The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Memphis offers preparation for careers in advertising, broadcast news, web journalism, newspaper/magazine, public relations and visual media. Students are required to take career-oriented skills courses to enhance skills in writing, multimedia, media literacy, professionalism, and critical thinking as they relate to careers in the media.
Program objectives for a B.A. in Advertising, Journalism, or Public Relations are:
- To think critically, creatively and independently
- To conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work
- To write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve
- To critically evaluate one’s own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
The Department offers three majors: advertising, journalism, and public relations. Graduates of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media typically work as newspaper or television reporters and photographers, editors and anchors, advertising executives, public relations professionals, freelance writers and producers, web content producers, web designers and editors, brand managers, social media coordinators, and visual media designers. No matter which program is selected, each student must have a strong background in liberal arts and an understanding of the social sciences to augment his or her professional skills. Consequently, no more than 48 hours of courses from the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media may be included in the 120 hours required for graduation. The remainder of the student’s course work must follow the guidelines provided by the university to qualify for a Bachelor of Arts degree.
On-campus practical experience is available on The Daily Helmsman news paper, radio station WUMR, Tiger News campus TV newscast productions and through the Meeman 901 Strategies public relations and advertising firm, as well as through publicity and communications offices throughout campus.
JRSM 2121 is a prerequisite for journalism majors taking more advanced writing courses in the program. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “C” before moving on to any course in the program to which the prerequisites are applied. A grade point average of 2.0 is required to declare and maintain a major in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. JRSM 1700 , JRSM 1750 , JRSM 2121 and JRSM 3900 must be completed within the first calendar year as a major. Students who fail to comply with the above criteria may be permanently dropped from the program. Additionally, students must have a 2.0 grade point average in journalism and strategic media classes to graduate.
Students in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media may select only one major in the department. Of the 120 hours required for graduation, 72 hours must be from outside the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media.
Students are recommended to have a minor; each major has recommended minors.
All undergraduate students are required to develop and maintain an active portfolio of their work. Students are to begin the portfolio in JRSM 2121 and JRSM 3900 and contribute to it during every skills course thereafter. The portfolio should contain samples of the student’s work from their courses and/or professional experience and should develop as the student builds skills. Portfolios will undergo a final review while students are enrolled in the capstone course for their major.