College of Media at Illinois

University of IllinoisCollege of Media

About the College of Media

Gregory Hall


The College of Media is committed to meeting the evolving demands of an increasingly connected global society through agile media education, cutting edge scholarship, and professional synergies, all devoted to facilitating enlightened public decision making; fair, accurate, balanced and contextual representation of all groups in our society; and the preparation of a new generation of leadership in advertising, agricultural communications, communications research, journalism, media and cinema studies, and public media. In so doing, we recognize the centrality of media in a democratic society, contributing to a vibrant, participatory culture. In reaching our objectives, we are guided by the principles of collaboration, innovation, and creativity, as well as traditional values of communications in guiding students in the development of core competencies and proficiency with emergent media.


The College of Media at Illinois is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). We are proud to be one of the 109 programs in journalism and mass communications that have received this designation.

The process of accreditation ensures that our program of study meets the standards set forth by professionals working in our industry. It is a weighty responsibility for the College of Media to uphold these standards – a responsibility we take seriously.

The nine standards include: quality of curriculum and instruction, diversity and inclusiveness, scholarship, research, creative and professional activity, and student services. This process helps us to design a curriculum that prepares our graduates for productive careers in the field.

The College of Media is a highly selective, and internationally respected college where almost 1,100 undergraduate and graduate students are engaged in classes taught by distinguished scholars in media studies, world-renowned experts in advertising and consumer behavior, and award-winning journalists. The College includes four undergraduate programs in Advertising, Agricultural Communications, Journalism, and Media and Cinema Studies; master’s degrees in Advertising and Journalism; and a Ph.D. in Communications and Media. The College is also home to Illinois Public Media (WILL-AM-FM-TV-Online), the public broadcasting service of the University of Illinois.

With more than 10,000 living alumni, the College has produced a stunning list of graduates who have gone on to wield influence in academia, the press, advertising, and entertainment. Our graduates hold responsible positions as journalists, editors, and producers with communications companies around the globe; they create and design influential advertising campaigns for agencies and corporations large and small; they teach in quality colleges and universities worldwide. For their professional accomplishments, many have earned public and critical acclaim including honorary doctorates, Fulbright Scholarships, Clio Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes.

In its 2011 rankings, U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges rated the University of Illinois as the number 15 public university and the number 47 national university. The College of Media is considered an educational leader in the fields of advertising, journalism, and communications research. More information about the University of Illinois.


Journalism instruction began at the University in 1902, when courses in journalistic writing were offered in the English department. By the early 1920s, students were identifying themselves as journalism majors even though such a degree was not formally offered. In April 1927, the Illinois Legislature passed a bill creating the University of Illinois School of Journalism, which included the Division of Broadcasting (WILL, now known as Illinois Public Media). The school’s first director was Lawrence W. Murphy, who served until 1939.

In 1950, under Fredrick W. Siebert, the school became the School of Journalism and Communications, with divisions of journalism, advertising, and radio. Under Dean Theodore Peterson, the school was designated the College of Journalism and Communications in 1957.

In 1959, the Department of Advertising—the first such academic department in the country—was established by Charles H. Sandage, known as the “father of advertising education.”

By 1963, the College had achieved its current academic scope when the Institute of Communications Research (founded in 1947) was transferred from the Graduate College. In 1968, it became the College of Communications.

A major in media studies was created in 1984 under Dean James W. Carey. In 1992, Kim Rotzoll, former head of the Department of Advertising, succeeded Carey as dean.

In 2008, under Dean Ronald E. Yates, former head of the Department of Journalism, the College changed its name to the College of Media and made its move from a two-year to a four-year College. Walter Harrington, former head of the Department of Journalism, succeeded Yates as interim dean in 2009.

In 2009, the Department of Media and Cinema Studies was introduced, and in 2010, the Department of Advertising was renamed The Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising in honor of its founder. In 2011, the Agricultural Communications program became a shared program of the College of Media and the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Jan Slater, former head of The Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, currently serves as dean of the College.



The University is located in East Central Illinois, easily within driving distance of Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The College of Media is in Gregory Hall, at the southwest end of the Quad, in the heart of campus.

If you're planning a visit, see Campus Tours on the Web site for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There you'll also find driving directions, campus maps and parking information.