The journalism major at the College of Media prepares students for careers as journalists working in the fields of broadcast, video production, multimedia, internet, newspaper or magazine journalism. All students in the journalism major must complete a series of shared core requirements (12 credit hours) and a shared capstone experience (3 credit hours). In addition, students will take courses of their own choosing across three skills areas: writing, creating, and engaging (15 credit hours), and an elective course (3 credit hours). 

Journalism majors have the opportunity to participate in such immersion journalism courses as Mobile Storytelling, Experimental Journalism, WVU News, Adventure Travel Writing and Photography, Mountaineer Playbook and numerous other special topics classes.  The College houses student chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists; National Association of Black Journalists; WVU Film Club; Association for Women in Sports Media; Radio, Television, Digital News Association; and Ed on Campus (All Things Magazine). Journalism majors who wish to pursue law school or other graduate study have a solid basis in writing and research on which to build.

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

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.

Degree Requirements

JRL 191College of Media Orientation3
General Education Requirements
GEF 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 722
Non-Journalism/Media Requirements
For all students in the major, required non-major courses include:
BUSA 201Survey of Economics3
BUSA 330Survey of Marketing3
HIST 153Making of Modern America: 1865 to the Present3
POLS 102Introduction to American Government3
STAT 111Understanding Statistics3
English literature or Creative Writing course3
Two semesters of any foreign language/computer coding course or one language/coding course +study abroad6
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Journalism Major Core
A grade of C- or higher must be earned in all major courses.
JRL 101Media and Society (may fulfill GEF 4)3
JRL 215Media Writing (fulfills Writing and Communication Skills Requirement)3
JRL 225Media Tools & Applications3
JRL 428Media Ethics and Law3
Select one of the following capstones:3
Experimental Journalism
Multimedia News Publication
Writing Courses
Select two of the following:6
Beat Reporting
Advanced Reporting
Feature Writing
Investigative Reporting
Opinion Writing
Video and Audio News Writing
Creating Courses
Select two of the following:6
Beginning Video Reporting
Adventure Travel Writing & Photography
Advanced Video Reporting and Producing
Introduction to Photojournalism
Advanced Photojournalism
Media Design
Multimedia Storytelling
Engaging Courses
Select one of the following:3
Editing and Curation
Gaming Design and Digital Narrative
Social Media and Journalism
Interactive Media and Audience Building
Visual Storytelling for the Media
Major Electives
Any 300 or 400 level ADV, JRL, PR, or STCM course3
Required Minor *15
General Electives **20
Total Hours120
English Literature or Creative Writing Courses
English Literature
ENGL 131Poetry and Drama3
ENGL 132Short Story and Novel3
ENGL 139Contemporary African Literature3
ENGL 154African American Literature3
ENGL 156Literature of Native America3
ENGL 225Western World Literature3
ENGL 226Non-Western World Literature3
ENGL 232Poetry3
ENGL 233The Short Story3
ENGL 234Drama3
ENGL 235Novel3
ENGL 236The Bible as Literature3
ENGL 241American Literature 13
ENGL 242American Literature 23
ENGL 251American Folklore and Culture3
ENGL 252Appalachian Fiction3
ENGL 253Southern Writers3
ENGL 254African American Literature3
ENGL 257Science Fiction and Fantasy3
ENGL 258Popular American Culture3
ENGL 261British Literature 13
ENGL 262British Literature 23
ENGL 263Shakespeare 13
ENGL 272Modern Literature3
ENGL 273Contemporary Literature3
ENGL 285Images of Women in Literature3
Creative Writing
ENGL 111Introduction to Creative Writing3
ENGL 212Creative Writing: Fiction3
ENGL 213Creative Writing: Poetry3
ENGL 214Creative Writing: Non-Fiction3

Students must complete an officially sanctioned minor outside the College of Media. However, students may pursue the Sport Communication minor, which is offered jointly by the College of Media and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, or the Interactive Media and Design minor, which is offered jointly by the College of Media and the College of Creative Arts.  Students completing a dual-degree are exempt from the requirement to complete a minor. Students should consult their advisor before starting a minor. Some minors require 18 hours of coursework instead of 15 hours.


General Education and Elective Credits can vary - students must have a minimum of 120 credit hours total to complete the degree.

College of Media students must take a minimum of 72 credit hours outside of the College of Media in non journalism/mass communications courses.

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3ENGL literature or Creative Writing course3
JRL 101 (GEF 4)3GEF 33
JRL 2153GEF 53
Language course3Language course3
JRL 1913Select one of the following:3
 15 15
Second Year
GEF 2B4Elective2
JRL major Writing category course3GEF 63
JRL 2253JRL major Writing category course3
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3HIST 1533
BUSA 2013Minor course3
 16 14
Third Year
Elective3STAT 1113
GEF 73JRL major Creating category course3
POLS 1023Minor Course3
JRL major Creating category course3Electives3
Minor Course3BUSA 3303
 15 15
Fourth Year
JRL 4283JRL 4593
JRL major Engaging category course3300/400 JRL, STCM, ADV, or PR course3
Minor Course3Minor Course3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals


The Reed College of Media states as its learning goals the values and competencies of its national accrediting body, the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, which appear under information about the B.S. in Journalism degree. In addition, the College faculty have set other specific educational outcomes deemed critical for success as professional communicators. These additional educational outcomes for journalism majors are:

  1. Journalism graduates will 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. Graduates will be adequately prepared to either work in the field or pursue advanced educational opportunities.
  2. Journalism graduates will demonstrate a mastery of written and spoken communications, an understanding of the technologies of print, television and digital media, and knowledge and applications of these skills in their chosen careers.
  3. Journalism graduates will demonstrate an understanding of how to serve diverse publics in their reporting and producing.
  4. Journalism graduates will demonstrate knowledge of media ethics, law and regulation.
  5. Journalism graduates will demonstrate specialized knowledge of news media interactions with various critical publics, including but not limited to: government at all levels; educational entities; law enforcement; medical, social and humanitarian services; and religious and secular organizations within the community.
  6. Journalism graduates will learn to work as collaborative teams to solve problems, create strategies and produce content across media platforms.
  7. Journalism graduates demonstrate the ability to engage an audience using social media networking and analytics tools.

JRL 101. Media and Society. 3 Hours.

Examines the relationship between media, culture and society, with emphasis on the history, structure, and organization of the mass media.

JRL 116. Academic Success Seminar. 1 Hour.

This course is designed to help College of Media students who have experienced academic difficulties to understand their academic status and to help them identify strategies, techniques and resources that can assist them in overcoming their particular performance challenges. Applicable College and WVU services, policies and procedures also are discussed.

JRL 119. Reed College Multidisciplinary Orientation. 3 Hours.

This course offers an orientation to the Reed College of Media's MDS program, including program requirements, departmental resources, curriculum options, student responsibilities and opportunities.

JRL 191. College of Media Orientation. 3 Hours.

This course for direct admit Media College students introduces them to university processes, such as scheduling and DegreeWorks; to College of Media organizations, advisors, professors and professional options/curricular majors; and now also includes information about conducting research and basic media literacy.

JRL 210. Visual Journalism and New Media. 3 Hours.

PR: College of Media major or minor. Theory and principles of visual communication and image culture.

JRL 215. Media Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: Minimum cumulative GPA of C. Introduction to the fundamental reporting and storytelling skills that are the foundation of all media writing: print, radio, television, public relations, advertising and social media.

JRL 220. Introduction to Photojournalism. 3 Hours.

Basic techniques of journalistic photography, digital imaging and editing. Students must have accessto a film or digital camera.

JRL 225. Media Tools & Applications. 3 Hours.

Intended for College of Media majors and Interactive Media Design minors, this lecture/lab course covers fundamental principles and practices of multimedia content gathering and editing in preparation for upper-level courses with the College of Media.

JRL 235. Electronic Media and Society. 3 Hours.

(Open to all University students.) Survey of the electronic media industry with an emphasis on the role of broadcast journalism in society. Covers historical development, regulation, industry standards, ethics, international media, and contemporary issues.

JRL 279. Documentary Film in America. 3 Hours.

This course, through viewings, readings, lectures and speakers will survey the history of documentary film in America and the ever-growing diversity of documentaries, influenced by the political, economic and social forces of their day.

JRL 293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

JRL 298. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study or research.

JRL 318. Beat Reporting. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Essentials of developing and covering a news beat. Students generate stories, cultivate sources, and discover their community.

JRL 319. Editing and Curation. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Students develop the skills necessary to edit and design content for online and print media outlets.

JRL 320. Advanced Photojournalism. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 220. Introduction to advanced techniques and concepts in visual journalism for print and electronic media. Color, lighting, studio and digital camera techniques.

JRL 321. Media Design. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. An introduction to the design of newspapers, magazines and internet publications.

JRL 322. Gaming Design and Digital Narrative. 3 Hours.

This course covers an introduction to the principles and practice of game design as a tool for interactivity, database storytelling, and audience building within journalism. The course will analyze case studies and provide hands-on development and application of game mechanics and game dynamics within journalism and strategic media across web, mobile, tablet and emergent augmented reality platforms.

JRL 330. Sports and Adventure Media Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215 and JRL 225 with a minimum grade of C- in each. Focuses on writing media content about sports and adventure activities for journalism and strategic communications purposes. Attention is given to writing styles used for different mediums as well as strategies to incorporate audience insight and engagement.

JRL 331. Infographics and Data Visualization. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Students practice data-driven journalism, a field that includes finding, compiling, cleaning, extrapolating from, and visualizing data, as well as using graphics software and basic coding languages.

JRL 335. Video and Audio News Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Gathering, researching, and evaluating facts; reporting and writing news for radio and television; editorial decision making and responsibility; broadcast news ethics.

JRL 361. Media Relations In Sport. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 201 or ADV 215 or PR 215 or STCM 215. Provides an in-depth understanding of how effective public relations plays an integral role in any sports organization via a myriad of communication efforts used in the dissemination of information to the media and the public.

JRL 380. Sports and Adventure Media Video Storytelling. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 330 with a minimum grade of C-. Focuses on creating sports and adventure media video stories for journalism and strategic communications purposes. Attention is given to video storytelling techniques. Involves direct practice covering sporting events, producing video content and applying audience insight and engagement techniques.

JRL 385. Audio Reporting. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 335 or TVJ 319. Writing and reporting news for radio and other digital audio sources. Lec/lab.

JRL 386. Beginning Video Reporting. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 335 or TVJ 319. Reporting, writing and producing stories for television news using digital video technology; emphasis on visual storytelling, editorial decision making, and ethical and legal considerations.

JRL 408. The Community Newspaper. 2 Hours.

(Open to all University students.) Fundamental problems and techniques in operation of community newspapers.

JRL 411. Experimental Journalism. 3 Hours.

PR: Senior status or departmental permission. A project-based, immersion course in experimental journalism using new technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, sensors, drones and other experimental storytelling methods.

JRL 412. Sport Journalism. 3 Hours.

PR: ADV 201 or ADV 215 or PR 215 or JRL 215 or STCM 215. Develops critical thinking skills in reporting and writing stories. Students examine the value of sport journalism; the way sport functions in society, and gain an understanding of ethics in sport journalism.

JRL 418. Advanced Reporting. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Students write carefully researched stories using writing, reporting, and interviewing skills they have acquired in previous classes while applying techniques of literary journalism.

JRL 419. Entertainment Reporting. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (STCM 215 or PR 215). This course is an examination of the issues facing the field of entertainment reporting. Students will cover beats, produce reporting and examine the entertainment industry.

JRL 420. Feature Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Developing writing, and editing news features, personality profiles, color pieces, issue oriented articles and human impact stories for news, public relations and film.

JRL 424. Adventure Travel Writing & Photography. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215 and JRL 225. Best practices and ethical considerations of travel and adventure journalism, including photography and point-of-view videography, and appropriate use of digital platforms, blogging and social media for journalistic purposes. Includes a travel component.

JRL 426. Investigative Reporting. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 318 or JRL 386 or TVJ 386. Reporting on the agencies, structures, and programs that make society work, including circuit court and police.

JRL 427. American Journalism History. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101. Development of media from seventeenth-century England and the American colonies; great names in journalism; freedom of the press and its implications and impact on the nation.

JRL 428. Media Ethics and Law. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. How ethics and law work together to help create and maintain the media environment. Examines ethical paradigms within a legal framework, with special emphasis on morality.

JRL 429. Opinion Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Students will analyze news issues and write opinion-based pieces.

JRL 430. Social Media and Journalism. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. This lab course identifies and applies the principles behind social media applications such as blogs and networking sites.

JRL 431. Multimedia Storytelling. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 225 with a minimum grade of C-. Online media storytelling/production techniques for journalists and advertising and public relations practitioners. Includes software basics and use of audio, video and still photography to engage and inform audiences. Ethical and legal issues related to visual communications also are discussed.

JRL 432. Social Media Strategy. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or ADV 201 or ADV 215 or STCM 215). This online course examines how social media channels can be utilized to meet the goals of corporate, non-profit, political and issue based outreach messaging.

JRL 433. Social Media Applications. 3 Hours.

PRL JRL 101 and (PR 215 or ADV 201 or ADV 215). This online course examines how messages can be crafted for maximum success and reach in the social media landscape.

JRL 434. Social Media Campaigns. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or ADV 201 or ADV 215). This online course examines case studies where social media was used successfully in instances of promotion, outreach and crisis communication.

JRL 435. Live Sports Video Production. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 380 with a minimum grade of C-. Production and coverage of live sporting events, including television terminology, camera operation, live directing, live technical directing, digital signage execution, instant replay, work ethic, and promptness. Involves direct practice with over ten of WVU's Division 1 sports.

JRL 440. Visual Storytelling for the Media. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 220 or consent. Development of advanced practical and analytical skills in digital photojournalism, photo editing and cross-media design. Analysis of images, visual narratives, new media storytelling, digital imaging, media asset management, and ethical and social issues.

JRL 441. Internship. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. Full-time employment for a minimum of 10 weeks under a signed contract detailing the terms of the experience. (Graded pass/fail.).

JRL 442. Practicum. 1-2 Hours.

PR: JRL 215 and consent. Students must have a signed contract detailing terms of the learning experience. 8 to 20 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks while taking other courses. (Graded on a pass/fail basis.).

JRL 445. International Media 1. 1-3 Hours.

PR: JRL 215. A combination of classroom theory and practical application of the function of media in an international setting.

JRL 446. International Media 2. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Centers around a trip that involves the study of media in the country students are visiting. Usually a continuation of International Media 1.

JRL 450. Writing for Health Promotion. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or ADV 215). A writing-intensive course that examines the evolving field of health communication. Students write health messages for distinct audiences. Some topics include: provider-patient communication and persuasive messages for social networks, social influence, and social support.

JRL 452. Applied Health Promotion. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or ADV 215). Primarily examines in-depth case studies of health communication messages with an emphasis on understanding how audiences are targeted and influenced by these messages.

JRL 454. Health Promotion Campaigns. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 101 and (PR 215 or ADV 215). Applies IMC principles, theories, and techniques to multifaceted health promotion and disease prevention campaigns. Examines non-profit and public organizations that utilize IMC strategies to promote issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness, cancer screening, and child vaccinations.

JRL 457. Adventure Media Capstone: Advanced Adventure Media Production. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 380 with a minimum grade of C-. Focuses on advanced video production for journalism or strategic communications purposes. Attention is given to in-depth story development and audience insight and engagement techniques associated with the story production. Involves direct practice of adventure sports or travel location-based video storytelling and audience building.

JRL 458. Interactive Media and Audience Building. 3 Hours.

Online class introduces students to the latest and evolving attributes of media entrepreneurship, new economic models for media, and audience building across emergent platforms.

JRL 459. Multimedia News Publication. 3 Hours.

PR: Any 300-level College of Media course and advisor/instructor consent. In this lab/workshop-style capstone class for journalism majors, students will produce stories and multimedia packages for publication and broadcast.

JRL 472. Advanced Interactive Design. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 322 and ART 372. Multimedia studio art course addressing core principles of interactivity, non-linear narration and interaction design.

JRL 484. Advanced Sports Video Production. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 380 with a minimum grade of C-. Focuses on sports video reporting and production for a broadcast sports magazine show. Production of the sports magazine show includes in-the-field reporting, in-the-studio camera operations, live directing and producing, work ethic and promptness. Attention is given to sports reporting and production industry standards.

JRL 485. Reed College Multidisciplinary Capstone. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 119. Instructs students on the methods and advantages of multidisciplinary education. Includes an experimental project with real world relevance.

JRL 487. Advanced Video Reporting and Producing. 3 Hours.

PR: JRL 386. Reporting, writing and producing television news stories using advanced production techniques; producing stories for cable or broadcast television. Work may be aired on local or regional broadcast or cable stations. (Lab fees will be assessed for this course.).

JRL 488. Video Editing. 1 Hour.

PR: JRL 215. This course is designed to teach broadcast journalism students advanced digital video and audio techniques for news productions, including field reports, newscasts, and studio-based programs.

JRL 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant. (Graded on a pass/fail basis.).

JRL 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours). Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned; supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development. (Graded on a pass/fail basis.).

JRL 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

JRL 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

JRL 495. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

JRL 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

JRL 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.


Program Coordinator

  • Gina Martino Dahlia - M.S.J. (West Virginia University)
    Teaching Associate Professor, Television Journalism


  • Maryanne Reed - M.S. (Northwestern University)
    Dean, Television Journalism
  • John Temple - M.F.A. (University of Pittsburgh)
    Print and Narrative Journalism

Associate professors

  • Joel Beeson - Ph.D. (Union College)
    Visual Journalism
  • Stephen Urbanski - Ph.D. (Duquesne University)
    Print Journalism, Media Ethics and Law

Assistant professors

  • Alison Bass - M.L.A. (Harvard University)
    Print Journalism
  • Lois Raimondo - M.A. (University of Missouri - Columbia)
    Shott Chair of Journalism, Visual Journalism

Teaching Associate Professors

  • Emily Hughes Corio - M.S.J. (West Virginia University)
    Television Journalism
  • Gina Martino Dahlia - M.S.J. (West Virginia University)
    Television Journalism

Teaching Assistant Professors

  • Robert Britten - Ph.D. (University of Missouri)
    Print and Experimental Journalism
  • Mary Kay McFarland - M.S. (University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Visual Journalism
  • Jeffrey Moser - M.F.A. (University of Delaware)
    Interactive Media Design
  • Tom Stewart - M.S.J. (West Virgina University)
    Print Journalism


  • Tyler Channell - M.S.J. (West Virginia University)
    Multimedia Specialist
  • David Smith - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Multimedia Specialist