​Journalism Major at CMU

CMU's  journalism major​ focuses on practical, hands-on applications inside and outside the classroom that blend news judgment with information gathering, interviewing techniques, writing for a variety of media - newspapers, magazines, online publications and editing.

In addition to learning the "how to" of reporting, writing and editing, students in the news editorial concentration, as in advertising, public relations, and photojournalism, learn to make sound decisions involving media law and ethics.

A journalism major​ will prepare you for success as a professional media practitioner, whether you want to work in daily or weekly newspapers, in magazines, or in up-to-the-minute online news services.

You will have opportunities to work on CM Life, CMU's award-winning student newspaper; Grand Central, CMU's award-winning online magazine; to do an internship; and ultimately to join a vast network of distinguished CMU news-ed. graduates throughout Michigan and beyond.

Your studies and career-building experiences are guided and provided through:

  • Faculty members who all hold advanced degrees - doctoral or master's degrees - and who have significant professional experience, having worked for a variety of media organizations throughout the world
  • A state-of-the-art computer lab equipped with the latest hardware and software
  • Internship possibilities with many local, state, national and international media and agencies that maintain a professional relationship with program faculty
  • Internship opportunities unique to CMU with the China Daily, Beijing's only English-language newspaper
  • Potential college employment as a reporter, writer, editor, graphics specialist, cartoonist, or other contributor to CM Life, the online website, Central Review, or Grand Central
  • Opportunities for involvement in professional organizations and student chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Central Online News Association (CONA)
  • Classes small enough to provide individualized faculty-student interaction
Core Courses I (21 hours) for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science​

JRN 102 - Introduction to Journalism 3(3-0)
An introduction to journalism as a social, cultural, political, technological, and economic force; a professional field; an academic discipline, unit and program.

JRN 202 - Writing for the Mass Media 3(3-0)
Gathering, processing and writing information and opinion on current matters using professional standards and formats in news, public relations and advertising. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: ENG 101 (C or better).

JRN 203 - Information Gathering for the Mass Media 3(3-0)
Acquiring, comprehending, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information by solving journalistic problems in a variety of cases and from multiple perspectives. Pre/Co-Requisite: JRN 202.

JRN 220 - Basic Media Photography 3(3-0)
Camera operation, producing and processing of photographs for media use.

JRN 302 - Introduction to Graphics and Visual Communication 3(3-0)
Principles and techniques of publication/advertising graphics and visual communication, including typography and the printing process.

JRN 404 - Law of Mass Communication 3(3-0)
Principles and case studies. Prerequisites: JRN 101 or 102; junior standing.

JRN 500 - Current Issues in Mass Communication 3(3-0)
Examination of the role of mass communication in society through the exploration of issues, ethics, trends and decision-making processes. Prerequisite: senior standing.

Core Courses II (3 hours)

Select one of the following:
JRN 372 - International and Cross-cultural Mass Communication 3(3-0)
Analysis of indigenous and international media systems and their relationship to social, economic and political institutions. (University Program Group IV-A).

JRN 380 - Racial Diversity: Mass Media's Role 3(3-0)
Critical, historical examination of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and gender stereotypes in mass media. Self-portrayals by these groups using mass media. (Group IV-C)

Required Courses (12 hours)

JRN 312 - Reporting 3(3-0)
Skills in gathering, evaluating and writing news. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: JRN 202, 203; ENG 201.

JRN 315 - Editing 3(3-0)
Copy editing, headline writing and design and layout. Prerequisites: JRN 202, JRN 302.

JRN 430 - Magazine and Feature Writing 3(3-0)
Experience in writing and marketing newspaper features and magazine articles. Submission of manuscripts for publication is required of each student in the course. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: JRN 202, 203.

JRN 516 - Public Affairs Reporting 3(3-0)
Coverage of government and other public issues. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisite: JRN 203, 312.

Elective (3 hours)

An additional Journalism course, as approved by the advisor.

Total: 39 semester hours

Career Options

As a graduate of the news editorial concentration, you will find numerous career opportunities as a reporter, writer or editor in a variety of areas:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Multimedia
  • Broadcast news
  • Advertising agencies
  • Public relations agencies


News editorial is a concentration within CMU's journalism program which is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. This designation is held by only one other university in Michigan.

About the University

CMU is a comprehensive four-year institution that offers degree programs on the bachelor's, master's, specialist's and doctoral levels. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Undergraduate students may choose from more than 150 programs of study. Its wealth of resources and its size offer students the academic advantages of a large university with the personal attention provided by smaller private schools.

CMU offers you:

  • A solid academic reputation
  • Respected faculty who make teaching their top priority
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Opportunities for internships, study abroad and honors study
  • A variety of active professional organizations
  • Numerous clubs, organizations and extracurricular programs

To learn more about undergraduate admission to Central Michigan University, contact:

Admissions Office
Warriner Hall 102
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859
Telephone: (989) 774-3076

To learn more about CMU's news editorial journalism program, contact:

Department of Journalism
Moore 454
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859
Telephone (989) 774-3196

Information about Central Michigan University also is available electronically:

World Wide Web: https://www.cmich.edu