- Academic Programs & Policies
- ACE Requirements
- Catalog to Use
- College Degree Requirements
- Degrees & Majors
- Graduate Student Information
The College of Journalism and Mass Communications offers majors in advertising and public relations, broadcasting, journalism, and sports media and communication. Advertising and public relations majors may choose from five optional areas of emphasis: brand management; creative; media, data, and analytics; public relations; or global/multicultural communication. Broadcasting majors select either a news option or a production option. Journalism majors may choose an emphasis in data journalism.
The entrance requirements for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications are the same as the admission requirements for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. These include:
- English (4 units)
- Mathematics (4 units)
- Social studies (3 units)
- Natural sciences (3 units), and
- Foreign language (2 units)
One unit equals one year of high school credit. Students with one deficiency, two deficiencies but not in the same category, or two deficiencies in foreign language who receive a Deferred Admission or Admission by Review, may be considered for admission to the college. Students who are admitted through the Admission by Review process with core course deficiencies will have certain conditions attached to their enrollment at UNL. These conditions are explained under Admission to the University, Removal of Deficiencies. High school deficiencies must be removed during the first 30 credit hours of enrollment at UNL (60 hours for foreign language) or the first calendar year, whichever takes longer.
Admission Deficiencies/Removal of Deficiencies
You must remove entrance deficiencies in geometry and foreign language before you can graduate from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Removing Foreign Language Deficiencies
A student will need to complete the second semester of the first-year language sequence to clear the deficiency and the second semester of the second-year language sequence to complete the college graduation requirement in language.
Removing Geometry Deficiency
A deficiency of one year of geometry can be removed by taking two high school geometry courses by Independent Study or by completing a geometry course from an accredited community college or a four-year institution. Neither of these options will count for college credit.
Any student transferring into the college must have at least a 2.0 GPA. A student with 12 or more hours of college credit must have at least a 2.0 GPA to be admitted or readmitted to the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
A student who left the University not in good standing (below a 2.0 grade point average) may be readmitted in the Explore Center. Such a student would be eligible to reenter the College of Journalism and Mass Communications upon attaining a 2.0 cumulative GPA. This student would follow the catalog in effect at the time of the transfer from the Explore Center to the college.
Other Admission Requirements
Students from other Colleges
College of Journalism and Mass Communications courses will be restricted to College of Journalism and Mass Communications majors except where stipulated differently. Students from colleges and departments with a written agreement with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications will be exempt from this policy. Permission may be granted by an associate dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications in special circumstances following the directives provided by the faculty in these matters.
Applicants who speak English as a second language must present a TOEFL score of 70 or higher, which includes a subscore of at least 20 on the writing test. Additionally, broadcasting majors must present a score of at least 45 on the Test of Spoken English.
Upon enrollment in the college, each student is assigned a professional academic advisor. As part of the JOMC 100 The First Year Experience course (1 hour), a student will work with his or her advisor to begin developing a four-year plan. The student is expected to consult with the advisor each semester before registering for the next semester’s courses.
Although advisors seek to assist students in the selection of courses leading toward graduation, the final decision regarding which courses are taken is ultimately the student’s. Therefore, students are responsible for identifying and enrolling in those courses that will lead to completion of all published degree requirements in a timely manner.
Academic Programs & Policies
Course Exclusions & Restrictions
Courses from the following areas will not count toward the bachelor of journalism degree.
- athletic coaching (ATHC)
- athletic training (ATHT)
- vocational agricultural leadership and education (ALEC) courses, except ACE certified courses and approved ALEC minor courses
- vocational and adult education courses, business education courses student assistantships, teaching assistantships, proctoring, or grading internships of a journalistic nature taken through any university unit or department outside the College of Journalism and Mass Communications
- any independent study course, clinical course, experiential course or practicum outside the College of Journalism and Mass Communications undertaken without the prior written approval of the student’s advisor
- driver training education
- industrial arts (including courses concerned primarily with manual skills, tools, machines, or industrial processes and design)
- math courses below 100 and
- courses on word processing or data entry
- BSAD 50 Business Computer Applications
Some departmental course restrictions apply as described in the individual course descriptions in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Credit by Examination
Through study or experience that parallels a University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications course, a regularly enrolled university student may feel prepared to pass an examination on the course content for course credit. To apply for credit, a student should:
- Pick up a credit-by-examination form at the Information Window, Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building;
- Secure the approval signature of the dean of the college;
- Have the Office of the University Registrar verify that he or she is currently enrolled;
- Secure the Bursar’s Receipt for Payment of the examination fee; and
- Present the completed form to the instructor designated by the dean’s office.
The instructor will then give the examination and report the results to the Office of the University Registrar through the dean of the college. A student is not permitted to receive credit by examination in a course that is a prerequisite for one in which he or she already has received credit.
The College of Journalism and Mass Communications also gives credit for the subject and general examinations of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) administered by the College Entrance Examination Board. Inquire in 107 Canfield Administration Building for the current policy regarding CLEP examinations.
The following grade appeals process is designed to provide students with protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. A student with a concern about a grade should take the following steps:
- Talk with the instructor involved. Many problems are resolved at this level.
- Complete a grade appeals form (available from your advisor) and speak with an associate dean in 147 Andersen Hall.
- If you still have concerns following these steps, ask the associate dean to take the matter to the college's executive committee, which will make a final decision.
- The student will be notified by his or her advisor of the final decision.
Honors and Awards
Outstanding students are honored each spring during an honors convocation. The college recognizes students whose cumulative grade point averages place them in the top 10 percent of their respective classes, students who hold scholarships and students who have earned special awards.
In addition, the college distributes a semester dean’s list. To be included on the semester dean’s list, a student must have earned at least a 3.7 semester GPA on 12 or more graded hours.
Kappa Tau Alpha. The Will Owen Jones Chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism honorary, recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. Membership is limited to those in the top 10 percent of the junior and senior classes in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications who have completed the junior-level professional courses. Each year the society honors a student achieving the highest four-year grade point average in the college and presents an award to the professional Distinguished Journalist of the Year.
Alpha Delta Sigma. As the only national honorary society for advertising students, ADS recognizes outstanding academic achievement. Since ADS was initiated in 1976, students nominated by their faculty advisors have been elected by division leaders into this exclusive scholastic group. An ADS chapter was founded at UNL in 1993. To be eligible for nomination, students must be enrolled in the local American Advertising Federation chapter (Ad Club).
Alpha Epsilon Rho. Alpha Epsilon Rho recognizes superior scholarship in the field of broadcasting. The University of Nebraska chapter was chartered in 1946. Membership is by invitation upon completion of 9 hours in broadcasting with a cumulative grade of 3.25 in broadcasting and 3.0 cumulative or above. For more information, contact the college office in 147 Andersen Hall.
Degrees With Distinction
In recognition of academic excellence, the college recommends the bachelors degree with distinction, with high distinction and with highest distinction. To be recommended, candidates must fulfill the specific criteria as described below, in addition to meeting all the general criteria and procedures applicable to all distinction classifications. The honors thesis or creative project and results of the examination over the thesis in each instance must be acceptable to the advisory committee.
Highest Distinction. Candidates for the bachelors degree may be recommended for degrees with highest distinction on the basis of the following criteria: scholastic standing within the top 5 percent of the graduating class of the college in the preceding 12-month period and the advisory committee’s recommendation based upon a thesis or comparable creative effort and an oral examination over that thesis or creative effort.
High Distinction. Candidates for the bachelors degree may be recommended for degrees with high distinction by fulfilling one of two sets of criteria:
By achieving scholastic standing within the top 5 percent of the graduating class of the college in the preceding 12-month period; or
By achieving scholastic standing within the top 10 percent of the graduating class of the college in the preceding 12-month period and by recommendation of the advisory committee based on a thesis or comparable creative effort and an oral examination over that thesis or creative effort.
Distinction. Candidates for the bachelors degree may be recommended for degrees with distinction by achieving one of two sets of criteria:
By achieving scholastic standing within the top 10 percent of the graduating class of the college in the preceding 12-month period; or
By achieving scholastic standing within the top 15 percent of the graduating class (never below a 3.7 GPA) of the college for the preceding 12-month period and by recommendation of the college’s advisory committee based upon a thesis or comparable creative effort and an oral examination over that thesis or creative effort.
The following criteria apply to all categories: Ordinarily, only students who have taken their last 48 hours of course work in residence will be considered for degrees with distinction. In considering individual cases, the advisory committee will review both grades and the program of courses. Students who choose one of the thesis options described above should make arrangements before their senior year by consulting with their academic advisors. Even if they are not Honors Program students, these students must register for ADPR 499H Honors Course or JOUR 499H Honors Course for one hour of credit in the semester they plan to complete the thesis proposal and register for an additional two hours of credit in the semester they plan to complete the thesis. Normally, the thesis must be completed ten weeks before the end of the fall or spring terms to meet the deadlines of Graduation Services. At least two members of the student’s honors thesis committee must make a recommendation to the advisory committee on the thesis work.
During the semester before the student intends to graduate, she or he should visit the dean’s office in Andersen Hall to obtain the schedule of deadline dates for submission of reports of examining committees. The forms for making the reports are also available in the dean’s office.
Each year the college awards more than 100 scholarships, which include both freshmen and upperclassmen awards.
College scholarship information is available on the college's website. Current students' applications must be completed in MyRED by February 1. Awards are made in April and May. Entering freshmen must apply as part of the university's undergraduate application process.
Senior Degree Audit
Students should review a current degree audit through MyRED with their advisor the semester before they plan to graduate to identify any unfulfilled requirements in the student’s academic program. Students cannot graduate until their degree audit is complete and approved by Graduation Services. The degree audit is updated nightly.
Application for Degree
Students are expected to develop a clear understanding of degree requirements and to plan their course of study with a college advisor. Students requiring clarification of outstanding degree requirements should visit with a college advisor promptly.
Students should access their Degree Audit via MyRED at least once each term to review degree requirements and progress toward graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure their Degree Audit is accurate.
Students who believe their Degree Audit has errors or omissions should visit with a college advisor promptly. It is important that students resolve these matters as soon as possible to avoid a delay in graduation.
Each student must submit an online Application for Graduation via MyRED for each degree to be received by the deadline posted in the academic calendar.
Students submitting an Application for Graduation via MyRED will be billed a $25.00 per degree fee on their student account. Failure to submit a timely Application for Graduation may preclude the awarding of a degree in the intended term.
The student's Application for Graduation and required $25.00 fee are good only for the term marked on the application. Neither the application nor the fee are transferrable to another term. If a student submits an Application for Graduation and pays the $25.00 fee for a specified term but does not complete the degree requirements in that term, the student will need to reapply to graduate in a future term and incur another $25.00 fee.
Commencement ceremony information will be communicated to all degree applicants approximately one month before graduation. Each student who has applied for graduation must submit an online Commencement Attendance Form via MyRED, which will be available when the information is distributed.
Only those students who have applied for graduation, had the application accepted, and fulfilled all degree requirements as of the last day of the academic term may participate in the commencement ceremony for that term. Ceremony participation is allowed only in the term during which the student has properly applied for graduation and fulfilled degree requirements.
Sophomore Standing. For admission to sophomore standing a student must have completed a minimum of 27 semester hours of credit.
Junior Standing. A student has junior standing after meeting the requirements for sophomore standing and completing 53 semester hours of credit.
Senior Standing. A student has senior standing after meeting the requirements for junior standing and completing 89 semester hours of credit.
The college will allow no waivers for graduation requirements. If students think they have met the intent of a particular requirement in some other fashion, they may submit a substitution request form.
The substitution request form requires students to justify the request and secure recommendations from an academic advisor. Students must submit completed requests to an academic advisor. Decisions to grant or deny requests will be made by their academic advisor on non-major issues and by the appropriate associate dean on issues regarding the major. Appeals will go to the college’s executive committee.
Students must remember that it is their responsibility to know and follow the graduation requirements of the college. A substitution request should come only after all other avenues of advising and course work have been exhausted.
A substitution shall be defined as:
- The replacement of a required course by a course of very similar content.
- Credit by examination when offered.
- The replacement of a required course with significant professional experience. This will be allowed only in rare instances. The experience will substitute only for course content, not for credit hours. Additional credit hours may be needed to maintain minimum credit hour requirements for graduation.
All students must fulfill the Achievement-Centered Education (ACE) requirements. Information about the ACE program may be viewed at http://ace.unl.edu.
Catalog to Use
Students who left the university in good standing may be readmitted to the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and they may choose the catalog under which they wish to graduate according to the following guidelines:
- Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the Undergraduate Catalog for the year they enter the College of Journalism and Mass Communications or in any subsequent catalog published while they are enrolled in the college.
- No returning student may use a catalog that is 10 years old or older. In addition, any student seeking graduation credit for a College of Journalism and Mass Communications course taken more than 10 years prior to graduation must demonstrate mastery of the material currently included in that course at the proficiency level satisfactory to the relevant associate dean and one or more faculty members qualified to teach the course in question. Students unable to demonstrate satisfactory mastery of the course material will be required to repeat the original course or a corresponding contemporary course designated by the college’s advisory committee, if the original course is no longer offered.
College Degree Requirements
College General Education Requirements
To graduate with a bachelor of journalism degree, students must complete requirements from the following areas:
- the University ACE requirements
- the requirements for a major offered by the college
- the non-major requirements that are specific to the college
College Non-Major Requirements
The college non-major requirements (NMR) are designed to further the purposes of liberal education by encouraging study in several different areas. Courses satisfying these requirements may impart specialized knowledge or broadly connect the subject matter to other areas of knowledge.
The college requires a second set of ACE 1 and ACE 3-9 courses beyond the ACE courses required by UNL. The ACE 4 course in group 1 must include a lab.
Candidates for the bachelor of journalism degree must abide by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication accrediting guidelines, which require 72 semester hours be completed outside the college in subjects approved by UNL as liberal education/liberal arts courses and traditional liberal arts and sciences courses. All ACE courses from outside the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and all traditional liberal arts courses (departments identified in the degree audit) will apply to Group 2, along with non-vocational ALEC courses, College of Business courses and College of Fine and Performing Arts courses and any from NUTR, HRTM, and TMFD, unless specifically excluded. These 72 hours of liberal education/liberal arts courses are identified as Group 2.
Students graduating with 120 hours can take a maximum of 48 hours in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Students may take additional hours in the college, but those hours will be in addition to the 120 hours required to graduate.
Group 3—Minor outside of the College
CoJMC majors must complete one minor outside the College of Journalism and Mass Communications as stipulated by the department offering the minor. Students may complete more than one minor if they wish.
Generally, CoJMC courses will not count toward a minor unless the department offering the minor approves the substitution. The CoJMC course that was substituted cannot be a required course in the CoJMC major and cannot count toward the total number of hours in the CoJMC major.
Students have the option to complete an inter-college major in the College of Arts & Sciences in lieu of a minor or a dual matriculation with any other UNL college. Students who dual matriculate must fully complete all degree requirements of both colleges.
Group 4—Languages—Classical and Modern: 0-6 or 10 hours
A student who has completed the fourth-year level of one foreign language in high school is exempt from the languages requirement. All foreign language courses as well as American Sign Language courses will also count in Group 2.
Options for completion of language requirement:
- Regular four-semester sequence: 101, 102, 201, and 202 (5, 5, 3, 3 hours for a total of 16)
- Three-semester sequence: 101, 102, and 210 (5, 5, 6 hours for a total of 16)
- Students who have completed at least two years of one foreign language in high school may satisfy the college’s foreign language requirement by completing 101 and 102 in a different foreign language.
- Students who have not taken four years of the same foreign language in high school but who complete the Modern Language Placement Exam and are placed into 203 (or higher) of that language, are exempt from the foreign language requirement without credit toward the degree.
Students who have taken three years or fewer of a foreign language in high school should contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for recommended placement.
A student who achieves a specified scaled score in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject exam in French, German and Spanish, Levels 1 and 2, may be exempted from the language requirement and may also receive credit for the fourth semester course in the language. Students who want to exercise this option must receive permission from an associate dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
A student who has demonstrated acceptable proficiency in a language other than English is exempt from the foreign language requirement without credit toward the degree (for example, international students who completed high school outside the United States). The student's academic advisor will determine whether a placement exam administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is necessary.
At least 30 of the 120 semester hours of credit must be in courses numbered above 299.
Minimum Hours Required for Graduation
A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for graduation from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
C- and D Grades
The college will accept no more than 15 semester hours of grades less than a C from any program outside the University of Nebraska system. No grades less than a C will count toward a CoJMC major. The college will honor minimum grade requirements stipulated by departments offering minors outside the college.
The college will accept up to 24 hours of Pass/No Pass courses toward a bachelor of journalism degree, subject to the following limits:
All courses in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications must be taken for grade only, unless otherwise specified. This applies to both majors and non-majors.
The Pass/No Pass (P/N) option is designed to be used by students seeking to expand their intellectual horizons by taking courses outside the college in areas where they may have minimum preparation without adversely affecting a student’s grade point average.
- Neither a P (pass) nor an N (no pass) contributes to a student’s GPA.
- P (pass) is interpreted to mean a grade of C or better. A student who earns a C- or lower will receive a grade of N.
- P/N is not available to students on academic probation unless the course is offered only that way.
- The 24-hour college limit does not include courses offered on a Pass/No Pass only basis or AP credit. This limit does apply to transfer courses from UNO, UNK, UNMC, and other institutions.
- P/N hours can count toward fulfillment of group requirements up to the 24-credit hour maximum (if the course is eligible as a P/N course).
- Students may change from graded to P/N or vice versa only until half way through the course. In either case, they must speak with an advisor before doing so.
Students must complete at least 30 of the 120 total hours for their degree at UNL. Students must complete at least half of their major course work including 6 hours above 299 in their major, and 15 of the 30 hours required above 299 in residence. Students transferring hours into the advertising and public relations, broadcasting, or journalism majors must meet additional requirements, which are described under Transfer Credit Rules. To encourage participation in international study, the college accepts all prior-approved education abroad credits as hours in residence.
Transfer Credit Rules
The goal of the following policy is to ensure that students from other campuses meet the same standards required of students who take all their courses at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
The college will accept up to 6 hours in journalism and mass communications courses taken at institutions that do not have an accredited journalism and mass communications program. Students must take the remainder of the required hours in their ADPR, BRDC, JOMC or JOUR courses from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In advertising and public relations, these courses must include one 300- or 400-level ADPR course and ADPR 429 Jacht Student Ad Agency, ADPR 439 Student Competitions or ADPR 489 Advertising and Public Relations Campaigns; and in broadcasting, BRDC 370 Broadcast News Writing and BRDC 472 Advanced Reporting or BRDC 360 Broadcast Writing and BRDC 462 Advanced Production. In journalism, the courses must include JOUR 302 Reporting II and either JOUR 401 Depth Reporting, JOUR 450 News-Net-Nebraska, JOUR 446 Nebraska Mosaic or JOUR 497 Nebraska News Service. Students from ACEJMC-accredited programs may request equivalency reviews of the required courses at those schools. Degree candidates must accumulate 72 credit hours of non-journalism and mass communications classes. These are to be selected from ACE courses outside of journalism and mass communications courses or courses in disciplines listed as Liberal Education/Liberal Arts, which includes non-vocational ALEC courses, College of Business courses and College of Fine and Performing Arts courses.
Credit for courses taken at foreign universities and colleges will be transferred only after evaluation by the appropriate associate dean. This evaluation may include examination of the student over subject matter studied at the foreign institution.
JGEN courses, which are open to students from any college, do not count in any College of Journalism and Mass Communications major, but can count toward ACE requirements. Non-College of Journalism and Mass Communications students must have permission to enroll in any ADPR, BRDC, or JOUR courses. Permission generally is reserved for students whose colleges have agreements with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Degrees & Majors
Bachelor of Journalism Degree Requirements
A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for graduation from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
A maximum of 12 hours of military science (MLSC), naval science (NAVS), and aerospace studies (AERO) may be counted toward the degree.
A maximum of 4 hours of practice courses in varsity sports and recreational activity courses (ATHP, COMB, FITN, INDV, ODED and RACS) or Basic Military Science, which is credit for active military duty, not ROTC course work.
Students must choose at least one of four undergraduate majors—advertising and public relations, broadcasting, journalism, or sports media and communication. Each of these majors consists of 40 credit hours and requires professional courses for students. Additionally, all students must take the following core courses:
|JOMC 20||Professional Development/Sophomore Experience||0|
|JOMC 100||The First Year Experience||1|
|JOMC 101||Principles of Mass Media||3|
|JOMC 130||Introduction to Design Thinking||1|
|JOMC 131||Visual Communication Core Modules I||1|
|JOMC 132||Visual Communication Core Modules II||1|
|JOMC 133||Visual Communication Advanced Modules||1|
|JOMC 134||Visual Communication Project||2|
|JOMC 486||Mass Media Law||3|
|JOMC 487 / SPMC 487||Mass Media and Society 1||3|
|JOMC 98||Senior Assessment||0|
See the major page for specifics about these courses.
Students may complete two or more majors in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications by completing all requirements for each major. However, the additional major(s) in the college will not take the place of a minor outside the college, shown in Group 3.
A student in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications pursuing a bachelor of journalism degree may also complete another major in the College of Arts and Sciences. The student must complete all degree requirements in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and the requirements of the arts and sciences major. Because students will not be earning a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, they may not be eligible for arts and sciences scholarships and aid, but they may be eligible for journalism and mass communications scholarships and aid.
A student who prefers to receive a second degree would file for dual matriculation. Such a student would complete an additional 30 hours as part of earning the second degree.
Graduate Student Information
Seniors in the University who have obtained in advance the approval of the dean for Graduate Studies may receive up to 12 credit hours for graduate courses taken in addition to the courses necessary to complete their undergraduate work, provided that such credits are earned within the calendar year prior to receipt of the baccalaureate. For procedures, inquire at the Office of Graduate Studies.
Course work taken prior to receipt of the baccalaureate may not be accepted for transfer to other institutions as graduate work.
The Graduate Program
A graduate program, leading to the master of arts degree, was established in 1975. It is designed to prepare the student to translate more effectively to mass audiences the complexities of a rapidly changing society. The program offers three graduate specializations:
- Media Studies
- Integrated Media Communications
- Professional Journalism
Students entering the program must have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in an accredited program in journalism and mass communications or extensive professional experience. Persons seeking more information about graduate study in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications should consult the graduate catalog or call or write the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Center for Graduate Study and Professional Journalism, 127 Andersen Hall, 402-472-3042, or visit the college’s website.
Hitchcock Center for Graduate Study and Professional Journalism Development
The Hitchcock Center, with a $250,000 endowment from the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation, helps finance the graduate program in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and further develops the skills of Nebraska’s professional journalists. It accomplishes the latter goal by giving direct support to the state’s professional journalists through research projects and statewide workshops aimed at improving skills in news writing, broadcasting and advertising and public relations. The center also funds a $5,000 graduate fellowship. Gilbert M. Hitchcock was a United States senator from Nebraska and founder of the Omaha World-Herald.