Online Journalism at CMU

CMU's online journalism major will equip you with a combination of skills and knowledge needed to be successful in this generation, design and editing of reports, features and other stories in new and converged media/online journalism environments.

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

You will have opportunities to work on Grand Central, CMU's award-winning online magazine; to do an internship; and ultimately to join a vast network of distinguished CMU 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
  • Potential college employment as a reporter, writer, editor, graphics specialist, cartoonist, or other contributor to CM Life or Grand Central
  • Classes small enough to provide individualized faculty-student interaction
Required Courses I (15 hours) for Bachelor of Arts and Bacholor 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 220 - Basic Media Photography 3(3-0)
Camera operation, producing and processing of photographs for media use.

JRN 340 - Introduction to Online Journalism 3(3-0)
Survey of current theories and issues of new media environment, and introduction of online story reports production using current web development software. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a C or better.

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

Required 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 III (15 hours)

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 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 440 - Advanced Online Journalism 3(3-0)
Advanced techniques of producing online news stories using advanced web development software. Prerequisites: JRN 202, 340.

JRN 441 - Data Journalism 3(3-0)
An introduction to data journalism that involves the investigating and reporting of news by prospecting for, analyzing, graphing, and mapping data from online databases. Prerequisites: JRN 202, 203.

JRN 445 - Multimedia Reporting 3(3-0)
An advanced multimedia course that focuses on writing and reporting for the Internet, including producing multimedia news packages. Prerequisites: JRN 340, 440.

Required Courses IV (3 hours)

Select one of the following:
JRN 448 - Online Journalism Practicum 1-3(Spec)
Applying various online journalism theory and skills, such as web design, audio and video production, and photography to publish a web magazine as a group. Prerequisite: JRN 202.

JRN 449 - Online Journalism Internship 3(Spec)
Experience in online journalism under professional and faculty supervision. May be applied toward journalism major and minor only with permission of faculty advisor. Prerequisites: Junior standing; prior approval of internship director.

Required Courses V (6 hours)

Select two of the following:
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.

Total: 42 semester hours

Career Options

As a graduate of the online journalism program, you will find numerous career opportunities at:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Multimedia 
  • Television stations
  • Advertising agencies
  • Public relations agencies​


Photojournalism 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.

Special Resources

CMU offers a variety of resources that support your classroom learning

Library Resources
The university's Park Library contains more than 850,000 volumes. The library has an on-line computer card catalog to help you locate materials for class reports and research papers. The microfilm division, audiovisual department and interlibrary loan division offer you other resources.

Computer Facilities
Each residence hall is equipped with a computer room, and computer laboratories are in other campus locations. Some labs are open 24 hours a day.

Special Resources
CMU also offers special centers, student organizations and resources to help you prepare for your career.

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

For More Information

To learn more about the CMU journalism program, contact:

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

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

Information about Central Michigan University also is available electronically:

World Wide Web: