School of Journalism

Larry Abramson, Dean

Dennis Swibold, Director of Faculty Affairs

Courses in the School of Journalism examine the news media -- emphasizing their history, privileges and ethical responsibilities -- and provide instruction in skills required for a wide array of careers that require gathering, verifying and disseminating news and information in the Digital Age. The School of Journalism offers a

Students select courses in writing, reporting, producing, directing, editing and still and video photography. They train to work across multiple platforms including online, audio, video, newspaper and magazine.

A quality education in journalism is built on a strong liberal arts foundation. Students at the pre-professional level are required to take courses outside journalism, including courses in Political Science, Business/Economics and History. They must complete the University's general education requirements as well.

For further information about the school's Master's of Arts program in Environmental and Natural Resource Journalism, contact the

Director of Graduate Studies in Journalism, Henriette Löwisch
School of Journalism
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
or (406) 243-2227.

Pre-Professional Program

In the first three or four semesters of study students are enrolled in pre-journalism and take courses in the major and in the liberal arts and sciences. Journalism courses in the pre-professional curriculum must be taken at University of Montana-Missoula, though the directors may occasionally accept substitutes taught at another schools with programs accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. All non-journalism courses in the curriculum may be completed at any college or university if transfer credits are accepted by UM. Students may enter the pre-professional program during either autumn or spring semester. 

Professional Program

Students may apply for admission to the professional program in Journalism once they have successfully completed the pre-professional curriculum. Applications are accepted in autumn and spring. Deadlines for applications are the last Monday of September and February.

Students may apply for admission to the professional program in either semester, but they must have completed at least 45 credits before applying. In addition, applicants must have either completed all courses listed in the pre-professional curriculum or be taking the courses needed to complete the requirements during the semester in which they apply.

An overall grade point average of 2.5, and a GPA of at least 2.5 in the journalism core courses, is required of applicants.

Completed applications are evaluated by the School of Journalism directors and acceptances are made by the dean based on the director's recommendations. The primary admissions criteria are grade point averages, both overall and in the pre-professional program, and progress in completing the pre-professional curriculum. Successful applicants will have demonstrated, among other qualities, promise and professional aptitude through the quality of their course work and their overall performance in the pre-professional program, and will have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a career in journalism. Students with deficiencies in these requirements may on occasion be admitted provisionally. Once deficiencies are removed the student will be given full admission status. 

Applications for admission to the professional programs may be obtained online at the School's website. A $15 nonrefundable application fee and transcripts of all academic work must accompany the application. Admission for one academic year cannot be deferred to another academic year without the written consent of the academic director.

Students transferring from other ACEJMC-accredited programs may be admitted on a space available basis. Transfer credit for pre-professional and professional courses taken at other institutions is accepted only for those courses that are deemed equivalent and in which a letter grade of C or better is obtained.

Academic Progression

The general University academic standing requirements are listed separately in this catalog. See index.

Students enrolled in the professional journalism program must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Admission to the professional program requires a cumulative grade average of 2.5 and a pre-journalism course average of 2.5. Any student who has been admitted and whose grade average subsequently falls below a 2.5 must meet with his or her adviser to discuss the student's progress before classes resume the following semester.  A student in the professional program who has a cumulative or professional grade point average less than 2.0 will be suspended from the program.

A student dismissed from the program for substandard performance will not be readmitted, except in cases where substantiation is made to the faculty, by written petition, that the substandard performance was the result of circumstances that no longer exist, or that the student has demonstrated the capability and desire to perform satisfactory work since dismissal from the program.

A student leaving the journalism professional program for any reason, whether in good standing or on academic suspension, must reapply for admission.