Degree Requirements

Requirements for the J-School undergraduate major are relatively simple. After admission to the J-School, you just complete:

  • Journalism 202
  • one 300-level skills course
  • one 400-level skills course
  • one 500-level “Group B” theory course
  • one 600-level “Group C” theory course (3 credits or more)
  • one additional 500-600 Group B/C course (3 credits or more)

You must take a total of at least 30 Journalism credits for the major. If you took J201 at UW-Madison and you select a four-credit course for each requirement beyond J202, you’ll hit 30 credits exactly. Otherwise you’ll need an extra course or additional credits via J697 (Internship), J699 (Directed Study), or the one-credit Undergraduate Colloquium course offered each term that entails weekly presentations by professionals.

The courses in our major don’t need to be taken in any specific order aside from observing the prerequisites – you can take theory courses alongside skills courses, and you can take a semester away from the skills courses to go abroad or if the one you want is full. Students admitted to the J-School early in their academic careers sometimes have to wait for courses, especially on the skills tracks, as students farther along receive priority in UW registration and enroll first. The resources we receive from the college allow enough courses and slots to graduate all majors with one track in a standard four-year schedule.

Additional requirements for the Journalism Degree (J.B.A./J.B.S.)

Journalism is a degree from the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, as well as a major within the College of Letters & Science (you are students in both the J-School and the College of L&S). The J.B.A. or J.B.S. degree entails additional humanities and social science courses outside the J-School beyond the regular B.A. and B.S. requirements, as follows:

  • Three introductory (elementary-level) courses in three of the following social science fields, one of which must be Polisci or Econ: Polisci, Econ, Anthropology, Geography, ILS, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology.
  • Twelve credits of intermediate- or advanced-level (I, A or D level) humanities or social science (H, S or Z breadth), one of which must be in the History department (not History/Journalism 560, which is a Group B J-School course).

Once your 12 intermediate-advanced credits are filled, you may substitute additional intermediate-advanced courses for the introductory requirement in those social science fields. This is a good idea if you are behind on the 60 intermediate-advanced credits all L&S students need to graduate. Consult Robert about making that substitution.

College of Letters and Science Degree Requirements

Students also must fulfill degree requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Letters & Science. Refer to the current Undergraduate Catalog for those requirements.