Mar 27, 2023  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Journalism and Technical Communication

Studies in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication blend the knowledge of communication practices and technology. Coursework in technical communication and journalism develops essential skills for working professionals in the mass media, public relations, technical, scientific, medical, journalism, media production, or corporate communication fields.

The coursework focuses on the development of reader-centered, content-driven information products produced in various areas of concentration including journalism, public relations, mobile and social media communication, video and interactive media production, or technical writing and editing.

Bachelor of Arts

The journalism program prepares students for careers in traditional and convergent media. A solid education is offered in the basics of journalism with Bachelor of Arts degrees earned in the emphases of Convergent Journalism, Magazines, and Public Relations. Students may also choose from two journalism minors.

The Journalism program offers a major with three concentrations-convergent journalism, magazines, and public relations-and minors in convergent journalism and photojournalism. Proficiency in standard written English is a prerequisite for all journalism courses. Students are required to complete ENG 1010 before taking any journalism courses beyond JRN 1010.

Students should select an advisor early in their course of study. Students may not select both a major and minor from the Journalism program. The Journalism program will provide students with a list of suggested General Studies courses to help them gain a broad base of knowledge necessary for working in news and information media.

The journalism faculty are academic and working professionals who offer a real-world education in the tenets of journalism; accuracy, truth, fairness, acting independently and minimizing harm. Instructors also teach rigorous courses of First Amendment case studies and ethical issues that prepare students for careers in both print and electronic newsrooms and public relations firms.

Scholarships are offered to students in the MSU Denver Journalism program.

All journalism degree emphases prepare our students for traditional and convergent publishing. Many of our graduates are working professionals at local, national and international media companies. All journalism majors require a minor.

  • The Convergent Journalism emphasis is on the cutting-edge of 21st century journalism publishing. A degree in convergent journalism prepares graduates for jobs in print, electronic, broadcast, radio, television and online publishing.
  • The Magazine emphasis provides students with critical skills to excel in magazine editorial and design departments, copy editing, publishing, and online multiplatform dissemination of magazine content.
  • The Public Relations emphasis prepares graduates for jobs in corporate and non-profit public relations, event coordination and media communications positions. This major was created using courses from a variety of disciplines ensuring our public relations graduates are well versed in all areas of media.

Bachelor of Science

The Department of Journalism and Technical Communication also offers a B.S. degree in Technical Communication, with five concentrations, and a Technical Communication Minor. In addition, the department offers a Digital Media Minor in conjunction with the Department of Art and the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. The five concentrations in the major are:

  • Interactive Media Production
  • Mobile and Social Media
  • Technical Writing and Editing
  • Video Production
  • Extended Major in Technical Communication

Each individual concentration teaches theory, concepts, and practical applications that can be employed in various areas of business, industry, government, and the media production field. With the exception of the extended major option, all students must complete a minor.

Upon completion of a degree program in Technical Communication, students should be able to:

  • Communicate knowledge of the field both orally and in writing
  • Relate technical communication principles from their selected areas of concentration
  • Apply theory and principles in a practical manner to their areas of concentration
  • Conduct research, synthesize technical information and write in the appropriate format of their concentration
  • Present technical information in a media or interactive media format suitable to their areas of concentration
  • Produce or oversee the production of technical information in a video or interactive media format suitable to their area of concentration

Computer Skill Requirement

Computer skills are required of all students majoring or minoring in the department. Students can meet this requirement by:

  • Providing documentary evidence at the time they see their department advisor of previous satisfactory completion of an academic or industrial training course in computer literacy and document processing


  • Successful completion with a grade of “C” or better of an approved MSU Denver course in CIS or CSS in the semester following the declaration of their major, minor, or enrolling in a certificate program. The department advisor will work with the student to select the most appropriate course for the student’s academic needs.

Extended Major

To complete the extended major, students must fulfill 15 credits specified in one of the technical communication concentrations. In addition, the student must fulfill all of MSU Denver’s General Studies and Multicultural requirements. Students enrolled in the extended major are NOT required to complete a minor. Consult the department for details concerning the extended major.

Students may enroll in the Technical Communication Extended Major, option 2. Students must successfully complete 36 credits of required COM courses, 15 credits in one of four concentrations, and the necessary number of elective courses.

Digital Media Minor

The Digital Media minor includes courses from the departments of Art, Communication Arts and Sciences, and Journalism and Technical Communication. This minor consists of 24 credits, six of which must be upper division. This minor is designed to provide skills that will increase employment opportunities in the field of digital media communication.

Journalism Minors

Minors in journalism include Convergent Journalism and Public Relations. Students majoring in Journalism may not minor in Convergent Journalism or Public Relations.

Sport Media Minor

Technical Communication Minor

The Technical Communication Minor is designed to provide additional skills that will increase employability for the student majoring in a scientific or technological discipline. In addition to the required core courses, the student selects four other COM courses from one of the specialized areas or from a variety of courses offered by the department.

Students enrolling in one of the major concentrations or one of the minors must confer with a department advisor.