Mass Communications, B.A.J.M.C.


Entrance Requirements

Freshman Students

In order to be admitted to a program of study in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, freshmen must meet all University admission requirements. In order to continue in the program, each student must attain a minimum USC GPA of 2.50 upon completion of 30 degree-applicable hours. Credit received for remedial work is not counted toward the 30 hours.

Transfer Students

A student desiring to transfer to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, from either another college of the University or another institution, must have a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.50 on all work attempted. Transfer students from other institutions must take at least half the journalism and mass communications course work in residence at the University of South Carolina Columbia. Required journalism and mass communications courses from non-ACEJMC-accredited institutions, in order to be applied to the journalism and mass communications degree, must be validated by proficiency tests. Other journalism and mass communications courses from those institutions may be used as journalism and mass communications electives at the discretion of the SJMC administration. No more than 12 semester hours of journalism and mass communications related courses from non-ACEJMC-accredited institutions will be applied toward the journalism and mass communications degree.

Completion of ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 with grades of C or higher are prerequisites for JOUR 291.

Degree Requirements (120 hours)

See School of Journalism and Mass Communications for progression requirements and other regulations.

Program of Study

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 31-44
2. College Requirements 18-21
3. Program Requirements 12-23
4. Major Requirements 48

Founding Documents Requirement

All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers.  This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective.  Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.

1. Carolina Core Requirements (31-44 hours)

CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-7 hours) 

SCI – Scientific Literacy (7 hours)

Two approved Carolina Core Scientific Literacy courses from the natural sciences, including one laboratory course

GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language  (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language (except Latin or Ancient Greek) equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in 122. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.

GHS – ​Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours) 

One US History course selected from the following:

GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours) 

AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)

CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)

Select one from the following:

INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)

VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)


Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (18-21 hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours)

  • only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency

History (3 hours)

Course Title Credits
Select one of the following:3
European Civilization from Ancient Times to the Mid-17th Century
European Civilization from the Mid-17th Century
Introduction to the Civilization of the Islamic Middle East
Introduction to East Asian Civilization
Introduction to African History
Introduction to Ancient Near Eastern Civilization
Science and Technology in World History
Introduction to Latin American Civilization
Total Credit Hours3

Literature (3 hours)

Course Title Credits
Select one of the following:3
Special Topics in Fiction
Special Topics in British Literature
Special Topics in American Literature
American Literature
English Literature
Total Credit Hours3

Social Science (3 hours)

Social or Behavioral Science (3 hours)

A 300-level or higher course from HIST or POLI or three hours of Social or Behavioral Sciences at the 300 level or higher from: AFAM- African-American Studies; ANTH- Anthropology; COLA- College of Liberal Arts; GEOG-Geography (except GEOG 545 and GEOG 546); LASP-Latin American Studies; POLI- Political Science; PSYC- Psychology; SOCY- Sociology; SOST- Southern Studies; WGST- Women and Gender Studies.

Additional SJMC Requirements (6 hours)

Course Title Credits
ECON 224Introduction to Economics3
MKTG 350Principles of Marketing3
or MGMT 371 Principles of Management
Total Credit Hours6

3. Program Requirements (12-23 hours)

Minor or Cognate (12-18 hours)

Students must complete either a minor or a cognate from courses outside the SJMC.

A minimum grade of C is required in all cognate or minor courses

Minor (18 hours)

A student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications may choose to complete a minor consisting of 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or better. A minor form must be completed and approved by the school after the student has completed 30 hours of course work.

Cognate (12 hours)

A student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications may choose to complete a cognate. A cognate requires a minimum of 12 hours of courses in other departments related to the student’s major and/or career goals. Cognate courses may be taken in one or more departments depending on the interest and requirements of the student, but must have approval of the student’s adviser. Journalism courses may not be used in the cognate. At least 6 of the 12 hours must be at the 300-level or higher. No 100 level courses may be used in the cognate.

Electives (0-11 hours)

The Carolina Core, additional SJMC General Eduation Requirements, Minor/Cognate and Electives outside of the SJMC must include at least 72 semester hours in academic subjects. Students with fewer than 72 hours in general education courses must take enough electives to fulfill the 72-hour minimum.

No elective courses of a remedial, developmental nature may apply as credit toward the 72-hour minimum.

4. Major Requirements (48 hours)

A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses

Major Courses (30 hours)

Course Title Credits
JOUR 101Media and Society3
JOUR 291Writing for Mass Communications3
JOUR 303Law and Ethics of Mass Communications3
or JOUR 304 Internet and Social Media Law
Select three of the following:9
Principles of Public Relations
Principles of Advertising and Brand Communications
Principles of Visual Communications
Principles of Journalism
Select three of the following:9
History and Philosophy of the Mass Media
Theories of Mass Communications
Freedom, Responsibility, and Ethics of the Mass Media
Mass Media Criticism
Public Opinion and Persuasion
Capstone Portfolio Course
JOUR 515Mass Communications Capstone Portfolio3
Total Credit Hours30

Leadership with Distinction Pathway (6 hours)

Choose one of the University’s Leadership with Distinction Pathways: Global Learning, Research, Civic Engagement, or Community Service.  Courses listed under each pathway are examples that address the pathway’s learning outcomes.  Except for the required courses identified, otehr relevant courses that address the pathway outcomes may be substituted per approval of advisor.

Global Learning (6 hours)

Course Title Credits
JOUR 504International Mass Communications3
Select one approved SJMC international elective3
Total Credit Hours6

Research (6 hours)

Course Title Credits
JOUR 332Mass Communications Research3
Select one approved SJMC research elective3
Total Credit Hours6

Professionals & Civic Engagement (6 hours)

Course Title Credits
Select two of the following approved Professional & Civic Engagement electives:6
Law and Ethics of Mass Communications
Public Relations Writing
Freedom, Responsibility, and Ethics of the Mass Media
Crisis Communications
The Carolina Agency
Ethics in Public Relations and Public Policy
Total Credit Hours6

Community Service (6 hours)

  • Two approved SJMC service learning or community engagement electives

Diversity and Social Advocacy (6 hours)

Course Title Credits
JOUR 311Minorities, Women, and the Mass Media3
Select one of the following approved SJMC Diversity and Social Advocacy electives:3
Freedom, Responsibility, and Ethics of the Mass Media
Faith, Values, and the Mass Media
Total Credit Hours6

Note: The major in Mass Communications aligns with Graduation with Leadership Distinction. Further information on Graduation with Leadership Distinction can be obtained through the Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning.

Major Electives (12 hours)

Four JOUR electives of the students’ choice: at least 3 hours and no more than 6 hours must be from skills courses.

Concentration in Sports Media (12 hours) Optional

Students may choose to complete a concentration in sports media. The sports media concentration may be used to fulfill 12 hours of the major elective requirements.

Course Title Credits
JOUR 391Sports Media and Society3
Select three elective courses from the following:9
Sports Activism and Media
Special Topics in Sports Media
Live Television Sports Production
Social Media for Sports Media
Gender, Sexuality, and Sports Media
Super Bowl Commercials
Sports Announcing
Multimedia Sports Storytelling
Sports Journalism
Special Topics
Internship in Mass Communications
Total Credit Hours12

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Mass Communications, B.A.J.M.C.

Mass Communications, B.A.J.M.C. Sports Media Concentration