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School of Journalism

Denise Dowling, Interim Dean

Dennis Swibold, Chair, Department of Print Journalism

Ray Fanning, Chair, Department of Radio-Television

 Courses in the School of Journalism examine the news media emphasizing their history, privileges and responsibilities and provide instruction in skills required for careers with newspapers, radio and television stations, magazines, websites, print and online news services and related agencies. The School of Journalism offers Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in journalism. 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 and History.  They must complete the University's general education requirements as well.

For further information about the Master's 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 two years of study students are enrolled in pre-journalism or pre-radio-television and take courses primarily in the liberal arts and sciences. Journalism and radio-television courses in the pre-professional curriculum must be taken at University of Montana-Missoula, though the department chairs 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.  Students in the first two years of study may enter the pre-professional program during either autumn or spring semester. 

Professional Program

Students may apply for admission to the two-year professional programs in journalism and R-TV once they have successfully completed the pre-professional curriculum.  Applications are accepted in autumn and spring. Deadlines for applications are October 1 and March 1.

Students may apply for admission to the professional program in either semester, but 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 in the semester of application be taking the courses needed to complete the requirements.

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

Completed applications are evaluated by the School of Journalism Admissions Committee and acceptances are made by the faculty and dean based on the committee's recommendations. The primary admissions criteria are grade point averages, both overall and in the pre-professional program, progress in completing the pre-professional curriculum, and an evaluation of work submitted. 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 from the Office of the Dean, School of Journalism, or 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 chair of the student's department.

Students transferring from other ACEJMC-accredited programs in journalism or radio-television 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 or pre-R-TV 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 advisor 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 or R-TV professional programs for any reason, whether in good standing or on academic suspension, must reapply for admission.

Special Degree Requirements

Refer to graduation requirements listed previously in the catalog. See index.

Pre-Professional Curriculum

The following School of Journalism and General Education courses must be completed prior to admission to the School of Journalism professional program. Students who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to the professional program should realize that completion of the pre-professional program fulfills a significant portion of the University General Education Requirements.

Core requirements for all pre-professional students in the School of Journalism:

Journalism Core courses:

  • JRNL 100H (JOUR 100H) Media History and Literacy
  • JRNL 251 (R-TV 251) Beginning Video Photography & Production
  • JRNL 227 (JOUR 227) Beginning Photojournalism
  • JRNL 270 (JOUR 270) Reporting 

General Education Core for Pre-Journalism and Pre-R-TV (former course numbers in parentheses)

  • One math course that fulfills the General Education math requirement.
  • A history course from the following: HSTA 101H, 102H, 103H, 104H (HIST 151H, 152H, 154H, 155H).
  • A course in Gen Ed Group X, Indigenous and Global Perspectives from the following: ANTY 101H, 141H (ANTH 101H, 106H); PSCI 230X (PSC 130E); HSTR 146H or 231H (HIST 106 or 287H); MCLG 100H; GPHY 243X or 245X (GEOG 207S, 213S); NASX 105H or 231X (NAS 100H, 231X); SOCI 212H (SOC 212H).
  • A Political Science course from among PSCI 210S, 220S or 230X (PSC 100S, 120S, 130E).  [If PSCI 230X (PSC 130E) is taken to fulfill a Group X course, PSCI 210S or 220S (PSC 100S, 120S) is required.]
  • An economics course from among ECNS 101S, 201S or 202S (ECON 100S, 111S, or 112S), OR a business course, BGEN 105S (BADM 100S).

Students are strongly urged to complete a second semester of a foreign language while in the pre-professional program.  The UM foreign language requirements must be satisfied before graduation.  Journalism students may not substitute a symbolic system for a foreign language.

Transfer credit to meet these requirements must be approved by the journalism or R-TV chair.

Professional Program

Students in the professional program must earn a C- or better grade in all journalism required courses or they must repeat the course.

After admission to the professional program, all students must take the following courses before graduation:

  • JRNL 300 (JOUR 367) First Amendment and Journalism Law
  • JRNL 400 (JOUR 481) Ethics and Trends in News Media
  • JRNL 498 (JOUR 490) Supervised Internship
  • One capstone course as designated by the faculty

In addition, all students must choose five courses from the following JRNL courses: 328 (JOUR 328), 330 (JOUR 380), 331, 340 (R-TV 360), 350 (R-TV 350), 351 (R-TV 351), 352 (R-TV 361), 362 (JOUR 315), 370, 410 (JOUR 420), 411 (JOUR 421), 412 (JOUR 420), 414, 427 (JOUR 417), 428 (JOUR 418), 429 (JOUR 429), 430 (JOUR 475), 431 (JOUR 400), 440 ( R-TV 420), 470 (JOUR 431), 471 (JOUR 432), 472 (JOUR 489), 473 (JOUR 450), 474 (JOUR 410), 480 (R-TV 460), 481 (R-TV 450), 485 (R-TV 485), 488 (R-TV 481/482) . 

  • Capstone courses will be designated for each fall and spring semester.  These 400-level classes will work on projects for professional publication or broadcast, will include multiple story-telling formats and will collaborate with professional editors and producers.
  • All students must take, and pass, the University Writing Proficiency Examination before enrolling in JRNL 400 (JOUR 481).  In addition, all students in the professional program must successfully complete an upper division writing course, either from courses in the School of Journalism or in a department outside of the School.

All students also must complete electives in JRNL that will bring the total number of credits before graduation to at least 37.

Students must complete 72 total credits outside Journalism.


R- before the course description indicates the course may be repeated for credit to the maximum indicated after the R. Credits beyond this maximum do not count toward a degree.

Journalism (JRNL) - Course Descriptions

100H, 102Y, 105X, 140A, 195, 201, 227, 230, 251, 260, 270, 291, 295, 300, 305, 307, 328, 330, 331, 340, 350, 351, 352, 362, 370, 375, 391, 392, 396, 400, 410, 411, 412, 414, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 440, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 480, 481, 482, 485, 488, 491, 494, 498, 505, 527, 551, 567, 570, 575, 580, 590, 591, 592, 594, 599, 620, 640, 650, 690, 691, 692, 698, 699



Raymond Ekness, M.A., The University of Montana, 1995

Peggy Kuhr, M.A., Gonzaga University, 1993

Dennis L. Swibold, M.A., The University of Montana, 1991

Associate Professors

Denise Dowling, M.A., Western Governor's University, 2003 (Interim Dean)

Raymond Fanning, M.S.T., Northwestern University, 1988; M.F.A., Brandeis University, 1981

Keith Graham, M.A., University of Missouri, 1979

Henriette Löwisch, Graduate Diploma, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, Munich, 1991

Jeremy Lurgio, M.A., The University of Montana, 2001

Nadia White, M.S., Columbia University, 1992

Assistant Professors

Jule Banville, M.A., Columbia University, 2000

Lee Banville, M.A., The University of Montana, 2012

Joe Eaton, M.A., The University of Maryland, 2004

Director of Native American Journalism Projects

Jason Begay, B.A., The University of Montana, 2002

Emeritus Professors

Sharon Barrett, M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1967

Jerry E. Brown, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 1974

Charles E. Hood, Jr., Ph.D., Washington State University, 1980

William L. Knowles, B.A., San Jose State College, 1959

Gregory S. MacDonald, M.A., University of Michigan, 1973

Carol B. Van Valkenburg, M.I.S., The University of Montana, 1988

Clemens P. Work, J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 1975

Registrar's Office

Lommasson Center 201

Phone: (406) 243-2995

Fax: (406) 243-4807