Journalism Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

Bachelor of Science graduates in Media & Communication will be aware of the nature of the communication enterprise:

  1. as a force in shaping social, economic, and political structure;
  2. from ethical and ideological perspectives;
  3. from global and national perspectives.

Graduates will also be able to:

  1. research and analyze material;
  2. write well;
  3. competently use chosen technological media;
  4. produce material of high quality in at least one medium;
  5. work collaboratively;
  6. make sound choices in the design and meaning of their messages and productions.

Finally, graduates will have:

  1. the ability to think independently and critically;
  2. the flexibility necessary to adapt to rapid changes in the field;
  3. an understanding of the need to balance and evaluate personal, organizational, and public concerns in the process of creative production.

BS in Media & Communication with a Concentration in Journalism

Complete the following courses required of all COM majors (12 cr):

Code Course Credits

COM 1040

Media Writing

This is a basic course covering writing in a variety of media including print and broadcast journalism, advertising, instructional television, public relations and broadcast continuity.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061.

Every Semester


COM 1211

Introduction to Video and Filmmaking

This is a project-oriented course in which students develop their abilities to communicate in a wide range of video applications. It offers hands-on instruction, practice and guidance in writing, producing, directing, camerawork, audio recording, single and multi-camera production, and editing. Depending on their interests, students produce, direct and/or appear on camera in a number of in-and out-of class productions.

Fee Studio fee $20.

Every Semester


COM 1220

Introduction to Media and Communication

This course introduces students to the study of communication processes and media literacy practices. Students will explore print media, audio-visual media and mobile platforms. They will also examine historical and technological developments, and subsequent cultural, political and economic implications of these platforms.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every Semester


COM 2140

Race, Gender and Sexuality in Media

OR COM 2260 - Media and Society 3 cr

Media are among our primary sources of images of people, places and things we do not encounter ourselves in our everyday lives. This course examines the images of women and racial and sexual minorities who have been on the fringes of policy development and yet at the center of narratives created by mainstream media. It takes a detailed look at the symbolic and social power of commercial media's role in constructing social and cultural differences around age, gender, race, class and sexuality.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: COM 1220 or consent of instructor.

Fee Fee $20



and complete these courses for the Concentration in Journalism (15 cr):

Code Course Credits

COM 2230

Introduction to Journalism

Students will learn to report and write both hard news and short feature stories, including one story stemming from a local government meeting. They will learn journalistic interviewing skills and use digital devices to assist storytelling across multiple platforms.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061 or equivalent

Every semester


COM 2270

Journalism: Pages & Posts

This course will examine how social media now shapes news delivery and interaction with readers. Students will learn copy editing (including The Spartan newspaper), style rules, haedline writing, photo editing, and newspaper design.

Prerequisite: COM 1040, COM 2230, or consent of instructor.



COM 3010

Media Ethics

The student examines basic ethical issues encountered daily by the news media including diversity, conflicts of interest, fabricating stories, privacy, use of deception and the need for compassion. Ethical issues facing media not involved with news will also be discussed.

Prerequisite: COM 1220



COM 3060

Feature Writing

Students will research and write in-depth features and editorials for newspapers and magazines and maintain a biweekly blog on a topic of their choice. Stories may be selected for submission to the student newspaper and university publications.

Prerequisite: COM 1040, COM 2230 or consent of instructor.



COM 3780

Special Topics in Journalism

In-depth study of a particular variety of journalistic endeavor. Possible subjects include sports, public affairs, arts coverage and commentary. May be taken three times for course and program credit.

Prerequisite: COM 2230.



plus take 15 additional credits of COM courses (15 cr)

and in the senior year (6 cr):

Code Course Credits

COM 4510

Communication Portfolio

In this course students develop and organize materials to support their career development efforts. Drawing from papers, stories, scripts, graphics, videos, audio files, etc. produced during their time as undergraduates, students produce online and hard copy portfolios and "reels." Students reflect on their overall growth and development within their fields of study, and thoughtfully address the works selected for their portfolios.

Restrictions Restrictions: Senior Standing



COM 4810

Internship in Communication

[at least 3 cr required]

The student takes on a position of responsibility in an off-campus professional environment under the direction of an on-site supervisor and a faculty member. Experiences are available in newspapers, magazines, large and small radio and television stations, production companies, marketing and PR firms, nonprofits, and other areas. All students enrolled meet periodically to discuss experiences. (Students may take up to 15 credits in COM 3810 and COM 4810 combined.)

Signed contract required at time of registration.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.


COM 4850

Senior Project in Communication

The student produces an independent project in his or her field under close supervision of a faculty advisor. Projects may be production oriented (short film) or analytical (thesis paper). Such projects may be in coordination with the university radio station, newspaper or local television facilities, but may not consist of an established position within these organizations. All students enrolled meet weekly to discuss projects.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and senior standing.


(Credits required for the major: 48)

Also complete a Minor, a Civic Engagement Certificate, or related area of focused study

Complete an 18 or more credit Minor or related area of focused study approved by the faculty advisor, or a Civic Engagement Certificate. The Minor or area of focused study may not be in Media & Communication, nor may it include any courses the student applies to the Major requirements. Should the Major and Minor require the same course, a relevant substitution is required in one or the other.

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.

Law Degree (CU/VLS 3+2)

This major participates in the 3+2 program with Vermont Law School, in which highly-focused students can earn a Bachelor's degree in just three years at CU and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in just two years at VLS.

For details, see the Law Degree page.