School of Mass Communication

General Information | Degree Requirements | Courses

Stabler Hall, Room 705, (501) 569-3250, (501) 569-8371 (fax), Website, View/Download PDF Version

Director:
Hoerschelmann, Olaf, Professor

Professor:
Plopper, Bruce L.

Associate Professors:
Boateng, Kwasi
Edwards, Tim
Rollberg, Jeanne N.
Giese, Jon Mark
Rhodes, Carlton M. “Sonny”
Zacher, Dale

Assistant Professors:
Barnes, Amy

Senior Instructor:
Weekley, David C.

The School of Mass Communication combines the strengths of courses in radio, television, film, new media, and journalism to provide students with exposure to a broad spectrum of media studies needed in today’s information world. Students may receive a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in either Journalism, Public Relations/Strategic Communication, Media Production and Design, or Mass Media. If choosing the Journalism emphasis, students must select either the Newspaper and Magazine option or the Radio and Television option. If choosing the Media Production and Design emphasis, students must select either the Motion Picture option or the Media Production option. The School also offers students a variety of mass communication minors and certificate programs for students already holding the bachelor’s degree.

The School also offers a master of arts degree in journalism. See the UALR Graduate Catalog for details.

General Information

All emphases in the BA in Mass Communication are 42 hours with a required minor or cognate area to be designed by the student and his or her advisor. Each emphasis has a capstone class. Students should take their emphasis capstone course during their final semester in residence or as near to it as possible.

For returning or transfer students, skills courses completed more than five years ago may not count toward degree requirements and are subject to evaluation on a case-by-case basis. Opportunities exist to gain credit for professional experience or certification.

All material submitted by students as assignments in classes may be used for broadcast or publication. Students taking writing courses must have at least minimal word processing ability.

Students who seek a major from the School of Mass Communication may not seek a minor from the School of Mass Communication.

Honor Society

The School sponsors chapters of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism scholarship society, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Public Relations Student Society of America, the National Broadcasting Society, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Scholarships
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Friends of Edward Jay Friedlander
Friends of William K. Rutherford
Herbert and Gertrude Latkin
Friends of Harry Ashmore
Family of Roy Mitchell, and Edith Wood Sweezy
Governor Orval E. Faubus Scholarship
Robert Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
Irby Scholarship
Gannett Multi-media News Producers Scholarship
Television Broadcasters of Arkansas Scholarship
Steve Stephens Golden Mike Award
David M. Guerra News Scholarship
Robert L. Brown Scholarship
TreDay.Com Scholarship Project
Jerol Garrison Scholarship

Students may also apply for the following annual scholarships:

Arkansas Broadcasters Association-Patricia Carter Willcox Scholarship
Signal Media Scholarship
Today’s THV/Hola Arkansas Scholarship
R.D. Doubleday Scholarship
Arkansas Broadcasters Association-Sam Anderson Scholarship

Scholarship opportunities may vary each year.

Facilities

The School’s facilities include a professionally equipped television studio, television field production equipment, and nonlinear editing laboratories. A computerized newsroom with computer-based production facilities is also available for student use, in addition to three computer labs for Web composition and design, graphic design, nonlinear editing, and word processing.

The School operates University Television and has cooperative arrangements with KUAR and KLRE, two public radio stations that are affiliated with the University. Students produce programs for all three media outlets.


Admission to the Mass Communication Major

After admission to UALR, any student may declare a major in Mass Communication. To discuss opportunities in the School of Mass Communication, students should visit the School director in Stabler Hall 705, or call the school at (501) 569-3250.


Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Journalism Emphasis

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit. (See page 36 for details)

Core (44 hours)

See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page 26 for details.

Major (42 hours)

School of Mass Communication Foundation Courses (12 hours)
    MCOM 2320 Issues in Mass Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society (Also counts toward the core.)
    MCOM 3310 Introduction to Web Principles and Design
    MCOM 3315 Mass Media Research
Emphasis Coursework (30 hours)
Emphasis Foundation Courses (9 hours)
    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 3365 Radio-Television Journalism
    MCOM 4352 News Media and the First Amendment
Journalism Emphasis Options

(Newspaper and Magazine or Radio and Television)
Newspaper and Magazine Option – 21 hours
MCOM 3320 Advanced Reporting

    MCOM 3350 Introduction to News Editing
    MCOM 4350 Design and Production OR MCOM 4359 Feature and Magazine Writing
    MCOM 4388 Reporting of Public Affairs
    Nine hours of upper-level electives from SMC courses

OR

Radio and Television Option – 21 hours
    MCOM 2300 Introduction to Media Production
    MCOM 3366 Electronic News Gathering
    MCOM 3367 News Producing OR MCOM 3345 Studio Production
    MCOM 4395 Electronic Media Capstone

Nine hours of upper-level electives from SMC courses

Minor (12-29 hours—typical minor requires 18)

Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), or 30 hours in residence.


Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Media Production and Design Emphasis

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit. (See page 36 for details)

Core (44 hours)

See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page 26 for details.

Major 42 hours)

School of Mass Communication Foundation Courses (12 hours)
    MCOM 2320 Issues in Mass Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society (Also counts toward the core.)
    MCOM 3310 Introduction to Web Principles and Design
    MCOM 3315 Mass Media Research
Emphasis Foundation Courses (9 hours)
    MCOM 2300 Introduction to Media Production
    MCOM 3360 Law, Policy, Ethics
    MCOM 3390 Nonlinear Video Editing I
    OR MCOM 4340 Introduction to Digital Graphics and Animation
Media Production and Design Emphasis Options (21 hours)

(Media Production or Motion Picture)
Media Production Option

    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 3345 Studio Production
    MCOM 4342 Movie Making Techniques
    OR MCOM 4354 Documentary Techniques
    MCOM 4332 Digital Audio Production
    OR MCOM 4385 Advanced Web Design
    MCOM 4320 Non-Linear Video Editing II
    OR MCOM 4330 Lighting
    MCOM 4395 Electronic Media Capstone

Three hours of upper-level electives from SMC courses

Motion Picture Option
    MCOM 2306 Introduction to Motion Pictures
    MCOM 2380 Strategic Communication Principles
    MCOM 4308 Screenwriting
    MCOM 4395 Electronic Media Capstone
    MCOM 4342 Cinema Techniques
    OR MCOM 4354 Documentary Techniques
    MCOM 3355 History of American Movies
    OR MCOM 3356 Movie Criticism
    OR MCOM 3357 Film Genres
    OR MCOM 3358 Film Directors

Three hours of upper-level electives from SMC courses

Minor (12-29 hours—typical minor requires 18)

Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), or 30 hours in residence.


Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Strategic Communication Emphasis

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit. (See page 36 for details)

Core (44 hours)

See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page 26 for details.

Major (42 hours)

School of Mass Communication Foundation Courses (12 hours)
    MCOM 2320 Issues in Mass Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society (Also counts toward the core.)
    MCOM 3310 Introduction to Web Principles and Design
    MCOM 3315 Mass Media Research
Emphasis Coursework (21 hours)
    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 2380 Strategic Communication Principles
    MCOM 3320 Advanced Reporting
    MCOM 3360 Law, Policy, Ethics
    MCOM 4380 Public Relations Writing
    MCOM 4381 Public Relations Cases
    MCOM 4382 Public Relations Campaigns
Emphasis Electives (9 hours)

Choose one course from each of the following groups:

Group I:
    ADVT 3300 Introduction to Advertising
    MKTG 3350 Principles of Marketing
    MCOM 4390 Mass Communication Internship
Group II:
    MCOM 4312 Management Strategies
    MCOM 4350 Production and Design
    MCOM 4359 Feature and Magazine Writing
    MCOM 4385 Advanced Web Design
Group III:

Any one course from other SMC courses

Minor (12-29 hours—typical minor requires 18)

Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), or 30 hours in residence.


Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Mass Media Emphasis

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit. (See page 36 for details)

Core (44 hours)

See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page 26 for details.

Major (42 hours)

School of Mass Communication Foundation Courses (12 hours)
    MCOM 2320 Issues in Mass Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society (Also counts toward the core.)
    MCOM 3310 Introduction to Web Principles and Design
    MCOM 3315 Mass Media Research
Emphasis Coursework (30 hours)

Work Chosen from two of the three remaining School of Mass Communications Emphases-

  • Journalism,
  • Media Production and Design, or
  • Strategic Communication

Minor (12-29 hours—typical minor requires 18)

Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), or 30 hours in residence.


Secondary Teacher Licensure

The School of Mass Communication also offers a Journalism Endorsement curriculum for any teacher certified in grades 7-12. The Journalism Endorsement curriculum consists of the following four courses, at least three of which must be completed at UALR:

    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society
    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 3320 Advanced Reporting
    MCOM 3330 Photojournalism

Students desiring to complete one class at a campus other than UALR must obtain prior approval from the School of Mass Communication.


School of Mass Communication Minors

The School of Mass Communication offers five minors. Students majoring in the School may not minor in the School.

Minor in Journalism

A minor in journalism requires these 21 hours of courses:

    MCOM 2320 Issues in Mass Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society
    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 3360 Law, Policy, and Ethics
    or MCOM 4352 News Media and the First Amendment
    MCOM 3365 Radio-TV Journalism
    Six upper-level hours from one of the two journalism options

Minor in Media Production and Design

A minor in Media Production and Design requires these 21 hours of courses:

    MCOM 2300 Introduction to Production
    MCOM 2308 Introduction to Scriptwriting
    MCOM 2320 Issues in Mass Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society
    MCOM 3345 Studio Production
    or MCOM 4342 Movie Making Techniques
    or MCOM 4354 Documentary Techniques
    MCOM 3390 Nonlinear Video Editing I

One upper-level (3000-4000) elective from the Media Production and Design emphasis.

Minor in Strategic Communication

A minor in Strategic Communication requires the following 21 hours:

    MCOM 2320 Issues in Mass Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 Mass Media and Society
    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 4380 Public Relations Writing
    MCOM 4381 Public Relations Cases
    ADVT 3340 Introduction to Public Relations
    MCOM 4310 Media Sales
    or MCOM 4312 Management Strategies
    or ADVT 3300 Introduction to Advertising
    or MKTG 3350 Principles of Marketing

Minor in Film

A minor in Film requires these 18 hours:

    MCOM 2306 Introduction to Motion Pictures
    Five additional film courses, at least one from outside the School.

Film courses offered in the School of Mass Communication are:

    MCOM 3355 History of American Movies
    MCOM 3356 Movie Criticism
    MCOM 3390 Non-linear Video Editing I
    MCOM 4308 Screenwriting
    MCOM 4320 Non-Linear Video Editing II
    MCOM 4330 Lighting
    MCOM 4342 Movie Making Techniques
    MCOM 4354 Documentary Techniques
    MCOM 3357 Film Genres
    MCOM 3358 Film Directors

The following could apply, depending on the subject matter:

    MCOM 4389 Independent Study in Mass Communication
    MCOM 4390 Internship in Mass Communication
    MCOM 4391 Co-op in Mass Communication

For guidance in determining which outside courses are appropriate in a given semester, please contact the School’s Film Coordinator, Ben Fry, or at (501) 569-3250.

Minor in Mass Media (18 hours)

A minor in Mass Media requires 18 hours, including the following two courses:

    MCOM 2320 – Issues in Media Writing
    MCOM 2330 – Mass Media and Society

Students seeking a minor in Mass Media must meet with an advisor in the School of Mass Communication to design a plan of study for the minor prior to beginning coursework. All minor study plans must be approved by the student’s School of Mass Communication advisor. No minor study plan will be considered approved until it is signed by the student’s SMC advisor and the School of Mass Communication director. This minor is designed for the student who is seeking study in a specific area of mass media not addressed in the other minors offered by the School of Mass Communication.


Professional Certificate in Media Production and Design

The Professional Certificate in Media Production and Design is designed to serve mid-career professionals who need to either update their skills or learn new ones given the realities of the job market and changes in the field of mass communication. Students will develop the ability to think critically about various visual and aural storytelling forms, and will be able to create visual and aural stories and information packages.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission into the certificate program must already possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and must meet all other admission requirements for UALR.

Program Requirements

The Professional Certificate in Media Production and Design requires 18 credit hours for completion of which the following courses are required:

    MCOM 2300 Introduction to Media Production
    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 3310 Introduction to Web Design
    MCOM 3390 Non-linear Editing I
    MCOM 4380 Public Relations Writing

Students will select any one of the following electives:

    MCOM 3315 Mass Media Research
    MCOM 3350 News Editing
    MCOM 4320 Non-Linear Editing II
    MCOM 4342 Movie Making Techniques
    MCOM 4350 Production and Design
    MCOM 4354 Documentary Techniques
    MCOM 4385 Advanced Web Design

Graduation Requirements

Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on an approved program of study as outlined above.


Professional Certificate in Journalism

The Professional Certificate in Journalism is designed to serve mid-career professionals who need to either update their skills or learn new ones given the realities of the job market and changes in the field of mass communication. This certificate program will enable students to perform capably in professional print journalism settings, will develop students’ ability to think critically about media-related issues, and will help students understand the relationship between media and socio-political systems.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission into the certificate program must already possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and must meet all other admission requirements for UALR.

Program Requirements

The Professional Certificate in Journalism requires 15 credit hours for completion of which the following courses are required:

    MCOM 2350 Beginning Reporting
    MCOM 3320 Advanced Reporting
    MCOM 4350 Production and Design
    MCOM 4388 Reporting Public Affairs

Students will select any one of the following electives:

    MCOM 3310 Introduction to Web Principles and Design
    MCOM 4359 Feature and Magazine Journalism
    MCOM 4389 Independent Study
    MCOM 4390 Mass Communication Internship
    MCOM 4350 Production and Design
    MCOM 4354 Documentary Techniques
    MCOM 4385 Advanced Web Design

Graduation Requirements

Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on an approved program of study as outlined above.