How to Apply for a Journalism Emphasis/Interest Area

How to Apply for a Journalism Emphasis/Interest Area

Students may apply for a emphasis area within the School of Journalism after they have satisfied the pre-emphasis area requirements, generally in the second semester of the sophomore year. Emphasis area options are:

  • Convergence Journalism
  • Magazine Journalism
  • Newspaper Journalism
  • Photojournalism
  • Radio-Television Journalism
  • Strategic Communication

Application Requirements

  • Effective with students entering MU Fall 2010 and later, completion of 60 semester hours of study that include all entrance course requirements as listed in the pre-interest area requirements, as well as other academically accepted courses as specified by the School of Journalism.
  • Declare your intended interest area. Admission is by interest area. The school does not guarantee first choice of interest area. It may be necessary from time to time to limit enrollment in high-demand areas.
  • Have word-processing skills of at least 40 words per minute.
  • For students whose native language is other than English: A minimum TOEFL score of 600 or IELTS overall score of 7 with no band score below 6 is required to be admitted to the School, to the Pre-Journalism program in the College of Arts and Science or to any journalism course. Permission to enroll with a lower TOEFL score may be granted after a supervised, written test in English and an interview conducted by two faculty members. To be considered for the interview and written test, students must have a minimum 2.80 GPA of record and 30 MU hours. Should the two faculty members disagree on whether to admit, the student must meet with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, who casts the deciding vote. Students with scores lower than 550 TOEFL or 6.5 with no band score below 5.5 IELTS usually are not considered for an interview.

How to Apply: Lower-Division Journalism Students

Lower-division journalism students are those who are admitted directly to the school as freshmen. Directly admitted students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to ensure advancement to upper-class status at the end of the sophomore year.

Early in your final pre-emphasis area semester, generally the second semester of your sophomore year:

  • Complete a Emphasis Area Preference form available in Journalism Student Services. You should submit a Emphasis Area Preference form prior to the deadline even if you will be completing your final admission requirements during the summer.
  • Submit your Emphasis Area Preference form by:
    • November 15 for admission in the summer or fall semester (if this date falls on a weekend, your Emphasis Area Preference form will be due the Monday after).
    • September 1 for admission in the spring semester (if this date falls on a weekend, your Emphasis Area Preference form will be due the Monday after).

How to Apply: A&S Pre-Journalism Students

Students who do not meet the criteria for direct admission to the school as freshmen are admitted to the College of Arts and Science as pre-journalism students. Students who have a 3.0 cumulative GPA at MU upon completion of 60 credit hours and fulfillment of all other requirements for upper-class status in Journalism will be admitted on a space-available basis. These students are not necessarily admitted in order of highest grade point average.

The Journalism Undergraduate Admissions Committee extensively reviews individual applications for admission from students in this category. Criteria used in evaluating these applications include a student’s stated passion to work in the fields of journalism or advertising, demonstrated commitment to journalism or advertising (as evidenced by work with student or professional media, high school activities or participation in journalism student groups), needs of the profession, etc. The committee also will attempt to match interests of students in this category with openings in the School’s various academic disciplines.

Early in your sophomore year:

  • Request a transfer of division from Arts and Science to Journalism.
  • Transfer of Division forms are available in Journalism Student Services, 76 Gannett, or in Admissions, 230 Jesse Hall.
  • Bring the Transfer of Division form to Journalism Student Services, 76 Gannett. You will also need to complete an Interest Area Preference form, available in 76 Gannett. You should submit the Transfer of Division form and Interest Area Preference form prior to the deadline even if you do not have a satisfactory grade point average at the time, or if you will be completing your final admission requirements during the summer. In these cases, applications are held until final semester grades are available. If you have questions regarding grade requirements, or whether you have completed course requirements, please contact your academic advisor.
  • Submit your Transfer of Division and your Interest Area Preference form application by:
    • November 15 for admission in the summer or fall semester (if this date falls on a weekend, your Transfer of Division form will be due the Monday after).
    • September 1 for admission in the winter semester (if this date falls on a weekend, your Transfer of Division form will be due the Monday after).