Bachelor of Science in Communication
The School offers majors in advertising, broadcast media, digital media studies, journalism and public relations. Approximately 30 percent of a student’s course work is within the School. The purpose is to provide professional career entry skills as well as a broader understanding of communication processes and techniques and their impact on society.
Emphasis is placed on a broad range of knowledge. In keeping with the standards required of nationally-accredited mass communication programs for graduation, all students must take a minimum of 72 semester hours outside the field of journalism and mass communication (actual number will vary by major); a minimum of 65 of those hours must be in the liberal arts.
Additionally, students will select an area of concentration outside the field of communication to pursue in depth. Advisors in the Office of Student Services can provide recommendations for students with particular career goals.
Declaring your Upper-Division Status
Full admission is a prerequisite for many of the upper-division courses taught in the SCJ. Once you have met all three of the SCJ admissions criteria, you can declare your upper-division major. See full admission requirements below:
- 3.0 cumulative GPA (this includes all transfer work, in addition to current FIU work)
- 60 earned credits
- MMC 3003 (Mass Communication Orientation)
Full admission is not an automatic process. Students who want to declare upper-division status (be fully admitted) need to contact their assigned advisor at the end of the semester when they have met all three of the requirements.
All students, in all areas of specialization, must take 15 hours of core courses:
- MMC 3003 Mass Communication Orientation (0)
- MMC 3104C Writing Strategies for Reaching a Mass Audience (3) (Prereq: Passing Score on Language Skills Test)
- MMC 3303 Global Media and Society (3) (Global Learning)
- MMC 4200 Mass Communication Law and Ethics (3)
- VIC 3400 Visual Design for Media (3) (Global Learning)
- RTV 3531 Multimedia Production (3) (formerly RTV 3260) (Prereq: MMC 3104C, VIC 3400 & Undergrad Reqs*) Please see the track sheets for clarification.
MMC 3104C and the Language Skills Test
All students in each track are expected to demonstrate proficiency in writing. Students are required to enroll in Writing Strategies for Reaching a Mass Audience (MMC 3104C) and receive a C or higher. Enrollment into MMC 3104C requires successful completion of a language skills test, no exceptions.
MMC 3104C is the prerequisite for the majority of courses in the SCJ, be sure to complete this requirement early so as not to fall behind. For information on the Language Skills Test click HERE. The language skills test is NOT a full admission requirement.
Area of Concentration Requirements-AOC
Concerning the Area of Concentration, it’s every student’s responsibility to pick what subject matter and courses you want to take to satisfy the 12 credits. Here are the guidelines: make sure you pick one subject from the same school or department outside of SCJ, make sure all the 12 credits you pick for that subject are all 3000/4000 level courses. Students should try and pick an Area of Concentration that would help to complement their major. SCJ will hold all students responsible for choosing their AOC’s, so make sure that you pick a subject that has plenty of courses to choose from and do not have a lot of prerequisites for the courses. It is always a good idea to check with your assigned SCJ advisor before starting on these courses.
SCJ Policies and Graduation Requirements
The 2.75 GPA Rule
Students must maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA for SCJ courses as well as for the outside requirements UDLA (upper division liberal arts) and AOC (area of concentration) courses listed on the track sheet. The grade point averages will be computed separately to maintain the 2.75 standard in both categories.
The C or Better Rule
Students must earn a final grade of at least a C to pass any SCJ or outside requirement course on the track sheet. A final grade of C- or lower will have to be retaken. All credit SCJ and outside-required courses on the track sheet must be taken for letter grade. A pass (P) grade is not acceptable for credit courses. Please keep in mind that a C average will not meet graduation requirements.
An incomplete grade IN is a temporary grade given at the discretion of the instructor for work not completed, because of serious interruption not caused by the student’s own negligence. An incomplete must be made up as quickly as possible but no longer than two consecutive semesters after the initial taking of the course; otherwise, it will automatically default to an F. The student must not register again for the course to make up the incomplete. There is no extension to the two consecutive semester deadline. Students, who have incomplete grades on their records, must remove the incomplete by the end of the fourth week of the term in which they plan to graduate. Failure to do so will result in a cancellation of graduation. The student will need to reapply for graduation. Students are responsible for following-up with their professors to ensure the timely submission of a grade change.
Undergraduate students may use the forgiveness policy a maximum of three times for the purpose of improving their GPA. The forgiveness policy is a method by which students may repeat a limited number of courses, provided the grade earned is less than a C, to improve their grade point average (GPA). Only the grade received on the last repeat is used in the GPA calculation. There is no time limit on the use of the forgiveness policy for grades; however, the forgiveness policy cannot be used once a degree is posted.
All courses taken with the grades earned will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Repeated courses will be appropriately designated (T: attempted; R: last repeat). A course taken on a letter grade basis must be repeated on the same basis. Under the University’s forgiveness policy, students must file a Forgiveness Policy Form with the Office of Enrollment Services.
The 65/72 Rule
To graduate with a BS in Communication at FIU, at least 72 of the total semester hours completed must be courses not offered by the SCJ at FIU or transfer communication courses. The 72 outside credits can be at any level, 1000, 2000, 3000, or 4000. The 72 outside credits can include transfer credits. They cannot be journalism and mass communication type courses.
Of the 72 outside credits, a minimum of 65 must be liberal arts. Liberal arts are any of the courses and transfer courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Architecture and the Arts, or courses required by Core/General Education requirements. Examples of courses that are not liberal arts are education, marketing, hospitality, criminal justice, engineering, business, nursing, health sciences, social work, etc. Refer to the course catalog for guidance.
Foreign Language Requirement
In addition to the above University Core Curriculum requirements, any student who was admitted with a foreign language deficiency must successfully complete appropriate coursework in one foreign language prior to graduation. Students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to discuss options to meet this requirement including two years of foreign language in high school, credit-by-exam, transfer credit, and foreign credentials (TOEFL, completion of high school equivalent outside of the U.S. in a language other than English). A previously earned Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution also meets this requirement. Please refer to the Undergraduate Admissions section for more information.
Summer Enrollment Requirement
All students entering FIU or any university within the State University System (SUS) of Florida with fewer than 60 credit hours are required to earn at least nine credit hours prior to graduation by attending one or more summer terms at a university in the SUS.
Prerequisites are strictly enforced for all students enrolled in any communication course. Students lacking the proper prerequisites or documentation will be administratively dropped. This may occur after the add/drop period which may result in the student being financially liable for the course.
Students will be notified of the administrative drop via their FIU e-mail account only. However, if a professor issues an administrative drop, students might not receive any notice.
Repeat Course Tuition Surcharge
The 1997 Legislature passed House Bill 1545 mandates that undergraduate students pay additional charges for the third time a student either takes or attempts the same college credit course. Any undergraduate course, taken, beginning Fall 1997, and all courses taken after this date will be subject to the repeat surcharge. Attempted hours mean those hours dropped/withdrawn after the drop/add period or failed. Withdrawals, incompletes and dropped courses will be subject to the tuition surcharge, if they are fee liable. All students are included regardless of type of residency.
More information can be found on the Undergraduate Catalog.
Transfer Credit Rule
Students can transfer a maximum of 6 credits toward their SCJ track. Transfer courses must be approved by the department chairs. To evaluate a course, obtain a copy of the syllabus and fill out a Course Substitution Form.