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Specific Regulations

Students should be familiar with the General Information section of the Drake University catalog, which covers academic requirements that affect all Drake University students. Although assigned an academic adviser, the student is responsible for being familiar with academic regulations and for selecting appropriate courses in the proper sequence to complete degree requirements. Special attention is directed to information concerning advanced placement and college credit by examination, the credit/no credit program, the President’s and Deans’ lists, international education opportunities, general graduation requirements and academic regulations.

Students also should be familiar with the Drake University Code of Conduct and specific policies relating to academic dishonesty, cheating and plagiarism, especially the SJMC Honors Code. Cheating, plagiarism or dishonesty in academic work is considered cause for expulsion.

SJMC Academic Regulations

In addition to the University academic regulations, SJMC students working toward a B.A. degree in Journalism and Mass Communication are required to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 in both their cumulative (CUM) and journalism (JMC) coursework during any semester after the student has completed 30 credit hours.

Before 30 credits hours are met:

  • Students falling below a 2.0 in either JMC or CUM but still meeting the University regulations will be placed on SJMC probation. This probation should be viewed as a warning to improve academically or continuing in SJMC is in jeopardy.
  • Students falling below a 2.0 GPA CUM and placed on first probation or final probation with the University regulations will be placed on SJMC probation, which could lead to discontinuance in the SJMC.
  • If a SJMC student is academically suspended from the University, the student may not continue in SJMC or re-enroll in SJMC later.
  • Transfer students completing fewer than 15 credits at Drake will be warned of a low GPA but not be placed on probation.
  • Student transferring into SJMC from another college at Drake must have a CUM of 2.25 to be allowed into the SJMC.

After 30 credits are met:

  • Students who do not achieve the 2.25 GPA in both CUM and JMC will be placed on probationary continuance in SJMC.
  • If the student raises the GPAs above 2.25 the probation is lifted.
  • If the student does not raise both GPAs above 2.25 the subsequent semester after probationary continuance the student may not continue as a journalism student or re-enroll in the future.

Students must complete 15 to 18 credit hours per semester to graduate in four years. An academic load over 18 credit hours in a semester requires a 3.00 cumulative GPA, or a 2.75 average and permission of the faculty Academic Adjustment Committee. Students employed full-time or part-time should consider carrying lighter class loads.

At least 40 of the 124 credit hours required for graduation must be in courses numbered 100 or above. The last 30 hours of a student’s program must be taken at Drake University. Twelve hours of credit may be earned on a credit-no credit (no letter grade) basis in courses that are not part of the basic requirements or part of the major and related courses, including courses in the area of concentration. (See the Credit-No Credit program in the Academic Regulations section of the Drake University undergraduate catalog.)

An SJMC student may not take an SJMC course on a credit-no credit or audit basis, unless the course is only offered credit/no credit. To enroll for any SJMC course requiring a prerequisite, the student must have earned a grade of “C” or higher in the prerequisite course(s). To enroll in any SJMC senior-level writing, production or senior capstone course, a student must have a declared SJMC major. Students without appropriate prerequisite courses may be admitted to classes, if there are compelling reasons, by obtaining the consent of the instructor and/or the approval of the Academic Adjustment Committee.

Transfer Students

Transfer students majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication may transfer a maximum of 12 journalism credit hours.

Attendance Policy

The University policy notes, “Students are expected to attend all classes and to be punctual in doing so. They are also expected to complete all assignments for classes that they miss. The individual instructor may set his/her own specific requirements in reference to each class at the beginning of the term. Faculty members are urged to provide an opportunity for students to make up work missed as a result of legitimate absences, including observances of religious holidays.”

In the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, by faculty action, “It is recommended that journalism faculty include in course syllabi and in comments on the opening days of classes clear statements of attendance policies.

“In such statements, it should be noted that excessive absences, as determined by the instructor, are sufficient cause for reduction of a grade in a class.

“As a guideline for students and faculty, excessive absences will be defined as more than three unexcused absences in a class which meets three times a week, more than two for a class which meets twice a week, and more than one for a class which meets on a weekly basis.”

Honor Code

The Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication is a community of scholars committed to the highest professional and personal standards. Members of this community accept responsibility for honesty and excellence in all of their interactions. Such integrity is the foundation of our academic and professional careers, and of our lives as ethical people.

Cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty by SJMC students, whether it occurs in class or in extra-curricular activities related to the journalism profession, will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty on the part of any student of another college or school enrolled in an SJMC class also will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty constitutes grounds for penalties, ranging from failure in an academic exercise to suspension or dismissal from an SJMC class, the School and/or the University.

— Honor Code, Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication, adopted by SJMC faculty in March 2007.

See full Code for definitions and examples of academic dishonesty, and procedures for dealing with instances of dishonesty.

SJMC Policy for Resolving Conflict

Part of your education is learning how to deal appropriately with conflict in the workplace.

The student should begin by discussing the matter with the staff or faculty member with whom the conflict originated. If the issue is not resolved the next contact would be the Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to investigate the allegations and give an outcome. If the student chooses to take the matter forward, the student should contact the Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Students choosing to take their concern to the Dean need to submit in writing their name, college, contact information and a brief description of the circumstances including who has been involved and the current outcome. This request will be considered an “official documentation” and must be submitted within 30 days of the issue in question. E-mail or hard copy will be accepted.

The student should expect communication or a meeting regarding the concern within seven working days of the document being submitted.

All officially documented issues will be forwarded to the provost’s office for data collection as reporting general trends, not as an avenue to change the outcome. If the conflict is with one of the final decision makers the student should refer to the University Policy and Procedure website at

Student Internship Credit Regulations

All internships for credit should be added before the semesters add period, when possible.

Students registered for fewer than 12 credits at the end of the add period cannot add an internship after the add period has expired. In other words, if adding internship credit changes a student’s status from part-time to full-time, the internship cannot be added. These students may add their internship credits to the next semester. If the next semester is summer, students are required to pay the summer rate for each credit hour. If, in any semester, the internship hours, along with the student’s other coursework exceeds 18 credit hours, the over-hours fee will apply. Students may not hold internship credit past the next semester.

Students registered for 12 credits or more at the end of the add period, may add the internship credits at the time the internship becomes available. The deadline will be the Friday before finals of each semester. Students who exceed 18 credit hours allowed in a semester, due to the internship credits, will be charged the over-hours fee.

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