College of Media at Illinois

University of IllinoisCollege of Media

Degree Programs

Students in orange and blue.

The College of Media offers programs leading to a bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree.

For specific information, including official descriptions of departments, admission and graduation requirements, special programs and the course catalog, students should consult the University's programs of study on the campus Web site. An overview of degree programs and requirements is described below and more detail in the official pages on the campus Web site. (Links to each program are provided below.)

Freshmen and sophomores should speak with an adviser and follow the curriculum plans that lead to their desired majors.

All students on campus also have to fulfill General Education requirements. Students can choose from many courses in each category and can take courses that appeal to their interests and goals. Freshmen and sophomores should concentrate on general education requirements even though they have four years to complete all of the requirements.

Introductory courses

Students get a taste of the College's majors by taking introductory courses, such as the freshmen Discovery courses. These are numbered ADV 199, CINE 199, JOUR 199, or MS 199. Students meet with a major professor and fewer than 20 fellow students to explore topics of special interest. Potential Advertising and Media and Cinema Studies majors also could explore MS 101 Introduction to the Media or MS 166 Media Literacy. Both courses provide general education credit. Potential Advertising majors also will want ADV300 Introduction to Advertising. Potential Journalism majors will want JOUR200 Introduction to Journalism.

Bachelor of Science in Advertising

The advertising program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is consistently highly ranked. In a well-rounded approach, advertising majors learn about advertising as a way of modeling the mind. They examine consumer behavior and consumer-oriented messages. They study the history of advertising and advertising research methods. They look at advertising as a reflection of social structure, as an art form, and even as a basis for community. Advertising majors draw on insights from psychology, sociology, history, literature and anthropology. Requirements in statistics and economics lay the foundation for advertising research.

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications

The Agricultural Communications program prepares students for a variety of opportunities in communications with a focus on agricultural and environmental sciences. Students pursuing this major choose one of three concentrations: advertising, broadcast journalism, or news-editorial journalism. Graduates of the program work as professionals in agricultural writing, editing, and publishing; public relations; advertising; radio and television broadcasting; photography; and related professions. The program offered jointly by the College of Media and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmenal Sciences (ACES).

Bachelor of Science in Journalism

Broadcast sequence and News-Editorial sequence

The Department of Journalism prepares students for varied and long-term careers in areas such as newspaper, magazine, broadcast and online journalism. The primary professional aim is to train students as public affairs journalists by providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding required for success. The department aims to prepare broadly educated professionals who eventually assume decision-making and leadership roles.

The journalism program is highly regarded and is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Students come from around the globe to study at Illinois. Faculty members include two Pulitzer Prize winners, an Emmy-award winning documentarian and journalists who continue to contribute to broadcasting, print and online media. Students benefit from career assistance with internships and employment. The College of Media maintains an excellent relationship with numerous print and broadcast media outlets, and it operates WILL-AM-FM-TV-Online in Campbell Hall, on the north side of campus. There broadcast students can gain experience working on all aspects of a live newscast that is broadcast on the UI7 cable channel.

Bachelor of Science in Media and Cinema Studies

This major provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of media and cinema. Students explore the theory and history behind contemporary media and their origins, as well as their structures and implications for our society. The development of all mediated forms is considered in relation to issues such as technology, culture, society, and politics.

Once in the major, students choose to concentrate in either media studies or cinema studies. Regardless of their concentration, however, all students take courses in both areas. Students are required to take approximately half of their College of Media courses within their concentration area, while the remainder of their College of Media courses come from any area: Media Studies, Cinema Studies, Advertising, or Journalism. The major thus emphasizes the relation between cinema and other media and addresses the intersection of media studies and cinema studies as academic fields.

Media Studies Concentration

The media studies concentration examines and responds to pressing concerns about the power of the media, information and persuasion; the need for critical analysis of discourses of gender, race and ethnicity, and sexuality; the politics of popular culture; the need for ethical and reasoned policies guiding the development of media industries and the work of individual communicators; the rising influence of ìnewî media and possibilities for greater democratic production that these allow; and the need to ensure democratic access for all citizens. Media industries, technologies, producers, and audiences are global and transnational in character, making international perspectives of particular importance.

Cinema Studies Concentration

The cinema studies concentration offers an in-depth look at film and related screen media from a variety of perspectives, including audience, industry, history, narrative, representation, entertainment, art, and politics. Placing cinema in its wider context as a dominant and global art form of the twentieth and twenty-first century, the concentration addresses issues such as nationalities and national cinemas; the transnational flow and production of film; culture, identity, and politics, in particular in relation to gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality; the complexity and diversity of audiences' engagement with screen media; various histories of film, including Hollywood and the studio system, political movements such as new Latin American cinema, and the role of media convergence (e.g., kinetoscope, vaudeville, recorded sound, still photography) in film's early history; as well as the present and future of cinema in the context of multimedia convergence in the 21st century.

Undergraduate Minor in Cinema Studies

The Minor in Cinema Studies provides undergraduate students from outside the College of Media with both core courses in the discipline and the freedom to explore the various approaches to cinema studies offered by different departments around campus. Students take a minimum of seven courses for the minor. Students study the history of World Cinema over two semesters, choose one course from a variety offered on Non-U.S. Cinema, choose one course from a variety offered on Cinema and Culture, Identity, and Politics, and choose one course from the Media Studies Concentration core. In addition, students take two more courses on topics of their choice related to cinema studies and offered by or approved through the Department of Media and Cinema Studies.

Graduate Minor in Cinema Studies

The Graduate Minor in Cinema Studies promotes the graduate-level study of cinema and related screen media and their cultural and institutional contexts. The Minor offers formal recognition of such work, undertaken alongside and in conjunction with the graduate studentís primary field of study. Students take four courses: CINE 503 (Historiography of Cinema), CINE 504 (Theories of Cinema), and two additional 400- or 500-level courses of their choice, related to cinema studies and approved by the department. Additionally, a portion of students' exams and/or theses (M.A. or Ph.D.) must include cinema studies.

Master of Science in Advertising

Students pursuing graduate study in advertising at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have the opportunity to learn under a faculty distinguished in scholarship and professional knowledge, in a curriculum long admired for its seamless blending of concept and practice, and within the exhilarating environment of a world-class university, with one of the largest library collections anywhere.

The Graduate College and the Department of Advertising consider for admission only those applicants who will hold before admission a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or from an institution of recognized standing abroad.

The application deadline for fall admission is Feb. 1.

Master of Science in Journalism

Students pursing graduate study in the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are immersed in an intense, 12- to 16-month program guided by a prestigious faculty that includes Pulitzer Prize winners and successful journalists. Separate tracks are available for those with or without undergraduate or professional journalism experience.

Students learn practical methods, acquire a broad understanding of communications theory and prepare for careers of responsible professional leadership. Small classes allow maximum opportunity for individual improvement.

Students without a journalism background receive highly concentrated training in the methods of print journalism (reporting, editing and design) or broadcast journalism (reporting and editing for television and radio). The emphasis is on news rather than technology. Students with substantial journalism experience may develop, to a large extent, a specialized course program.

The master of science degree ordinarily is awarded after one full year of graduate study and practice — fall and spring semesters followed by summer session for news-editorial students and fall, spring and following fall semesters for broadcast students. Both sequences finish with a master's project.

The department provides financial assistance to qualified master's candidates for the two to three semesters they participate in the program.

The application deadline for fall admission is Jan. 15.

Graduate Fellowship in Specialized Journalism

To create a new generation of expert journalists, the Illinois journalism department has launched a program that will support in each academic year as many as six master’s degree candidates who already have deep knowledge in the form of advanced academic or professional degrees, including the PhD, MBA, M.D., law degree or other such specialized higher degrees, and aspire to work as journalists covering their fields of specialization.

Learn more here.

For information on how to apply contact:
Nancy Benson, Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Journalism

Doctor of Philosophy in Communications and Media

Students pursuing doctoral study in communications do so through the Institute of Communications Research. The program is strong in all areas that measure excellence and effectiveness, including reputation among peer programs, acceptance rate, quality of applicants, scholarly productivity, teaching excellence, graduate job placement and reputation of graduates.

The ICR has one of the most renowned communications Ph.D. programs in the world. Students examine such topics as media economics, organization and structure; media policy; political economy of the media; new technologies and new media; telecommunications; advertising and consumer research; media ethics, media and communications history; social and cultural studies of science and medicine; popular culture and film; race ethnicity and gender; democracy and the media; and global/international communications. Recent Ph.D. dissertations have addressed a wide range of topics, from intellectual property and cultural production in Africa, to the history of sound technology, to Chilean television infrastructure and policy, to advertising regulation in China.

The ICR attracts many international students, and graduate students have been extremely successful in securing research grants and fellowships, both on campus and nationally. Recent graduates are employed internationally in institutions such as McGill University, the University of California at San Diego, Rutgers, the University of New Hampshire, City University of New York at Queens, the University of Chicago and Texas A&M.

Today nearly everyone recognizes the importance of knowing everything possible about communication. Information technologies, media mergers and computer marvels are daily convention. Intellectually significant research on communication is not commonplace, however. Work of enduring quality develops from comprehending the gravity and stature of the subject; and communication is among the most challenging and fascinating areas that humankind has been inspired to address.

Its proper study crosses the boundaries of established academic disciplines and draws upon a holistic intellectual heritage grounded in the liberal arts, in the traditions of social scientific research and cultural interpretation and in a spirit of critical inquiry. This conceptual pursuit of the highest order requires preeminent standards of imagination, academic rigor and historical awareness.

These are qualities the Institute has nurtured in establishing its distinctive reputation. The Institute encourages innovative doctoral work, while striving to appreciate more deeply why the study of communication has endured through human history. You can gain a richer understanding by discussing with faculty members and doctoral students how their special interests may relate to your own. We encourage you to do that, either through a phone call or a personal visit to the University of Illinois campus.