Student Advising

Students here can find the information related to Faculty Advising both for graduate as well as undergraduate students. Here, you can find all the forms and the latest feeds from the Faculty Advisors.

Introduction

JMC's undergraduate adviser is Cynthia Fernald, who has office hours set aside for advising appointments every week. Students can sign up for advising appointments outside her office, DBH125, on the first floor of Dwight Bentel Hall. Below are answers to some of the most common advising questions:

How often do students need to see the adviser?

Students must be advised prior to registering for their third semester.

Students with an advising "hold" will not be able to register through online registration.

What is an academic focus?

It is like a minor, but with fewer units taken in a single department. An approved academic focus in a specific discipline/department for 12 units is a requirement for all majors.

At least six of these units must be taken from the list of upper division 100-level courses. An academic focus in traditional liberal arts and social sciences disciplines offers the advantage of ensuring that the student will meet school requirements for 65 units of general study within the framework of 90 units.

Students who select an academic focus in business, technical writing, radio/television/film, art photography, or other professionally oriented disciplines will need to carefully plan their programs in order to complete all graduation requirements for the 124-unit degree.

Students are required to have their academic focus approved by their academic adviser.

Students may also select a minor instead of an academic focus, but "official" minors in most departments typically require 15 to 18 units.

Can students transfer any community college credit?

A maximum of 12 units from community college course work that was completed in California may be transferred to school majors. Courses that are accepted include those equivalent to department lower division offerings as required for a given program or sequence.

Other community college courses in mass communications subjects may be included. A maximum of three units from this category may be transferred for general elective requirements in the major.

Can journalism majors decide to focus in advertising or public relations?

The focus must be in a department outside of the School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

What do students need to know about internships?

There is a 240-hour internship required of all majors in the school. This equals six weeks of full-time work or a minimum of 20 hours per week for 12 weeks.

Internships must be approved by your academic adviser and the school internship supervisor.

Students must work in an off-campus organization and have a qualified professional (in the student's major) supervise their work.

Internships require weekly activity reports, a final letter from the employer, and completion of a questionnaire about the internship. The internship is normally done during the summer between the junior and senior years and must be completed before the last semester of the senior year.

Students may not accept an internship before completing the course prerequisites, gaining approval from the major adviser, and turning in an approved agreement with the host agency. The internship requirement may be waived for students who can document comparable professional experience prior to the senior year. Students who intern without formal enrollment in the MCom111 Internship course will not be permitted to register for retroactive credit.

What are the requirements for graduation?

All majors seeking the BS degree in advertising, journalism, or public relations must meet the following requirements:

Complete 120 semester units which includes all university and school of journalism degree requirements. At least 80 of the 120 units must be taken outside the school areas of advertising, journalism, public relations, or mass communications, whether completed at SJSU or at another college or university. National accreditation requirements call for 90 units outside the school, but also allow students to count six units from MCom 72, Media & Society; MCOM 101, Law & Ethics; or MCOM 106, Global Communications, as part of this 90-units because they are considered general subjects.

A total of 65 of the 90 units must be taken in the liberal arts and sciences. Courses in this area are defined as those offered in the schools of humanities and arts, social science, and science, or by equivalent disciplines at other institutions.

Courses are listed as general education courses in the SJSU schedule of classes except no 100W course is accepted. Courses offering practical instruction in fields closely related to mass communications may not be applied to the liberal arts and sciences requirement, regardless of where offered.

Specifically excluded are laboratory production and skill courses in English, and internships, activity, or independent study courses offered in other departments. Students that are not sure will need to ask the adviser.

Complete a 12-unit academic focus in a single discipline or department outside the fields taught within the school of journalism. At least six of these units must be upper division, and the GPA must be at least 2.0.

The minimum requirement is a 12–unit academic focus, but students may also choose a minor. The academic focus, as well as a minor, must be approved by the student's adviser. Complete an approved internship for academic credit before the final semester of the senior year. (This may be waived for students that can document substantial professional experience prior to their senior year.)

What is the graduation application process?

Complete a major form. All departmental forms are available online or at the department office (DBH105). Complete courses completed form. Carefully read the instructions. Take forms to the student advising office at DBH102 for signatures. Complete the application for graduation from admissions & records. Turn it all in to admissions & records. Students need to list all courses that have been taken outside the school of journalism. Transfer students are required to provide the school with a copy of the transcripts from other institutions as soon as possible. Major forms will not be approved unless such records are on file.

What are the deadlines for graduation?

You should apply for graduation two semesters in advance of the semester in which you wish to graduate.Students that want to graduate in June will need to apply by July 1 of the year before. Students that want to graduate in December or summer will need to apply by March 1. For more information on the university's graduation policies, go to the SJSU Registrar's Graduation FAQ page at http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/FAQs/Graduation/.

Undergraduate Advising

JMC's undergraduate adviser is Cynthia Fernald, who has office hours set aside for advising appointments every week. Students can sign up for advising appointments on the clipboard outside her office, DBH 125, on the first floor of Dwight Bentel Hall.

Here are answers to some of the most common advising questions:

How often do students need to see the adviser?

Students who are SJSU “natives” (who started at SJSU as freshmen) must talk with an adviser prior to registering for their third semester. Transfer students should see an adviser during their first semester, before registering for their second semester classes.

Please bring a filled-out major form to every advisory meeting so the adviser can more quickly evaluate your degree progress and provide you with accurate course planning advice. As you get closer to graduation, please also fill out and bring the Courses Completed form to advisory meetings.

Students with an advising "hold" will not be able to register through SJSU’s online registration. The JMC adviser can usually remove your hold, although some students may also need to speak with an adviser at Academic Advising and Retention Services (AARS) before a hold can be removed.

What is an academic focus?

All JMC students must complete either an approved academic focus or a minor. An academic focus is like a “mini” minor. Instead of requiring 15 or 18 units, like most minors, an academic focus is 12 units, all of which must be taken in a single department.

At least six of the 12 units in an academic focus must be upper-division (100-level) courses. That means the other six units can be lower-division classes, including courses you took to satisfy GE requirements.

Students are required to have their academic focus approved by their academic adviser. Taking an academic focus in a traditional liberal arts and social sciences discipline offers the advantage of helping you meet the school’s requirement that you complete at least 65 units of liberal arts and science classes outside your major.

Courses that count as “outside the major” include your GEs, academic focus/minor classes and SJSU Studies classes. However, some “outside the major” courses do not count as liberal arts and science (LAS) classes. Non-LAS classes include: PE activity classes, business classes (except for business GE classes such as BUS 12 and BUS 186), RTVF “on air” classes, and engineering classes.

Students who select an academic focus in business, technical writing, radio/television/film, art photography, or other professionally oriented discipline will need to carefully plan their programs to complete all graduation requirements for the 120-unit degree.

If you would prefer to complete a minor instead of an academic focus, you will need to get the approval of the minor department to add a minor, and follow their list of required courses to complete the minor. Most minors require you to complete 15 to 18 units, but some require more. A graphic design minor, for example, requires 40 units – as much as most majors.

Can journalism majors decide to do an academic focus in advertising or public relations?

No, the academic focus must be in a department outside of the School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

Can students transfer any community college credit?

You may transfer in a maximum of 70 units from a California community college to count toward your degree at SJSU. Of those transfer units, a maximum of 12 units may count toward your major.

SJSU has established transfer course agreements with over 130 California schools. Courses that can count toward your major course requirements include those that are deemed equivalent to our school’s lower-division course offerings, as required for a given program.

To determine which transfer courses can count toward your major requirements at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, please check out SJSU’s course articulation website at http://artic.sjsu.edu/. Click on the Category Reports link, and then on the Journalism and Mass Communications link, to see a list of JMC major course equivalents. Or, click on the Course-to-Course Articulation link and select your community college to see which courses are equivalent to lower-division JMC courses, and thus can be substituted.

Non-equivalent community college courses in mass communications subjects may be eligible to count as electives in your major. A maximum of three units from this category may be transferred for general elective requirements in the major.

What do students need to know about internships?

A 240-hour internship is required of all majors in the school. This equals six weeks of full-time work. If you complete an internship during the fall or spring semester, that means working an average of 16 hours per week for 15 weeks, If you choose to complete an internship during summer session, it means working an average of 24 hours per week for 10 weeks.

Internships must be approved by the school’s internship advisor. This advising position rotates among senior JMC faculty, so you will need to check to see who is serving as internship adviser for the semester (or summer session) in which you plan to intern.

Before you can register for MCOM 111, the internship class, you must complete some specific courses in your major (see list below) and have a minimum 2.0 average in your JMC courses.

Here are the course prerequisites, by major, to be eligible to sign up for an internship:

  • Advertising: ADV 91 and two other ADV courses
  • Journalism: JOUR 61, JOUR 132 and one other JOUR or MCOM course
  • Public Relations: PR 99, PR 190 or PR191, and one other JMC course

To get an internship approved, you’ll need to fill out the Internship Agreement form and provide the internship adviser with a copy of your unofficial SJSU transcript and a description of the internship on company letterhead. Once it is approved, the internship adviser will give you an add code so you can register for MCOM 111. As with any other class, you must add MCOM 111 before the end of the add period for the semester in which you plan to complete it.

Although faculty members may know of and make suggestions about possible internships, please note JMC faculty are not responsible for finding you an internship. You must find your own internship. The JMC office (DBH 105) keeps a folder of available internships on file. It’s also a good idea to talk with JMC students who have already completed an internship.

The internship must be completed before the last semester of your senior year. It is often done during the summer between your junior and senior years.

Students may not accept an internship before completing the course prerequisites, gaining approval from the major adviser, and turning in an approved agreement with the host agency/company. Students who intern without formal enrollment in the MCom111 Internship course will not be permitted to register for retroactive credit.

The internship requirement may be waived for students who can document comparable professional experience prior to their senior year.

What are the requirements for graduation?

All majors seeking a BS degree in advertising, journalism, or public relations must meet the following requirements:

Complete 120 semester units, including all university and School of Journalism and Mass Communications degree requirements. At least 72 of the 120 units must be taken outside the school areas of advertising, journalism, public relations, and mass communications, whether completed at SJSU or at another college or university.

At least 65 of the 72 units taken outside the major must be in the liberal arts and sciences. Courses in this area are defined as those offered in the schools of humanities and arts, social science, and science, or in equivalent disciplines at other institutions.

Courses offering practical instruction in fields closely related to mass communications may not be applied to the liberal arts and sciences requirement, regardless of where offered. Classes that do not count as liberal arts and sciences include: PE activity classes, business classes, RTVF “on air” classes, and engineering classes. Also excluded are laboratory production and skill courses in English, as well as internships, activity, or independent study courses offered in other departments. If you’re not sure if a class counts toward the liberal arts and sciences requirement, please check with the undergraduate adviser.

You must also complete a 12-unit academic focus (or a minor) in a single discipline or department outside the fields taught within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. At least six units of your academic focus must be upper division (number 100 or higher), and your GPA in those classes must be at least 2.0. Your academic focus must be approved by the undergraduate adviser.

Finally, you must complete an approved internship for academic credit before the final semester of your senior year. (This requirement may be waived for students who can document substantial professional experience prior to their senior year.)

What is the graduation application process?

To apply for graduation, you must fill out three forms:

  1. Major form
  2. Courses Completed form
  3. Graduation application

Major forms and the courses completed form are available online or at the department office (DBH 105). The graduation application is available online at http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/forms/.

When you have filled out all three forms, take them to the undergraduate adviser for review and signatures. Next, you’ll take the signed forms to the JMC office, DBH 105, so file copies can be made. JMC staff will put your graduation paperwork into a sealed envelope and return it to you to submit at the Registrar’s Office at the Tenth Street Parking Garage.

What are the deadlines for graduation?

You should apply for graduation about one and a half or two semesters before the semester in which you plan to graduate. The deadline to apply for spring graduation is November 1 of the previous fall. The deadline to apply for summer graduation and fall graduation is May 1 of the previous spring. A word to the wise -- it’s best not to wait until the deadline is looming. Get it done early.

For more information on the university's graduation policies, check out the Registrar's Graduation FAQ page at http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/faqs/Graduation_FAQs/index.html.

Helpful Links:

  • SJSU forms, such as the change of major/minor form, graduation application and substitution form, are available online at the SJSU Registrar’s forms page at http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/forms/.
  • Undergraduate petitions, such as the excess units petition and petition for late course drop, are available online on the student petitions form page at http://www.sjsu.edu/ugs/students/petitions/list/.
  • Transfer course information is available online on SJSU’s articulation page at http://artic.sjsu.edu/. For example, the course-to-course articulation link lets you select your community college so you can see if the courses you’ve taken are equivalent to lower-division JMC courses, such as MCOM 72, JOUR 61, PR 99 and ADV 91. 

Major Graduation Forms

Minor Graduation Forms

Courses Completed Forms

MCOM 180 Forms

Graduation Application, Change Major/Minor Form, Substitution Form

4 Year Plans