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Twin Cities Campus

Mass Communication Minor

School of Journalism & Mass Communication
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits in this minor: 18
The minor serves students who wish to study the social, political, economic, and legal aspects of mass communication.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
Students must complete 1 courses before admission to the program.
A GPA above 2.0 is preferred for the following:
  • 2.50 already admitted to the degree-granting college
  • 2.50 transferring from another University of Minnesota college
  • 2.50 transferring from outside the University
Students seeking a minor in mass communication must consult the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication website at https://cla.umn.edu/hsjmc/undergraduate/major-minors. There are two qualifications for admission: a GPA of 2.5, and a grade of C or better in JOUR 1001. When these criteria have been met, an advisor in Room 110 Murphy Hall will approve a minor program plan.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Preparatory Course
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
· JOUR 1001 - Media in a Changing World [SOCS, TS] (3.0 cr)
or JOUR 1001H - Media in a Changing World [SOCS, TS] (3.0 cr)
Minor Requirements
Students may earn a BA or a minor in the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication, but not both.
Core Course
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
· JOUR 3004 - Information for Mass Communication (3.0 cr)
or JOUR 3004H - Information for Mass Communication (3.0 cr)
Context Courses
At least 1 Context Course must be taken at the 4xxx or 5xxx level.
Take 4 or more course(s) from the following:
· JOUR 3005 - Mass Media Effects [SOCS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3006 - Visual Communication (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3007 - The Media in American History and Law: Case Studies [HIS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3201 - Principles of Strategic Communication (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3551 - The Business of Digital Media: Innovation, Disruption, and Adaptation [TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3552 - Internet and Global Society [GP] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3614 - History of Media Communication [HIS, TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3741 - Diversity and Mass Communication [DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3745 - Mass Media and Popular Culture [AH, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3751 - Digital Media and Culture [AH, TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3757 - Principles of Health Communication Strategy (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3771 - Media Ethics [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3775 - Administrative Law and Regulation for Strategic Communication [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3776 - Mass Communication Law (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3796 - Media and Politics (3.0 cr)
· 4xxx and 5xxx-level Context Courses
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· JOUR 4251 - Psychology of Advertising (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 4272 - Digital Advertising: Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 4274W - Advertising in Society [WI] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 4721 - Mass Media and U.S. Society [SOCS, DSJ] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 4801 - Global Communication (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5501 - Communication, Public Opinion, and Social Media (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5541 - Mass Communication and Public Health (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5552 - Law of Internet Communication (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5601W - History of Journalism [WI] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5606W - Literary Aspects of Journalism [WI] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5725 - Management of Media Organizations (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5777 - Contemporary Problems in Freedom of Speech and Press (3.0 cr)
 
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JOUR 1001 - Media in a Changing World (SOCS, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01664 - Jour 1001/Jour 1001H
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
In an era when almost everybody's a content creator and just about every company is connected with media, what makes mass communication different from other forms of message exchange? We'll examine journalism, advertising, public relations, video gaming, music recording, music and more. We'll think about issues like free speech, "fake news," censorship, social media, demographics, psychographics and graphic content. Hear from mass media professionals who provide real-world, real-time material for discussion and debate. This class covers ground that is shifting by the day and uses current cases to help you apply what you learn and sharpen your own media literacy skills.
JOUR 1001H - Media in a Changing World (SOCS, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01664 - Jour 1001/Jour 1001H
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
In an era when almost everybody's a content creator and just about every company is connected with media, what makes mass communication different from other forms of message exchange? We?ll examine journalism, advertising, public relations, video gaming, music recording, music and more. We'll think about issues like free speech, fake news, censorship, social media, demographics, psychographics and graphic content. Hear from mass media professionals who provide real-world, real-time material for discussion and debate. This class covers ground that is shifting by the day and uses current cases to help you apply what you learn and sharpen your own media literacy skills.
JOUR 3004 - Information for Mass Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00890 - Jour 3004/Jour 3004H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Information resources for professional/academic work in mass communication. Techniques for locating, retrieving, appraising, verifying information acquired from public records, libraries, research institutions, databases, Internet, observation, interviews. prereq: Jour major or jour minor or approved BIS/IDIM/ICP program
JOUR 3004H - Information for Mass Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00890 - Jour 3004/Jour 3004H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Information resources for professional/academic work in mass communication. Techniques for locating, retrieving, appraising, verifying information acquired from public records, libraries, research institutions, databases, Internet, observation, interviews. prereq: Honors, [jour major or mass comm minor or approved BIS/IDIM/ICP program]
JOUR 3005 - Mass Media Effects (SOCS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Does the media cause social problems, or just reflect them? Why and how have mass media been feared, bemoaned, used, and dismissed as tools to change public beliefs, attitudes, and behavior? This course explores a century's worth of thinking as to how and when media might have such effects. We examine media influence in a range of contexts, including political advertising, health campaigns, video game violence, pornography, and educational television. We approach the topic largely from a social science perspective (for example, by reviewing experimental tests of the effects of media violence) but we will address some of the advantages and limitations inherent in looking for effects in that way. Although our focus is on mass media, interpersonal and digital media sources will be considered as well.
JOUR 3006 - Visual Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
From Instagram to YouTube to memes-we live in a visual culture. How can we interpret this flood of images? Learn how to analyze advertisements, photographs, television, and social media from multiple perspectives. Historical, cultural, and ethical approaches unearth the changing role of visual media in society. You'll actively interpret current images to learn how to effectively communicate with visuals.
JOUR 3007 - The Media in American History and Law: Case Studies (HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
In this class, you'll study mass media and its impact during a specific historical time period, based on the instructor's expertise and area of research. Examples include: Journalism during the Civil War; Mass media and the African American struggle for civil rights; the Sixties and rise of the New Journalism.
JOUR 3201 - Principles of Strategic Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
So, you have declared your journalism major and selected the strategic communication track? Or maybe, you are studying something completely different, but you have heard that advertising and public relations are great fields to work in? In this class, we will foster career exploration as you learn about key areas of advertising and public relations (history, theory, ethics, etc). In the second half of the class, you will take a journey from media consumer to strategic planner as you create a strategic communication campaign as part of a group project that will start off your strategic communication portfolio.
JOUR 3551 - The Business of Digital Media: Innovation, Disruption, and Adaptation (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Digital media enterprises have uprooted many established industries and continue to be among the most important factors shaping our economy and society today. Where do these innovations come from? Why do some startups prosper while others fail? How do legacy firms respond to disruptions to their business models? What makes adaptations possible? What makes them risky? Learn to analyze and evaluate the economic strategies of existing digital media firms across various sectors of society including news, entertainment, social media, mobile, and retail. Assess their impacts on cultural and civic life for better and for worse. Use these skills to incubate your own ideas for the next great media innovations of the future.
JOUR 3552 - Internet and Global Society (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Structure/processes of Internet/global society in comparative context. Internet, via World Wide Web, as ideal site to explore how/why societies come to see world/issues.
JOUR 3614 - History of Media Communication (HIS, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01819 - Glos 3605/Hist 3705/Jour 3614
Typically offered: Every Spring
In the history of humankind, there have been five major changes in how we communicate and we're in the middle of the latest revolution. This class helps you make sense of these uncharted waters by exploring how humanity adopted, and adapted to, past disruptions. From the alphabet to the internet and social media, learn how technological innovations in the media have changed not only how people share information and values but also what people have communicated throughout history. We will learn about these five phases in mediated communication over 5,000 years, and how they relate to major changes in politics, society and culture. And then we'll use history's lessons to peek into the future: When presidents tweet and everyone's foodie photos are on Instagram, how does the world communicate?
JOUR 3741 - Diversity and Mass Communication (DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
How are our perceptions of crime been influenced by the news? How do social movements use media to share their messages? What can we as audiences do? Social media, news and entertainment media help shape our ideas about identity and differences. Learn how representation and inclusion have been negotiated through media with a particular focus on local case studies. Topics include race, ethnicity, social class, physical ability, and gender. Students will learn how to use media literacy to build a just and equitable society.
JOUR 3745 - Mass Media and Popular Culture (AH, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Popular culture is everywhere. Social media, film, music, video games, television, websites, and news bring popular culture into our daily lives. In this class, we will examine popular culture in modern and historical contexts through various mass communication, sociological, and cultural theories. Is popular culture of the people? or dictated by corporate interests? What social and commercial pressures result in stereotypes, misrepresentation and exclusion in popular culture? Does popular culture mirror or shape social reality? This course will provide you with the tools to become active and thoughtful consumers of media and popular culture.
JOUR 3751 - Digital Media and Culture (AH, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
How have digital media innovations like social media, mobile phones, artificial intelligence, drones and games shaped and been shaped by a culture and society globally? Learn to critically examine the function of digital media in your life. Take away a socio-historical understanding of digital media innovation, and the social, political, and economical impact of new media in creativity, industry, and culture from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Topics range from the concept of branding in an online context, to the varied uses of digital media in the context of journalism, social mobilization, law and privacy, business, globalization, content creation, and beyond. You will read, discuss, and debate cutting edge material from documentaries, podcasts, popular press, and academic literature. This course balances local contexts with global perspectives, and provides details into the practicalities of working and living in a new media environment.
JOUR 3757 - Principles of Health Communication Strategy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Health information is in the news, nearly every corner of the internet, on your favorite television show, and advertising campaigns. Using principles of mass communication, public health, sociology, and psychology this course explores how mediated health content impacts students' lives at both micro- and macro-levels. We will explore questions such as: how do individuals use media to achieve health-related goals? What role does media and health literacy play in achieving these goals? What effect does health information in entertainment media or strategic public health campaigns, for example, effect your own health-related beliefs and behaviors? To what extent do media portrayals of health and illness impact society?s understanding of complex health issues such as mental health, substance use disorder, or cancers? What influence does news coverage of health issues have on health policy and health reform?
JOUR 3771 - Media Ethics (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Citizens expect journalists to separate fact from falsehoods, opinion and propaganda. But is it possible for journalists to be unbiased and objective? Advertisers are expected to push products. But is it acceptable to mislead by exaggerating what the product can do? Public relations professionals must protect a company's brand. But what should they do when a company becomes entangled in a scandal? This course examines the ethical and unethical ways that communicators respond to such challenges, and uses real-life examples to identify values and principles that can lead to sound, ethical decisions under the most difficult circumstances. Learn about ethical communication on all platforms, from television to social media to newspapers and magazines. Build a solid foundation for you own ethical thinking that can guide you as a student and as a professional communicator.
JOUR 3775 - Administrative Law and Regulation for Strategic Communication (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Learn practical legal skills and ethics as they pertain to marketing, public relations and advertising by focusing on the actions of the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications, and the Federal Elections Commission. Learn about the administrative process including adjudication and rule making. Learn through a range of legal, policy and ethics discussions ranging from the First Amendment, the regulation of commercial speech, advertising deception, substantiation of material claims, digital privacy, contesting, political advertising, and controls on native advertising and social media influencers.
JOUR 3776 - Mass Communication Law
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01768 - Jour 3776/Jour 3776H
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, and of the press. Does that mean that journalists can write anything they want, broadcast any video images they choose, or go wherever they like in order to gather news? In this course, we will examine significant court decisions that have defined the legal rights and privileges of journalists. We will look at statutes like the Freedom of Information Act and journalist 'shield laws.' We will consider how new technology raises questions, and challenges, about how to balance First Amendment freedoms with other interests, like privacy and national security. Learn legal rules and principles, and apply them in classroom debate and discussion and in written exercises and examinations. The goal is to understand how the First Amendment and other laws protect the rights of freedom of expression, not just for journalists, but for all of us.
JOUR 3796 - Media and Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02716
Typically offered: Every Fall
Do facts matter anymore? Is press freedom under threat? Are audiences trapped in filter bubbles? Why do people hate the media, and how can the news be improved to better serve citizens? Explore the historical and contemporary dynamics that shape the relationship between professionals in the media, the mass public, and political actors across different parts of government. Study major forms of mass media, including television and newspapers, alongside new forms such as digital and social media. Look at specific reporting rituals and practices, as well as issues involving media ownership, regulation, ethics, and press freedom. We will study politicians? efforts to craft messages, advertise strategically, and target select audiences for political gain. The course will focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the United States, and you will be asked to engage with current events and the role of communication technologies in political and civic life.
JOUR 4251 - Psychology of Advertising
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Ever wonder what your brain does when you see an advertisement? Ever wonder why advertisements work? And why sometimes they don't? How does advertising compel you to buy things you don't need and what strategies do you use to resist these messages? In this course we explore a range of theories that explain how advertisements influence memory, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors and how humans actively process and resist persuasive messages.
JOUR 4272 - Digital Advertising: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course introduces you to the fascinating and ever-changing world of digital advertising and marketing. Learn its history and evolution, current trends, future possibilities and legal/ethical issues. We'll study the innovative research and theories explaining the practice and effects of various forms, including social media, search marketing, gaming, native, viral, online video advertising, online behavioral advertising, and mobile. Through a combination of lectures, in-class discussions, and guest presentations by industry professionals, you'll learn the basic theories for developing effective and socially-responsible digital advertising campaigns in the increasingly diverse and global media environment. prereq: Jour major or Mass Comm minor or Digital Media Studies minor or approved BIS/IDIM/ICP program
JOUR 4274W - Advertising in Society (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Forms of regulation. Self-regulation/governmental. Critique of advertising's role in society. Current issues (e.g., stereotyping, political advertising, advertising to children). Ethics in advertising.
JOUR 4721 - Mass Media and U.S. Society (SOCS, DSJ)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01503 - Jour 4721/Jour 4721H
Typically offered: Every Spring
Are the news media doing a good job? How can you tell? Does it matter? Is The Daily Show the best news program on television? Why or why not? Most people seem to have an opinion about all of these questions. Most discussions seem to center on one of four themes: 1) who owns the media and what they care about; 2) whether the news media are becoming more or less credible and/or biased; 3) whether entertainment is replacing or enhancing information in news programming; and 4) how much, if at all, is the Internet changing everything about the way the media work, including who we think of as a journalist. Mass Media and U.S. Society explores the validity and importance of these themes in terms of what roles can the media play in society, what roles does it play, and how have those roles have changed over time. The course draws on ideas from various social sciences to develop tools for discussing a number of specific issues related to these themes.
JOUR 4801 - Global Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
How does communication affect international affairs? That's literally a question of war and peace, and this class guides you through the big theories and the real life stories of how news, information and entertainment travels around the world. Analyze the role of communication in globalization, addressing possible interpretations ranging from cultural imperialism to democratic development. Examine how different media cover foreign countries. What does it take to cover the world, historically and at a time of unprecedented challenges for professional journalism? What are the practices that have made international news what it is for the last century? Through theory and case studies from journalists and diplomats, examine the possible effects of international communication on international relations and policy making.
JOUR 5501 - Communication, Public Opinion, and Social Media
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Sharpen your understanding of public opinion and its role in political and civic life: What does it mean? Where does it come from? How is it measured? What impact does it have? How are the public?s preferences shaped by the larger communications environment and the strategic messages of politicians, interest groups, and other actors in society? What are polls really measuring, and why do they seem so unreliable sometimes? How are social media technologies giving voice to new segments and dimensions of public opinion? But how are they vulnerable to manipulation from bots and other efforts designed to alter perceptions of collective opinions? Examine the theories of communication, psychology, political science, and sociology that underlie these dynamic questions. We?ll consider cutting edge approaches used by market researchers, political analysts, and data scientists to harness new forms of data about what the public thinks. We investigate theories that explain how people form their opinions, deliberate with others, change their minds, and reveal their preferences, and we apply these frameworks to understand contemporary public opinion issues and campaigns.
JOUR 5541 - Mass Communication and Public Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00291
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course provides an overview of theory and research that lies at the intersection of mass communication and public health. We examine the potential for media exposure to influence public health outcomes, both as a product of people's everyday interactions with media and the strategic use of media messages to accomplish public health goals. To this end, we will explore large-scale public health campaigns in the context of tobacco, obesity, and cancer screening. We also will explore news media coverage of controversial health issues, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, and health information in entertainment media, such as smoking in movies. This course seeks to understand whether media messages have had intended and/or unintended effects on public attitudes and behavior. Although our focus is on mass media, interpersonal, medical, and digital media sources will be considered as well.
JOUR 5552 - Law of Internet Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Digital communication technologies continue to raise a variety of legal issues, including whether and how (and which) traditional media and regulatory laws will apply, and how policy should be applied through regulatory law to enhance and regulate that communication. This course is conducted as a seminar, with an open discussion of legal precedent and the influence of policy on internet and digital communications. This course covers the First Amendment as it applies in a digital era as well as regulatory topics like net neutrality, broadband access, privacy, and copyright.
JOUR 5601W - History of Journalism (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
What is (real/fake) news? Who's a journalist? What is journalism? How did we get to where we are today regarding journalism both as a profession and as an essential tool of democracy? Learn the fundamental chronology of the development of journalism in the United States from the Revolution to today, and then delve into the big quandaries: How free has journalism been? What have been its professional standards? How has journalism affected a diverse audience? What are the challenges of international journalism? And how have new communication technologies interacted with journalism?
JOUR 5606W - Literary Aspects of Journalism (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00203 - EngW 5606W/Jour 5606W
Typically offered: Every Spring
Journalism isn't fiction. Yet the relationship between what is true and what is artfully constructed toward a "larger truth" -- beyond the facts -- has a complex and intriguing history. This writing-intensive course explores that relationship through close readings of some the best writers of long-form nonfiction, starting with the birth of the novel from journalistic roots in the 18th century and ending with postmodern forms that challenge the notion of what we can ever know. Discover the literary devices used by Stephen Crane's reported street scenes or Nellie Bly's first-hand investigations into conditions for the mentally ill in the 19th century, and, later, Truman Capote's nonfiction novel about a Kansas farm family's murder. Readings include works by pivotal 20th-century writers such as John Hersey, Joseph Mitchell, Lillian Ross, Michael Herr, Norman Mailer, Gay Talese, Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe, and Hunter S. Thompson, and will trace how their pioneering methods influenced contemporary journalism as well as the documentary films of Errol Morris and contemporary nonfiction writers expanding into new forms.
JOUR 5725 - Management of Media Organizations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to concepts/principles of media management. Strategic planning, leadership, organizational strategies, ethical/legal issues. Working in teams. Balance sheets, income statements. Motivating/promoting people.
JOUR 5777 - Contemporary Problems in Freedom of Speech and Press
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01143 - Jour 5777/Law 6030
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Most of us use devices like Smartphones, GPS, streaming services, or hands-free speakers like Amazon's Echo that connect to online voice services like Alexa without thinking about them very much. But, what kind of information are they collecting? Are merchants allowed to gather your shopping history and use it to send you targeted advertising, or to sell it to other companies for profit? Should other people be able to post your personal information or photos online without your consent? Can the government read your emails, track your online browsing, or intercept your text messages? This course considers how growing concerns about privacy and national security affect the First Amendment and the rights of journalists to gather and report the news. We will read significant court decisions and take a look at current statutory and regulatory initiatives both in the United States and abroad. You can expect lively debates and discussion, and the opportunity to explore a privacy or national security issue in depth in a substantial research paper.