The Major in Journalism

Transfer students

Transfer courses will be evaluated individually for journalism equivalency by the Undergraduate Director.

Requirements for the Major

The major in journalism leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Students must earn a letter grade of C or higher in all courses required for the major and Satisfactory or S in JRN internships, independent studies and workshops for these to count toward the major. Journalism majors must satisfy all Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) requirements and accrue a total of 120 credits. Completion of the major requires a total of 45 credits.

Students may design an 18-credit interdisciplinary concentration in an academic subject of their choosing. Consult the undergraduate director to discuss an interdisciplinary concentration. Nine credits, or three classes, of the 18 credits required of all concentrations must be at the upper-division level. Students may also select one of four pre-designed concentrations created to
explore broad topics – Public Affairs/Public Policy, Diversity and American Society, Global Issues and Perspectives, and Science and The Environment. Check prerequisites. Many of these courses also count toward SBC categories. They also count toward the minimum of 72 non-journalism credits all majors must complete. This is a standard set by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications  (ACEJMC), the school’s accrediting body. Stony Brook’s School of Journalism is the only accredited journalism degree program in the SUNY system.

All journalism students should see a departmental advisor to plan their course programs. The following courses are required of all journalism majors; an asterisk denotes an online course:

1. Required courses (39 credits):

  • JRN 101 News Literacy*
  • JRN 106 Introduction to Mass Media
  • JRN 116 Introduction to Digital Journalism
  • JRN 208 History of Mass Communication
  • JRN 216 Intermediate Digital Journalism
  • JRN 217 Journalistic Reporting and Writing (this course can be taken before, after or in the same semester as JRN 216)
  • JRN 301 The Business of News
  • JRN 303 Global Issues in Journalism
  • JRN 305 Mass Communication Law and Ethics*
  • POL 102 Introduction to American Government

Choose one of the following advanced skills courses before moving on to 400-level required  courses (JRN 415 and JRN 490):

  • JRN 311 Advanced Digital Journalism – Text
  • JRN 312 Advanced Digital Journalism – Audio
  • JRN 313 Advanced Digital Journalism – Video

After completing JRN 311, 312, or 313, all majors must complete the following 400-level required courses:

  • JRN 415 Data Analysis and Storytelling
  • JRN 490 Senior Capstone Project (satisfies EXP+ and WRTD)

2. Required JRN Electives (6 credits):

Students must complete two  three-credit upper-division  electives.  Junior or Senior standing is required. Not all electives will be offered every semester. If students opt to take a variable credit course to complete their elective requirement, a minimum of 3 credits must be selected.  Students should consult their major advisor before enrollment for the semester begins.

Students can choose two courses  from the following electives:

3. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

Successful completion of JRN 490  Senior Capstone Project  will satisfy the SBC WRTD requirement as well as the Journalism major upper-division writing requirement.

Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with  university graduation requirements for General Education. Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the “Write Effectively within One’s Discipline” (WRTD) learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

4. Concentration in Outside Area

Students must declare a second major, a minor, or an interdisciplinary concentration.

Click here for more information on the concentrations.