Apply to the Major

Applications to the major are accepted twice each academic year, at the start of fall and spring semesters.

Application deadline for summer/fall 2017 admission to the major: Friday, January 27, 2017 at 4 p.m. 
Application deadline for spring 2018 admission to the major: Friday, September 15, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Once students have been admitted to the College of Liberal Arts, or another degree-seeking college at the University of Minnesota, they may pursue admission to the journalism major.

Preparing to Apply

New Major Planning Sessions:
All new admits must attend a New
Major Planning Session.

Fall 2016: 
Oct. 14 from 3:30-5:00 pm

Spring 2017:
Feb. 24 from 3:30-5:00 pm

Students who plan to submit an application must attend or watch a required Premajor Information Session. SJMC advising staff will give you information about the major, the three program tracks and the application process itself.

Major handbooks provide comprehensive overviews of each track and will be most helpful when completing Step 3: Sample Major Program Plan/Timeline.

Application Eligibility

Students are eligible to apply for major status, once they have:

  • Completed or enrolled in JOUR 1001, earning a grade of C or higher
  • Completed or enrolled in 30 letter-graded semester credits, including a minimum of 13 credits at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus (28 letter-graded credits for students in CLA 1001 and CLA 1002). NOTE: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credits do not count towards these required credit totals
  • Attended or viewed a required Premajor Information Session
  • Note: To be competitive for admission, students should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Application Instructions

Step 1: Complete the application form.

Download and print out the application form:

Step 2: Prepare your written Statement of Intent.

You might discuss:

  • Why you want to become a journalism major
  • The features of the major program that are attractive to you
  • How a major in journalism plays a part in your academic and professional goals
  • How any extra curricular, media, leadership, or community activities have contributed to your educational or professional goals
  • Mention if either of your parents received a four-year undergraduate degree from a college or university
  • Mention if your parents or any close family or relatives attended the SJMC or worked in the media industry
  • Explain any extenuating circumstances or important information related to your GPA.

The Statement of Intent should be 1½ to 2 pages, double-spaced, and your name and student ID number should be placed at the upper right-hand corner. When writing your Statement of Intent, remember to:

  • Organize your thoughts
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Check spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Stay within the one and a half to two page limit.
  • Add your name and student ID number to the top of your Statement of Intent document
  • Proofread your final copy
Step 3: Complete a Sample Major Program Plan/Timeline.

Use the Major Program Plan/Timeline to list the classes you will take to complete your major requirements and when you will take each major course on your plan. The Admissions Committee will review your plans to determine your attention to detail in choosing and scheduling your major courses, and your ability to complete the major requirements by the end of your senior year.

This is a sample version of the formal “Major Program Plan/Timeline” you will complete to choose your major classes and fully declare the journalism major if you are admitted to the SJMC.

To submit your Sample Major Program Plan/Timeline with your application:

  1. Print the form for the program track that matches your interests:
  2. Indicate the specific course numbers you will take to complete the various program requirements in the “Major Program Plan” section of the form.
  3. Indicate which semester you will take each planned course by scheduling them in the “Major Program Timeline” section of the form. Note: You only need to include JOUR courses on your Sample Major Program Plan/Timeline. 


  • Be sure to pay attention to prerequisites, and check to make sure each class is offered during the semester you have it listed on your timeline. If you plan to study abroad, include that on your timeline as well.
  • Detailed course information, including more tips for scheduling your classes, can be found in the major handbooks (see links above).
  • ​See this PDF iconexample of a completed sample major program plan/timeline.
Step 4: Submit your ACT/SAT or English Usage Test Scores

Unofficial copies of your scores are sufficient. Do not pay for official scores. Simply log in to your account on the official ACT website and print a screenshot that includes your name and scores.

The admissions committee will look only at English and English Writing scores for ACT (looking for a 24 or higher) or Verbal scores for SAT (550 or higher)

English Usage Test
If you don't have ACT or SAT scores or you are unhappy with your scores, you can sign up to take SJMC's free English Usage Test.
See the FAQ about the English Usage Test and contact Student Services (612-625-0120) if you have questions. 

Upcoming English Usage Test time

Step 5: Submit Application

Your application will not be considered complete until you submit all documents to 110 Murphy Hall before the deadline. Do not submit materials that are printed double-sided, do not staple applications, and be sure materials are submitted in order:

  1. Application Page
  2. Statement of Intent
  3. Program Plan
  4. ACT, SAT, or EUT Score

Student Services will attach your grade report to your application. This report will include details of all the classes you have taken and the grade you received in each class. If you are a transfer student, your grades from previous institutions will also be visible.

Auto Review for Qualifying Students

Students who meet the required criteria and submit the application materials in steps 1–5 by the application deadline will undergo a streamlined review by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. This process allows students to be admitted to the major as early as the second semester of their first year.

To be eligible for auto review, you must:

  • have completed coursework at the University of Minnesota. Transfer students are only eligible for auto review after their first semester on campus
  • have a 3.25 cumulative GPA
  • have completed JOUR 1001 and earned a B or higher
  • have completed at least 15 UMNTC credits on an A-F basis (or for university freshmen, have completed 14 A-F credits and CLA 1001, which is taken S/N)
  • have a 24 or higher on the English and English Writing portion of the ACT or a 550 or higher on the Writing portion of the SAT
  • have attended or viewed a Premajor Information Session
  • have submited all application materials

Auto review students must have completed 30 credits on an A-F basis (28 credits for students taking CLA 1001/1002) by the end of the semester they are admitted.