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Columbia Campus    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin 
  Jun 26, 2022
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

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Tom Reichert, Ph.D., Dean
Andrea Hickerson, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Jeffrey Williams, MFA, Advertising Sequence Head
Laura Smith, Ph.D., Journalism Sequence Head
Kenneth Campbell, Ph.D., Mass Communications Sequence Head
Leigh Moscowitz, Ph.D., Public Relations Sequence Head
Tara Mortensen, Ph.D., Visual Communications Sequence Head
Sei-Hill Kim, Ph.D., Associate Director for Graduate Studies and Research
Holly Overton, Ph.D., Master of Mass Communication Coordinator


The School of Journalism and Mass Communications bridges practice and research, preparing the next generation of mass communication practitioners and scholars to communicate clearly, concisely, creatively and with integrity - ultimately advancing the communications professions in a democratic society.

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. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and offers instructional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Both the undergraduate and graduate programs provide a myriad of experiences for students, no matter which area of journalism and mass communication education interests them. The school’s curricula, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, are carefully tailored to prepare students for an increasingly multinational and multicultural multimedia work environment.

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 ENGL 102  with grades of C or higher are prerequisites for JOUR 291 .

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. Admission to the upper division is based upon a minimum 2.50 cumulative USC GPA; completion of JOUR 101 and JOUR 291 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.

  3. Entrance into 300+ level upper-division skills courses in broadcast journalism and journalism is competitive and is not guaranteed. Students can declare a major at any time. However, they must formally apply for admission into broadcast journalism and journalism upper-division skills courses. Typically, students are encouraged to apply the semester they are enrolled in JOUR 291. Applications are due October 1 (for spring admission) and March 1 (for fall admission).

    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 journalism sequence chair). Students who do not meet established requirements may reapply the following semester. Students accepted into 300+ level upper-division skills courses in broadcast journalism and journalism are assigned a specific semester in which they will begin this course work. Students are expected to proceed through these courses in consecutive semesters, beginning with JOUR 361.

  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, students 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 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.



  • Advertising, B.A.J.M.C.  
  • Broadcast Journalism, B.A.J.M.C.  
  • Journalism, B.A.J.M.C.  
  • Mass Communications, B.A.J.M.C.  
  • Public Relations, B.A.J.M.C.  
  • Visual Communications, B.A.J.M.C.  




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