interest in telling stories, no matter the medium, and trying technologies that engage an audience.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 19

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Some prerequisites may be required to meet the requirements for this minor. 

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
COMM 160Basic News Writing Skills1
COMM 260WNews Writing and Reporting3
COMM 271Principles of Journalism3
COMM 403Law of Mass Communications3
COMM 409News Media Ethics3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits from the following:6
The Literature of Journalism
Radio Reporting
Data Visualization for Journalists
Reporting Methods
Magazine Writing
Feature Writing
Newspaper Design
Editorial, Opinion and Commentary Writing
Television Reporting

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.


University Park

Bellisario College Academic Advising
204 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802


University Park

308 Willard Building (Bellisario Media Center)
University Park, PA 16802