The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Memphis offers preparation for careers in advertising, broadcast news, multimedia journalism, public relations, sports journalism and visual and creative 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.
No matter which program of study is selected, students must have a strong background in liberal arts and an understanding of the social sciences to augment their 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.
All students in Journalism and Strategic Media complete a first-year core of JRSM 1700, JRSM 1750, JRSM 2121 and JRSM 3900, as these courses are prerequisites for many advanced courses in the individual programs of study. The first-year core must be completed within the first calendar year 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. Majors and minors who fail to earn the minimum passing grade (“C-“) in a class required by their program of study in Journalism and Strategic Media more than three times will be dropped from the program.
A grade point average of 2.0 is required to declare and maintain a major in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Additionally, students must have a 2.0 grade point average in journalism and strategic media classes to graduate.
Students who fail to comply with the above criteria may be permanently dropped from the program.
Students in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media may select only one major in the department and may not choose a minor in the department. Of the 120 credit hours required for graduation, 72 hours must be from outside the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Credit earned in Journalism and Strategic Media beyond 48 credit hours may not be counted toward graduation.
On-campus practical experience is available through The Daily Helmsman newspaper, WUMR campus radio station, Tiger News campus TV newscast and the Meeman 901 Strategies strategic media firm, as well as through publicity and communications offices throughout campus. All students in Journalism and Strategic Media are required to have a credit-earning work experience.
Students are recommended to have a minor; each program of study has recommended minors.
Areas of Study
The Bachelor of Arts in Advertising trains students for careers in advertising in agency, corporate, nonprofit and freelance settings. Advertising graduates typically work as account executives, account planners, art directors. brand managers, copy writers, creative directors, media buyers, media planners, researchers and social media managers. Advertising students take a minimum of 45 hours of credit from Journalism and Strategic Media and six hours in Marketing.
Creative Mass Media
The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, concentration in Creative Mass Media, trains students to be a well-rounded creative media professional. Creative Mass Media concentration graduates typically work as art directors, audio/video editors, content producers, creative directors, media designers, media photographers, social media managers, web designers and web strategists. Creative Mass Media concentration students take a minimum of 45 hours of credit from Journalism and Strategic Media and are encouraged to take electives from the Department of Art focused on graphic design or photography.
The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism trains students to become professionals in the news industry. Journalism graduates typically work at magazines, newspapers, television stations and online news outlets as anchors, content creators, editors, photographers, producers, reporters and social media managers. Journalism students take a minimum of 45 hours of credit from Journalism and Strategic Media.
The Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations trains students to for careers in public relations in agency, corporate, nonprofit and freelance settings. The Public Relations program is offers on campus in Memphis, on campus at Lambuth and online through UofM Global. Public Relations graduates typically work as account executives, corporate communications specialists, crisis specialists, event planners, researchers and social media managers. Public Relations students take a minimum of 45 hours of credit from Journalism and Strategic Media, three hours in Management and three hours in Marketing.
All undergraduate students are required to develop and maintain an active portfolio of their work. Students are to begin the portfolio in 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 program of study.