Journalism, Bachelor of Science in Journalism


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This degree has evolved as the needs of the modern journalist have changed and escalated. The program gives students essential professional experiences, as well as practical and philosophical tools such as ethics, reporting, editing, and publication law.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 46 units of major requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
University Honors Program Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The Journalism Program provides students with the hands-on experience to tell compelling nonfiction stories across a variety of media platforms. We build a strong foundation in the history, philosophy and ethics of journalism, and emphasize how these disciplines serve varied communities and facilitate the free flow of information essential in a democratic society. Built upon the fundamentals of storytelling and nonfiction narrative, our curriculum trains students to cover breaking news and tell the types of stories that inform and resonate with local and global communities alike. 
The program’s faculty are innovative teachers and professionals who engage students in their current projects through hands-on experience and personalized mentoring. Students produce and publish journalism for real audiences through classwork and in our state-of-the-art Media Innovation Center, which integrates a digital newsroom, TV studio and FM radio station. Internships and independent study projects allow students to report in depth on subjects important to Flagstaff and the entire northern Arizona region. Our goal is to equip students to be successful not only in the realm of professional journalism, but within whatever future they create.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will gain an understanding of role of journalism in society.
  • Students will develop a strong foundation in the history, philosophy, laws, and ethics of journalism, and will use this knowledge to appropriately evaluate what material should be included in their reporting work.
  • Students will understand and apply the fundamentals of storytelling and nonfiction narrative to a variety of traditional and innovative media platforms  
  • Students will use research and reporting techniques to assemble stories on local governments, police, courts, schools, and other public or citizen entities using the Freedom of Information Act and other tools.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to embrace diversity in their stories by recognizing and respecting cultural differences in storytelling and the effects of cultural, political, historical, religious, ideological, and economic forces on the dissemination of information.
  • Students will practice journalism, including the analysis and evaluation of potential ethical issues in real-world newsroom lab environments, and through internships.
  • Students will develop capacities to select the best media format(s) to tell stories in the most compelling and accurate manner. 
  • Students will synthesize foundational theories and journalism ethics to appraise the newsworthiness of information used to create journalistic stories.
  • Students will prepare complete news stories from concept to finished product under tight deadlines, while choosing the appropriate media to tell the best story.
  • Students will develop an understanding of the need for journalists to create a personal brand and a portfolio and will be able to use these tools to promote their work through online and social media tools.
  • Students will produce journalistic material that conforms to industry standards in style, design and display.

Transfer Block
  • Students may transfer up to 75 units of credit from an accredited community college. 

Major Requirements

    • Although a minor is not required for the Journalism degree, we strongly encourage you to consult with your advisor or a JLS faculty member about a minor that could equip you with the knowledge to specialize in a specific journalism topic.  Such minors could include a foreign language, business, ethnic studies, political science, women’s and gender studies, sociology, sustainability, various science disciplines and more.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • See the School of Communication page for information about the Communication Core, Advising and Student Responsibilities, and Graduation Requirements.
  • All majors must earn the grade of "C" or better in their freshman composition required course, and their foundation mathematics course.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.