The Department of Mass Media takes pride in providing the best career advice to our students. 

To become a mass media major, students must declare their major and area of concentration through the department office located in Henderson Learning Resources Center room 316 either by visiting in person or by calling our department at 785-670-1836. Students will then be assigned to a single adviser from the department faculty. This approach allows advisers and advisees to partner more effectively and create a plan for student success.

Students’ first step in advising will be to use our special advising sheets, which give detailed guidance about the academic requirements for a bachelor’s degree in mass media for each concentration. Hard copies of these sheets are available in our department office. You can also access degree requirements and our advising worksheet online.

The department holds a mandatory majors meeting each year where all mass media 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 (MM 499 Career Development and Digital Portfolio) that covers career planning and helps our students get ready for a competitive job market.

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 expect students to do the same. 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 advanced registration. Be on the lookout for emails from the Department of Mass Media 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 web page or call the Registrar at 785-670-1074. 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.
    5. 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 Department of Mass Media’s 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’s website 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 advisers 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 your school performance, 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.

Your 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 (withdraw) than an F (fail) 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 adviser. To understand the financial consequences, go to the Student One Stop (or call at 785-670-1151) 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 plans.

If math is not your strength, it can be okay to delay taking a math course during your first semester as you adjust to being a college student. For most mass media majors, we recommend Math 112 (Contemporary College Mathematics), in which 75 percent of students get a C or better (versus Math 116 College Algebra, in which only 33 percent 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 Department of Mass Media’s administrative assistant is not allowed to distribute PINs.

  • Must pass MA 112 Contemporary College Mathematics or MA 116 College Algebra with C or better. (NOTE: An ACT Math score of at least 22, a grade of C or better in MA 104 Intermediate Algebra or an appropriate COMPASS score is required to take MA 112 Contemporary College Mathematics or MA 116 College Algebra.)
  • EN 101 First Year Writing should be taken in your first semester. EN 300 Advanced College Writing can only be taken once you have 60 credit hours and is required for MM 400 Media Literacy.
  • Students need a foreign language for a mass media degree (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 credit hours from any one department can count within each of 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 credit hours of math and science plus the MA 112 Contemporary College Mathematics or MA 116 College Algebra.
  • You need to make sure you are taking enough upper division courses throughout your college career as you need 45 upper division credit hours to graduate. Upper division courses are courses at the 300 and 400 level. You also need 120 total credit 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 credit hours in mass media, you will end up exceeding 120 credit hours because you must also complete 80 credit hours outside your major. (Taking all the mass media classes in more than one concentration does NOT count as a minor.)
  • A minor from another department is required for a mass media degree.
  • All mass media students choose one concentration for the degree: Contemporary Journalism, Creative Advertising, Film and Video, or Public Relations.
  • All mass media majors must also complete CN 150 Public Speaking as part of their general education requirements.
  • All students must take the CORE mass media courses listed in the degree plan.
  • Students should start with MM 100 Introduction to Mass Media and MM 199 Media Bootcamp their first semester as a mass media major.
  • Students should follow up with MM 202 Creative Media Writing (for students concentrating in Contemporary Journalism, Creative Advertising, or Public Relations) or MM 222 Cinematic Storytelling (for students concentrating in Film and Video) their second semester.
  • The semester before students want to complete their internship (MM 494 Internship), they should meet with their adviser and discuss their eligibility for taking the internship course the next semester.
  • To be eligible for the internship class, students must have successfully completed 30 credit hours within the major (and 9 credit hours within the concentration) and have earned 80 credit hours overall.
  • All students must complete 6 credit hours of mass media electives as part of their concentration. The elective classes can be any class the Department of Mass Media offers outside of CORE and required concentration courses. We recommend elective courses be at the 300-level or above.

Download a PDF of a program sheet for each of our Bachelor of Arts degree concentrations:

Creative Advertising

Contemporary Journalism

Film and Video

Public Relations

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