University of Wisconsin–Madison

Curriculum

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers two tracks within its 30-credit undergraduate program. Reporting (communication that informs) and Strategic Communication (communication that persuades). These two tracks give students a broad overview of the communication fields, as well as a grounding in skills relevant to their professional aspirations, making them more competitive when they begin their careers and more adaptable to a variety of roles as their career progress. Full course descriptions are available at the guide.

Introductory Coursework

J201: Introduction to Mass Communication
Students begin in J201. This 4-credit, lecture-based course also fulfills UW’s Communications B Requirement

J202: Mass Communication Practices
All students who are admitted to the school of Journalism take J202 as their first course in the major. This 6-credit, intensive course introduces basic professional and technical skills in both reporting and strategic communication.

Choose a Track

Reporting

J335: Principles and Practices of Reporting
Basic reporting for print and electronic media. Students will bring together technical and conceptual skills by creating a variety of print, audio and web-based news stories on a current public issue.

4 credits

Strategic Communication

J345: Principles and Practices of Strategic Communication
Introduction to strategic communication for students interested in advertising, public relations, health communications and political campaigns.

4 credits

Advanced Level Courses

These advanced-level courses allow students to explore the skills and media that interest them most. Students must take at least one course from the list of courses for their chosen track. Course descriptions can be found in the guide. All of the following are four-credit courses.

Reporting

J401: In-depth Reporting

J404: Interpretation of Contemporary Affairs

J405: Creative Nonfiction

J415: Science and Environmental Journalism

Reporting or Strategic Communication

J411: Multimedia Graphics

J417: Magazine Publishing

J419: Electronic News for Web and Broadcast

Strategic Communication

J445: Developing Creative Message for Media

J447: Strategic Media Planning

J449: Strategic Communications Campaigns

Special Topics

J475: Special Topics in Advanced Concepts and Skills
Exploration of a particular set of concepts and skills in more depth. Subjects will vary. This course sometimes fulfills 400-level major requirements depending on the subject.

Theory Coursework

Students must take a minimum of three courses exploring theories and topics related to mass media and communication. At least one course must be a Group B course and one must be a Group C course.

Group B

J559: Law of Mass Communication

J560: History of Mass Communication

J561: Mass Communication & Society

J565: Effects of Mass Communiation

Group C

J614: Communication & Public Opinion

J616: Mass Media & Youth

J617: Health Communication in the Information Age

J618: Mass Communication & Political Behavior

J620: International Communication

J621: Mass Communication in Developing Nations

J646: Mass Media & the Consumer

J658: Communication Research Methods

J662: Mass Media & Minorities

J666: Professional Responsibility in Mass Communication

J669: Literary Aspects of Journalism

J675: Topics in Government & Mass Media

J676: Special Topics in Mass Communication