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Undergraduate Programs

Journalism Undergraduate Program 

Journalism, the collection and distribution of current news and information, is essential to all democratic societies. Journalists write, photograph, manage, edit, record video, publish, and present news for the public through various forms of media, including online publications, newspapers, magazines, specialty publications catering to unique audiences, radio, and television.

Public relations is also a strong and growing career field that requires a deep awareness of journalistic skills and concepts. 

Program Overview

The Journalism program at NIU provides students with a broad-based liberal arts education combined with an array of skills and theory courses. In addition, students have a high degree of success in obtaining internships and viable employment via our vast network of alumni (there are approximately 5,000 journalism and public relations alumni) and organizations with synergistic goals, such as the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association.

The major in journalism prepares students to function effectively in a multimedia and multicultural environment, practice ethics in communication, and maintain the professional standards of journalism.

Journalism courses typically taught in the department include:

  • Writing, including introductory courses, opinion writing, and article writing.
  • Broadcast television news production
  • News reporting and News editing
  • Photojournalism and press photography and Graphic design
  • Research and information gathering
  • Contemporary issues in journalism and critical analysis of news
  • Media convergence
  • History of journalism
  • International journalism
  • Mass media and society
  • News and entertainment
  • Public relations principles, Public relations writing and Advanced public relations

Students can often work individually with faculty members on independent study courses, and special topics courses in journalism or public relations are available. Students may also become part of several journalistic and/or public relations advocacy organizations, such as the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Northern Television Center (NTC)

NTC is the award-winning "nerve center" of broadcast journalism at NIU. It houses our advanced studio production facility, where students produce original local news, sports, weather, and entertainment programming for the campus and surrounding communities.

Majors may choose to take courses in broadcast news which are taught at the Northern Television Center.