B.A. in Journalism

Getting Started

If you are a freshman or are transferring with no courses in journalism, view the student course outline and start with Journalism 190 (Intro to Mass Media) and Journalism 207 (Newswriting).

For transfer students, college courses numbered 100 and 200 may be used to satisfy an equivalent lower-division course in the Journalism major or minor, up to a maximum of 15 credits upon approval of the department. A maximum of four credits in staff courses taken elsewhere may be accepted as substitutes for WWU staff courses subject to earning a 3.0 grade or better in a newspaper staff course at Western. In that event, majors and minors must take at least two staff courses at Western. An unofficial transcript from your community college or previous university is required.

Recommended Supporting Courses

Journalists need a solid grounding in public affairs -- particularly the structure and functioning of local, state and national political and economic institutions -- and in the major issues of the day. Historical perspective is important as well.

Journalists also must be conversant with the sciences and the arts. Courses that broaden horizons or deepen insights are recommended.

Basic photography is recommended.

Declaring as a Pre-Major

We have prepared the following guidelines for pre-major status to help you move toward becoming a major. We urge you to move on to major status as soon as you can so you can graduate on schedule. The key to moving along quickly is to follow the guidelines for being a pre-major and major and to attend advising sessions.

1. Students must have completed at least one quarter at WWU to declare as a pre-major, but may be advised during their first quarter. Transfer students with an AA degree may declare as pre-majors in their first quarter at WWU. When you meet with an adviser or the department manager, be sure you sign in with your e-mail address so we can contact you. Notices regarding our department are sent via e-mail.

2. You must have at least a 2.50 GPA at WWU to declare as a pre-major. Bring your unofficial WWU transcript to the advising session to verify that your GPA meets the minimum requirement. If you are transfering to WWU you must have at least a 2.5 GPA from the school you are transfering from. Use this tool to calculate your GPA.

3. If a course is waived by an adviser, the adviser's written note waiving the class must be attached to your transcript and kept in the department file. No courses will be waived without a transcript showing proof of the course and the grade.

4. Standing as a pre-major does not guarantee a seat in any class at any time.

Declaring as a Major

Decisions on who to accept as a major rests solely with the Journalism Department faculty. Major status is required before students can take 400-level classes. A student who is not accepted into the major by the time he or she needs 400-level classes will be directed to find a suitable major in another field.

Any student wishing to enroll as a major must fulfill the following:

1. Have at least 30 college credits with a cumulative 2.50 grade point average at WWU (or school you are transfering from). Use this tool to calculate your GPA.

2. Pass J207 with a B- grade or higher. (Transfers must have at least a B- in any course we accept as an equivalent to J207 and provide the department with an unofficial transcript.)

3. Pass one publication staff course (The Western Front, Klipsun) with a B- grade or higher.

4. Submit a letter of application.

5. The faculty will also judge applicants based on excellence regarding ethical principles and practices in the field.

Students who meet the above standards will be admitted as space allows and subject to the faculty's acceptance.

The deadline for pre-major and major declarations will be announced each quarter of the academic year. Students who miss the deadline must wait until the following quarter.

When declaring the major, students will choose the news-editorial sequence, the public relations sequence or the visual journalism sequence.

The faculty will review major applications and meet to determine which students to admit. Students not admitted may appeal the decision with evidence and supporting testimony of excellence regarding values, principles and practices in the field as judged by the faculty. Typical evidence would be clippings, supporting letters from faculty or intern supervisors and a letter from the student arguing her or his case. Faculty may reconsider student applications to promote diversity or with evidence of extenuating circumstances.

Declared majors may request change from one sequence to another by giving written notice to the department. Acceptance of the change will be based on space availability.

Probation and Removal
While a major, students must maintain a 2.50 GPA, both overall and in journalism and required courses. A student whose GPA drops below 2.50 overall and/or in the major for two consecutive quarters shall be considered to be on probation. If the student completes a third quarter with a GPA below 2.50, she or he will be removed from the major. Such students may be re-admitted to the major using normal procedures for admission. Struggling students should discuss the situation with their academic advisers early, before the problem grows too large to manage. Students are responsible for monitoring their own GPAs.

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Page Updated 03.05.2014