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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017


1100 Knight Hall, 301-405-2399
Dean: Lucy Dalglish
Associate Dean(s): Rafael Lorente, Olive Reid
Assistant Dean(s): Lele Ashworth, Emily Hartz

Professors: M. Feldstein, K. Klose, S. Moeller, S. Oates, D. Priest, L. Steiner, C. Stepp
Associate Professors: I. Chinoy, C. Hanson, D. Nelson, R. Yaros
Assistant Professors: K. Chadha, N. Diakopoulos
Lecturers: J. Carroll, C. Clayton, J. Davidsburg, K. Denny, A. Flynn, C. Harvey, S. Katcef, S. Mussenden, B. Swain
Affiliate Professors: G. Solomon (Prof Of Practice)
Professors Emeriti: M. Beasley, J. Blumler, J. Franklin, P. Geraci (Assoc Prof Emeritus), D. Gomery, R. Hiebert, L. Martin, K. McAdams (Assoc Prof Emeritus), J. Newhagen (Assoc Prof Emeritus), E. Roberts
Visiting Faculty: S. Banisky, K. Blackistone, L. Walker

The Major

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism prepares students for careers in newspapers, magazines, TV news, newsletters and online journalism outlets. The undergraduate journalism program culminates in a B.A. degree in journalism.

The College is fully accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Students learn in college programs such as Capital News Service, a daily wire service in College Park, Washington, D.C., and Annapolis and UMTV, a cable station operated by the college.

Students majoring in journalism take approximately one-third (42-45 credits) of their total coursework in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Journalism courses are designed to provide students with a working knowledge of the tools and concepts they will need to perform as top-flight professional communicators.

The remaining approximately two-thirds (77-80 credits) of undergraduate coursework consists of a variety of other subjects such as history, economics, government, sociology and psychology. This exposure acquaints students with fundamental problems and issues they will encounter in their careers. Within these credits, journalism students must choose a "Concentration" (a core of advanced work in a substantive field) to establish competency in a specialized area of knowledge they will be able to use as professionals.

Program Objectives

About the College

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism is widely considered one of the best journalism programs in the nation, blending a mix of prize-winning journalists, communication scholars and nationally recognized professional programs.  The school's mission is simple: to produce the best possible journalists for leading newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online news outlets. Recent graduates are editors, reporters and producers at The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, Los Angeles Times, CNN and many of the nation's other top news organizations.

Located less than 10 miles from the news capital of Washington, students participate in internships during the academic year at The Washington Post, The (Baltimore) Sun, CNN, and a wide array of Washington news bureaus. In the summer, students intern at top news organizations around the country.  Broadcast news students produce and anchor a 30-minute nightly news show that reaches more than 400,000 households in suburban Washington on the College-operated UMTV station, and multi-platform students work on Maryland Newsline, a political and public policy web-based news magazine. Advanced students enroll in Capital News Service, an intensive full-time reporting program in Washington, Annapolis and College Park. Students also participate in some of the school's professional programs.

College Mission Statement

The College seeks to be the nation's preeminent professional school in its field, a model for others in its integration of scholarly work and professional practice. It aspires to lead in the uses and study of new technologies to improve understanding and performance in our fields. Its mission is to educate university students at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral level within a liberal arts context, preparing them for careers in journalism, scholarly work and teaching in these fields; to elevate the standards of professional practice; and to advance the quality of public life through knowledge of public issues, including those related to the role in a democratic society.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to research, write, report and edit relevant news stories acceptable by a professional news outlet.
  2. Understand the history of journalism, be familiar with coverage of diverse groups in society and learn the role of journalists in society.
  3. Understand the ethical guidelines and practices that govern the profession and the legal implications and considerations that inform the profession.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to apply tools, concepts and technology appropriate for the presentation of images and information in the profession.
  5. Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the profession.
  6. Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.

Special Advantages and Facilities

The Merrill College is home to many unique programs and opportunities available to undergraduate students:

UMTV:  Broadcast journalism students study and learn at UMTV, the college-owned cable TV station that houses state-of-the-art equipment, including DVCPro, Avid and ENPS systems used in the field today. Students begin their broadcast education from their first semester at the College, volunteering as crew members for programs produced under the guidance of renowned broadcast faculty members.

Capital News Service:  The College's Capital News Service operates news-editorial and multi-platform bureaus in College Park, Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, a daily television newscast, and an online news magazine. CNS provides students with real-life reporting experiences covering a beat, developing sources, generating story ideas and writing on deadline under the supervision of a faculty editor.

Real-World Experience:  Students take their education out of the classroom and into the real world.  Using internships, student media and in-class reporting, our students don't just learn why, but how. The college is located just outside Washington, D.C., the country's eighth largest media market.

Top-Notch Faculty:  The Merrill College is home to internationally renowned journalists and media scholars. Courses are also taught by working journalists who serve as adjunct professors.

Access to Centers of Journalism Study:  The Merrill College is home to several centers for journalism study and professional development. Undergraduates have opportunities to interact with these programs.

Technology for the Real World:  Students use the same technologies used by professional journalists and media specialists. From the latest in non-linear editing systems, to updated technologies for digital art and pagination, every undergraduate will have access to the hardware and software used by professionals in television and radio production, visual journalism, online news and media communication.

Admission Requirements

Journalism is a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP). See the Admissions section in Chapter 1 for general LEP admission policies.

Freshman Admission and the 45-Credit Review

First-time entering freshmen will gain admission to the Philip Merrill College of Journalism directly from high school on an available basis. Early application is encouraged. Freshmen admitted to the program will have access to the necessary advising through their initial semesters to help them determine if Journalism is an appropriate area for their interests and abilities. Academic and career advising is provided to journalism students throughout their academic career by qualified academic counselors and the College's faculty.

Freshmen who are admitted directly to Journalism will be subject to a performance review by the time they have completed 45 credits. To meet the provisions of the review, these students must complete: (1) The two, first-year Fundamental Studies courses: ENGL101 and mathematics; (2) JOUR201 with a grade of "C-" or higher (JOUR181, ENGL101 AND JOUR200 are prerequisites for JOUR201); and (3) a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students must prove grammar skills competency through attainment of a minimum of a "C-" in JOUR181 or an 80 or higher on the grammar competency exam offered in JOUR181. Students who do not meet these requirements will not be allowed to continue in the LEP and will be required to select another major. In addition freshmen are expected to complete JOUR200 by the end of their first year.

Transfer Admission

These requirements apply to new transfer students to the University as well as on-campus students.

Note:  No more than 12 transfer credits of communications courses from an accredited journalism program may be approved by the College to be applied toward the degree. Transfer students who wish to receive credit for JOUR201 based on work done in a non-accredited journalism program must pass a proficiency exam.

In order to be admitted to Journalism, transfer students will be required to meet the following set of gateway requirements: (1) The two, first-year Fundamental Studies courses: ENGL101 and mathematics; (2) JOUR201 with a grade of "C-" or higher (JOUR181, ENGL101 and JOUR200 are prerequisites for JOUR201); and (3) attainment of a 2.8 GPA for all college-level work attempted.


Students who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to Journalism at the freshman or transfer level, and believe they have extenuating or special circumstances that should be considered, may appeal in writing to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The student will be notified in writing of the appeal decision.

Students admitted to Journalism as freshmen that do not pass the 45-credit review but believe they have special circumstances that should be considered, may appeal directly to the College.

For further information, contact the College's Student Services office at 301-405-2399.

Requirements for the Major

Effective for students matriculating Fall 2015 or later. (Student matriculating before Fall 2015 should contact an advisor about requirements).

Students are required to earn a minimum of 122 credits. Accredited journalism programs require majors to complete successfully approximately two-thirds of their coursework in areas other than journalism and communication. The Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland adheres to this nationwide policy.  In practical terms, this means that of the 122 minimum credits required for graduation, a journalism student must take 42 credits (and may take up to 45) in journalism (numbered 100 or above). Of the remaining 77-80 credits, a minimum of 65 must be earned in liberal-arts designated courses.

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism stipulates that 57 of the total credits must be taken in upper-level courses (courses numbered 300-499).

Required courses for all journalism majors, whether primary or secondary major:

I. Journalism requirements outside the College

Students must complete the following liberal arts coursework complementing the university's general education requirements. For the university's general education requirements, consult the General Education program in the current Undergraduate Catalog.

  • Abstract thinking skills requirement (9 credits)
    1. One three-credit statistics course from the following list:
      BIOM301, BMGT230, CCJS200, ECON 230, ECON321, EDMS451, GEOG306, GVPT422, HLTH300, PSYC200, SOCY201, STAT400 or a more advanced statistics course.
    2. A minimum of six credits through one or a combination of the following options. Should a student choose to combine the options, at least one language course must be at the intermediate level:
      • Language:  up to two courses with at least one course at the intermediate level and no more than one course at the introductory level. (High school equivalency does not satisfy this requirement.)
      • Math/Statistics/Computer Science: up to two courses
        • Any mathematics (MATH) course numbered 111 or higher.
        • Any computer science (CMSC) course numbered 102 or higher (at least three credits).
  • Public Speaking: one course from COMM100, 107, 200, or 230.
  • History: one course from HIST200 or 201.
  • Behavioral or Social Science: one course from ANTH260; PSYC100 or 221; SOCY100 or 105.
  • Economics: one course from ECON200 or 201.
  • Government and Politics: GVPT170.
  • Supporting Area: Four upper-level (numbered 300 or higher) courses for a minimum of 12 credits in a supporting field (cannot be in Communication).  Upper Level Electives: Four additional upper-level (numbered 300 or higher) courses for a minimum of 12 credits (cannot be in Communication).

II. Journalism course requirements:

  • JOUR200: Journalism History Roles and Structures (3 credits)
  • JOUR201: News Writing and Reporting I (3 credits)
  • JOUR203: Introduction to Multimedia Skills (3 credits)
  • JOUR300: Journalism Ethics (3 credits)
  • JOUR352: Intermediate Multimedia Journalism (3 credits)
  • JOUR396: Supervised Internship (2 credits)
  • JOUR400: Media Law (3 credits)
  • JOUR410-469: Journalism and Society (3 credits)
  • JOUR470-479: Media Research (3 credits)
  • Journalism Capstone Experience (3 credits)
  • JOUR480: Capstone Colloquium: The Business of News (1 credit)                            


JOUR202: News Editing (3 credits)
JOUR320: News Writing and Reporting II: Multiplatform (3 credits)
JOUR321-389: One Journalism Skills Elective (3 credits)
JOUR321-389: One Journalism Skills Elective (3 credits)

JOUR262: News Videography (3 credits)
JOUR360: News Writing and Reporting II: Broadcast (3 credits)
JOUR361: Television Reporting and Production (3 credits)
JOUR321-389: One Journalism Skills Elective (3 credits)

Total JOUR credits (42)*

*Student can count three additional JOUR credits toward their degree if they take an additional course from JOUR321-389, JOUR410-469 or JOUR470-479 in place of an UL Elective.

III. Specific Journalism Requirements

  • Completion of JOUR201: Students must complete JOUR201 with a "C-" or higher. Consult the Undergraduate Catalog or online Schedule for a list of prerequisites and restrictions for journalism courses.
  • "C" Requirement: Students must earn a "C-" or better in JOUR201 and JOUR202/262 prior to taking any courses for which they serve as a prerequisite.

Placement in Courses

Enrollment in JOUR201 requires proof of grammar competency through the attainment of at least a "C-" in JOUR181 or a score of 80 or higher on the grammar diagnostic exam, completion of ENGL101 with at least a "C-" and completion of JOUR200 with at least a "C-".


The Office of Student Services provides academic advising to journalism majors on an appointment basis. It is located at 1100 Knight Hall. The phone number is 301-405-2399.

Living-Learning Programs

College Park Scholars - Media, Self & Society

Dr. Kalyani Chadha, Director, Media, Self & Society Program

Co-sponsored by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, the Media, Self and Society Program is one of the living/learning programs offered by the College Park Scholars Program. This two-year program for incoming freshmen is designed to give students the opportunity to undertake a critical examination of media organizations, institutions and practices as well as gain practical experience through involvement in a media-related activity of their choice. For more information, see the College Park Scholars Program section in this catalog.

Honors Program

Although no departmental honors program currently exists within the College, academically outstanding students are recognized through Kappa Tau Alpha, the Journalism academic honor society.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The college sponsors student chapters of the Society for Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists. These organizations provide students with opportunities to practice skills, establish social relationships with other students both on and off campus, and meet and work with professionals in the field.

For information on the organizations listed, contact the Student Services Office, 1100 Knight Hall, 301-405-2399.


Financial Assistance

The College is committed to enrolling the most qualified students, regardless of ability to pay.  Toward that end, the College, through donor-sponsored awards, gives scholarships annually to undergraduates. Additionally, the University awards scholarships and financial aid including low-interest loans, grants and work-study opportunities.

Sources for Incoming Students

All incoming freshman are automatically considered for scholarships granted by the College.

Baltimore Sun Diversity in Journalism Scholarship - Established by the Times Mirror Foundation, this non-renewable award is granted to an incoming freshman with high academic achievement in high school and wide-ranging cultural and economic background, who resides in the Baltimore Sun's circulation area.

William Randolph Hearst Scholarships - Established in honor of William Randolph Hearst's 82nd birthday, these are among the college's first scholarships.  A limited number of non-renewable awards are granted to outstanding Maryland high school students admitted to the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

William C. Huffman Scholarship - This fund was established by Diana L. Huffman, the Baltimore Sun Distinguished Lecturer at Merrill College, in honor of her father, Dr. William C. Huffman (1910-1988), and his commitment to education and philanthropy. This renewable scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism who are in good academic standing and remain so throughout the term of the award, demonstrate financial need, and are residents of Washington, D.C. or Prince George's County, Maryland. Students are eligible to re-apply for the award in subsequent years as long as they still qualify for the award criteria.

Maury Povich Sports Journalism Scholarship - Funded by Maury Povich and Connie Chung ’69 to support scholarships for students in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism who have interest in sports journalism. Recipients must have an expressed interest in sports journalism, be accepted for full-time enrollment and maintain good academic standing.  Preference will be given to students of underrepresented populations and with unmet financial need.

Sources for Current Students

Students are selected on a basis of need, merit, donors' intent or a combination of these factors. Below is a selection of scholarships students may apply for:

Carolyn A. and Howard F. Ahrens Scholarship

Fred I., Edna O. and Fred J. Archibald Scholarship

Paul Berg Diamondback Scholarship

Bonnie Bernstein Scholarship

John Story Cleghorn and Nona Reese Cleghorn Scholarship

Reese Cleghorn Excellence in Journalism Scholarship

J. Theodore Crown, Sr. and Joseph T. Crown, Jr. Scholarship

Ralph Crosby Journalism Excellence Award

Penny Bender Fuchs Scholarship

Lawrence L. Goldberg and Lillie Z. Goldberg Journalism Scholarships

Carol Horner Journalism Scholarship

K. Christopher Houston '85 Scholarship

Jay Jackson Scholarship

Phyllis and Frank Kopen Broadcast Journalism Scholarship

Tom Kunkel Journalism Excellence Scholarship

Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association Scholarship

Ron Menchine Broadcast Journalism Scholarships

Gertrude Poe Fund for Journalism Excellence

Frank Quine and Mary Ellen Doran-Quine Journalism Scholarship

Stanley E. Rubenstein Memorial Journalism Scholarship

Richard W. Worthington Journalism Scholarship

Maury Povich Sports Journalism Scholarship

Internship Awards

Penny Bender Fuchs Internship Grants

John A. Jenkins '72 Internship Award

Joseph R. Slevin Award

Sources for Current Students Traveling Abroad

Hiebert Journalism International Travel Award

Gene Roberts Award

From the University

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu

The National Scholarships Office is committed to helping students of the University of Maryland identify, apply for, and win national scholarships and fellowships in their pursuit of higher education. They also help students find research opportunities in their fields of study.

From Outside Sources

Peter Agris Memorial Scholarships

American Copy Editors Society Scholarships

American Society of Newspaper Editors

Asian American Journalist Association

Association for Women in Sports Media Scholarship

The John Bayliss Broadcast Foundation

CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California Scholarship

Chips Quinn Scholars Program

Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalists

Freedom Forum -- Al Neuharth Free Spirit Scholarship

Garden State Scholastic Press Association

National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chesapeake Bay Chapter - Betty Endicott Scholarship

National Association of Black Journalists Sustaining Scholarship Awards

The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc

National Association of Hispanic Journalists Scholarships

The National Italian American Foundation

National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award

National Press Club - Persina Scholarship for Minorities in Journalism

New York Women In Communications Foundation Scholarship Program

The NewsGuild - The David S. Barr Award

The Overseas Press Club of America Foundation

Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation

Society of Professional Journalists Maryland Pro Chapter College Scholarship

Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Scholarships

South Asian Journalists Association Scholarships

For more information, and eligibility requirements, visit www.merrill.umd.edu/undergraduate/scholarships.

Awards and Recognition

Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association Top News-Editorial Student - Awarded annually to an outstanding news-editorial journalism student at the May commencement. A separate award is also given to the top broadcast journalism student and top multimedia journalism student.

Julie Galvan Outstanding Campus Member Award - The Society of Professional Journalists chapter selects one graduate in journalism who is outstanding in his or her class on the basis of character, service to the community, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.

Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar Award - Awarded at each commencement to the journalism student earning the highest academic achievement for all undergraduate study.

Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society - The top ten percent of the journalism graduating class is inducted into this national organization each commencement.

Fieldwork Opportunities


Supervised internships are essential. Adrianne Flynn is the Director of Journalism Internships and Career Development, 3105A Knight Hall, 301-405-7247.

Professional Experience Opportunities

Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a student-powered news organization run by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. For more than two decades, we have provided deeply reported, award-winning coverage of issues of import to Marylanders.

With bureaus in College Park, Annapolis and Washington run by professional journalists, we deliver news in multiple multimedia formats via partner news organizations, a destination Website, a nightly on-air television newscast and affiliated social media channels (including Twitter and Facebook). We provide breaking news coverage, in-depth investigative and enterprise journalism, and serve as a laboratory for students to test and develop innovative new methods of reporting and telling stories.


For students interested in broadcast news, opportunities to gain experience with cable news programs are presented within the curriculum and by volunteering at the campus television station, UMTV.

Student-Run Campus Media Outlets

Students can gain broadcast news and sports reporting experience through the campus radio station, WMUC. There are numerous student-run publications on campus. These include, The Diamondback, an independent daily newspaper that appears in print and online. The Diamondback is one of the most-read campus dailies in the nation. Among the many campus publications there are literary magazines and newspapers of interest to special populations.  These include the Black Explosion, La Voz Latina, Mitzpeh, PublicAsian and Unwind! magazine.

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