The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The department offers the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. Majors in journalism and mass communication may concentrate in one of three programs: convergence journalism, multimedia or advertising/public relations or journalism.
The department also cooperates with the Department of Art and Design to offer the Bachelor of Arts interdisciplinary degree in graphic design/advertising. In cooperation with the Department of Education, the Bachelor of Science degree is available for high school teacher certification in journalism.
A minor in digital media, advertising/public relations, journalism or media studies may be added to other majors outside the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The journalism and mass communication curriculum is message focused, technology driven and committed to convergence in order to prepare students for service in media agencies, corporations and institutions that use mass communication.
Course work in the department carefully balances theoretical and practical information about journalism and mass communication. The curriculum is designed to help students master analytical processes, writing, technology, and the theoretical, historical, ethical and legal foundations of their major field choices.
State-of-the-art laboratories and a faculty that balances strong academic and professional preparation complement the unique purposes of the university and the department. The JMC department operates several student media, including KACU-FM, a National Public Radio affiliate; ACU Video, a television production facility; Morris + Mitchell, a student-run advertising and public relations agency; and the Optimist/JMC Network, a converged media operation that includes the print and online editions of the student newspaper, sportscasts and newscasts on YouTube and other social media news outlets. All of these operations have access to up-to-date computer and electronic technology so the graduate is proficient in contemporary media operations.
Professionally oriented student organizations supplement the students’ preparation. Available are the Ad/PR Club, an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation and the Public Relations Student Society of America; Kappa Tau Alpha, national honor society for journalism and mass communication students; a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; a student chapter of the Broadcast Education Association; and a student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. All majors are strongly encouraged to be active members of at least one of the professional societies or associations.