Skip to main content
Jump to Footer

Frequently Asked Questions

The Department of Communication, Journalism, and Media at Shippensburg is one of only three accredited programs in the state of Pennsylvania. The department houses many state-of-the-art media facilities. CJM is home to award-winning student media. Students learn through hands-on assignments in industry-standard facilities including our three-camera television studio, MAC and PC labs, audio and video editing suites, and photography and podcast studios.

CJM features small class sizes, which result in personalized attention. All production, writing, and technology courses are capped at 20 students each. Faculty members in the department are professionals with industry experience across different communications fields.

Want to talk to a current student? Click here.

Communication skills are highly valued in the job market. CJM graduates have expertise in problem-solving, collaboration, decision-making, writing, content creation, social media, photography, and more. The median annual wage for communications and media jobs is $62,340 compared to the median annual wage for all jobs, $45,760. Communication and media jobs are projected to grow over the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Careers with faster-than-normal growth include:

  • Web Developers/Digital Designers (23%)
  • Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners (18%)
  • Film and Video Editors/Camera Operators (12%)
  • Photographer (9%)
  • Producer/Director (8%)
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers (8%)
  • Public Relations Specialist (8%)

Other potential careers for CJM graduates include:

  • Reporter
  • Digital Communications Specialist
  • Advertising Manager
  • Brand Strategist
  • News Anchor
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Copywriter
  • Social Media Manager
  • Media Buyer
  • Technical Writer
  • Creative Director
  • Editor
  • News Writer
  • Digital Strategist
  • Media Consultant
  • Sports Analyst
  • Media Planner
  • Brand Manager
  • Digital Media Producer
  • Content Strategist
  • Community Engagement Coordinator
  • Videographer
  • Production Assistant

Are you a problem solver who wants to make the world around you a better place? Do you strive for justice and truth? Are you enthusiastic and creative? CJM majors are highly involved in our campus community. We work hard and have fun while doing it. CJM majors are student-athletes, musicians, artists, campus leaders, and more. If this sounds like you, then majoring in communications, journalism, or media might be perfect for you!

All students must earn a grade of C or higher in COM 112 or its equivalent course to receive credit. Students are required to pass SU’s media writing proficiency exam with a score of 70 or higher. Transfer students should schedule the exam in the first two weeks of the semester by emailing If 70 or higher is not achieved, students will be required to complete writing tutoring sessions during their 1st semester (number to be determined by exam score).

High school seniors should submit their application and high school transcripts or GED results to Shippensburg Admissions. Most of our entering freshmen have SAT or ACT scores above the national average, but in our admissions decision, we also consider your class rank, GPA, and performance in your college prep, AP, or IB courses. Shippensburg University does not require SAT/ACT scores. 

Current and transfer students should complete and submit a change of major request within the first three weeks of the semester. If you have a 2.3 GPA or higher your request will be approved. Students with GPAs less than 2.3 will work with the Department Chair for pathways into the major.

Upon approval, the Registrar’s Office will be notified of the major change. A new academic advisor will be assigned by the department. Acceptance into any major program at Shippensburg University is based on space availability and specified GPA requirements and/or course criteria.

Course criteria for CJM include passing COM 111 Media Literacy and COM 112 Media Writing with a C or higher to progress in the program. 

Questions about declaring a CJM major? Email us!

The Mark Lipper Journalism Award is available to senior communications and journalism students at Shippensburg University. Students must have at least a 3.2 GPA and be active in extracurricular journalism activities to be eligible for this award. They must also provide a 400-word essay with an application for this award.

The Wolfram Award in Journalism is presented to a sophomore or junior student who displays academic success and professional commitment in the journalism field.

The Joyner Scholarship Fund is available for a full-time, upper-division student who demonstrates good character and citizenship. The student must have completed at least 60 credits prior to benefitting from the scholarship. Recipients must be enrolled in one of CJM’s concentrations. Recipients must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered. 

The Albert A. Mason, Sr. Journalism Award is available for a sophomore and junior majoring in Journalism who has been active in extracurricular activities associated with their field of study. Recipients must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered. 

APSCUF offers a $3,000 scholarship to relatives of APSCUF or APSCURF members in good standing. Students who qualify must submit an application, reference letters, and an essay to be considered.

APSCUF CJM AWARD is awarded to an undergraduate student for their talents, accomplishments, or service.

Other scholarships available to CJM students are announced periodically throughout the semester as they become available.

Students take three directed general education courses. These include COM 111 Media Literacy, COM 245 Diversity and the Media, and MAT 117 Applied Statistics. 

Students take a variety of courses while in CJM. All CJM students will take: 

  • COM 112 - Media Writing
  • COM 284 - Basic Media Production
  • COM 294 - Social Media Strategy
  • COM 345 - Media Law
  • COM 445 - Media Ethics & Professionalism

CJM students choose from one of four concentrations: public relations, visual media, broadcast media production, or journalism. Each concentration will take 12 credits in their specialty. Examples of specialty courses include:

  • COM 201 - Principles of Public Relations
  • COM 476 - Magazine Media & Design
  • COM 224 - Media Scriptwriting
  • COM 293 - News Editing & Design

Additionally, CJM students take 21 credits of electives in the department. Examples of CJM electives are:

  • COM 290 - Advertising Copywriting
  • COM 305 - Sports Journalism
  • COM 335 - Media Advertising and Sales
  • COM 360 - Basic Digital Photography
  • COM 362 - Photojournalism
  • COM 381 - Promotional Publication Design
  • COM 470 - Advanced Digital Photography
  • COM 482 - Web Content Management
  • COM 424 - Media Producing & Performance
  • COM 432 - Public Relations Research and Campaigns

CJM students can also take up to 6 credits of internship toward their major.


See what courses you could take in the Public Relations concentration

See what courses you could take in the Broadcast Media Production concentration

See what courses you could take in the Visual Media concentration

See what courses you could take in the Journalism concentration

All students begin with COM 111 Media Literacy and COM 112 Media Writing. These are prerequisites to all other courses in the department. We are building foundational knowledge and skills that will prepare them for upper-level experiences.

All CJM students participate in student media and communications organizations to build their professional portfolios. Portfolio development happens through the completion of skills-based work in years 1-3. This prepares students for COM 445, Professionalism and Ethics, where they create a portfolio website to promote their work.

Four-year plans are available for each concentration. Contact us!

All student media organizations are led by student leaders and faculty advisors. These pre-professional groups include the radio station, television station, newspaper, and PRSSA chapter. Students can join student media at any time to start building their resumes and portfolios. You can learn more about student media here.

No, CJM doesn't require students to have a specific computer or software to be in the program. CJM is home to state-of-the-art MAC and PC Labs and editing suites which are all available for student use.

If you're looking to purchase a laptop, we highly recommend MAC laptops. The standard model is sufficient for all class assignments. Our photography, design, and production courses use Adobe Creative Cloud and other apps.