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    Columbia Campus
  Jun 20, 2024
2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

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Charles Bierbauer, Dean, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies
Tom Weir, Interim 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. Visual communications 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 SJMC administration. 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.

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 school. 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 school while on probation for only one semester, after which the student will be administratively removed from the school 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 director 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 and cumulative 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 six programs of study:

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


  • JOUR 101 - Media and Society

    Credits: 3

    Principles, history, philosophies, theories of the mass media and allied professions and their societal role and impact.

  • JOUR 201 - Principles of Public Relations

    Credits: 3

    Methods used by business, government, consumer groups, minorities, environmentalists, and others to influence public attitudes toward their activities.

  • JOUR 202 - Principles of Advertising and Brand Communications

    Credits: 3

    An introduction to the advertising and strategic communications industries. Discussion of the structure and history of the business, social impacts and regulations, research, planning, creative, media planning, sales promotion, event promotion and the integrated nature of all promotional communication.

  • JOUR 203 - Principles of Visual Communications

    Credits: 3

    Theory and history of visual communication in the mass media emphasizing informational and persuasive messages created by graphic, photographic, and multimedia processes.

  • JOUR 204 - Principles of Journalism

    Credits: 3

    Principles and foundations of journalism to reflect both how journalism serves communities and how its techniques are developed to effectively communication to audiences.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 101

  • JOUR 205 - History and Philosophy of the Mass Media

    Credits: 3

    Development of the mass media in the United States from colonial times to the present. The effects of American social, cultural, political, and economic theory on the media.

  • JOUR 291 - Writing for Mass Communications

    Credits: 3

    Basic writing skills for all areas of the mass media. Lecture-laboratory.

    Prerequisites: ENGL 101 and 102 with grade of C or higher

  • JOUR 303 - Law and Ethics of Mass Communications

    Credits: 3

    State and federal statutory and administrative law and the role of the regulatory agencies in mass communication; professional ethics in journalism and mass communications.

  • JOUR 305 - Mass Media Telecommunications

    Credits: 3

    History and development of telecommunications in the mass media, including radio, TV, cable, satellites.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 201

  • JOUR 306 - Theories of Mass Communications

    Credits: 3

    Survey of predominate theories in mass communications including mass media uses, functions, and effects.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 101

  • JOUR 310 - Mass Media and Society

    Credits: 3

    Functions, responsibilities, and influences of various media of mass communications. Directed toward consumers and critics of mass media. Not open to journalism/mass communications majors.

  • JOUR 311 - Minorities, Women, and the Mass Media

    Credits: 3

    The study of the relationship among persons of color, women, and the mass media in the United States.

    Cross-listed Course: WGST 311

  • JOUR 316L - Toolkit for Brand Communication Lab

    Credits: 1

    Lab corequisite to JOUR 316 lecture - project execution related to visual and verbal concepts of brand communications.

    Corequisite: JOUR 316

    Prerequisites: JOUR 202 and 291

  • JOUR 326 - Television Production

    Credits: 3

    Techniques and procedures in the creation, production and direction of television programs.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 201 and 202

  • JOUR 330 - Advertising and Brand Communications Speaker Series

    Credits: 1

    Advertising and brand communications industry experts share insights about industry trends, innovative campaigns and careers.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 101

  • JOUR 332 - Mass Communications Research

    Credits: 3

    Fundamentals of mass communications research methods and applications. Survey, observational and experimental research; primary research data-gathering techniques; secondary research sources; data analysis; message, market, competitive and audience research measures.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 101 and a course in basic statistics

  • JOUR 333 - Public Relations for Nonprofit Organizations

    Credits: 3

    Theory and practice of developing public relations strategies and messaging for nonprofit organizations with a focus on audience research, donor relations, membership recruitment and fund raising.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 291

  • JOUR 346 - Graphics for Visual Communications

    Credits: 3

    The personal computer and software related to the design and production of graphic and photographic images for print and onscreen media.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 203

  • JOUR 347 - Photovisual Communications I: Photography

    Credits: 3

    Introduction to photography that includes digitial SLR camera usage, photography creation, editing, distribution and display. Emphasis is on story-telling images for publication in editorial and persuasive media. Addresses various considerations for photographers working in those media.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 203

  • JOUR 361 - Introductory Reporting and Writing

    Credits: 3

    Basics of news reporting: Story generation, critical thinking, story development, writing, shooting and editing broadcast stories, writing Web stories, using visual components of still pictures, graphics and video.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 291

  • JOUR 362 - Editing

    Credits: 3

    Skills and techniques required in preparing stories for publication. Laboratory work includes editing various kinds of copy and writing headlines.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 291

  • JOUR 421 - Media Analysis

    Credits: 3

    Research and development of a media plan using integrated communications approach and simulation models.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 202 and junior standing, or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 434 - Electronic Journalism

    Credits: 3

    Preparing and presenting news and public affairs reports for the electronic media.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 325, 326

  • JOUR 436 - Public Relations Writing

    Credits: 3

    Special areas of writing for public relations.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 201 and JOUR 291

  • JOUR 437 - Advanced Public Relations Writing

    Credits: 3

    An applied writing skills laboratory that will review and create advanced types of public relations writing and study applicable theory, models and research methods.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 101, 201, 291 and 436

  • JOUR 446 - Informational Graphics

    Credits: 3

    Visual presentation of quantitative and spatial information. Examines the planning, design, and preparation of statistical graphs, charts, timelines, diagrams, and maps.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 203, 346 and STAT 110

  • JOUR 447 - Photovisual Communications II: Advanced Photography

    Credits: 3

    Developing professional, portfolio-quality photographic images for use in the mass media.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 347

    Note: Carolina Core Integrative Course, Advertising, BAJMC
    Carolina Core Integrative Course, Public Relations, BAJMC

  • JOUR 452 - Electronic Mass Media Writing

    Credits: 3

    Preparation of scripts for mass media electronic presentation.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 202

  • JOUR 458 - Creative Strategy in Advertising

    Credits: 3

    Formulating creative campaigns and viable strategies, and writing copy for print and broadcast media; basic principles of design.

    Cross-listed Course: MKTG 458

    Prerequisites: JOUR 202 and 368

  • JOUR 475 - Applications of Telecommunications Research

    Credits: 3

    Use and application of research by media professionals; identification, evaluation, and application of research findings to management needs.

  • JOUR 499 - Special Topics

    Credits: 3

    Topics in journalism and mass communications. Individual topics and prerequisites to be announced with suffix and title.

  • JOUR 501 - Freedom, Responsibility, and Ethics of the Mass Media

    Credits: 3

    Historical development of freedom, responsibility, and ethics in the mass media, including communication theories, pressures, ownership.

  • JOUR 502 - Advanced Radio Programming

    Credits: 3

    Practical application to radio programming of the various skills and principles acquired in prerequisite courses. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 503, 526, and 534.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 325, 333, and either 434 or 452, or equivalent

  • JOUR 503 - Advanced Television Programming

    Credits: 3

    Practical application to television programming of the various skills and principles acquired in prerequisite courses. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 502, 526, and 534

    Prerequisites: JOUR 326, 333, and either 434 or 452, or equivalent

  • JOUR 505 - Language and Communications Media

    Credits: 3

    Effects of communicative styles on the behavior of audiences.

  • JOUR 506 - Mass Media Criticism

    Credits: 3

    Development of critical thinking skills for analyzing mass media.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 101

    Note: Carolina Core Integrative Course, Journalism (Mass Communications Concentration), BAJMC

  • JOUR 516 - Advanced Creative

    Credits: 3

    Development of writing styles for print and broadcast advertising.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 416 or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 517 - Integrated Campaigns

    Credits: 3

    The development of a complete, well coordinated integrated communications plan that incorporates research and analysis techniques, critical thinking, team work, creative and tactical skills.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 416 and 421

    Note: Carolina Core Integrative Course, Advertising, BAJMC

  • JOUR 518 - Brand Communications Practicum/Competitions

    Credits: 3

    Application of advertising techniques and skills in preparation of full scale campaign.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 332, 416, 421, and consent of instructor

  • JOUR 523 - Television Directing

    Credits: 3

    Theories, techniques, and principles of television directing.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 326 or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 524 - Advertising Management

    Credits: 3

    Planning and executing advertising in the retail store; the retail store’s relationship with the sales departments of communications media.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 202 and senior standing

  • JOUR 528 - Cause Communications: Service Learning Experience

    Credits: 3

    Theory and practice of communications for social causes integrated with a service learning component.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 316

  • JOUR 530 - Creative Leadership

    Credits: 3

    Theories of leadership as applied to creative industries. Students will engage and interact with community-based organizations to assess needs, plan communications strategies, lead student teams in developing those ideas, and present to clients.

    Prerequisites: Junior or permission of instructor

  • JOUR 531 - Public Relations Campaigns

    Credits: 3

    Development of public relations campaigns for business and social institutions. Case studies of public relations campaigns and programs.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 201, 332, 436 and senior standing

  • JOUR 533 - Public Relations Management

    Credits: 3

    Researching, programming, staff, budgeting, and planning public-relations programs by business, government, or consulting firms.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 201, 436, and senior standing or permission of instructor

  • JOUR 534 - Publication Writing and Design

    Credits: 3

    Publication writing and design as well as internal or constituent communications, specifically focused on an internal audience. Production of InterCom, the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies’ alumni magazine.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 291 and sequence specific upper level writing course

  • JOUR 536 - Crisis Communications

    Credits: 3

    Anayzing public relations emergencies impacting businesses or clients. Techniques for ensuring positive outcomes when confronting public relations crises.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 201 and 436 or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 538 - The Bateman Team

    Credits: 3

    Self-directed development and implementation of a public relations campaign as part of a national competition (PRSSA’s Bateman Competition).

    Prerequisites: JOUR 332 and 436

  • JOUR 540 - Magazine Article Writing

    Credits: 3

    Researching, organizing, writing, and marketing articles for publication in general and specialized publications.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 361 or 436, or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 541 - International Mass Communications

    Credits: 3

    A comparative study of world mass communications media, with particular attention to press systems, the sources and flow of international news, and the problems and implications of world communications.

  • old JOUR 542

    JOUR 542 - Public Opinion and Persuasion

    Credits: 3

    Theory and practice of persuasive communication and the role of persuasion in shaping public opinion.

  • JOUR 543 - Telecommunications and Society

    Credits: 3

    Telecommunications industries, including broadcast stations, networks, cable and satellite systems; relationships with social patterns and economic and political systems.

  • JOUR 544 - High School Journalism

    Credits: 3

    Restricted to nonjournalism majors and graduates. Study of the problems of high school publications and their advisors, designed especially for the high school teachers of journalism and for the advisors of junior high and high school newspapers.

  • old JOUR 546

    JOUR 546 - Advanced Copyediting

    Credits: 3

    Application of journalistic techniques in the production of School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ publications. Lecture and laboratory.

    Corequisite: JOUR 529, 533, 536 or instructor permission

    Prerequisites: JOUR 532


  • JOUR 549 - Introduction to Magazine Editing

    Credits: 3

    Skills required for work on magazines. Extensive preparation in all phases of magazine production.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 333

  • JOUR 550 - Advanced Magazine Article Writing

    Credits: 3

    Writing techniques used in the preparation and marketing of major nonfiction articles for national, regional, and local publications.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 540 or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 551 - Newspaper Management

    Credits: 3

    Publishing the daily and weekly newspaper; advertising, circulation, editorials and news policy, personnel, production, and promotion.

  • JOUR 552 - Cable/Satellite Communication

    Credits: 3

    Development of cable systems and satellites as instruments of mass communication; history and current practices.

  • JOUR 554 - Telecommunications Law and Regulation

    Credits: 3

    Federal, state, and local regulation of electronic mass media, including broadcast, cable, satellite.

  • JOUR 556 - Broadcast Station Management

    Credits: 3

    Development, management, and operation of radio and television stations.

  • JOUR 559 - Advanced Magazine Editing

    Credits: 3

    The writing, editing, design, and production of a professional-quality magazine.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 549

  • JOUR 560 - Capstone Portfolio Development

    Credits: 3

    Advanced techniques of graphic and multimedia design and their application to problem-solving situations in the mass media. Emphasis on portfolio development.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 446, 447, 449

    Note: Carolina Core Integrative Course, Visual Communications, BAJMC

  • JOUR 562 - Communicating Science, Health and the Environment

    Credits: 3

    Explores the role of journalism in shaping perceptions of scientific issues and task. Emphasis on methods of effectively communicating about science, health, and the environment.

  • JOUR 563P - Public/Civic Journalism

    Credits: 3

    To gain an understanding of theory and practice of public/civic journalism, seen by its advocates as socially responsible journalism that attempts to build civic participation and empower communities.

  • JOUR 565 - Advanced Media Analysis

    Credits: 3

    Advanced analysis of media planning concepts and approaches currently being practiced in the industry.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 465 or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 570 - Newspaper in the Classroom

    Credits: 3

    An intense study of daily and weekly newspapers as supplementary teaching tools in the public school classroom. Consultation with professional journalists, journalism educators, and public school teachers

  • JOUR 571 - Faith, Values, and the Mass Media

    Credits: 3

    Faith and values influence the media. An examination of the influence, why it happens, and of religious diversity and the increased public presence of religions, including Hinduism and Islam.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 291 and junior or senior standing or consent of instructor

  • old JOUR 536

    JOUR 572 - Advanced Reporting

    Credits: 3

    Special areas of writing, such as science, medicine, business, the courts and research. Application of changing technology and new equipment.

    Corequisite: JOUR 529, 533, 546 or instructor permission

    Prerequisites: JOUR 532


  • JOUR 573 - Editorial and Opinion Writing

    Credits: 3

    Content and style; writing of editorials, analyses, and commentaries.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 333 and 335

  • JOUR 574 - Computer-Assisted Reporting

    Credits: 3

    Fundamentals of computer-assisted reporting for print and broadcast news stories.

    Prerequisites: CSCE 101 or equivalent

  • JOUR 575 - Broadcast Journalism Practicum

    Credits: 3

    Production of public affairs programs. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 502, 503, and 526.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 326, 333, and 434

  • JOUR 576 - Reporting Public Affairs

    Credits: 3

    Concentrated analyses of reporting in special fields, particularly in the South, including coverage of government, business, labor, the arts and sciences.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 361

  • old JOUR 533

    JOUR 577 - Newspaper Feature Articles

    Credits: 3

    Feature writing under deadline conditions.

    Corequisite: JOUR 529, 536, 546 or instructor’s permission

    Prerequisites: JOUR 532


  • JOUR 578 - Publication Advising

    Credits: 3

    Newspaper and yearbook advising in middle and high schools, including writing, editing, design, history, law, photojournalism, computer use, multicutural recruitment, and team building.

  • JOUR 579 - Broadcast Announcing

    Credits: 3

    Theory and practice of professional broadcast announcing. Lecture-demonstration-laboratory course in principles underlying professional performance before microphones and cameras and the various broadcast performance functions.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 325 or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 580 - Advanced Reporting Topics

    Credits: 3

    Study and application of highly specialized reporting on topics related to current public discourse. May be repeated as content varies by title.

    Corequisite: JOUR 587, 589, and 590 or JOUR 586, 588, and 590

  • JOUR 581 - Advanced TV Production and Direction

    Credits: 3

    Technical and creative use of television video and audio equipment in public affairs, entertainment programs, commercials, public service, and promotional spot announcements. Must be taken concurrently with JOUR 502, 503, and 534.

    Prerequisites: JOUR 523, 333, or consent of instructor

  • JOUR 582 - Photo-Visual Communications

    Credits: 3

    Communicative visuals in journalism media.

  • JOUR 583 - Newspaper Photojournalism

    Credits: 6

    Practice as a staff photographer and/or picture editor for publication. (For journalism majors only.)

    Prerequisites: JOUR 515

    Note: Carolina Core Integrative Course, Advertising, BAJMC

  • JOUR 597 - Internship in Mass Communications

    Credits: 3

    Supervised professional experience. Maximum of three hours credit. Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department head is required. Grading is Pass/Fail.

    Prerequisites: consent of Sequence Chair and Dean’s Office prior to registration

  • JOUR 598 - Directed Independent Studies

    Credits: 1-6

    Individual mass media projects. Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department head is required for undergraduate students.

    Prerequisites: consent of Sequence Chair and Dean’s office prior to registration

  • JOUR 599 - Advanced Special Topics

    Credits: 3

    Advanced topics in journalism and mass communications. Individual topics and prerequisites to be announced with suffix and title.

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