Audio and Podcasting Track

In keeping to our philosophy that journalism is best taught in real life, students studying audio, radio and podcast journalism at the University of Montana hit the airwaves early in their college careers. They anchor the news on the college radio station KBGA, they intern as writers, reporters and hosts for Montana Public Radio, they create original podcasts with some of the nation's best audio journalists and they report daily for some 200 broadcasters from the Montana Legislature, just to highlight a few projects.

Job and Career Opportunities

Woman with brown hair at controls in MTPR studios.

Audio journalism is a rapidly-growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 10% job growth in the next decade for broadcast, sound and video experts. And recent research from the Pew Research Center shows that demand for radio remains high, with 83% of Americans turning to radio every week and and a "substantially increased" podcast audience. More than 41% of Americans report listening to podcasts at least once a month, up from 9% in 2008.

Just some of the of jobs you'll be ready for after completing the audio track at the University of Motnana School of Journalism include: Reporter, Producer, Host, News Director, Script Writer, Podcaster, Editor, Audio engineer 

The Student Experience

Senior Peyton Butler was sold on the audio track after interning for Montana Public Radio, which is housed at UM. She’s has also worked as the media director at the university radio station, KBGA, and as an intern with a podcast called Stories for Action.

Some of her best advice?

Woman smiles in front of mic in KBGA studio.
"I ... think just getting to know your professors is a really good way to get things done and to get knowledge that you might not even necessarily get from class. I’ll ask [Professor] Jule Banville questions about things I’m doing at KBGA and she’ll be like: ‘oh, you should try this.’ So just getting to know your professors and kind of building that relationship with them. And they can help you out a lot."

Recent Alumni

Man with brown hair smiles in front of mic in audio studi.

Nicky Ouellet, associate producer, NPR’s the Indicator

Nora Saks, producer, WBUR Podcasts, creator of award winning “Richest Hill” podcast

Autumn Barnes, producer, Hidden Brain podcast

Austin Amestoy (pictured at left), reporter and host, Montana Public Radio

Freddy Monares, KNKX Public Radio, Seattle

Shaylee Ragar, Capitol reporter, Montana Public Radio

Nathan Rott, reporter, NPR:

"The skills you learn at the J-School: how to write, how to think critically, how to ask smart questions, how to work on a deadline ... people are counting on you. Those are all things that are applicable to all careers.”

NPR reporter Nathan Rott


In the audio track, you'll start with the "core four" of the Journalism School (Media History and Literacy, Writing the News, Beginning Visual Journalism and Reporting the News,) then you branch out and start taking electives. Audio is a part of both Writing the News and Reporting the News.

We suggest starting with Intro to Audio, which fulfills a general education requirement, and then tackling Intermediate Audio and then Advanced Audio, which is a capstone course where you'll produce as a professional. In all of these courses, you'll create high-quality audio projects. Many of our students' stories are also published on the Public Radio Exchange.

We also encourage you to take some sonic arts classes in the School of Visual and Media Arts. 

Suggested Course Plan

Course Type

Course Number

Course Title

Lower-Division Required Coursed in Major


Media History and Literacy

JRNL 170

Writing the News

JRNL 257

Beginning Visual Journalism

JRNL 270

Reporting the News

Lower-Division Elective Suggested


Intro to Audio

Upper-Division Required Courses in the Major

JRNL 300

First Amendment and Journalism Law

JRNL 400

Ethics and Trends in News Media

JRNL 498

Supervised Internship

Upper Division Writing Requirement Suggestion

JRNL 340

Intermediate Audio

Five Upper-Division Elective Requirement Suggestions

JRNL 338

Intermediate Photo

JRNL 332

Audience and Social Media

JRNL 340

Intermediate Audio

JRNL 362

Feature Writing

JRNL 433

Marketing Your Work

Capstone Requirement Suggestions

JRNL 440

Advanced Audio

Courses Outside JRNL Suggested

MART 245

Intro to Sonic Arts

MART 445

Sound for Digital Media