Digital Journalism Degree Programs in U.S.

The first and only of its kind, this project provides an overview of the emerging – and growing – undergraduate digital or multimedia journalism education in U.S.

By September 2012, through a comprehensive examination of more than 500 journalism and communication programs in U.S., 111 programs are identified as digital or multimedia journalism programs.

How I categorize a digital/multimedia journalism program

This project is based on an examination of 483 journalism and communication programs in the “2010 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Enrollments” published by Journalism & Mass Communication Educator (winter 2011), as well as online searches for programs not included in that survey.

Each category is indicated with a color marker on the map. The legend is as follows:

  • Fully integrated: All students must take dedicated courses in digital or multimedia journalism, and must take reporting and production courses for both print and broadcast platforms.
  • Partly integrated: All students must take dedicated courses in digital/multimedia journalism, and choose a concentration in, or multiple courses that focus on, a specific print or broadcast platform.
  • Silo: Students choose a concentration or track that is focused on digital/multimedia journalism. Separate tracks exist for other platforms such as broadcast or print.
  • Electives only: Students may choose dedicated courses in digital/multimedia journalism, but they are not required. (This category is not plotted on the map)

Findings: Digital/multimedia journalism education in U.S.

Limitations of this survey

The primary research method was to examine degree requirements, curriculum and syllabi posted on the website of a journalism program. It has the following limitations:

  • Programs that may be “digital/multimedia” but don’t have a posted online degree requirement are not included in this survey.
  • This project only examines courses that have an explicit title which indicates the digital contents or nature of the course; the course content indicators include “digital,” “multimedia,” “online,” “multi-platform,” “cross-platform,” “convergence,” etc.
  • This project does not include programs that offer conventional journalism courses with built-in digital/multimedia components.
  • This project is not able to differentiate the scope of digital journalism training that a program offers: per current definition, a “fully integrated” program may be a program that offers one (and only one) digital journalism class, and it may also be a program that offers multiple digital courses.

Thus programs on this list should not be construed as the only schools/programs teaching digital or multimedia journalism in U.S.

Mu Lin, Ph.D.
Email: mlin@mulinblog.com
Twitter: @mututemple

Infographic: How to develop a digital journalism program

Here’s an infographic for an “ideal” model of digital journalism degree program; it is based on findings in this survey as well as my own thoughts on digital journalism education.

download

31 Responses to Digital Journalism Degree Programs in U.S.

  1. This is great! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s quite timely as I’m about to begin work on creating what I’m calling a “pipeline” to diversity within public media. One of the questions we discussed as we wrote the proposal was “Why aren’t students of color being hired by media entities?” We wanted to dig down and look at what programs exist at the college level that are focused on developing young people into today and tomorrow’s forward thinking journalists as well as giving them the hands-on professional development needed to get hired. We’re thinking that in order to create a pipeline, we need to connect colleges and universities with public media outlets that are federally mandated to “make every effort” to “serve the underserved.” This means becoming fixtures in their communities and broaden their reach through programming and staffing. Thanks again for publishing your work. It’s already been quite useful. I’ll offer to assist you as well if you need it.

  2. Pingback: MMJ- Not a martial art, but fighters indeed « Vitamin J

  3. Brian says:

    This is really helpful for aspiring journalists. Here is the course syllabi for California State University, Northridge http://www.csun.edu/journalism/resources/syllabi.html, my soon-to-be alma matter. Most, if not all, classes encourage multimedia production at some sort of level. Professor Bluestein teaches New Media Journalism, Professor Lalum conducts the newspaper practicum course that unveils new platforms to students and Professor Retis and Rojo teach in the Spanish-language journalism department. Most of the Spanish-language journalism courses (a minor) are fully multimedia integrated classes– audio, visual, video and writing. Here is some of my multimedia work while at Northridge http://bdelossantos.weebly.com/multimedia.html

    BEST!

  4. Chris Harper says:

    I can’t understand how you can classify Temple, where I teach multimedia journalism, as only partly integrated into multimedia journalism. We have been doing and teaching multimedia since 2004. All the best.

    • mulinblog says:

      Thanks for the comment. Based on my “imperfect” criteria, if a program requires students to take dedicated multimedia journalism courses, then requires students to choose a concentration in a platform, I consider it “partly” integrated multimedia journalism program. In other words, I consider “fully integrated” programs to be (a) require dedicated multimedia journalism courses and (b) break down walls between broadcast and print. Some “fully integrated” programs that best fit my criteria are like the ones at University of Texas at Austin and Arizona State University.

  5. Lyn Millner says:

    Thanks, Mu Lin, for this excellent site, which I discovered this morning. Our program may not have hit your radar yet. Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers) began its single-track journalism program centered on multimedia in August. Details here: http://www.fgcu.edu/_includes/FGCUCatalog/printprogram.asp?cat=CurrentCat&id=129
    Twitter: @JOU_FGCU
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FGCUJournalism
    Lyn Millner
    lmillner@fgcu.edu
    @lynmillner

  6. Pingback: Accelerated Degree Programs | Learning Jigsaw

  7. melissatully says:

    Thanks for compiling this information and for attempting to classify a rather large and diverse data set. I’m not sure how it slipped through the cracks, but you’re missing the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: http://journalism.wisc.edu/undergraduate/.

  8. Penn State should also be on the list, although it does not meet your definition of “fully integrated” because there is not a defined multimedia major. That doesn’t mean that students aren’t doing multimedia and producing exceptional work.
    All journalism students are required to take intro to multimedia reporting. There is a hands-on multimedia reporting class that focuses on natural-sound audio stories, audio slideshows, video and integrated multimedia presentation. We have a projects class that spends a semester producing an explanatory multimedia-based website. We also integrate multimedia across the curriculum — broadcast students learn about personal branding and build portfolio sites; still photo students do DSLR video and audio slideshows; writing students learn how to produce audio highlights from recorded interviews and voice a music review. International reporting students also produce a large multimedia package that is syndicated through the McClatchy News Service.
    http://comm.psu.edu

  9. R says:

    Wait. Where’s UNC-Chapel Hill?

  10. Tom says:

    This is really a helpful list, especially for a high school senior considering a journalism major. I’m just curious, have you looked at Kent State University? I’m not sure if it would meet your requirements for “fully integrated,” but their Newspaper sequence is now called Multimedia News and the offer a “Multimedia Techniques” course, which I’m pretty sure is a requirement. Here’s the link : http://jmc.kent.edu/index.php/Undergraduate-Academics/undergraduate-programs.html

    • mulinblog says:

      Thanks for the comment. I would not consider that program a fully integrated program for (a) it still offers separate tracks in broadcast journalism and newspaper journalism and (b) it does offer a dedicated digital journalism course, “40012: Online Journalism,” but it is not a required course.

  11. T.R. says:

    You should check out the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Department of Journalism, which is accredited, at uwosh.edu/journalism. There is a visual journalism emphasis with required courses in photography (including multimedia projects in Media Photography II) and Online Journalism. Plus, the department is awaiting final approval for its Multimedia Foundations class (200-level), which is currently taught as a selected topics. Also, the department participates (notably with two social media classes) in the Interactive Web Management degree with computer science, information management, and marketing.

    The radio-tv-film program at Oshkosh has courses like: RTF 305 – Theory and Practice of New Media 3 units (crs.) This course develops an understanding of the relationship between the traditional media industry and converging new media.

    I am a bit surprised to see UW Madison on here. Madison is known for not having hands-on classes, although having excellent theoretical courses. For example, from their multimedia graphics class, “Students learn the theoretical aspects of multimedia and community as they learn to analyze and think critically about content-driven design, typography, photography and digital technology.” I don’t see any hands-on use here, although it may exist. They don’t even have a photo class. Broadcasting with web hits at 400-level.

  12. Tim Gleason says:

    Thanks for the effort. It is quite a challenge to capture good data in a rapidly changing landscape. Please add the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication to the list of programs that should be on your map.

  13. Pingback: 5 Lesetipps für den 8. April - Netzpiloten.de

  14. Dr. Lin: Please add Roger Williams University, in Bristol, RI, to your list of full-integrated Digital Journalism programs.

  15. Jonathan says:

    Two of the top schools in photojournalism which have in-depth multimedia classes aren’t listed.
    Western Kentucky University and Ohio University (school of Visual Communication)

    Take a look at competitions like Hearst or College Photographer of the Year and you will get a quick education into which schools are creating some of the strongest multimedia journalism pieces today.

  16. Eric Newton says:

    Dear Mu, I was thinking of showing your map at a meeting in New York but I did not see Columbia, CUNY or NYU. How did they get left out? No online information?

    • mulinblog says:

      Thanks for the interest in the map. It is for undergraduate programs only – I was having much difficulty identifying master’s programs with digital offerings.

  17. Scarlett says:

    University of South Florida offers a fully online Master’s in Digital Journalism & Design at their St. Petersburg campus.

  18. Pingback: Careers & Internships | The myriad skills employers now expect of journalism graduates

  19. Robin Gaby Fisher says:

    Wonderful survey, but next time you’ll need to include Rutgers University, Newark campus. We have a fully integrated digital media program with some of the best multimedia experts in the country teaching our students. Thanks! Robin Gaby Fisher, Director of Journalism, Rutgers University, Newark campus.

  20. It is a new really journalism. A nice and a great. (trainer and lecture of journalism from Banten Province (Indonesia).

  21. Neil Ralston says:

    Hi,

    I see you’re getting a lot of recommendations, and I’d like to add one more: Lindenwood University (https://www.lindenwood.edu/). Currently our journalism majors must take a class in online journalism and a class called applied journalism — internet in which they provide content for a student website. But beginning next year we are adding a freshman course called the digital newsroom and consolidating the two emphases (print and broadcast) into just one major. All of our journalism students will take courses in digital communication, broadcast, print and photography.

  22. T.R. says:

    One thing that I wish was accounted for was actual photographic education. The swing to multimedia has been good at getting people thinking about visuals, but many places still aren’t thinking visually. I’m surprised that some of the programs I know better look fairly strong in multimedia according to the map coding, yet they don’t teach photography. They teach students how to insert photos in multimedia projects, which often results in bad looking photos in multimedia projects. Would we teach students how to insert text but not teach them how to write good stories? No.

    I know not all departments and programs are doing this, but I fear too many are teaching students to click without teaching how to see.

Leave a Reply