Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Journalism—Public Relations, BA
What is the study of Journalism?
Journalism is the work of supplying content, primarily news, for the ever-expanding world of mass media. Journalists are responsible for gathering information, analyzing and editing it for a mass audience, and dispensing it using some form of media platform. Increasingly the methods of distribution have become more complex, but the basic mission of a journalist remains the same: to serve the public by finding, defining, writing and editing information.
Today's journalist may be found on traditional publications such as newspapers and magazines, broadcast outlets and specialized publications. He or she may utilize online delivery or other forms of electronic communication. The trained journalist may use her or his skills in the expanding field of public relations, working to serve as a bridge between those with a message to communicate and the journalist who seeks information.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
Journalism majors pursue theoretical and practical communication studies in a liberal arts setting. Students of journalism gain practical experience on Western’s award-winning student media, and majors additionally take field internships with newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, public relations agencies and other professional organizations.
Courses in the public relations sequence follow the news-editorial emphasis, adding communication skills important for careers in this rapidly growing field.
How to Declare:
Pre-major: Available with a 2.5 minimum GPA. Transfer students will be accepted during Transitions or during their first quarter on campus. Freshmen must complete one quarter of classes at WWU to establish a 2.5 GPA before being considered. Students are encouraged to declare a pre-major while completing the requirements for admission to the major. Dates for pre-major advising sessions are posted in the Journalism Department each quarter.
Admissions: For admission to the major, a student must have completed the following requirements:
- Complete at least 30 college credits with a cumulative 2.50 grade point average
- Pass JOUR 207 with a B- or better
- Complete one Journalism staff course with a B- or better
- Submit a letter of application
Students meeting qualifications but not admitted because of space limitations will be listed as pre-majors and admitted as space allows.
Application deadlines: Deadlines for pre-major/major declaration are posted in the Journalism Department each quarter.
- JOUR 190 Introduction to Mass Media (5)
- JOUR 207 Newswriting (4)
- JOUR 309 Editing (5)
- JOUR 330 Principles of Public Relations (4)
- JOUR 350 Mass Media Law (5)
- JOUR 351 Mass Media Ethics (4)
- JOUR 380 Advanced Public Relations Writing and Techniques (5)
- JOUR 404 Feature Writing (4)
- JOUR 430 Field Internship (6)
- JOUR 480 Senior Seminar (5)
- COMM 428 Organizational Communication (5)
- Three quarters on publication staff:
- One course from list (a):
- JOUR 214 Newspaper Staff (3)
- JOUR 314 Newspaper Staff (3)
- JOUR 414 Newspaper Staff (3)
- JOUR 415 Newspaper Editorship (4)
- One from list (b):
- JOUR 321 Periodical Staff (3)
- JOUR 421 Periodical Staff (3)
- JOUR 422 Periodical Editorship (4)
- and one additional from (a) or (b), or:
- ESTU 480 The Planet Staff (3)
- One course from list (a):
- 12 upper-division credits in another academic area, under departmental advisement
- A maximum of 73 journalism course credits may be applied to the 180-credit minimum for graduation
These courses are offered within this major and may be used to satisfy GUR or Writing Proficiency Requirements.
- BCOM: JOUR 207
- SSC: JOUR 190
- Customer Service Representative
- Public Relations Specialist
- Community Relations
- TV News Anchor
- Speech Writer
- Advertising Copywriter
- Market Research Analyst
- Multimedia Producer
- All careers involving communication