Starting in the fall of 2021, AU’s communication and design arts department will begin offering a full journalism major.
The program will be headed by Dr. David Baird, who is already the academic adviser for the complementary journalism major.
“Several students have asked us in recent semesters if we could offer a stand-alone major,” Baird shared. “It was possible to do that without adding any courses, faculty or additional expenses, so we went ahead and proposed it.”
The new major will require a total of 42 hours, which include classes like Media and Society, Communication Law and even Advanced Feature and News Writing. The full list of required courses will be added to the new catalog this fall.
“One nice thing about the new major is that students will be able to choose electives from a variety of other disciplines,” Baird said.
Some of those options include Professional Writing and Editing and Communicating Through Social Media.
Baird explained that the journalism minor and complementary major will still be offered.
“We’ll keep the 30-hour complementary major on the books, but students who prefer a more robust journalism major can take the new 42-hour program,” said Baird.
“A student who has a complementary major is required to have another ‘full’ major,” Baird said. “That works well for some students, but others may want to keep their focus on journalism.”
Baird hopes that the option of a full major will draw in more students to the program.
“We hope that word will get around and a good number of students will take advantage of the new program in the next few years,” said Baird.
Though Baird doesn’t believe that adding a full major will majorly affect enrollment, he is still more than happy to have that option available to those who want it.
“We’ve seen some tremendous growth in the quality of opportunities we offer in the past four or five years, especially in the area of video, where our students’ work has earned national recognition,” Baird said. “Naturally, we’re hoping that more students will get involved.”