The journalism/law 3+3 program allows students to complete virtually all journalism and mass communication (SJMC) requirements in the first three years, including requirements for a specific undergraduate SJMC major. If admitted to the Drake University Law School, the student then counts Law School courses taken in the fourth year as the area of concentration required of all journalism majors. The fourth year also constitutes the student's first year in Drake Law School.
Admission to the 3+3 program is by application to the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Because of the rigorous nature of the program and the tight scheduling involved, admission is limited to exceptional and highly motivated students, based on high school GPA, test scores and an application letter. Students may apply to the program during their first semester on campus.
SJMC faculty are experienced professionals and leading academicians. The Drake Law School faculty includes experts in several fields of law, distinguished scholars and outstanding teachers.
No specific courses are required for admission. Students are encouraged to take writing and college preparatory courses while in high school.
Required Credit Hours and Courses for a Major
Thirty-two to 38 credits must be completed in an SJMC major (advertising, public relations, news-Internet, magazines, radio-TV producing or broadcast news). All SJMC students complete the following required classes:
JMC 030 — Communications in Society
JMC 031 — Multimedia Lab
JMC 040 — Pre-professional Workshop
JMC 054 — Reporting and Writing Principles
JMC 066 — Media Responsibility
JMC 104 — Communications Law and Ethics
The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information literacy, global and cultural understanding, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.
The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.
The Honors Program is an alternative designed for motivated students who want to participate in challenging, discussion-based courses on interdisciplinary issues.
Students who have met all requirements specified above, and who gain admission to the Law School, may start law school during their fourth year of enrollment. The SJMC will accept 21 to 24 hours of Law School credits as counting toward the 124 required for graduation and as satisfying area of concentration requirements. Law hours will not count toward the SJMC’s requirement for Arts and Sciences courses. Law courses will count toward the required hours outside of journalism. Once a student has successfully completed law school courses necessary to fulfill the required 124 hours of coursework for the bachelor's degree, the bachelor's degree will be awarded.
A student may withdraw from the journalism/3+3 law program at any time and complete his/her undergraduate study for the bachelor's degree.
A number of organizations, including the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Society of Professional Journalists, offer nationally competitive internships in areas of media law, press freedom and freedom of information for which 3+3 students would be well prepared. The American Judicature Society, which provides education about the judicial system, is based at Drake. The university is the home of the new Harkin Institute and will archive the papers of Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. SJMC students also frequently have internships in the governor’s office, in the Legislature and with state and local government agencies. Every four years the Iowa Caucuses provide students the opportunity to work with national political candidates and parties and with national and international media.
Graduates are prepared to work professionally in the communications and/or law fields.
Undergraduates have the opportunity to work with award-winning campus media, including The Times-Delphic, Drake's student-run campus newspaper; Drake Broadcasting System, and Drake Magazine. There are also campus chapters of Ad Club, Society of Professional Journalists and Public Relations Student Society of America. SJMC students also frequently have leadership roles in university organizations such as Student Senate and Residence Hall Association.