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Columbia Campus    
2016-2017 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
  Dec 01, 2022
2016-2017 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Mass Communications, B.A.J.M.C.

The challenge of 21st-century communications is to combine the information-gathering function-research and data bases-with the disciplines of disseminating information-journalism, advertising, public relations, visual communications, and mass communications.
The college’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications is professionally oriented and grounded strongly in the liberal arts. It offers instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Course work is offered in electronic and print journalism, advertising, public relations, visual communications, and mass communications to train students in both the processes and effects of mass communication.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the Mass Commnications, B.A.J.M.C. program will be able to…

  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct research, gather information, write clearly and correctly and present relevant news or persuasive information at a professional level.
  • Think critically, creatively and independently; evaluate their own work and the work of others for accuracy, fairness, clarity, style and correctness.
  • Understand the history of journalism and mass communications, the diversity of groups in a global society in relationship to communications and the role of journalism and mass communications in society.
  • Understand the ethical concepts, legal implications, considerations and practices that guide the mass media professions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply tools and technologies appropriate for the production, editing and presentation of visual, aural, textual or other media content.
  • Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts and methods appropriate for the communications professions.

Degree Requirements (120 Hours)

See School of Journalism and Mass Communications  for entrance requirements, progression requirements, and other regulations.

  • Carolina Core Requirements (40-56 hours)
  • Journalism and Mass Communications Core Cores (9 Hours)
  • Mass Communications Pathways with and Option for Leadership Distinction (39 hours)
  • Minor (18 hours) or Cognate (12 hours)
  • Electives (0-12 Hours)

General Education and Minor or Cognate Requirements for all Journalism Majors, B.A.J.M.C.

1. Carolina Core Plus General Education Requirements

CMW: Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written Component (6 hours)

ARP: Analytical Reasoning and Problem-Solving (6-7 hours)

SCI: Scientific Literacy (7 hours)

  • Two approved Carolina Core courses from the natural sciences including one laboratory course

GFL: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-9 hours)

  • Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language (except Latin or Ancient Greek) equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in 122. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administrated as part of that course.

GHS: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (6 hours)

GSS: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (6 hours)

  • Any approved Carolina Core GSS courses

AIU: Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (6 hours)

  • Any approved Carolina Core AIU course

CMS: Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component (3 hours)

INF: Information Literacy (0-3 hours)

  • Any approved overlay or stand-alone Carolina Core INF course

VSR: Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility (0-3 hours)

  • Any approved overlay or stand-alone Carolina Core VSR course

Additional General Education Courses for the SJMC (9 hours)

  • ECON 224 - Introduction to Economics
  • MKTG 350   or MGMT 371  
  • SOCIAL OR BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE -Three hours of a 300-level or higher course from HIST or POLI or three hours of Social or Behavioral Sciences at the 300 level or higher from: AFAM- African-American Studies; ANTH- Anthropology; COLA- College of Liberal Arts; GEOG-Geography (except GEOG 201, GEOG 202, GEOG 545, GEOG 546); LASP-Latin American Studies; POLI- Political Science; PSYC- Psychology; SOCY- Sociology; SOST- Southern Studies; WGST- Women and Gender Studies.


The Carolina Core, Additional SJMC General Education Requirements, Minor/Cognate and Electives outside of the SJMC must include at least 72 semester hours in academic subjects. Students with fewer than 72 hours in general education courses must take enough electives to fulfill the 72-hour minimum. No elective courses of a remedial, developmental nature may apply as credit toward the 72-hour minimum.

Additional Required Courses for Mass Communications (39 Hours)

Select three of the following principles courses: (9 Hours)

•    JOUR 201 - Principles of Public Relations  
•    JOUR 202 - Principles of Advertising and Brand Communications  
•    JOUR 203 - Principles of Visual Communications  
•    JOUR 204 - Principles of Journalism  

Three required courses from among the following: (9 Hours)

•    JOUR 205 - History and Philosophy of the Mass Media  
•    JOUR 306 - Theories of Mass Communications  
•    JOUR 501 - Freedom, Responsibility, and Ethics of the Mass Media  
•    JOUR 506 - Mass Media Criticism  
•    JOUR 542 - Public Opinion and Persuasion  

SJMC Electives of the Students’ Choice: At least 3 hours and no more than 6 hours must be from skills courses (12 hours)

Choose one of the University’s Leadership with Distinction Pathways: Global Learning, Research, Civic Engagement, or Community Service. Courses listed under each pathway are examples that address the pathway’s learning outcomes. Except for the required courses identified, other relevant courses that address the pathway outcomes may be substituted per approval of advisor.

A. Global Learning (6 Hours)

B. Research (6 Hours)

C. Civic Engagement (6 Hours)

  • Two approved SJMC civic engagement electives

D. Community Service (6 Hours)

  • Two approved SJMC service learning or community engagement elective

Capstone portfolio course (3 Hours)

Additional requirements for those seeking the Leadership Distinction designation:

The major in Mass Communications aligns with Graduation with Leadership Distinction. All students pursuing the Leadership Distinction designation will be assigned a faculty mentor from the Mass Communications sequence with whom they will be required to meet at least once per semester during their academic career. Further information on Graduation with Leadership Distinction can be obtained through the Office of USC Connect.

Minor or Cognate

Students must complete either a minor or a cognate from courses outside the SJMC.

Minor (18 hours)

A student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications may choose to complete a minor consisting of 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or better. A minor form must be completed and approved by the school after the student has completed 30 hours of course work.

Cognate (12 Hours)

A student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications may choose to complete a cognate. A cognate requires a minimum of 12 hours of courses in other departments related to the student’s major and/or career goals. Cognate courses may be taken in one or more departments depending on the interest and requirements of the student, but must have approval of the student’s adviser. Journalism courses may not be used in the cognate. At least 6 of the 12 hours must be at the 300-level or higher. No 100 level courses may be used in the cognate.