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Journalism major adds curriculum changes

The journalism program is undergoing two new changes according to an email sent to the Media, Journalism and Film (MJF) department from Senior Lecturer Patricia Gallagher Newberry, area coordinator for the journalism program. 

Beginning next semester, new journalism students will be able to add a second major within the MJF department, and the journalism program is expecting to offer a new minor next spring, Gallagher Newberry said. She also said current students can take advantage of the changes, but will have to work with their advisor to work out the change.  

The minor will be 18 credit hours and have two areas of study: the study of journalism and the actual practice of journalism. 

Camryn Smith, junior strategic communication and professional writing double major, has taken multiple journalism classes. She said if the minor had been created a year earlier, she would have declared it. 

“I would have loved to have that because it just pairs really well with what I have going on for my majors,” Smith said.

Gallagher Newberry said adding a minor had never occurred to the department before.

“Now, we're just trying to do things that will help us grow and protect our current numbers,” Gallagher Newberry said. 

She said the curriculum changes were sparked by changes made in the strategic communications and media and culture majors, both of which are dropping their second major. 

The journalism major will keep its second major requirement.

“The whole reason we created [the requirement] is so that students will leave Miami after four years with deep knowledge and appreciation of journalism,” Gallagher Newberry said, “and a second, non-media field, so they could go into the world and say, ‘I know a lot about psychology.’ ‘I know a lot about sociology.’ ‘I know a lot about marketing, or dance or whatever.’”

Gallagher Newberry said the department decided to add the minor after changes in the Miami Plan are removing the thematic sequence. 

“We considered [how thematic sequences] are going to be dismantled,” Gallagher Newberry said. “Let's get ahead of the curve, and let's figure out a way to allow us to add a minor in journalism.”

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