Business Journalism Major, B.A.

School of Media and Journalism

www.mj.unc.edu

Carroll Hall, CB# 3365

(919) 962-1204

Susan King, Dean

Charlie Tuggle, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

catuggle@email.unc.edu

Sharon Jones, Director, Student Services

SHJONES@email.unc.edu

Stock market swings on Wall Street, changes in how corporate America operates and is governed, and fluctuations in the United States and global economies have left many journalists and communication professionals scrambling to improve their skills to cover such stories. The bachelor of arts with a major in business journalism teaches undergraduate students the concepts, skills, and techniques needed to report and write about such issues for media and journalism in the 21st century. It is the only such program in the University system and the only such undergraduate program at any public university east of the Mississippi River.

The School of Media and Journalism, in conjunction with the Kenan–Flagler Business School, created the major in business journalism to enable potential journalists and other communication professionals to address the growing need for understanding how markets and business work and the ability to explain these increasingly complex areas in a way that the average media consumer can understand. The program prepares undergraduate students for positions primarily in journalism but also in public relations and internal communications.

Admission Requirements

Students must apply within the School of Media and Journalism. Applications will be accepted in the fall only. The earliest students may apply is the fall of their sophomore year. Because admission to the major is by application only, students should provisionally declare reporting as their intended specialization in the school with an advisor in the Academic Advising Program. To enter the program, students must be classified as a sophomore with a total of 45 or more completed hours the fall following their application and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.1.

Students must provide the following documents:

  1. application
  2. résumé
  3. writing sample
  4. 200-word statement explaining why they want to join the program
  5. two letters of recommendation

Department Programs

Majors

Minor

Certificate Programs

Graduate Programs

Requirements

In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum of 18 hours of C or better in the major core requirements (some majors require 21 hours).

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
BUSI 101Management Accounting4
BUSI 403Operations Management3
BUSI 404The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business1.5
BUSI 408Corporate Finance (BUSI 101 and ECON 101 are prerequisites)3
MEJO 121Introduction to Digital Storytelling3
MEJO 141Media Ethics3
MEJO 153Writing and Reporting3
MEJO 340Introduction to Media Law: Journalism Focus3
MEJO 541Economics Reporting3
MEJO 542Business Reporting3
MEJO 550Business and the Media3
Additional Requirements
At least two courses from:6
Management and Corporate Communication
Leading and Managing: An Introduction to Organizational Behavior
Marketing
Financial Accounting and Analysis
Advanced Corporate Finance H
One course from the following:3-4
Calculus for Business and Social Sciences
Calculus of Functions of One Variable I 1
Calculus of Functions of One Variable II 1
Decision Models for Business
Decision Models for Business and Economics
STOR 155Introduction to Data Models and Inference3
ECON 101Introduction to Economics H3
State and local government and politics requirement. At least one course from the following:3
State and Local Government in the United States H
Introduction to Comparative Politics H
International Relations and World Politics H
The United States Supreme Court
Race, Innocence, and the Decline of the Death Penalty
Total Hours50.5-51.5
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

Students receiving credit by examination for both MATH 231 and MATH 232 are exempt from this requirement.

Students must complete at least 21 credit hours with C grades or better in required MEJO courses, and at least 17.5 hours with C grades or better in required BUSI courses. Transfer students who receive 3.0 credit hours for BUSI 101 must still meet the 17.5 BUSI hours by taking an additional BUSI course of their choice.

In order to graduate, business journalism majors must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on the school’s usage and grammar examination. Students have several opportunities to take the usage and grammar examination before they graduate.

To receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in business journalism, students must complete at least 120 credit hours with a minimum 2.0 grade point average as required by the University.

Of the basic 120 hours for graduation at least 72 hours must be outside media and journalism. Within those 72 hours, at least 65 must be in the College of Arts and Sciences.

MEJO 393 will count in the maximum of 48 credit hours allowed in media and journalism for graduation and in the total 120 credit hours required by the University.

Special Opportunities in Media and Journalism

Honors in Media and Journalism

An honors program is available to students who have demonstrated their ability to perform distinguished work. Invitation to the senior-level honors courses (MEJO 691H and MEJO 692H) is based upon a grade point average of 3.5 or better in the major and 3.3 overall, recommendation by a faculty member in the school, and approval by the director of the honors program. Students successfully completing the program graduate with honors or with highest honors.

Student Involvement

Students are encouraged to work on campus publications and programs such as The Daily Tar Heel, Black Ink, Blue & White, The Siren, Synapse, and the Her Campus Web site, among others. The school also offers a number of opportunities to gain professional experience including "Carolina Week," "Carolina Connection," "Sports Xtra," The Durham VOICE, Reese News Lab, and Heelprint Communications. Students are also encouraged to join appropriate professional organizations, including campus chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists, American Advertising Federation, Public Relations Student Society of America, Carolina Association of Black Journalists (affiliated with the National Association of Black Journalists), Electronic News Association of the Carolinas, Society for News Design, National Press Photographers Association, Carolina Association of Future Magazine Editors, and SABEW.

Internships

The school strongly encourages students to obtain internships because they provide invaluable professional experience. Reporting, advertising, photo and video journalism, graphic design, broadcast news, public relations, business, and other internships are possible. Majors can enroll in MEJO 393 to receive internship credit (one credit hour, repeatable three times). MEJO 393 fulfills the experiential education General Education requirement. The school’s career services director oversees internship credit. MEJO 393 cannot be counted in the minimum of 39 credit hours required by the school, but it will count in the maximum of 48 credit hours allowed in media and journalism for graduation and in the total 120–credit hours required by the University. MEJO 153 is a prerequisite.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad. In addition to the programs available to all students through the UNC Study Abroad Office, the school has its own study abroad exchanges with top media and journalism schools in Australia, Argentina, Chile, France, Hong Kong, London, and Spain. Students should consult with the school’s study abroad advisor (located in Carroll Hall) to determine any media and journalism course credit prior to the study abroad term.

Undergraduate Scholarships

Many special scholarships are available to media and journalism majors and to students transferring into the school. For information, see the school’s Web site or write the senior associate dean of the school by December 1 for the following academic year.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates participate in research through a research pool that assists faculty members in their research and creative activities, through independent studies with faculty members to work on specific projects, and through the school’s honors program, which engages the student in substantive research that culminates in a thesis in the senior year.