College of Media

Student Services Center
18 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright St., MC-477
Urbana, IL 61801
PH: (217) 244-4329 



on-campus admission:

undergraduate advising:


The College of Media strives to give students a solid background in social sciences and humanities and to provide them broad career competence in advertising, journalism or media studies. The College's premise is that students need to understand the world and its people if they are to communicate effectively and enjoy fulfilling and meaningful lives.

The College offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Advertising, Computer Science & Advertising, Journalism, and Media & Cinema Studies. Students have opportunities to become leaders in cutting-edge media, study with leading professionals and scholars, and learn using the latest equipment and facilities. Included are laboratories for reporting, editing, design, and multimedia-journalism; editing suites for radio and television production; and a television studio.

The College includes Illinois Public Media, which operates the local PBS and NPR stations WILL-AM, FM, TV and online.

The College also houses the Institute of Communications Research.

The College of Media has a rich past and a bright future. It traces its history to 1902, when instruction in journalism began. A school of journalism was established in 1927. In 1950 it became the School of Journalism and Communications. In 1957 the school was elevated to college status and the name College of Communications was adopted in 1968. To better reflect the College's emphasis on mediated communication, the name College of Media was adopted in 2008 becoming one of the first Colleges of Media in the country.


The Department of Advertising offers the Master of Science degree in Advertising and Strategic Brand Communication. The Department of Journalism has graduate programs leading to the Master of Journalism (MJ) and the Master of Science (MS) in Journalism. The Department of Media and Cinema Studies offers an undergraduate and graduate minor in Cinema Studies. The College also offers an interdisciplinary program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree in communications and media.

Admission Requirements

High school seniors and transfer students from another institution should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for admission requirements and applications for a specific term.

Current University of Illinois students who will have completed at least one year on the Urbana-Champaign campus should apply during the a designated Intercollegiate Transfer (ICT) period. Successful applicants will be admitted for the following semester. Applications also will be accepted from more advanced students provided that by the end of the semester in which they apply, they will have completed no more than 90 hours. Application materials are available on the College website and specific deadlines are cited on the website.

Students currently enrolled in other colleges on campus are accepted on the condition that by the time they join the College at the start of the semester after they apply, they must:

  • Have completed at least two semesters in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign academic unit to which they were admitted, if admitted as freshmen.
  • Be classified by the university as sophomores (at least 30 credit hours) or as juniors (fewer than 90 credit hours).
  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Have completed approximately one-fourth (if sophomores) or one-half (if juniors) or more of the total credit hours required to satisfy the university's General Education requirements.
  • Have made substantial progress toward completing any departmental requirements for courses outside the College of Media.

Students seeking to transfer from another university may apply early in the spring semester provided they will have completed at least 30 transferable hours by the end of the spring semester. Hours planned during upcoming summer semesters are not considered. Applications are available from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Students may apply to any major in the College: Advertising, Computer Science & Advertising, Journalism, or Media & Cinema Studies. College of Media students may not complete double majors within the College. Students majoring in Journalism may not pursue a Journalism Minor. College of Media students are not eligible to pursue the general Media minor.

Students who would require more than nine total semesters of overall college or university enrollment to complete their degree will be denied admission. Students must complete their College of Media degrees within seven semesters of joining the College as sophomores or within five semesters of joining the College as juniors. A minimum of three semesters within the College is required for students admitted as juniors. A minimum of five semesters within the College is required for students admitted as sophomores.

Minors in areas outside the College are strongly encouraged. However, because considerable coursework in other colleges is implicit within the requirements for all College of Media degrees, students are not admitted to the College of Media for the purpose of pursuing second majors or second undergraduate degrees.

Most required courses in Advertising, Computer Science and Advertising, Journalism, and Media and Cinema Studies must be completed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students completing freshman and sophomore studies at institutions other than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may test their interest in the Media field. However, a maximum of nine hours of transferable Media courses are allowed toward the student's major requirements.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, students must satisfy all University requirements as to residency, scholarship, and fees and must complete the University's general education requirements. All students also must fulfill these general requirements of the College of Media:

  • Complete a total of 124 semester hours of course credit of which no more than 12 hours total may be in basic physical education activity courses, vocational and technical education courses, basic courses in military science (AFAS, MILS and NS courses numbered below 300), Institute of Aviation courses, Undergraduate Open Seminar (199) courses, and independent study courses and other experimental or special topics courses outside the College of Media. Independent study courses additionally must be approved by the College to ensure that credit is given only for academic work directly supervised by a faculty member. The College encourages its students to have appropriate professional internships and to participate in professional activities. While it does not allow academic credit for such experience, one credit hour is possible through an academic course or independent study supervised by a College of Media faculty member and taken in conjunction with an internship.
  • Complete not less than 72 hours of credit outside the College of Media.
  • No course of any number that is offered by or cross-listed with Advertising, Journalism or Media and Cinema Studies or is substantially similar to courses offered by Advertising, Journalism or Media and Cinema Studies may count toward the total hours outside the College of Media, regardless of the rubric under which it is taken. For each hour of credit beyond 44 in College of Media courses, the number of hours required for graduation increases by one additional hour to ensure that the requirement of 72 hours outside the College is met.
  • Complete not less than 20 hours in courses numbered 200 or above outside the College of Media and not cross-listed in the College of Media, regardless of the rubric under which they are taken. At least 9 of the 20 hours must be in courses numbered 300 and above.
  • Complete the specific requirements of one of the four curricula offered by the College.
  • Earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (A = 4.00) in all courses presented for the degree and a cumulative 2.00 grade point average for all courses taken in the College.

Credit/No Credit Grading Option

The College follows credit-no credit provisions described in Article 3-105 of the Student Code.

All courses listed or cross-listed with departments in the College, or specifically required by one of those departments for its majors or used to fulfill University General Education requirements, must be taken for a traditional letter grade. For Advertising majors, this means these courses outside the College must be taken for a grade: STAT 100 (or any of the allowed substitutes), ECON 102, ECON 103, and two out of the three courses SOC 100, PSYC 100 and ANTH 103. Journalism majors must take CS 105, ECON 102, ECON 103, PSYC 100, SOC 100 and STAT 100 (or any of the allowed substitutes) for a letter grade. For all majors, courses taken to fulfill the College's advanced hour requirement (20 hours outside the College in courses numbered 200 and above) also must be taken for traditional letter grades. 

Special Programs

Dean's List

To be eligible for Dean's List recognition for any semester, students must rank in the top 20 percent of the College in grade point average and must complete at least 12 hours taken for a letter grade (A through F) on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Transfer, study abroad and guided individual study coursework is excluded.

Students who are registered with the Chez Veterans Center or with Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) who are enrolled in less than 12 but at least nine graded semester hours who are in the top 20 percent of the College are also eligible. Such students must sign a release with the Chez Veteran Center or DRES indicating their consent for consideration for Dean's List eligibility and have submitted that consent to their home unit's academic affairs office no later than Reading Day in the semester in which they wish to be considered for Dean's List. These consent forms are valid only for the semester in which they are issued, and students must submit by the deadline updated consent forms for each semester in which they wish to be considered for the Dean's List.

The specific grade point average necessary to achieve Dean's List recognition may vary. College of Media standards are high.

Dean's List recognition is determined before the start of the ensuing semester. Students who are not initially selected but who believe they might qualify because of the late resolution of incomplete, deferred or missing grades may petition before the end of the next semester for retroactive addition to the list.

Honors at Graduation

For graduation with honors, a student must rank in the upper 20 percent of their graduating class in overall grade point average. For graduation with high honors, a student must additionally rank in the upper 10 percent. For graduation with highest honors, a student must additionally rank in the upper 5 percent.

For purposes of this award, "graduating class" means all students listed as receiving or as being candidates for receiving bachelor's degrees in all College majors at the College's annual convocation each May. This includes students who graduated in the previous December and those who are candidates for graduation in May and August. Grade point averages are computed through the fall semester immediately preceding the annual convocation and include all transfer courses and other grades posted as of that date.

Transfer students, in addition to meeting the general requirement, must have cumulative University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign grade-point averages as high as the lowest ones listed for students who qualify on the basis of having completed all of their work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and must have earned 40 or more semester hours at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through the fall semester immediately preceding the annual convocation.

Kappa Tau Alpha

Each year, scholastically high-ranking graduating juniors and seniors in the College of Media are considered for membership in Kappa Tau Alpha, the seventh oldest national honorary society, founded to recognize and promote academic excellence and scholarship in journalism and mass communication.

Students must rank in the upper 10 percent of their class, must have completed at least five semesters of degree work and must have completed at least nine semester hours in professional skills courses, as defined by the national society.

Edmund J. James Scholars

The James Scholar Program, named for the University of Illinois' fourth president, Edmund J. James, focuses on giving high-achieving students the opportunity to gain additional knowledge by working closely with instructors.

To remain in good standing as a James Scholar in the College of Media, students must maintain semester and cumulative GPAs of 3.5 and higher, complete at least 14 credit hours for traditional letter grades each semester and complete at least one honors course or project each academic year. Students may choose from taking a Campus Honors Program course, completing an Honors Credit Learning Agreement with a professor in any course, working on an honors project with a College of Media professor as an independent study, or from the pre-approved honors activity list as provided by the honors dean to complete the honors requirement. Students who study abroad will be exempt of the GPA and credit hour requirements during the semester(s) they are abroad. The honors requirement should be completed the semester the student is on campus.

James Scholars' academic records are reviewed each summer. If a student has met the stated requirements for each of the two past semesters at the time of the review, they will be certified as a James Scholar for the next academic year and the James Scholar designation will be added to their transcripts for that academic year. Any student who does not fulfill the requirements will be removed from the James Scholars program. Because James Scholar review takes place once a year, a student who does not meet the requirements in the fall semester will remain in the program for the spring. However, they will be dropped during the summer review period and the James Scholar notation will not appear on the transcript for the previous academic year. In order to graduate with the James Scholar designation, all students must have completed a minimum of four honors activities, with at least one being completed each year the student is in the program.

Students entering the College of Media as freshmen are invited to join the James Scholars program at the time of admission if they rank in the top 20 percent of the College's incoming class, as determined by an Office of Admissions and Records standard that combines factors such as standardized test scores and high school GPA.

Students already in the College of Media are invited to become James Scholars for the upcoming fall semester if they have completed fewer than 75 hours, have at least a 3.5 overall GPA and were included on the Dean's List for the spring semester. If a student loses the James Scholar status, he or she must sit out of the program for at least one academic year before becoming eligible for reinstatement. A student may only be reinstated by making the College’s spring Dean’s List.

Students who transfer into the College of Media from another college on the Urbana-Champaign campus are invited to participate in the James Scholar program immediately if they were a James Scholar in their previous college. Students who transfer to the College from another institution may request to participate if they have a transfer GPA of at least 3.7.

A qualifying student may enter the program for his or her sophomore or junior year, but not for his or her senior year alone. Students who join the James Scholar program during the sophomore or junior year will need to pick up additional honors activities in order to graduate with the minimum four required to graduate with the honor.

For complete policies and procedures, please see:




Media & Cinema Studies

Institute of Communications Research


ADVERTISING (ADV), offers students the opportunity to learn and think about advertising as a way of modeling the mind, as a material reflection of social structure, as a fundamentally modern phenomenon, as an art form and even as a basis for community, by drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, history, literature, and anthropology. This program will thoroughly infuse the understanding of consumer behavior and message knowledge base and, therefore, provide a better and longer-lasting education for students.

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ADVERTISING, sponsored jointly by the Departments of Computer Science and Advertising. This is a program for students who plan to pursue careers in the advertising field that have a technology focus. Cloud computing, the availability and ubiquity of data, and the rapid and pervasive adoption of mobile technology have created a paradigm shift in the advertising industry. Projected areas of growth in advertising and communications will be in Search Engine Optimization, web analytics, Computational Advertising, and other emerging areas of technology/media. The degree will prepare students for advanced study at the graduate level as well as immediate entry into the workforce at advertising agencies, businesses with in-house advertising and marketing divisions, and technology companies.

JOURNALISM (JOUR), prepares students for exciting and fulfilling careers in traditional broadcast journalism, news-editorial journalism, and emerging media. The primary professional aim is to train students as public affairs and enterprise journalists. The Journalism Department seeks to prepare broadly educated professionals who will assume decision-making and leadership roles in a variety of media organizations.

MEDIA AND CINEMA STUDIES (MACS), prepares students with dynamic skills for careers in media, information, creative, and visual industries, as well as informed interaction with everyday media technologies.  Majors have the opportunity to participate in original research, mixed media production, internships, study abroad, and public engagement through a transformative learning environment. MACS offers an undergraduate and graduate minor in CINEMA STUDIES.

The College also houses the INSTITUTE OF COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH, an internationally recognized center for interdisciplinary education, scholarship and public engagement in communications and culture in a global economy. Drawing broadly on the social sciences and humanities, the Institute develops new directions in research and has been home to some of the most famous scholars in media and communications. 

Graduate Degree Programs offered by the College of Media