Department of Journalism Public Accountability

Enrollment, retention, graduation and placement

Central Michigan University's Department of Journalism is one of only two nationally accredited mass communications programs in Michigan. As part of the standards issued by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, retention, graduation and placement information is to be made available to the public on this website.

Most of the information is compiled by CMU's Office of Academic Planning and Analysis and represents the best available data for each category. The placement category represents a combination of department-gathered information as well as the university's graduate survey. The department information includes email surveys, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, and notes to faculty.

Number of majors

In 2021-2022, the department had 145 majors across its four sequences. Those include advertising (63), journalism (49), photo-journalism (27) and journalism-public relations (6). In addition, the department has about 75 journalism minors and 71 advertising minors. The program also serves as a key interdisciplinary partner in the Integrative Public Relations program, the Multimedia Design program and the Public Affairs program. The number of majors are lower than in the previous year. Advertising is the largest major, followed by journalism, photojournalism, and finally, journalism-public relations.

Retention and graduation rates

The department's persistence rates are healthy. Persistence is defined as the percentage of students who return in succeeding years to continue their studies in Journalism. The second-year persistence rate in our majors who signed their majors in 2018-2019, the most recent academic year available, is 91%, 6% higher than the university average. The third-year persistence rate for the 2018-2019 cohort was 83%. This is the same as the university, but Journalism recognizes that we must continually strive to improve those percentages.

The department has consistently exceeded both the university and college in graduation rates, defined as how long it takes a student to graduate. The latest available information, for the cohort year of 2017-2018, shows 73% of department majors graduated in four years after signing their majors. This number has been rising slightly over the years and is 10% higher than the university average. The department's number 1 priority is to graduate students on time and prepared to begin their mass communication careers.

Placement data

To assess placement, the department surveys faculty members and recent graduates, as well as looks for publicly available information on career-related announcements involving journalism graduates. Faculty members are surveyed because they frequently are in touch with recent students about their career aspirations and serve as references, etc. The latest available placement data, which covers the 2020-2021 academic year, is that 82% of department majors who graduated in December 2020 or in May 2021 were employed, in graduate school or in a situation they favored. 18% reported looking for full-time work or being in jobs not related to their fields of study. The remaining percentage reported in being in "other" situations. Recent graduates have gone everywhere from producing content for a cannabis marketing company to advertising agencies in Grand Rapids to a variety of news positions in Lansing, Detroit and other locations, mostly in the Midwest.