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    Columbia Campus
  Mar 26, 2023
2009-2010 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin 
2009-2010 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Charles Bierbauer, Dean, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies
Carol J. Pardun, Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Faculty Progression Requirements
Overview Programs and Courses
Entrance Requirements Website


As a professional school grounded strongly in the liberal arts, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications emphasizes the value of a broad educational foundation as well as proficiency in mass communication skills. In addition to its instructional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, it offers an extensive program in continuing education and maintains wide-ranging journalism services benefiting both the community and the profession. Its research programs are assuming an increasingly important role in scholarly study. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

The school serves as headquarters for the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association, the South Carolina Scholastic Broadcasters Association, and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association; faculty members serve as the directors of each. In cooperation with the associations, the school conducts and promotes clinics in graphics, newswriting, editing, photography, advertising, public relations, broadcasting, and management in mass communications.

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, a national journalism education organization, has its headquarters in Columbia, as does the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications, an organization of journalism school administrators.

Facilities servicing the electronic practicum in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications include television studios, digital stereo radio control rooms and studios, portable TV cameras and recorders plus associated editing equipment, and the Associated Press broadcast news service. The print practicum has extensive professional electronic editing and digital photocomposition equipment. Advertising and public relations students use all of the above on a regular basis, plus graphics facilities available in their own laboratory. Photojournalism studios and laboratories are also available. All journalism students have access to the school’s computer labs during posted hours. Students are also encouraged to participate in the campus radio station, newspaper, and magazine.

Internships are available to students in all sequences, generally during the summer between the junior and senior years, but they may also be accomplished during a regular semester. These are supervised educational activities for which the student may receive three hours of academic credit. To assist journalism majors in finding employment after graduation, the school operates a placement service for graduating seniors and alumni.

Entrance Requirements

Freshman Students. In order to be admitted to a program of study in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, freshmen must meet all University admission requirements. In order to continue in the program, each student must attain a minimum USC GPA of 2.50 upon completion of 30 degree-applicable hours. Credit received for remedial work is not counted toward the 30 hours.

Transfer Students. A student desiring to transfer to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, from either another college of the University or another institution, must have a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.50 on all work attempted. Transfer students from other institutions must take at least half the journalism and mass communications course work in residence at the University of South Carolina Columbia. Required journalism and mass communications courses from non-ACEJMC-accredited institutions, in order to be applied to the journalism and mass communications degree, must be validated by proficiency tests. Other journalism and mass communications courses from those institutions may be used as journalism and mass communications electives at the discretion of the sequence director. No more than 12 semester hours of journalism and mass communications-related courses from non-ACEJMC-accredited institutions will be applied toward the journalism and mass communications degree.

Because assignments in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications must be written on computers, students must be able to keyboard with reasonable speed and accuracy.

Completion of ENGL 101 and 102 with grades of C or higher are prerequisites for JOUR 202.

Progression Requirements

Each student within the school is expected to make orderly progress toward a baccalaureate degree. To facilitate this, the school’s undergraduate program is divided into upper and lower divisions.

  1. Lower-division students are those who have earned fewer than 60 semester hours toward the degree or who do not meet admission requirements to the upper division. Lower-division students may not enroll in upper-division journalism courses, which include all 500-level courses.
  2. Entrance into 300+ level skill courses in the electronic journalism sequence is competitive and is not guaranteed. Students can declare the major at any time. However, they must formally apply for permission to continue with the program the semester before they intend to take JOUR 326. Applications are due October 1 (for spring admission) and March 1 (for fall admission) and can be picked up at Student Services. Applications will NOT be accepted after established deadlines. Admission is based on strength of the student’s letter of interest and USC GPA. Students may also be asked to interview with a selection committee (members of which are selected by the sequence chair). Students who do not meet established requirements may reapply the following semester.
  3. Admission to the upper division is based upon a minimum 2.50 cumulative USC GPA; completion of JOUR 201 and 202 with grades of C or higher; completion of 60 or more semester hours toward the degree; completion of foreign language requirement; selection of a particular program of study within the college; and selection and approval of a minor.
  4. All students must maintain a minimum 2.50 GPA in USC courses in order to maintain good standing in the college. Grades will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who have less than a 2.50 GPA in USC work are not in good standing and will be placed on probation within the school. Students will be permitted to remain in the college while on probation for only one semester, after which the student will be administratively removed from the college if their cumulative USC GPA is less than a 2.50. With the exception of upper-division courses, they may continue to take course work toward their degree if seats are available.
  5. All majors within the school will be expected to pass all journalism and mass communications courses used toward the degree with a minimum grade of C.
  6. No journalism and mass communications course may be repeated more than once by any student unless formally approved by the school petition committee.

Second Degree. Students from other USC colleges who expect to obtain a second baccalaureate degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications must file a statement of intent with the school before reaching senior status, must meet regular admission and progression requirements of the school, must be assigned a journalism advisor, and must formally apply to and be accepted by the school not later than the next-to-the-last semester in which the student expects to receive the journalism degree.

Classes. In all journalism and mass communications classes, enrollment priority will be given to journalism and mass communications majors who are in good academic standing in the school.

Suspension. All students within the school are subject to the University suspension rules as stated in the bulletin. Students admitted to the school as of August 19, 2004, or thereafter, whose USC GPA is less than 2.50 at the time of their suspension, may petition to be readmitted on a probationary status with conditions of probation determined by the dean of the school.

Graduation. All students admitted to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications as of August 19, 2004, and thereafter, must have a minimum 2.50 GPA on all USC work attempted, in addition to meeting all academic degree requirements, in order to obtain a degree from the college.

Programs and Courses

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers five programs of study: advertising, public relations, visual communications, broadcast journalism, and journalism. All programs of study are accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education for Journalism and Mass Communications. The degree offered by the school is the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications.

School of Journalism and Mass Communications



Undergraduate Major

Undergraduate Minor