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Please print out the “Four-Year Academic Plan” and “Four-Year Plan Worksheet.” Use the “Four-Year Academic Plan” as a guide to help you see what requirements you need to meet and when you can plan on meeting them. The four-year plan presented here is just an example. You should individualize your four-year plan based on your interests. Write in your potential classes on the "Four-Year Plan Worksheet" so that you can see them in a semester-by-semester layout.
Turn this sheet in to your JOUR200U professor and make sure to include your name, phone number and e-mail address. You will be contacted by a journalism advisor once your four-year plan has been reviewed. If you have any questions, contact the Journalism Student Services Office at 301-405-2399. We strongly encourage you to fill out the four-year plan on your own, without the help of an academic advisor. Your four-year plan will not be graded based on accuracy. An advisor will e-mail you feedback and you can correct your four-year plan if you would like. However, you are not required to re-submit a revised four-year plan to your instructor or to an advisor.
Completion of these Four-Year Plan sheets cannot substitute for advising meetings. The plan does not take into account liberal arts requirements, miscellaneous credits, or requirements for a double-major or minor. If you are double-majoring, minoring or studying abroad, you also must seek appropriate advising.
Download the Four-Year Plan Form (PDF) here.
Four Year Plan Guide
When filling out your four-year plan, you do not have to specify courses in the blanks, only requirements. See examples of this on the four-year academic plan sheet.
First Semester Classes
After your Freshman Orientation last summer, you should have your first semester classes already settled and a general understanding of our College’s requirements.
If you have not already done so, you should speak with an advisor regarding any AP/IB/Transfer credits that you have received and find out if that credit exempts you from specific required classes.
Taking JOUR181U, JOUR200U and JOUR201
Remember that all freshmen in the College take JOUR181U (unless you place out) and JOUR200U during their first semester. To stay on track with your journalism classes, you should have taken JOUR181U, JOUR200U and JOUR201 by the end of your second semester.
Meeting the Fundamental Studies English and Math Requirements
Students must complete their Fundamental Studies English and Math requirements by the end of their first 30 credits (usually the end of your freshman year).
Fulfilling Lower-Level General Education Requirements
Second semester is a time to continue to complete lower-level General Education requirements such as your Distributive Studies courses, I-Series courses or Diversity courses.
Working on your Journalism Required Classes
Second semester is also a time when you can complete many of the journalism required classes such as HIST200 or 201, GVPT170, or COMM100, 107, 200 or 230. Some of these courses overlap with General Education Fundamental Studies or Distributive Studies requirements.
Satisfying Honors, Gemstone or Scholars Requirements
If you are in any University program, such as Honors, Gemstone, or Scholars, remember that you also have to meet specific requirements for your citation.
Choosing an Abstract Thinking Skills Option
For the College, you also have to meet Abstract Thinking Skills Requirements:
You can either complete the “Foreign Language Option” (2 classes in a foreign language with at least one course at the intermediate level); OR you can take the “Math Option” (STAT100, MATH111, 113, 115, 140, 220, or any course that has those courses as a prerequisite and a CMSC course numbered 102 or higher); OR you can take the “Combination Option” (An intermediate foreign language class, and a MATH List class or a CMSC class).
Handling Four-Credit Courses
Two time-consuming General Education classes are your Natural Science Lab and Economics class (ECON 200 or 201). Both of these are four-credit classes, so plan accordingly to avoid taking the two courses during the same semester.
Finishing your Journalism Classes
After completing JOUR201, Journalism students must meet the following requirements:
JOUR203 -- Multimedia Journalism
JOUR300 -- Journalism Ethics
JOUR352 -- Intermediate Multimedia Journalism
JOUR396 -- Supervised Internship
JOUR400 -- Law of Mass Communication
JOUR410-469 -- Journalism and Society
JOUR470-479 -- Media Research
JOUR Capstone -- Capstone Experience
JOUR Colloquium -- Business of Journalism
Students must choose a specialization within Journalism, either Multi-Platform or Broadcast.
Students on the Multi-Platform track must take:
JOUR202 -- News Editing
JOUR320 -- News Writing and Reporting II: Multi-Platform
JOUR321-389 -- Two Electives from This Range
Students on the Broadcast track must take:
JOUR262 -- Broadcast Field and Studio Production
JOUR360 -- Broadcast News Writing and Reporting I
JOUR361 -- Broadcast News Writing and Reporting II
JOUR321-389 -- One Elective from This Range
Completing Upper Level Requirements
After your fourth semester, you will likely be finished with your lower-level General Education requirements, so you can focus on your concentration, upper-level requirements and your other journalism classes. When filling out your four-year plan, you do not have to specifically list certain courses, but can write “Concentration 1” or “Upper Level Elective 1” since you may not know exactly what classes you will be taking.
Picking a Concentration
Journalism students are required to have a concentration, which consists of a minimum of four upper-level courses (12 credits in the 300s and 400s) in a certain department (not JOUR or COMM).
Some students in the College of Journalism decide to double major or minor in a certain department and these courses can almost always count for a concentration. Check with your advisor.
Wrapping up the Abstract Thinking Skills Requirement- Statistics
For the Abstract Thinking Skills requirement, students also must take a statistics course (usually after their sophomore year).
All University students are required to take Professional Writing. Students complete Junior English once they have earned 60 credits.