Jun 20, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21 [Archived Catalog]

Journalism Major (B.S.J. in Journalism) [offered through Honors Tutorial College]

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Major Code BJ1923

Honors Tutorial College  
35 Park Place
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.593.2723
Fax: 740.593.9521

Victoria LaPoe, director of studies/contact person

Program Overview

The HTC program in Journalism offers exceptional students the opportunity to study the many aspects of journalism and mass communication in small groups and one-on-one relationships with our school’s faculty members. Maximum opportunities will be afforded for the student to progress well beyond the material found in conventional courses. The primary purpose of the tutorial program is to prepare students for a professional career while at the same time serving as preparation for graduate study. Students will receive a degree of Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the Honors Tutorial College. The HTC Journalism program satisfies the accreditation standards of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Students in the HTC Journalism program typically follow one of the two main tracks in journalism, the news and information track or the strategic communication track.

Eight tutorials in Journalism are required, including two thesis tutorials. To allow maximum flexibility, tutorials can vary between 1 and 15 hours per semester, though non-thesis tutorials are usually taken for a minimum of 3 hours and thesis tutorials for a minimum of 5 hours. Students must also complete regular journalism courses, liberal arts requirements, and a specialization. Honors Tutorial students are required to enroll in a minimum of 15 hours per semester.

Students in the HTC Journalism program will be prepared to 1. achieve a sophisticated understanding of their discipline and profession via conceptual and skills classes, labs, and tutorials, 2. pursue original, independent research and journalistic creative activity by completing pertinent assignments, participating in applicable projects, and working on the honors thesis, and 3. develop a professional work ethic and responsibility through ethics training, tutorials, group work, and the honors thesis. These goals are assessed continuously throughout the program.

Honors Thesis

Students are required to complete an honors thesis, investigating a problem of concern to both scholars and practitioners. Due to the professional orientation of journalism, the thesis can either be a scholarly piece or a professional project. As a rule, the thesis should be somewhere between 50 and 80 pages long or an adequate, agreed-upon length for the professional project (including a 25-page-long scholarly essay). The thesis committee is usually composed of the thesis adviser and the director of studies, who will monitor the thesis work. Its acceptance, dependent upon an appropriate mixture of research and analysis, relies upon the judgment of the thesis adviser and the director of studies. Additionally, it must be approved by the dean of the Honors Tutorial College.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

Students are selected by the director of studies of the journalism tutorial program and the Honors Tutorial College on the basis of superior ability and sustained motivation. We look for good scores on standardized tests (30 composite score on the ACT or a combined score of 1300 on the SAT), but we also require a good high school record (class standing in the top 10%). An interview with the director of studies is mandatory for acceptance into our program. Recommendations from two high school teachers are optional but highly recommended. Portfolios with writing samples and/or broadcast or multimedia productions are strongly encouraged (showcasing students’ writing abilities and experience with journalism and mass media). The personalized aspects of the tutorial system occasionally make it possible for us to accept students who have not performed well on standardized measure of ability but who demonstrate exceptional aptitude in other ways. The priority deadline for application for admission is November 15th, and admission interviews are held in January.

Change of Program Policy

First-year students at Ohio University may apply to transfer in to the journalism tutorial program and the Honors Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirements as entering freshmen. The priority deadline for application is November 15th.

External Transfer Admission

First-year students at another institution may also apply to transfer in to the journalism tutorial program and the Honors Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirements as entering freshmen. The priority deadline for application is November 15th.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Most students graduating from the program will work in the field of journalism, mass communication, PR, or advertising, and related fields. Journalism graduates are often hired into other jobs, as well, due to their general abilities (critical thinking, writing skills, analytical facilities, computer literacy, etc.). The Bachelor degree in journalism is also a great preparation for graduate school. Students may apply for graduate school in journalism or related fields, including law school, business school, and political science. HTC Journalism and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism have an outstanding record of post-graduation job placement.


Major Hours Requirement

Honors Tutorial students in journalism typically take a total of 120 credit hours.

HTC Grade Requirements

Maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher overall.

University English Composition Requirement

Complete one First-Year Composition course (1E) and one Junior Composition course (1J).

HTC Seminar

First-year students must complete the following course:

Transfer students

Transfer students may substitute an HC special topics seminar for their HC 2500 requirement.

Journalism HTC Tutorials

Core Tutorials

Complete two core tutorials: One tutorial on communication law and one on media ethics.

Advanced Tutorials

Complete two advanced tutorials: One tutorial on skills/specialized journalism issues and one tutorial on topics, concepts, and theories in journalism.

Research Tutorial

Complete two research tutorials to prepare for the thesis project: One tutorial on theories, methods, or history in journalism and one group tutorial to prepare your prospectus.

Thesis Tutorials

Complete two thesis tutorials during the final year of study focused on the development and completion of an advisor- and director of studies-approved thesis or professional project:

HTC Journalism Thesis Requirement

Complete an advisor or director of studies approved thesis or professional project.

A scholarly thesis may focus on theoretical/conceptual research, investigate empirical issues, or combine the two; it may also include qualitative and/or quantitative research. It should be a product of sustained research on a specific subject and reflect the academic and professional expectations and standards of our discipline. It should also include some conceptual and ethical reflections on the process, showing how concepts and methods were applied and used in the work, and discussing the challenges, obstacles, and benefits of the process.

A professional project should be a substantial piece of journalistic work in the news and information track or in the strategic communication track, such as a series of in-depth magazine articles, a TV/radio documentary, a PR kit, an ad campaign, or marketing plan. It must include a scholarly essay of 25 pages minimum on theories, methods, concepts, developments, experiences and open questions etc., pertaining to the project. The essay must also addresses ethical questions and specific challenges of the project, such as conflict of interest, journalistic ethics, etc.

Journalism Core Courses

Complete one core course from each option:

Journalism Professional and Conceptural Courses

You are also expected to take the independent study JOUR 4930  (at least 1 hour) as introduction in the fall of your first year and an appropriate number of advisor-approved electives in journalism, at a minimum of three journalism courses, typically in your track (news and information track or strategic communication track).

General Education/Liberal Arts Requirement

Complete a total of 48 hours (16 courses) with at least four courses (12 hours) taken at the 3000-level or higher.

Complete one course in each of the following areas:

  • African-American Studies or Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; 3 hours)
  • Economics or business (ECON, MKT, BUSL, MGT, FIN, MIS; 3 hours)
  • Logic/argumentation (typically PHIL 1200 ; 3 hours)
  • Statistics (COMS 3520 ECON 3810 MATH 2500 PSY 1110 , or SOC 3500 ; 3 hours)

Complete two courses in the following area:

  • Foreign or Sign Language (6 hours in same language; may be fulfilled if student demonstrates proficiency at the 3000-level or higher)

Complete ten elective courses in Liberal Arts:

  • Take ten courses (at least 30 hours) from at least three different departments (except JOUR, MDIA, and VICO) as advised by the DOS.

Area of Specialization

Complete 18 hours. Complete one of the following options, as approved by your advisor:

Option 1

Complete 18 hours (6 courses) in a single department other than Journalism, Media Arts and Studies, or Visual Communication, with 6 hours at the 3000 level or higher.

Option 2

Complete 12 hours in a single department other than Journalism, Media Arts and Studies, or Visual Communication, with 6 hours at the 3000 level or higher, and 6 hours in any other department or an advisor-approved collection of related courses. The 6 hours must be a subject area other than Journalism.

Option 3

Complete 18 hours (6 courses) through a certificate program not in Journalism, Media Arts and Studies, or Visual Communication; 6 hours of the certificate may come from Media Arts and Studies or Visual Communication.


Complete an advisor-approved journalism internship (minimum of 200 hours).

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