Schieffer School of Journalism

The mission of the Schieffer School of Journalism is to educate journalism and mass communication students to think and act as responsible professionals and ethical citizens in a global community; to help students develop competencies necessary to prepare them for professional employment and advanced studies; and to develop skilled professional communicators who understand their social, legal and ethical responsibilities and their career opportunities in a technological society.

Each degree program in the school prepares students to communicate in a democracy to its diverse audiences through critical thinking, analytical writing and multiplatform media presentation skills.

All programs require professional quality and performance. TCU's Schieffer School of Journalism is one of about 18 programs at private universities in the nation accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). About 10 percent of the journalism programs at public and private universities in the country are accredited by the council. The school fully subscribes to the ACEJMC guidelines that 80 semester hours of the student's coursework be taken outside journalism and/or mass communications classes, to ensure a broad liberal arts education. Of the 80 hours, 65 must be in traditional liberal arts and 44 four hours may be taken in journalism or other mass communication courses, including radio-TV-film. Majors in all sequences must conform to this restriction on the number of hours in mass communication study.

Students in all majors offered by the school must pass the Grammar-Spelling-Punctuation (GSP) Examination, which is administered each semester. Students may declare journalism as a major when they enter TCU. However, no students, majors or minors, will be able to take skills courses (e.g., courses in writing, editing and graphics) in journalism without having passed the GSP. Students may take the GSP exam only three times. A GSP study guide is available; the University's writing center offers special classes in GSP preparation before test administration dates. Additional information on the test is also available at Students must maintain contact with the journalism office to determine the exact days and times the exam are administered. Successful completion of the GSP exam is necessary to enroll in the first writing course: JOUR 10113, which must be passed with a grade of "C" or better before students can take any course for which JOUR 10113 is a prerequisite. Journalism majors and minors must make a "C" or better in any course that is a prerequisite for another journalism course before enrolling in the course for which the prerequisite is required. All skills courses must be taken sequentially.

Courses in the journalism majors or minors must be taken for a letter grade. Journalism courses taken in the major and minor sequences must be passed with a grade of "C" or better to fulfill prerequisite requirements for any journalism course and graduation requirements. No course applied to the student's major, minor or associated requirement may be taken on the Pass/No-Credit basis.

Five professional organizations have chapters affiliated with the Schieffer School of Journalism: The Society of Professional Journalists, The Radio-Television News Directors Association, American Advertising Federation, the Public Relations Student Society of America and the National Association of Black Journalists. The school also has a chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the National Honorary Society for Journalism Students.

Journalism Major Change Requirements

Current TCU students of sophomore standing or above who wish to declare one of the majors offered by the Schieffer School of Journalism must have achieved a TCU cumulative GPA of 2.5 before they can declare a major inside the school.

Honors Program

Candidates for Departmental Honors should take JOUR 30003 during their junior year and JOUR 40003 during the fall semester of their senior year.

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