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 2018 admission to the major: Friday, January 26, 2018 at 4 p.m.
Application deadline for spring 2019 admission to the major: Friday, September 14, 2018 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 students admitted to the major 
must attend a New Major Planning
Session to be declared.

Spring 2018:
February 23, 2018 from 3:30-5 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 credits graded A-F (28 credits graded A-F for students in CLA 1001 and CLA 1002), including a minimum of 13 credits graded A-F at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. NOTE: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credits do not count towards these required credit totals
  • Attended or viewed a required Premajor Information Session
  • Note: The admissions committee is looking for a GPA of 3.0 or higher, but will consider a GPA below 3.0 if other application materials demonstrate the applicant has the potential be successful in the major. 

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 do you want to become a journalism major—what aspects of the program interest you?
  • Why are you pursuing a particular track and your interest in a particular focus within that track, such as creative advertising or broadcast journalism.
  • How will a major in journalism play a part in achieving your academic and professional goals or aspirations.
  • Describe an area of expertise (such as minor or second major) outside of journalism that will contribute to your study and practice of the field you are pursuing.
  • How has your involvement in extracurricular activities, media, leadership, or community activities contributed to your academic and professional goals or aspirations.
  • How has your diverse background, such as first-generation college student, representing a minority community, or returning to college after a break, influenced your decision to pursue a journalism major.
  • 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
  • Proofread your final copy
  • Match the information in your statement with the track you selected for your program plan
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 review English and English Writing scores for ACT (looking for 24 or higher) or Verbal scores for SAT (looking for 550 or higher). As with the GPA benchmark, the committee will consider scores below those stated above if the other application materials demonstrate the applicant will be successful in the major.

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.