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Core Requirements

All students working toward a bachelor’s degree at Drake must complete the Drake Curriculum (Areas of Inquiry). A minimum of 120 total credit hours are required to graduate, including up to 44 credit hours in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC).

All SJMC majors must complete:

  • JMC 30 Mass Media in a Global Society – Introduction to the role and functions of mass media. Survey of newspapers, magazines, books, radio-television, advertising, public relations, digital media and the Web. Discussion of media issues and professional opportunities. Fall semester reserved for entering first year SJMC majors.
  • JMC 31 Multimedia Lab – Introduction to multimedia communication; lab component of JMC 30. Students learn to tell stories with photo, audio and video. This course gives students a foundation in multimedia storytelling.
  • JMC 40 Pre-Professional Workshop – A short course introducing students to policies, practices and principles in internships and cooperative education. Course covers the nature of internships; developing resumes, portfolios or talent/audition tapes; and other concerns. The course is required of all SJMC majors and should be completed during the sophomore year.
  • JMC 41 Financial Fundamentals for Communication Professionals – This one-credit course provides an introduction to basic business principles and terminology for non-business majors, with an emphasis on communications professionals. Topics include fundamentals of business organizations; reading and interpreting business financial statements; investment basics; understanding economic indicators; writing a business plan, and basic applied math. Must be sophomore classification.
  • JMC 54 News and Reporting Principles – Information evaluation, fact-gathering methods and journalism style, with extensive practice.
  • JMC 55 Digital Media Strategies – Digital Strategies will introduce students to the tools and best practices to cut through the digital din. Students will understand how to grow, engage and maintain a digital audience, creating effective native social content and email newsletters while also using analytics to drive and adapt a multi-platform plan. Students will also delve into the complexities of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), data journalism, and data visualization, as well as investigate the latest tech advances popping in Silicon Valley, on the Silicon Prairie, and from the world at large.
  • JMC 59 Introduction to Visual Communications – This course helps students master the fundamental principles of good design, color, balance and contrast using different media to convey a message. Photography, print, and web will be explored. Instruction on using digital cameras, PhotoShop, InDesign and other softwares will illustrate the elements of design and communication for each medium.
  • JMC 104 Communications Law and Ethics – Press freedom, ethics, social responsibility, pressures and problems; legal limitations, including libel, privacy, intellectual property and obscenity. Must be junior status. Not open to first-year students or sophomores.

A minimum of 48 credit hours must be taken in Arts and Sciences course work and must include Political Science 1 and a sociology course; 40 credit hours must be in upper division courses numbered 100 or above.

Area of Concentration: In addition the SJMC graduate must have completed a 21 credit-hour block of non-SJMC courses approved by the adviser and dean. This concentration, taken in a single department or as a unified area of concentration crossing departmental lines, usually is one particularly appropriate to the student’s major or otherwise of special interest. At least 12 credit hours in the concentration must be taken in courses numbered 100 and above. Courses taken to satisfy other graduation requirements also may count toward this requirement.

Academic Preparation: There are no specific courses required; however, students are encouraged to take writing courses while in high school.