Media studies

Female student drinking coffee and smiling while working in Allen Hall

Undergraduate degrees: BA or BS
Undergraduate majors: Advertising, Journalism, Media Studies, Public Relations
Undergraduate minor: Media Studies

News Junkies, Word Nerds, and Film Fanatics Unite

In the field of journalism, the convergence of new media forms with time-honored traditional media is bringing about unprecedented employment opportunities in a cutting-edge profession. Online news outlets and literary journals join traditional print media, creating new vistas of professional opportunity for beat reporters, editorial types, and experts in crafting streaming video.

Can you imagine yourself designing dazzling magazine layouts, or writing a Pulitzer prize-winning news feature? Would you like to direct and produce a breathtaking documentary, or dream up innovative advertising campaigns? No matter which of our specialties grabs your interest, the UO’s School of Journalism and Communication has a program that will help you launch your career.

As a pre-journalism major, you’ll start with core classes that will prepare you for academic success. You’ll learn about the roles of communication media in society, the history of journalism, research and writing for mass media, visual communication techniques, and the ethical, legal, and social responsibilities of the media in modern society.

If you want to pursue an undergraduate degree in journalism at the UO, the first step is to apply to the university through the Office of Admissions and select "pre-journalism" as your major on your application. Admission to the SOJC is competitive and the coursework is intense. You'll be able to apply for full major status during your junior year, after completing the school's pre-major requirements. Once admitted, you will receive advising from the SOJC’s professional staff as you work toward full major status in: advertising, journalism, media studies or public relations. While the school offers four areas of concentration, many of our students choose more than one.

Points of Interest

  • OR Magazine is the nation’s first student-produced iPad-only publication that covers human-interest stories about the state of Oregon. The magazine has gained national attention and won multiple awards since it launched in 2011 for its innovative and interactive approach to storytelling. The staff is hand selected by SOJC professor Ed Madison and produces an edition every spring over the course of a 10-week term.
  • Choose a concentration in: advertising, journalism, media studies, or public relations.
  • Our global classroom extends from Eugene to Portland, New York City, Alaska, Austria, Ghana and beyond.
  • Great storytelling starts here and is centered around ethics, innovation, and action. “What if?” is a catalyst here, the starting point for collaboration and invention.
  • The Carolyn S. Chambers Electronic Media Center contains two television studios, a control room, several editing bays, and an audio production suite.
  • For more than 20 years, UO’s student magazine FLUX has won top national honors for collegiate publications.

Sample Courses

  • Gateway to Media is the SOJC's introductory sequence that exposes students to diverse forms of storytelling, and through this, the software and skills they will be expected to know as future journalists, communicators, and creatives. Over the course of two terms, students engage in research gathering, writing and reporting, photojournalism, video production, design, and self-reflection – watch the video. 
  • Advertising Media Planning focuses on objectives and strategy for determining effective methods of reaching a designated target audience. The class provides instruction on use of media measurement tools.
  • Documentary TV Production is a workshop in preparation, shooting, and postproduction of the short television documentary.
  • Magazine Feature Editing focuses on principles and problems of magazine editing, and working with professionally written manuscripts. Copyediting, caption and headline writing, and content selection are included topics.
  • Public Relations Planning and Problems presents the uses of research, decision processes, ethics, and program design in the solution of public relations problems for profit and nonprofit institutions – watch the video.
  • Mobile Media Production has earned national attention in the journalism education and publishing technology worlds for producing the nation’s first student-produced iPad-only publication OR Magazine. The class has been featured in the Huffington Post, the Journal of Media Education and Adobe Featured Blogs for its innovative and interactive approach to storytelling.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

A good journalist is one who is broadly educated. You are encouraged to enhance your education by pursuing a major or minor in another discipline outside the SOJC. For example, learning a foreign language might be the key to your career success. Do you want to pursue photojournalism or advertising layout? You should explore classes in the digital arts department. Are you deeply concerned about environmental issues? You might consider a minor in environmental studies. With an outside focus on economics or political science, your career opportunities would expand in those areas. As an SOJC student, your academic and professional horizons are limited only by your imagination.

Hands-on Learning

By immersing yourself in one of our award-winning student publications, you will hone your skills and build your portfolio. Here are just a few of the possibilities open to you:

  • FLUX is the SOJC’s own award winning student-produced and-edited magazine that operates like a professional magazine. Since its launch in 1993, FLUX has won top national honors for collegiate publications.
  • OR Magazine is the nation’s first student-produced iPad-only publication that covers human-interest stories about the state of Oregon. The magazine has gained national attention since it launched in 2011 for its innovative and interactive approach to storytelling.
  • Envision Magazine is an online, student-run publication that covers issues pertaining to the environment and sustainability in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
  • Allen Hall Public Relations, a student-managed public relations agency, designs and implements PR campaigns for local and regional clients.
  • Allen Hall Advertising offers a range of advertising services to businesses and nonprofit organizations. It is one of the few successful student-run advertising agencies in the nation.

Internship Options

Internships are another great way to gain the real-world experience for securing that first job. At the SOJC, we have an internship coordinator who will keep you up to date on internship opportunities. Recent internship assignments include:

Austin Powe ’14, was offered a paid internship with Wieden+Kennedy’s New York office based on his performance in a student-pitch competition during the annual advertising NYC Experience.

Kaylee Brown ’14, “My internship gave me the opportunity to create a documentary about organic farming in Ghana. I got to meet and talk with a lot of interesting people about the subject matter and to tell a story that doesn’t get commonly told here in Ghana.”

Since 1998, the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism paid internship program has created unique opportunities for Oregon college students, integrating on-the-job experience with training in journalism ethics. The interns work side-by-side with professionals, practicing the essential skills required to provide news and information to their communities during the summer months. The SOJC Portland Senior Experience is a competitive internship program that places students from all SOJC majors with employers throughout Portland, including internships at The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, R/West Agency, and Mobility Communications. 

Student Work

NW Stories is an experimental video documentary series about intriguing people who share a connection to this region, produced in partnership between students at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon and OPB. In July 2014, faculty and students from the SOJC found a home in the Copper River Delta in Cordova, Alaska, connecting storytelling and science. Their stories are illustrated on the new website, Science and Memory.

Career Opportunities

With a journalism degree, your career options are limited only by your imagination. Depending on your chosen focus, you might:

  • Write, design, or edit newspapers, magazines, or other publications
  • Create and launch advertising campaigns
  • Teach language, grammar, or writing skills
  • Direct, film, or compose documentaries or movies
  • Work in any field that involves social communications
  • Promote a business, nonprofit, or educational institution

Combining your SOJC focus with a minor in another field will expand your horizons even further. 

School of Journalism and Communication

Contact Information

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