Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

The journalism program at Potomac State College is a hands-on learning experience in writing, communications, graphic design, and teamwork. Prior journalism experience is not required. Freshmen journalism students volunteer on the student newspaper: writing news and editorials; designing and selling advertising; taking pictures. Sophomore journalism majors run the student paper as news editors, sports editors, photo editors, and more.

The journalism curriculum transfer directly to the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University.

Potomac State's newsroom combines a comfortable classroom seminar environment with a modern desktop publishing system. Academic advising, tutoring, computer lab time, individual attention and small class size characterize the journalism program.

Elizabeth A. Atwater Journalism Scholarship

Journalism majors interested in serving as editor of the Pasquino during their sophomore year may apply to receive the Elizabeth A. Atwater Journalism Scholarship. 

The scholarship is awarded for one semester at a time and announced at the beginning of the semester. The recipient must be enrolled in JRL 318 or JRL 426 and have demonstrated excellence as a writer, strong leader, and reliable student.

Career Opportunities

The journalism major prepares graduates for advanced studies in reporting, broadcasting, advertising, public relations, editing, photography, strategic marketing, and related careers. Journalism majors have the unique opportunity to display examples of their published work for university admissions boards and prospective employers. Some graduates choose a career in journalism after two years of study.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major.

Benchmark Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, students must earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Students also must earn a grade of C or better in all major pre-requisite courses to advance.  Students who do not earn a C or better will not be allowed to remain enrolled in the course.  Students must earn a grade of C or better in all major courses that are counted toward their graduation requirements.

To help ensure timely progression toward the degree, if a student earns D/F/W grades for two consecutive semesters in at least one major or major pre-requisite course, even if the student's overall GPA is 2.0 or greater, they must meet with their academic advisor to assess progress toward graduation and the likelihood of success within the major. If, after consultation with the student, it is deemed that the major is not the right academic program, the student will be referred to the Coordinator of Academic Services to explore other possible majors.

All students must see their respective advisors each semester to schedule classes and ensure they are progressing appropriately.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

A minimum grade of C- is required in all JRL courses.
GEF Elective Requirements (2, 3, 5 and 6)13
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
BUSA 201Survey of Economics3
ENGL 214Creative Writing: Non-Fiction3
HIST 153Making of Modern America: 1865 to the Present3
POLS 102Introduction to American Government3
JRL 101Media and Society (GEF 4)3
JRL 215Media Writing3
JRL 225Media Tools & Applications3
JRL 318Beat Reporting3
JRL 426Investigative Reporting3
ULIB 101Introduction to Library Research1
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
or JRL 191 College of Media Orientation
Foreign Language6
Total Hours60

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3JRL 2153
JRL 101 (GEF 4)3ENGL 214 (GEF 6)3
GEF 53Select one of the following:3
ULIB 1011 
WVUE 1911 
Foreign Language3 
 GEF Elective (GEF 3)3
 Foreign Language3
 14 15
Second Year
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3HIST 1533
POLS 1023BUSA 2013
GEF Elective (GEF 2)4JRL 4263
JRL 2253GEF Elective (GEF 6)3
JRL 3183Elective3
 16 15
Total credit hours: 60

Major Learning Goals


Upon completion of the A.A. in Journalism, students will be able to:

  1. Think critically, creatively, and independently.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking skills, writing and reporting, and an understanding of basic production skills, allowing them to produce news stories and multimedia projects.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken communications, an understanding of the technologies of print and digital media, and knowledge and applications of these skills in their chosen careers.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of how to serve diverse publics in their reporting and producing.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical and legal issues that may arise in journalism.
  6. Work as collaborative teams to solve problems, create strategies and produce content across media platforms.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to engage an audience using social media networking.
  8. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve. 


Visiting Instructor

  • Amber Butcher - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Public Administration