Journalism – Bachelor’s Degree Program (BA)

Journalism – Bachelor’s Degree Program (BA)

Study Journalism at the University of Montana

Join a hands-on, fully accredited, nationally recognized journalism program that gives you the opportunity to design your own curriculum. If you’re interested in telling stories through a variety of media, including the written word, video, film, photography, graphic design or audio, a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UM can get you there.

As a journalism major, you can focus on one particular area of media to study, or create a broader educational experience for yourself. You’ll learn to think critically about your community and the world, and tell stories that matter — while building your media portfolio and professional network through extensive hands-on, real-world training. Our state-of-the-art facilities feature all the latest equipment for photography, TV, film and audio work in an intimate learning environment.

In addition to being experienced journalists, our faculty members are dedicated teachers and mentors. They know what the job is like, and they are here to support you through graduation and beyond. Alumni of the Journalism School go on to do great things — in journalism and beyond — and they rise to the top, even winning Pulitzer Prizes, Emmys and other coveted accolades.

94%

of graduates land jobs after graduation

20:1

student-to-faculty ratio means connections, mentorship and personal attention

10+

professional-level capstone projects to learn by doing, get published/aired and build your portfolio and connections

Other degree options for journalism at UM

  • Documentary Film Certificate
  • Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism
  • Minor in Journalism
  • 4+1 BA/MS in Journalism and Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism 

What can you do with a journalism degree?

Graduates of our degree in journalism go on to do important work, nationally, internationally and here in Montana. They direct newsrooms, report on international issues, photograph history, inform the public on air, start their own businesses, influence public policy, publish books and become leaders in their communities. A recent survey found that 94% of our journalism majors landed jobs after graduation.

Why employers choose UM journalism degree graduates

Majors in journalism at the University of Montana have access to a level of hands-on learning and expert mentorship few programs can match. As a result, our graduates are equipped with crucial writing, communication, storytelling and critical thinking skills that make them stand out to employers, and help them excel in journalism, public relations, marketing, communications and related fields.

Journalism jobs

Graduates of the UM School of Journalism have gone on to successful careers with organizations like CBS News, The Washington Post, ESPN Magazine, The New York Times, HuffPost, National Public Radio, NBC News, The Seattle Times, the Associated Press and the U.S. Senate. Examples of potential journalism jobs and other careers with a journalism degree include:

  • Reporter
  • Editor
  • Freelance or magazine writer
  • News producer
  • Broadcaster
  • Podcaster
  • Audio producer
  • TV anchor
  • Video creator
  • Social media strategist
  • PR specialist
  • Film and video photographer/editor
  • Photographer

Journalism salary

How much can you expect to earn with a journalism degree? Journalism salaries will vary depending on your field, where you work and your level of experience. Here are national salary averages for journalism jobs and related careers:*

  • Reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts: $46,270
  • Film and video editors and camera operators: $59,810
  • Public relations specialists: $61,150
  • Editors: $61,370
  • Technical writers: $72,850

*Based on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Student success story: Jiakai “JK” Lou

Jiakai “JK” Lou, a recent graduate of UM's School of Journalism, was named the overall national multimedia champion of the annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Often described as the college Pulitzers, the Hearst competition involves 104 accredited member universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Read about Lou's award-winning film.

Beyond the classroom: Experiential learning in the journalism degree program

Real-world knowledge is crucial to a journalism education. As a journalism major at UM, you’ll learn by doing while reporting at home and across the globe. When you graduate, you’ll have a professional portfolio of work that will help you land that first job and hit the ground running in your career.

Hands-on learning in the bachelor’s in journalism

Our students produce professional-caliber magazine and newspaper articles and photographs, on-air reports for radio and television, documentary films, and online multimedia reports — supported at every step by faculty and staff who bring extensive professional experience to the program. Our journalism majors win the top awards and scholarships given to college journalists year after year. Learn more about student journalism projects at the University of Montana.

Journalism internships

As a journalism major, you’ll be required to complete one faculty-approved internship before graduation, with options to work in news, media, politics, advocacy, advertising, public relations and a variety of other areas. Past internship experiences have been with organizations including:

  • The Washington Post
  • The New York Times
  • NPR
  • CNN
  • National Geographic
  • High Country News
  • The Seattle Times
  • Local and national TV, radio and podcast programs
  • Documentary film companies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Online publications

Learn more about internships for majors in journalism at the University of Montana.

Montana Journalism Abroad

Gain real-world international journalism skills in a breaking-news setting through on-the-ground reporting. Our students have traveled to India, Germany, Japan and other parts of the world to report on pressing international issues and developments. Learn more about Montana Journalism Abroad.

Career development in the journalism bachelor’s degree program

We partner with news organizations across the state and around the world to publish student work and help you make those crucial early connections. Student projects include:

  • The award-winning Native News Honors Project, which is published statewide
  • A student documentary film that airs on Montana PBS
  • Daily and weekly coverage of the Montana Legislature distributed to almost every news organization in the state
  • A weekly TV news program
  • Daily radio newscasts, podcasts and more
  • Byline Magazine

Faculty mentorship in the journalism degree program

Our faculty members do more than teach. They mentor. They guide special projects. They advise and build careers. They also come from a working journalism background, so they know what it's like out there. All of them continue to work in journalism, publishing articles, writing books, making films and freelancing for major journalism outlets. Our professors have included Pulitzer Prize winners, National Geographic editors, New York Times writers and award-winning podcast producers.

Scholarships for journalism majors

Each year, UM’s School of Journalism awards numerous scholarships to students, amounting to more than $225K. We also have aid available for incoming students. Explore scholarship opportunities for journalism majors at UM.

Explore classes for the journalism program

Coursework for the journalism degree explores the news media (emphasizing its history, privileges and responsibilities) and the skills required for careers in media, including in print media, broadcast journalism, radio and television, photojournalism, documentary film and photography, and online media.

View all classes for the bachelor’s degree in journalism.