School of Journalism and Mass Communication


Specific Regulations

Students should be familiar with the General Information section of the Drake University catalog, which covers academic requirements that affect all Drake University students. Although assigned an academic adviser, the student is responsible for being familiar with academic regulations and for selecting appropriate courses in the proper sequence to complete degree requirements. Special attention is directed to information concerning advanced placement and college credit by examination, the credit/no credit program, the President’s and Deans’ lists, international education opportunities, general graduation requirements and academic regulations.

Students also should be familiar with the Drake University Code of Conduct and specific policies relating to academic dishonesty, cheating and plagiarism, especially the SJMC Honors Code. Cheating, plagiarism or dishonesty in academic work is considered cause for expulsion.

SJMC Academic Regulations

In addition to the University academic regulations, SJMC students working toward a B.A.J.M.C. degree are required to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 in both their cumulative (CUM) and journalism (JMC) coursework during any semester after the student has completed 30 credit hours.

Before 30 credits hours are met:

  • Students falling below a 2.0 in either JMC or CUM but still meeting the University regulations will be placed on SJMC probation. This probation should be viewed as a warning to improve academically or continuing in SJMC is in jeopardy.
  • Students falling below a 2.0 GPA CUM and placed on first probation or final probation with the University regulations will be placed on SJMC probation, which could lead to discontinuance in the SJMC.
  • If a SJMC student is academically suspended from the University or discontinued in SJMC, the student may not continue in SJMC or re-enroll in SJMC later.
  • Transfer students completing fewer than 15 credits at Drake will be warned of a low GPA but not be placed on probation.
  • Students transferring into SJMC from another college at Drake must have a CUM of 2.25 to be allowed into the SJMC.

After 30 credits are met:

  • Students who do not achieve the 2.25 GPA in both CUM and JMC will be placed on probationary continuance in SJMC.
  • If the student raises the GPAs above 2.25, the probation is lifted.
  • If the student does not raise both GPAs above 2.25 the subsequent semester after probationary continuance the student may not continue in SJMC or re-enroll in the future.

Students must complete 15 to 18 credit hours per semester to graduate in four years. An academic load over 18 credit hours in a semester requires a 3.00 cumulative GPA, or a 2.75 average and permission of the faculty Academic Adjustment Committee. Students employed full-time or part-time should consider carrying lighter class loads.

At least 40 of the 120 credit hours required for graduation must be in courses numbered 100 or above. The last 30 hours of a student’s program must be taken at Drake University. Twelve hours of credit may be earned on a credit-no credit (no letter grade) basis in courses that are not part of the basic requirements or part of the major and related courses, including courses in the area of concentration. (See the Credit-No Credit program in the Academic Regulations section of the Drake University undergraduate catalog.)

To ensure some depth and focus, the JMC graduate must complete a 21 credit-hour block of non-JMC courses approved by the advisor and dean. This concentration, often taken in a single department or as a unified area of concentration crossing departmental lines, is appropriate to the student’s major or other special interest. At least 12 credit hours in the concentration must be in courses numbered 100 and above. Courses taken to satisfy other graduation requirements also may count toward this requirement. No course taken on a credit-no credit basis may be counted toward the area of concentration.

An SJMC student may not take an SJMC course on a credit-no credit or audit basis, unless the course is only offered credit/no credit.

To enroll for any SJMC course requiring a prerequisite, the student must have earned a grade of “C-” or higher in the prerequisite course(s).

To enroll in any SJMC senior-level writing, production or senior capstone course, a student must have a declared SJMC major.

Students without appropriate prerequisite courses may be admitted to classes, if there are compelling reasons, by obtaining the consent of the instructor and/or the approval of the Academic Adjustment Committee.

Transfer Students

Transfer students majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication may transfer a maximum of 12 journalism credit hours.

Attendance Policy

The University policy notes, “Students are expected to attend all classes and to be punctual in doing so. They are also expected to complete all assignments for classes that they miss. The individual instructor may set his/her own specific requirements in reference to each class at the beginning of the term. Faculty members are urged to provide an opportunity for students to make up work missed as a result of legitimate absences, including observances of religious holidays.”


  • Maximum of six hours allowed for credit
  • Students take for 1, 2, or 3 credits (requires adviser approval)
  • Internship forms available on the SJMC "Forms" web site
  • Opportunities listed on bulletin boards and in notebooks outside of Internship Coordinator Office and online
  • Grade assigned by supervising faculty member (adviser)

All internships for credit should be added before the semester's add period, when possible.

Students registered for fewer than 12 credits at the end of the add period cannot add an internship after the add period has expired. In other words, if adding internship credit changes a student’s status from part-time to full-time, the internship cannot be added. These students may add their internship credits to the next semester.  If the next semester is summer, students are required to pay the summer rate for each credit hour. If, in any semester, the internship hours, along with the student’s other coursework exceeds 18 credit hours, the over-hours fee will apply. Students may not hold internship credit past the next semester.

Students registered for 12 credits or more at the end of the add period may add the internship credits at the time the internship becomes available. The deadline will be the Friday before finals of each semester. 

Students are limited to earning up to three credit hours for internship, apprenticeship, or state capitol experience per semester. More than one type of credit (internship, apprenticeship, or state capitol experience) may not be awarded for the same work experience in a given semester.

Students can substitute up to four credit hours of non-JMC credits for JMC requirements, if approved by the Academic Adjustment Committee, while still counting towards the 44 required JMC credit hours

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.