BS in Journalism

In conjunction with the Boston University Hub, the Department of Journalism offers a robust selection of core courses and recommended professional pathways to provide knowledge and training in the areas of reporting, writing, editing, production, design, cultural sensitivity, and civic responsibility, as well as to supply the core understanding and management of professional journalism when it relates to deadlines, interviewing, research, and innovation in the field. 

The full curriculum is designed to provide for students to solve the most challenging aspects of professional journalism and to instill confidence to be on the front lines of understanding the cultural and ethical boundaries and opportunities of becoming members of the esteemed and elite field of professional journalists, in order to safeguard the sanctity of the free press. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, students will be able to:

  1. Students apply basic principles such as accuracy, fairness and public service, and communicate clearly in analog and digital journalism platforms.
  2. Students conduct research using a variety of sources and evaluate the accuracy of such information, with the goal of furthering a society built on the foundation of free speech.
  3. Students understand and discuss the historical, legal, and ethical underpinnings of American media.
  4. Students design and execute an effective job search in journalism.

Curriculum

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Journalism will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy all BU Hub requirements in Communication, as well as some in Philosophical, Aesthetic and Historical Interpretation; Scientific and Social Inquiry; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences. 

Requirements specific to the College of Communication Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism are separated into four levels. The first level is College-wide requirements—4 credits comprising CO 101 and an additional 0-credit professional practicum—that provide the foundation for a future in any communication field. Beyond that are departmental requirements, 24 credits which encompass important aspects of journalism from several angles: Writing, Reporting, Historical Assessment, and Visual Acuity. Then, there is a Professional Core Requirement, comprising either a professional Newsroom experience, an internship through the Boston State House Program, or a Professional Project conducted with one of our full-time faculty. Finally, there is a 16-credit Journalism Program requirement, which will likely be comprised of a pathway in Reporting, Long-Form/Feature Writing, Visual Journalism, Criticism, or Data and Research Methods.

COM Requirements

(1 course and a practicum, 4 credits)

  • COM CO 101 The Human Storyteller (coreq: CAS WR 120) (must be taken with a C or higher to continue in COM) (can be taken by freshmen)
  • COM CO 575 COM Practicum (0 credits) (can be taken by freshmen)

Departmental Requirements

(6 courses, 24 credits)

  • COM CO 201 Introduction to Communication Writing (prereq: WR 120) (can be taken by freshmen)
  • COM JO 150 History and Principles of Journalism (can be taken by freshmen)
  • COM JO 200 Newswriting (prereq: CAS WR 120 and COM CO 201)
  • COM JO 205 Visual Storytelling
  • COM JO 210 Reporting in Depth (prereq: JO 200 and JO 205)
  • COM JO 350 Law and Ethics of Journalism

Professional Core Requirement

(choose one of the following; 4 to 8 credits)

  • COM JO 400 Newsroom (prereq: JO 150, JO 200, JO 205, JO 210, and JO 350) (will be accompanied by a 1-credit Innovation Lab—JO 401) (*JO 401 cannot count toward graduation) (please note that this is a repeatable class)

or

  • COM JO 455 Professional Project (prereq: approval of faculty committee) (variable credit)

or

  • COM JO 546 Journalism Statehouse Program (prereq: approval of instructor) (8 cr)

Students who take more than one of the Journalism Professional Core courses can use those extra credits toward the Journalism Program Requirements.

Journalism Program Courses

(must complete 16 credits of the following, any 300-level JO course can count)

*Recommended (but not required) pathways are available through consultation with professional and faculty advisors at the College of Communication, and will be updated routinely to mirror the ever-changing world of professional journalism.

  • COM JO 301 Editorial Design
  • COM JO 309 Feature Writing (prereq: JO 200, JO 205, and JO 210)
  • COM JO 312 Photojournalism I (prereq: JO 205)
  • COM JO 351 Reporting with Audio and Video (prereq: JO 200 and JO 205)
  • COM JO 403 Magazine Writing and Editing
  • COM JO 404 Radio Station Management (prereq: instructor consent)
  • COM JO 412 COM Internship (variable credit) (prereq: JO 200 and JO 205, junior standing, good academic standing)*
  • COM JO 435 Radio Newsroom (prereq: JO 200, JO 205, and JO 351)
  • COM JO 451 Television Newsroom (prereq: JO 200, JO 205, and JO 351)
  • COM JO 490 Directed Study (variable credit) (prereq: instructor and departmental consent)**
  • COM JO 500 Media Criticism
  • COM JO 501 Business and Economics Reporting (prereq: JO 200)
  • COM JO 502 Special Topics (variable credit, prereqs may vary)
  • COM JO 504 Arts Criticism
  • COM JO 505 Race and Gender in Media
  • COM JO 511 Covering Politics
  • COM JO 512 Editorial Design (prereq: JO 205)
  • COM JO 513 Photojournalism II (prereq: JO 205 and JO 312)
  • COM JO 514 Sports Journalism (prereq: JO 200)
  • COM JO 519 Narrative Radio (prereq: JO 200, JO 205, JO 351, and JO 435)
  • COM JO 520 Advanced Editorial Design (prereq: JO 205 and JO 512)
  • COM JO 521 Data Journalism (prereq: JO 200)
  • COM JO 524 Sports Reporting and Production (prereq: JO 200, JO 205, and JO 351)
  • COM JO 527 Narrative Journalism (prereq: JO 200)
  • COM JO 532 Sports Seminar (prereq: JO 200)
  • COM JO 541 Art of the Interview (prereq: consent of instructor)
  • COM JO 542 Literature of Journalism (prereq: JO 150)
  • COM JO 543 Restoring Lost Stories (prereq: JO 150 and JO 200)

*Only 4 total credits of JO 412 can count for this requirement.

**Only 4 total credits of JO 490 can count for this requirement.

(Suggested Pathways include possibilities in: Reporting—JO 351, JO 501, JO 508, JO 511, JO 535; Long-Form/Feature Writing—JO 309, JO 403, JO 519, JO 541, JO 542; Visual Journalism—JO 301, JO 312, JO 513, JO 520, JO 537; Criticism—JO 500, JO 504, JO 505, JO 511; Data and Research Methods—JO 435, JO 451, JO 521, JO 543.) 

While a minimum of 48 credits are required within the College of Communication, students are encouraged to take the majority of the remainder of their courses, both in and out of the Hub, in areas outside of their major in order to augment their academic experience with the professional aspects of their major. Minors and dual degrees in other BU schools and colleges, while not required, are strongly recommended.

Students in the College of Communication can count no more than 52 credits (13 courses) in their home department, on the Charles River Campus, toward the degree program. This would include CO 201.