Online Journalism Degree Courses

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 Courses *

All Bachelor degree-seeking students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are 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 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students entering with twenty-four (24) or more transferable, traditional semester credits are required to successfully complete PSY 202 Adult Development and Life Assessment as their first course. PSY 202 is designed to help experienced students acclimate to the online college environment.

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 learner 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. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.

PSY 202 Adult Development & Life Assessment 

This course presents adult development theory and links theoretical concepts of life and learning through a process of psychometric assessment and reflection. Both classical and contemporary adult development theories are examined. These theories then provide the paradigm for self-analysis and life learning, including a plan for personal, professional and academic learning. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.

Major Course Requirements

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

JRN 231 Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication
This course is designed to provide an overview of the history, professional traditions, and roles and practices of the news media in a democracy. Topics include journalistic reporting, how news is defined, ethics, emerging trends, online reporting and news writing basics.

JRN 337 News Reporting & Writing
This course will focus on the gathering, evaluating and writing of the news in the print and electronic media. Students will hone basic skills and become aware of current trends including journalism, convergence and the importance of fairness and objectivity.

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.

ENG 325 Intermediate Composition
Intermediate Composition is designed for students who have some experience with college-level writing but want to develop their ability to write. The goal of this course is to help students learn techniques for writing effective narrative, reflective, analytical, and research essays. These techniques include the effective use of specific details to engage and persuade readers, methods of organization that enable readers to follow a line of thinking, and strategies for editing sentences for clarity and conciseness.

JRN 335 Cyber-Journalism
This course will examine the ways in which technology has transformed the journalistic landscape to a 24-hour news cycle with digital content acquisition and distribution. It will explore the professional and technical challenges of producing multimedia news in this environment.

JRN 331 Advanced Writing & Editing for the Media
This course is designed to provide the principles and techniques of good writing for the mass media with an emphasis on accuracy of information, presentation, clarity, precision and efficiency in use of the language. Additionally, we will focus on the standards of writing for the Web which differ substantively from the traditional media.

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 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 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 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 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 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.