FAQs

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

Our Funding Priorities

The College of Media has identified a list of essential funding priorities that will power our accomplishments in education and research in the coming decades.

What are the requirements for admission to the WVU Reed College of Media?

Students interested in majoring in one of the programs offered by the College of Media must first apply to West Virginia University and be accepted. To be eligible for direct admission into the College of Media, West Virginia residents must have at least a 2.5 unweighted high school GPA and either a 20 Composite ACT score or a 940 Combined Critical Reading and Math SAT score. Non-West Virginia residents must have at least a 2.5 unweighted high school GPA and either a 21 Composite ACT score or a 990 Combined Critical Reading and Math SAT score. Students who have completed at least one full-time semester of college work (either at WVU or elsewhere) with a cumulative GPA or 2.5 or higher may also qualify for direct admission into the College of Media regardless of standardized test scores. Students who do not meet these criteria will automatically be enrolled in and advised by WVU's University College.

What courses should I take in high school to prepare me for the College of Media?

Students who wish to pursue major in the College of Media should complete a well-rounded high school curriculum. The College curriculum requires a strong background in English. Some students choose to take Advanced Placement English in high school, which not only prepares them for college but also may help reduce their required course load upon entering WVU. Students also should consider taking a foreign language in high school, as College of Media students are required to have two semesters of the same foreign language. Students are encouraged to get involved in high school media, such as the school newspaper, radio, TV broadcast or yearbook, and speech and debate. Admission information is available on the College of Media Admissions page. Students can find additional undergraduate admission information on the WVU admissions page. Questions about undergraduate admission should be directed to the Office of Student Services Recruitment Liaison at (304) 293-8702 or sojrecruitment@mail.wvu.edu.

I took AP courses in high school. How do those credits transfer to WVU?

Students who received a 3 or higher on Advanced Placement exams should request that The College Board release those scores to the WVU Office of Admissions. Students should consult the advanced credit equivalency website for additional information.

What is Academic Common Market and how do I know if I am eligible?

Academic Common Market is a program administered by the Southern Regional Education Board that enables students to pursue out-of-state college degrees at discounted tuition rates, through agreements among the states and colleges and universities. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the institution's in-state tuition rates. The Advertising major (for students who entered a major in the College of Media prior to fall 2013) and the Advertising area of emphasis within the Strategic Communications major are eligible degree programs. Students must be residents of either Delaware or Maryland to qualify and must be direct admit students. Students transferring from other majors at WVU or from other institutions may be eligible once they have completed JRL 215.

Is the College of Media accredited?

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) fully accredits the College of Media and its undergraduate programs: advertising, journalism, public relations, and strategic communications. Only approximately 125 colleges and universities with journalism or communications programs have earned ACEJMC approval. The College is also a member of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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Academics/Advising

Who is my College of Media advisor and how do I make an appointment to see him/her?

In the WVU Reed College of Media, all student advising is handled by the College’s in-house Advising Center. Professional staff who are trained on program requirements, curriculum changes and graduation standards are available to guide students throughout their academic experience. Students can confirm their advisor in DegreeWorks, which can be accessed through their MIX account. New students are notified via MIX email regarding their assigned advisor and registration time frames. During pre-registration advising time each semester, students must sign up for an advising appointment by using the online scheduler. During all other times students should contact their advisor to schedule an appointment.

What do I do if a class is full?

Students who experience difficulty registering for a College of Media course should complete and submit the Course Registration Permit Request. If a class is full and it is a non-College of Media class, students will need to see the advising center in that department. If a College of Media course is full, students will need to contact their College of Media advisor. WVU’s Office of the Registrar will no longer accept signed STAR forms for these classes.

How many credits can I take each term?

The maximum number of credit hours allowed is 19 during the fall/spring term and 14 during the summer term. Students who wish to exceed these credit limitations must see their advisor to request a course overload petition. Typically, course overloads are only permitted in exceptional cases and should be justified. Students may have a lower credit maximum based on a variety of other factors and attributes (e.g. first-time freshman, probationary student).

How do I keep track of my degree requirements?

DegreeWorks is the online advising and degree auditing tool at WVU. All undergraduate students should have a completed audit for graduation. Students can access DegreeWorks through their MIX account and should refer to this system regularly. Please refer to this system regularly. More information is available at http://registrar.wvu.edu/dw. While DegreeWorks is the University’s official degree auditing tool, it is not the final determinant for degree clearance. All degree requirements must be verified by the student's college or school prior to graduation. Students are responsible for complying with all academic policies published in the University catalog. If students have any questions about the information presented in this audit, they are encouraged to contact their advisor.

What majors does the College of Media offer?

The College of Media offers two majors: journalism and strategic communications. Students in the journalism major choose one of three areas of emphasis: print journalism, television journalism, or visual journalism. Students in the strategic communications major choose one of two areas of emphasis: advertising or public relations. (Students who entered a major prior to Fall 2013 may be enrolled in the advertising or public relations majors rather than the strategic communications major.)

When do I declare my major and/or minor?

Once directly admitted students complete JRL 101, VISJ 210/JRL 225, and JRL 215 with a grade of “C” or better and have attained at least a 2.0 cumulative college GPA, they may formally declare their College of Media major, i.e. either Journalism (Print/Television/Visual) or Strategic Communications (Advertising/Public Relations) and minor. Direct admit students still must meet the 2.0 GPA requirement for JRL 215 prior to enrolling in the course.

How do I change my major and/or minor?

Students should regularly consult DegreeWorks, the official, online advising and degree auditing tool at WVU. If the student’s declared major or minor listed in DegreeWorks is incorrect, students should complete the Major/Minor Update Form.

Can I major in one College of Media program and minor in another?

Students must choose a minor outside of the College. The College of Media offers two joint programs with other WVU colleges. The Media Entrepreneurship minor (offered jointly with the College of Business) and the Sport Communication minor (offered jointly with the College of Physical Activity and Sport Science) are available to College of Media students.

Can I “double major” in two College of Media programs?

Students may only choose one major within the College. Currently, the College offers one degree (BSJ) so students who wish to pursue a secondary degree must choose one of the majors offered by another WVU college.

Can I “double major” with one program from the College of Media and a major from another college?

Yes. However, students are not merely “double majoring.” Rather, students are working toward a dual degree - essentially two college degrees. Therefore, students must meet requirements for two separate colleges. Students must complete a minimum of 158 credit hours and fulfill all degree requirements for both colleges. Many students find it challenging to complete such a rigorous program in four years. To learn more about dual degree opportunities, students should contact their advisor.

What is the minimum GPA to remain a College of Media major?

Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 overall GPA and earn at least a “C” grade in all major courses. Students who do not meet the minimum 2.0 GPA requirement will be placed on academic probation. The GPA requirement for minors vary by the specific minor program and are specified on the department’s website. Students should consult DegreeWorks or their advisor with questions. To help ensure timely progression toward a WVU degree, if a student earns D/F/W grades for two consecutive semesters in at least one major or major pre-requisite course, even if the student's overall GPA is 2.0 or greater, he or she must meet with the Assistant and/or Associate Dean to assess progress toward graduation and the likelihood of success within his or her current major. If, after consultation with the student, it is deemed that the major is not the right academic program, the student will be referred to University College to explore other possible majors. If the student desires to continue within the College of Media against the respective Dean's recommendations, a contract of academic progress will be developed to outline the parameters necessary for the student to continue College of Media studies. These parameters might include attending tutoring sessions as well as earning adequate grades the following semester to continue his or her academic progress. If the stipulations set forth in the contract are not satisfied, the student will be referred to University College to pursue an alternative major.

What are the requirements for enrolling in JRL 215?

Journalism 215 is restricted to direct admit journalism students. Non-direct admit students with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA may enroll in JRL 215 if space permits after direct admit students have received their registration priority. Major courses are restricted to College of Media majors, with priority given to those students pursuing that specific area of study.

What is the average class size at the College of Media?

The interaction between faculty and students is of the utmost importance to the College, so classes are deliberately kept small and intimate. All College of Media skills-based courses have no more than 20 students, and most College upper-division major courses have no more than 30-40 students.

I have undergraduate transfer credits from another college or university. How can I apply those courses toward my College of Media degree?

Current College of Media students who wish to take courses at another institution should visit the Transfer Equivalency System website to obtain the transient application form and review the Transient Approval process. Once students have completed the Transient Application Form they should contact their academic advisor. The advisor will review the completed transient application to ensure the courses are transferable toward the degree. The form is then submitted to the Admissions Office for final approval. Transcripts for coursework taken at other institutions should be sent directly to the WVU Office of Admissions. Transcripts should be mailed to the WVU Office of Admissions, P.O. Box 6009, Morgantown, WV 26505. If students have questions about how previous coursework has transferred to WVU, they should contact their advisor.

What is the D/F repeat policy?

WVU has a D/F repeat policy for undergraduate students who have not received their initial baccalaureate degree. If a student earns a D or F in a course at WVU or at any school in the WV State System and the course is taken no later than the semester or summer term in which the student completes the sixtieth hour (including any class in which the student earns a grade and transfer classes), the student may “D/F repeat” that course. Hours from the Intensive English Program do count towards the sixty hours. The course can be repeated only at WVU Morgantown or at one of WVU’s divisional campuses. Students have only one opportunity to improve their original grades under the D/F repeat policy. The new grade becomes the grade that counts toward the student’s cumulative GPA and credit hours for graduation, even if the repeated course grade is lower than the original grade in the course. The D/F repeat policy will be enacted any time an eligible course is repeated. When a course is D/F repeated, the following procedure occurs: 1. The original grade is disregarded for the purpose of determining the overall GPA; it is marked as excluded (E) in the semester that the student originally took the course. 2. The original grade is not deleted from the student’s permanent record. 3. The second grade is entered on the student’s transcript and marked as included (I) in the semester that the course was repeated. 4. Grades of Unforgivable F (UF) are not eligible for D/F repeat. Such a failure is indicated on the student’s permanent record by an UF and is calculated in the GPA.

Can my parents speak to my advisor or professors about my grades or other student records information?

Students at West Virginia University benefit from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This Act, with which West Virginia University intends to comply fully, was designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. University officials, including advisors and professors, do not disclose confidential academic information without written consent from students. In the event students would like to allow University officials to discuss this information with a third party, students must complete the one-time FERPA release. A more detailed explanation of rights afforded to students by FERPA can be found at: http://ferpa.wvu.edu/policy.

How do I order a transcript?

Students can order official transcripts through their MIX account at any time or go to http://registrar.wvu.edu/transcripts. Before ordering a transcript, students should log on to their MIX account to ensure that all grades and degree(s) have been posted. Transcript requests are processed imŽmediately. They are not held for posting of final grades and/or degrees. All financial obligations to West Virginia University must be cleared before transcripts can be released. Transcripts may not be picked up by another party unless the student has given written authorization with the request. The designated person will be expected to show a picture I.D. before obtaining the transcript. A West Virginia University transcript is a complete record of a student’s enrollment at WVU.

How do I apply for graduation?

Beginning in Summer 2013, all graduation applications must be submitted via an online application. Paper graduation applications will no longer be accepted. Undergraduate applications should be completed during the term in which the student expects to graduate. Early applications for future academic terms will not be accepted. Application deadlines will be communicated to students via the College of Media website, WVU Reed College of Media eNews and email throughout each semester. To apply for graduation, complete the following steps: 1. Log into your MIX account (http://mix.wvu.edu) 2. Click on the STAR tab 3. Click on “Click here to log into DegreeWorks” 4. Verify major(s), minor(s), and area of emphasis (if applicable) are correct 5. Contact Ronda Maxon (ronda.maxon@mail.wvu.edu) with discrepancies 6. Go back to STAR homepage in MIX 7. Click on “Click here to enter STAR” 8. Click on “Student Services and Housing” 9. Click on “Student Records” 10. Click on “Apply to Graduate for Doctoral, Professional, Masters Students, and Selected Undergraduates” and complete the application

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Career Development/Internships

How do I get information about internships?

Students should contact the College’s Director of Student Careers and Opportunities at eric.minor@mail.wvu.edu or (304) 293-6117 to learn more about specific internship programs, on-campus interviews, resume/interviewing workshops and career planning. In addition, WVU Reed College of Media eNews lists numerous internship opportunities on a regular basis.

Am I eligible to receive credit for my internship?

Typically, students complete an internship for course credit because the internship is unpaid and the employer requires the student to receive credit. Students also choose to complete an internship for credit if they need additional credit hours toward their degree. Please note that internship hours count as elective credit. Regardless of whether the internship is paid or unpaid, students can receive course credit provided they complete the internship course requirements. Students must be a College of Media student (either direct admit or a major) to register for JRL 441 (3-credits, typically done in the summer) or JRL 442 (1-2 credits). For every credit hour earned, students must complete at least 100 work hours during the supervised internship experience. Students cannot receive credit retroactively.

How do I enroll for internship/practicum credit?

Students who elect to do an internship for credit must contact the Director of Student Careers and Opportunities at eric.minor@mail.wvu.edu or (304) 293-6117 to complete an Internship/Practicum Contract and receive registration permission for JRL 441/442. Students should provide any relevant materials describing the proposed internship. If the Director deems the internship eligible for course credit, he will provide registration approval for JRL 441 or 442. Internships are graded on a pass/fail basis.

What is required for internship/practicum credit?

Students should contact the Director of Student Careers and Opportunities at eric.minor@mail.wvu.edu or (304) 293-6117 for the course syllabus and internship/practicum contract. Students must complete an internship/practicum contract, which is an agreement between the College of Media, the site supervisor, and the student. The contract outlines the parameters of the intern’s work experience. After completion of the contract, students will receive additional correspondence with all course requirements and deadlines. Students must submit weekly time sheets and reflective journals, a final reflection paper, and student and employer evaluations. The Director of Student Careers and Opportunities can provide additional details on the course requirements.

Do I have to pay tuition for internship credit?

The internship/practicum courses work like any other course offered by WVU and therefore incur tuition charges. The hours earned for internship credit are degree applicable and appear on the WVU transcript, so students must pay for these credit hours. During the summer, tuition and fees are billed on a per credit hour basis. Students who are wondering if it would be advantageous to register for the internship/practicum course should consult their advisor.

Where have College of Media graduates gone on to work?

College of Media graduates are top executives at national advertising and public relations firms and editors and reporters at the nation’s leading newspapers and broadcast stations. Journalism graduates work at the Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN and regional and local affiliates/media entities throughout the country. Advertising and public relations graduates work at regional and national firms, including DDB, GolinHarris and Ketchum, or own their own successful firms.

Will I be able to get a job after I graduate?

The College of Media prides itself on its hands-on curriculum, emphasis on internships and dedicated alumni, all of which contribute to a 94 percent job/graduate school placement rate. This means of the students who leave the College of Media and respond to the alumni survey, 94 percent of them have a full-time job or are in a graduate program within one year after graduation.

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Financial Aid/Scholarships

How do I apply for College of Media scholarships?

In addition to financial aid from West Virginia University, the College of Media offers a number of scholarships each year to eligible students. Students with a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA may apply during the spring selection period. All students applying for scholarships must file a FAFSA form by March 1, even if they are not eligible for need-based aid. Awards are generally based on academic performance and/or financial need and are restricted to direct admit students and declared majors in the College of Media. Each spring, current students are notified via WVU Reed College of Media eNews about the application process and deadlines. To learn more about the scholarship process and other available scholarships, students should contact their advisor.

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Student Life

I want to participate in College of Media clubs and organizations. What types of activities are available during my first year?

There are a variety of College organizations available to students, including Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Martin-Hall Agency, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), WVU Association of Black Journalists and Ed on Campus: All Things Magazine. Meeting times are announced in WVU Reed College of Media eNews. See the Student Resources area of the website for more information about student organizations.

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Technology

Do I need a computer and which kind is recommended?

Beginning in Fall 2014, the College of Media will require its entering freshmen and transfer students (journalism or strategic communications majors) to have their own laptops for use in journalism classes and projects. This decision was made to help address the growing need for digital skills in the communication professions and for our students’ need for continuous access to software for individual and collaborative work. The College is a Mac-based environment, but students may also use PC (Windows) laptops, as long as they have the minimum specifications, which are noted on the Laptop Requirement web page for both operating systems.

What software will I need?

The newest version of Microsoft Office (recommended) can be purchased online for substantial savings. The WVU Technology Support Center (located at the WVU Book Store) will provide information about this option at Orientation. Other software may be recommended as students progress through their major area of study.