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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Journalism

Majors Overview May 18, 2014

Students in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Journalism will be taught multimedia and writing skills, along with knowledge in law and standards, needed to be qualified for entry-level jobs in public relations, advertising, journalism, communications, and editing.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Journalism

Students enrolled in the majority of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Journalism, also offered as programs in Journalism and Mass Communications, gain basic experience in online journalism, broadcasting, or print journalism. Critical thinking skills are combined in these programs with skills in photography, technology, and writing.

Students enrolled in some programs are offered the choice of an area of focus in an aspect of journalism, such as multimedia journalism or photojournalism. Coursework usually includes participation in and completion of practicum and internship hours related to the field.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require the submission of GED scores or high school transcripts, in addition to submission of ACT or SAT test scores. Students aspiring to become journalists would also benefit by taking honors courses during high school.

Coursework

Coursework usually focuses on areas of law, ethics, multimedia, research, interviewing, writing, and editing. The curriculum may include topic areas such as:

•Broadcast news
•Media theory
•Ethics and law
•History of media
•Editing
•Social impact
•Visual communications
•Photojournalism
•Investigative journalism
•Web design

Armed with a BA in Journalism, individuals can hone skills in writing, editing, computer and technology, research, and communication. First-hand experience of journalism through practicums and internships is sometimes gained by students enrolled in the program. Students gain understanding of the laws and values associated with the field of journalism, in addition to a comprehension of their own First Amendment rights.

Job and Wage Outlook

Graduates from a BA in Journalism program can seek entry-level careers in journalism, public relations, photography, editing, writing, advertising, and media, in positions such as writer, public relations specialist, or editor. In 2012, writers employed with newspapers and periodicals banked an average annual wage of $51,510, while, during that year, public relations specialists took home an average wage of $61,980, and editors earned an annual average of $53,880 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Continuing Education Choices

Students may opt for continued education by earning master’s degrees in journalism to gain better career advancement opportunities at a later stage. The focus of these programs, which guide students in professional goals, is on theory and research.

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