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Mass media advising

Advising for Mass Media Students

The Mass Media Department takes pride in providing the best advice to our students. As part of that effort, you will want to use our special advising sheets which will give you detailed guidance about the academic requirements for a bachelor’s degree in mass media for each area of emphasis.  Hard copies of these sheets are available in the Mass Media Department office.  You can also access degree requirements and our advising worksheet.

Upon declaring a Mass Media degree at the Mass Media department office, students are assigned to a single adviser from the department faculty. This approach allows advisers and advisees to know each other better over the years.  You may request a different adviser than the one originally assigned to you by speaking to the Mass Media Department administrative assistant in Henderson 316.

The department holds a mandatory majors meeting each year where students get advising and curriculum updates as well as receive advice on academic planning. In addition, the department requires all seniors to take a two-credit course (MM499) that covers career planning and development.

Students need to understand and actively participate in the advising process. Advising is not just something the professor does. It is an active, collaborative process requiring preparation by the student.

The Mass Media faculty take the responsibility of departmental advising seriously and expects students to do the same. In order for us to advise you effectively, you should, at a minimum, do the following:

  • Each semester, meet with your adviser during the university advising period, which usually starts two weeks prior to Advance Registration. Be on the lookout for emails from the Mass Media department about the best ways to make an appointment to see your adviser as early as possible during the registration period. Doing this is to your advantage because it increases the likelihood that you will be able to get into the classes you need and that you will be able to get the schedule that you want for the next semester. BE ADVISED: Faculty are on either 9 or 10 month contracts with very little or no availability during semester breaks. You need to talk to your adviser during the regular semester-AFTER the beginning of the semester and BEFORE the end of the semester.
  • Run a degree audit. Examine it carefully and bring potential discrepancies, problems, or concerns to the attention of your adviser.
  • If you are a transfer student and have questions about how any of your media-specific courses transferred in, talk to the department chair. If you have a question about how your general education courses transferred (sometimes courses do transfer in incorrectly), visit the Registrar’s page or call the Registrar at 670-1074. In some instances, your academic adviser can help you petition the transfer of certain general education courses.
  • As you plan your schedule, choose your classes carefully based on the needs suggested by your degree audit. Talk to your adviser about any questions you have about Washburn University’s academic policies. For example, did you know that you can retake a class in which you received a D or F to improve your GPA? You can even retake a course in which you received a C with special permission from the department chair. The new grade will replace your old one in your GPA. As another example, did you know about the A/Pass/Fail (A/P/F) is a course option? You can use it if you meet these requirements:
  1. You must have completed 24 semester hours.
  2. You must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  3. You may not take an A/P/F course in your major or minor, and
  4. You may enroll in only one A/P/F course per semester.

If you receive an A for an A/P/F course, you will receive an A on your transcript; if you receive a B, C, or D in an A/P/F course, you will receive credit for the course (not a letter grade) and it will not affect your GPA. If you receive an F in an A/P/F course, you will receive an F grade on your transcript.

  • Consult the Washburn University Undergraduate Catalog and the Mass Media department website. You should become familiar with the Mass Media major, the general education and other degree requirements, and all academic regulations. You should consult the catalog descriptions of any course you plan to take, and you should make sure that you have all the necessary prerequisites for courses.
  • Need quick answers? The Registrar has a self-service guide that covers such topics as: pass/fail options, application for graduation, degree audits, diplomas, holds, transcripts, last day to add/drop courses, etc.
  • Keep us informed of changes in your program. If you declare a minor or second major, please inform us. If you plan to study abroad, consult with the department chair early in the planning process.
  • Remember-faculty are here to help, but you have the ultimate, final responsibility for your academic progress.

Students often think that they should only see their adviser for a few minutes each semester to get their PIN so that they can enroll in classes. This is incorrect.  It's recommended that you talk to your adviser about a range of things--your major, a course you are concerned about, your career, or simply school in general.  If you are not doing well in a course (any course – not just courses your adviser teaches), go talk to your adviser.  If you are overwhelmed by things in your life and it is affecting school, talk to your adviser about resources and things you can to do protect your good academic standing.  Your adviser is also there to get to know you as a person and wants to help you to succeed in achieving your goals.

When you go to see your adviser, go in with the attitude that he or she is there to be your advocate.  He or she is there to help.

You adviser is your best source of information on how to earn departmental honors, graduate with distinction, pursue an internship, get involved in student groups on campus, complete one or more transformational experiences, and many other topics relevant to getting the most out of your time at Washburn University.

Sometimes your adviser may be busy, preoccupied, at a conference, or otherwise unavailable. In these cases, check your adviser's office hours and make an appointment. Advisers welcome the chance to take time out to chat informally with students and will work you into their schedule within a day or two during the academic year.

Academically it is ALWAYS better to get a W than an F on your transcript.  Both W’s and an F’s are bad for financial aid as well, although it is complex and there can be some different implications financially between the two.  To understand the academic consequences of a W or an F, talk to your advisor.  To understand the financial consequences, go to the Student One Stop (or call at 670-1151) and ask to speak to a financial aid processor.

Students should be aware that they can develop minors by judiciously using general education and upper division courses as part of their degree plan.

If math is not your strength, it can be OK to delay taking a math course during your first semester as you adjust to being a college student.  For most MM majors, we recommend Math 112, in which 75% of students get a C or better (versus Math 116, in which only 33% of students get a C or better).

Academic requirements are created so that a student in good standing can complete a degree in four years.

Majors are advised to consider completing one or more Washburn Transformational Experiences in the areas of scholarship, community service, leadership, or international travel.  Employers and graduate schools want students who do more than pass their classes.  Experiences like these will help you grow as a person while helping you to be more competitive in your future career or graduate school endeavors.

The PIN that you use to enroll in classes is the same one needed to change or drop classes.  Students receive a new PIN each registration period. The Mass Media administrative assistant is not allowed to distribute PINs.

  • Must pass MA112 or MA116 with C or better. (NOTE: An ACT Math score of at least 22, a grade of C or better in MA 104 or an appropriate COMPASS score is required to take MA112 or MA116.)
  • EN101 should be taken in your first semester. EN300 can only be taken once you have 54 credits and is required for MM400.
  • Students need a foreign language (can be taken pass/fail; only one class per semester can be put on pass/fail). (NOTE: Because of the time commitment, we strongly encourage you to complete your foreign language as a sophomore. If you wait until your junior or senior year, it may interfere with your necessary upper division courses.)
  • You can use classes from your minor to satisfy general education requirements as long as those courses are part of the accepted class list.
  • No more than six hours from any one department can count within the general education categories (humanities, social science and natural sciences).
  • You must take courses in two departments (excluding math) to satisfy the natural sciences requirement, but you need 12 total hours of math and science plus the MA112 or MA116
  • You need to make sure you are taking enough upper division courses as you need 45 hours to graduate. Upper division courses are courses at the 300 and 400 level. You also need 124 hours to graduate, which does allow for some electives. The exact number depends on your minor and if any of your minor classes also satisfy general education requirements.
  • If you take more than 40 hours in mass media, you will end up exceeding 124 hours because you must also complete 84 hours outside your major. (Taking all the mass media classes in more than one emphasis does NOT count as a minor.)
  • Minors outside the department are required for a mass media degree.
  • All students choose one emphasis: Creative Advertising, Contemporary Journalism, Public Relations or Film and Video.
  • All majors must also complete CN150 Public Speaking as part of their general education requirements.
  • All students must take the CORE courses.
  • Students should start with MM100 and MM199 their first semester.
  • Students should follow up with MM202 or MM222 their second semester.
  • At the beginning of the semester before students start their internship (MM494), they should meet with their adviser and discuss their eligibility for the internship course for the next semester.
  • To be eligible for internship, students must have successfully completed 30 hours within the major (and 9 within the emphasis) and have earned 80 hours overall.
  • Students wishing to pursue honors in Mass Media will be required to have a 3.2 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in Mass Media. Students must earn an A in the Career Development and Digital Portfolio course, MM499, and an A in the portfolio assignment as part of the course, which includes a public presentation.
  • All students must complete 6 hours of electives as part of their emphasis. The elective classes can be any class the Mass Media department offers at the 300-level or above.

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