Online Journalism Degree Courses & Classes

Turn your career into a search for truth when you earn your Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication degree. You will create an electronic portfolio of work to showcase your professional journalistic skills. Your courses include a wide range of topics, from composition and editing to research and analysis.

Introductory Course

All Bachelor’s program students are required to successfully complete EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are also required to successfully complete the Student Success Orientation prior to enrolling in credit-bearing coursework. Following successful completion of orientation, students are required to successfully complete EXP 105.

Student Success Orientation 

The orientation is designed to provide students with a complete overview of the Ashford University experience, prepare them for success in their courses, and help them to self-evaluate their readiness to succeed in an online classroom setting. Students will be instructed on Ashford University policies and the learning resources that are available to them through interactive videos and assessments. Students enrolled in orientation must successfully complete all assigned activities.

EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education 

This course is designed to help adult learners beginning their university studies to achieve academic success. Students will explore learning theories, communication strategies, and personal management skills. Adult learners will develop strategies for achieving success in school and work. Students will also be introduced to the University's institutional outcomes and learning resources. A minimum grade of C- is required to successfully complete the course.

Major Course Requirements

(39 credits, all courses are 3 credits. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

JRN 101 Digital & Media Literacy
This course is designed to teach students to critically examine the impact of digital media and mediated messages on their everyday lives. Throughout the course, students explore the underlying power relationships of the media industry, the construction of media messages, and the influence of digital media on individuals, groups, and society.

JRN 200 Elements of Journalism
Elements of Journalism provides students with an understanding of the field of journalism. The course focuses on developing the students’ skills in the areas of grammar, spelling, punctuation, Associated Press (AP) style writing, the inverted pyramid, news gathering, interviewing and other elements of journalism.

JRN 201 Multimedia News Writing and Editing
This course is designed to provide the principles and techniques of effective writing and editing for news in various platforms. There will be an emphasis on accuracy of information, presentation, clarity, precision, and efficiency in the use of language. Students will also begin to discover the various career opportunities and the field and begin to develop their goals through the Career Services Integration pieces built into the course.

JRN 333 Ethics in Journalism
Ethics in journalism begins with an overview of ethical foundations and philosophy with a focus on case studies in the media and the application of ethical standards and decision making to issues faced by journalists on a daily basis.

JRN 410 Journalism Law
The study of the law of journalism and mass communication is a vast field. This course provides a broad overview of the rule of law, the First Amendment, disruptive speech, libel, protecting privacy, reporter's privilege and electronic media Regulation.

JRN 301 Newsgathering and Reporting
This course focuses on gathering, evaluating, writing, and editing information for news stories tailored to various forms of media.

JRN 321 Visual Journalism
This course will teach students the importance of visual elements in news, and how to effectively incorporate visual elements into news stories for various media platforms. Students will also be introduced to industry-standards related to the design of visual news and the various software programs that are used.

JRN 412 Advanced Editorial & Feature Writing
Students in this course will apply journalistic skills to opinion writing for editorial pages. It will also provide tools for evaluating critical thinking and argumentation for evaluating editorial writing. Additionally, students will learn the skills and requirements for feature writing.

JRN 341 Specialized Journalism
This course introduces students to the various genres of journalistic writing. Students learn to employ skills acquired from previous journalism courses to specific types of news reporting. Genres include the following: investigative journalism, sports journalism, entertainment journalism, business journalism, and environmental journalism.

JRN 339 Global Journalism
This course is designed to provide the student with an overview of the major issues facing global journalism. It focuses on the social, cultural, and governmental aspects of the international media and their relationship to journalism from the perspective of a democratic system.

JRN 425 Journalism & Politics
This course is designed to aid students in determining how the media shape the context of American government and politics. Students will study American political journalism theory, current practice, convergence, and emerging technological change and their impact on public opinion and policy.

JRN 415 Methods of Research & Analysis in Journalism
This course teaches students research methods of utility and analysis in journalism with a focus on survey research, electronic database searching, government sites, and the evaluation of data sets in journalism research studies.

JRN 497 Journalism & Mass Communication Capstone
Students will demonstrate mastery of the programmatic outcomes of the journalism major by creating an electronic portfolio of work completed during the program and by adding newly developed material that showcase professional journalistic skills.

If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.