Enrollment, Retention, Graduation, and Placement


CMU's Department of Journalism, part of the College of Communications and Fine Arts, is one of only two nationally accredited mass communications programs in Michigan. As part of the standards issued by ACEJMC (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 Institutional Research and represents the best available data for each category. The placement category represents a combination of department-gathered information and First Destination Survey results.

Number of majors

At the end of academic year 2016-2017, the department had 248 majors across its four sequences. Those include advertising, journalism, photo-journalism, and journalism-public relations. In addition, the department has about 70 journalism minors. The program also serves as a key interdisciplinary partner in the Integrated Public Relations program, the Multimedia Design program, and the Public Affairs program. The number of majors has been steady in the past three years, though the emphasis has changed. Advertising is now the single-largest major in the department, followed by journalism, photojournalism, and journalism-PR.

Retention and graduation rates

The department's persistence rates are highlights. Persistence is defined as the percentage of students who return the next year to continue their studies. The second-year persistence rate in our majors for the latest academic available, 2014-2015, is 86.8 percent, consistent with the CCFA average and well above the university-wide average of 83.6 percent. The department's third-year persistence rate is 75.8 percent, a percent higher than CCFA overall and far exceeding the university-wide average of 71.4 percent. The department recognizes we must continually strive to improve those percentages.


The department consistently exceeds 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 2012-2013, shows 67.5 percent of department majors graduated in four years, compared to 60.8 percent for the college, and 55.4 percent for the university. The department's No. 1 priority is to graduate students both on time and prepared to begin their mass communication careers.

Placement Data

The latest available placement data, which covers the 2014-2015 academic year, is that 93 percent of department majors were employed, in graduate school or in a situation they favored. Seven percent reported being unemployed. Fifty-five percent of department majors reported working in the fields of their majors. The department's faculty remain available to their students throughout their careers, often offering advice or a listening ear in negotiations for salaries, promotions, and the like. Though percentages are not yet available, graduates in December 2016 and May 2017 have gone everywhere from a video game review digital magazine in New York City to police reporter in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to public relations in Detroit.

Student Focus

The department and its faculty are student focused, with their success being up the top priority. This is accomplished in a variety of ways:

* Hands-on Advising: The unit's faculty and staff provide hands-on attention to students, working with them individually through personalized academic and careers advising to enable them discover their aspirations and their strengths.

* Committed Faculty: Journalism faculty members bring to the classroom years of combined professional experience across a variety of media-related disciplines. They provide students with essential insights into specific careers and contacts throughout the media industries. They also update curriculum on a regular basis, introducing new courses and working with students to build their brands and their entrepreneurial ability.

* Internships and Career Placements: An academic adviser works specifically with students on internships and career placements, liaising with alumni and employers to obtain high-caliber internships for students and jobs for emerging graduates.

* Relevant experiences: Students can engage in extra-curricular activities such as workshops and conferences run by professional organizations. They also can engage in co-curricular activities such as the Grand Central e-zine practicum and work on Central Michigan Life, the campus student publication. The department provides monetary support for student travel to conferences such as the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Awards competition, the AdFed competition, and the Michigan Press Association, Michigan Press Photographers Association, National Press Photographers Association, and the Online News Association conventions.

* Chair Advisory Council: Students engage in regular consultative sessions with the department chair through the Chair Advisory Council, a council of select students who deal with matters of curriculum, diversity, teaching, extra- and co-curricular opportunities and other matters.

* Awards and Scholarships: The unit offers awards and scholarships to students in the program and hosts an annual Awards and Scholarships Luncheon to honor award-winning students.

* Open-door policies and 24/7 availability: Faculty are always available for consultation via their 24/7 availability to all students via email, phone calls and on-campus presence. The chair has an open-door policy and readily responds to student calls.

Contacts and more information


For information on ACEJMC accountability and disclosure standards, please visit: http://www2.ku.edu/~acejmc/BREAKING/Instructions_for_Standard_6_Indicator_e).pdf

For information about Central Michigan University retention rates, please visit: https://www.cmich.edu/office_provost/academic_administration/OIR/Factbook/Student/Pages/Student_Performance.aspx#Retention

If you would like more information or have questions, please contact Dr. Edgar Simpson, simps1e@cmich.edu.