Business Journalism Major, B.A.

Hussman School of Journalism and Media

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Carroll Hall, CB# 3365

(919) 962-1204

Susan King, Dean

Charlie Tuggle, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Sharon Jones, Director, Academic Advising & Student Engagement

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 journalism and media 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 Hussman School of Journalism and Media, 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

The business journalism major and minor programs are not currently accepting students; however, the business journalism certificate remains.

Department Programs



Certificate Programs

Graduate Programs

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the business journalism program, students should be able to:

  • Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press
  • Think critically, creatively, and independently
  • Conduct research and evaluate information
  • Write correctly and clearly early in students’ career at the School of Media and Journalism
  • Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work
  • Demonstrate specific knowledge in a substantive area of the field

In addition to the above ACEJMC competencies listed above, the school espouses and lives by the Hussman statement of core values:

  • Impartiality means reporting, editing, and delivering the news honestly, fairly, objectively, and without personal opinion or bias. Credibility is the greatest asset of any news medium, and impartiality is the greatest source of credibility.
  • To provide the most complete report, a news organization must not just cover the news, but uncover it. It must follow the story wherever it leads, regardless of any preconceived ideas on what might be most newsworthy.
  • The pursuit of truth is a noble goal of journalism. But the truth is not always apparent or known immediately. Journalists’ role is therefore not to determine what they believe at that time to be the truth and reveal only that to their readers, but rather to report as completely and impartially as possible all verifiable facts so that readers can, based on their own knowledge and experience, determine what they believe to be the truth.
  • When a newspaper delivers both news and opinions, the impartiality and credibility of the news organization can be questioned. To minimize this as much as possible there needs to be a sharp and clear distinction between news and opinion, both to those providing and consuming the news.


In addition to the program requirements, 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
  • complete at least 21 credit hours with C grades or better in required MEJO courses, and at least 13.5 hours with C grades or better in required BUSI courses

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

Core Requirements
BUSI 102Introduction to Financial Accounting1.5
BUSI 403Operations Management3
BUSI 404Business Ethics1.5
BUSI 408Corporate Finance (BUSI 101 and ECON 101 are prerequisites)3
MEJO 121Introduction to Digital Storytelling3
MEJO 153Writing and Reporting3
MEJO 340Introduction to Media Law: Journalism Focus3
MEJO 541Economics Reporting3
MEJO 542Business Reporting3
MEJO 550Business and the Media3
MEJO 630Business News Wire3
or MEJO 631 Business Journalism Management
Additional Requirements
At least two courses from:4.5-6
Management and Corporate Communication
Leading and Managing: An Introduction to Organizational Behavior
Financial Accounting
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, H
Calculus of Functions of One Variable II 1, H
Decision Models for Business
Decision Models for Business and Economics
STOR 155Introduction to Data Models and Inference3
ECON 101Introduction to Economics H4
State and local government and politics requirement. At least one course from the following:3
Introduction to Comparative Politics H
International Relations and Global Politics H
The United States Supreme Court
Race, Innocence, and the Decline of the Death Penalty
Politics in the U.S. States H
Select one Philosophical and Moral Reasoning (PH) course from the following list: 3
Media Ethics
Virtue, Value, and Happiness: An Introduction to Moral Theory H
Practical Ethics: Moral Reasoning and How We Live H
Liberty, Rights, and Responsibilities: Introduction to Social Ethics and Political Thought H
The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense
Total Hours50.5-53

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

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 total 120 credit hours required by the University.

Special Opportunities in Journalism and Media

Honors in Journalism and Media

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. A number of other courses carry the honors designation. 

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 Innovation 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), Radio Television Digital News Association, Society for News Design, National Press Photographers Association, Carolina Association of Future Magazine Editors, and SABEW.


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 staff 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 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 advisors (located in the Undergraduate Hub 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.

Undergraduate Research

Some 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.