BS in Journalism

The undergraduate program in Journalism offers a robust selection of courses and training in the areas of reporting, writing, editing, production, design, and civic responsibility. Students in the program will not only learn these skills but also gain a deeper understanding of how to be a successful professional in the industry, including how to meet deadlines, how to conduct interviews and research, and ways to innovate in the field. In conjunction with the Boston University Hub, the program also ensures students receive a strong liberal arts education.

The full curriculum is designed to allow students to solve the most challenging aspects of professional journalism and instill the confidence that they can be on the front lines while also respecting cultural and ethical boundaries. Graduates of the program will be equipped with the skills to become members of the elite field of journalism and 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:

  • Apply basic principles such as accuracy, fairness and public service, and communicate clearly in analog and digital journalism platforms.
  • 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.
  • Understand and discuss the historical, legal, and ethical underpinnings of American media.
  • Design and execute an effective job search in journalism.


All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular 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, cocurricular 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 first-year students)
  • COM CO 575 COM Practicum (0 cr) (can be taken by first-year students)

Departmental Requirements

(6 courses, 24 credits)

  • COM CO 201 Introduction to Communication Writing (prereq: CAS WR 120 or transfer equivalent WR 13X) (can be taken by first-year students)
  • COM JO 150 History and Principles of Journalism (can be taken by first-year students)
  • COM JO 200 Newswriting (prereq: CAS WR 120 and COM CO 201)
  • COM JO 205 Visual Storytelling
  • COM JO 210 Reporting in Depth (prereq: COM 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: COM JO 150, JO 200, JO 205, and JO 210) (please note that this is a repeatable class)


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


  • COM JO 546 Journalism Statehouse Program (prereq: consent of Statehouse Program 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 advisors and faculty mentors at the College of Communication, and will be updated routinely to mirror the ever-changing world of professional journalism.

  • COM JO 300 Media and Democracy (prereq: COM JO 150)
  • COM JO 309 Feature Writing (prereq: COM JO 200, JO 205, and JO 210)
  • COM JO 312 Photojournalism I (prereq: COM JO 205)
  • COM JO 322 Smart-Phone Reporting (prereq: COM JO 200)
  • COM JO 351 Reporting with Audio and Video (prereq: COM JO 200 and JO 205)
  • COM JO 403 Magazine Writing and Editing (prereq COM JO 200 and JO 210)
  • COM JO 404 Radio Station Management (prereq: instructor consent)
  • COM JO 411 or 412 COM Internship (variable credit) (prereq: COM JO 200 and JO 205, junior standing, good academic standing)*
  • COM JO 427 Narrative Journalism (prereq: COM JO 200)
  • COM JO 435 Radio Newsroom (prereq: COM JO 200, JO 205, and JO 351)
  • COM JO 451 Television Newsroom (prereq: COM JO 200, JO 205, and JO 351)
  • COM JO 490 Directed Study (variable credit) (prereq: instructor and departmental consent)**
  • COM JO 500 Media Criticism (prereq: sophomore standing)
  • COM JO 501 Business and Economics Reporting (prereq: COM JO 200)
  • COM JO 502 Special Topics (prereqs may vary)
  • COM JO 503 Journalism Research (prereq: COM JO 200)
  • COM JO 504 Arts Criticism (prereq: sophomore standing)
  • COM JO 505 Race and Gender in Media (prereq: sophomore standing)
  • COM JO 511 Covering Politics (prereq: consent of Statehouse Program instructor)
  • COM JO 512 Editorial Design (prereq: COM JO 205)
  • COM JO 513 Photojournalism II (prereq: COM JO 205 and JO 312)
  • COM JO 514 Sports Journalism (prereq: COM JO 200)
  • COM JO 519 Narrative Radio (prereq: COM JO 200, JO 205, JO 351, and JO 435)
  • COM JO 520 Advanced Editorial Design (prereq: COM JO 205 and JO 512)
  • COM JO 521 Data Journalism (prereq: COM JO 200)
  • COM JO 522 Filmmaking for Journalists (prereq: COM JO 205)
  • COM JO 524 Sports Reporting and Production (prereq: COM JO 200, JO 205, and JO 351)
  • COM JO 532 Sports Seminar (prereq: COM JO 200)
  • COM JO 535 Investigative Reporting (prereq: COM JO 200, JO 210)
  • COM JO 537 Advanced Visual Storytelling (prereq: COM JO 205)
  • COM JO 541 Art of the Interview (prereq: consent of instructor)
  • COM JO 542 Literature of Journalism (prereq: COM JO 150)
  • COM JO 543 Rescuing Lost Stories (prereq: COM JO 150 and JO 200)
  • COM JO 544 Trauma Journalism (prereq: COM JO 150)
  • COM JO 547 Sports Storytelling (prereq: COM JO 200)

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

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

(Suggested Pathways include possibilities in: Reporting—COM JO 351, JO 501, JO 508, JO 511, JO 535; Long-Form/Feature Writing—COM JO 309, JO 403, JO 519, JO 541, JO 542; Visual Journalism—COM JO 301, JO 312, JO 513, JO 520, JO 522, JO 537; Criticism—COM JO 500, JO 504, JO 505, JO 511; Data and Research Methods—COM 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.

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 COM CO 201.