Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts: Journalism Option

Division of Humanities — Curriculum Code: 019J

Will Earn Upon Program Completion: Associate in Arts (A.A.) Degree


Why major in Journalism?

Whether you are interested in newspaper, magazine, book, or electronic publishing, the field of journalism offers opportunities to discover more about the world and communicate your insights to others. At ECC, the program covers the theory and practice of reporting as well as writing news and features for print publications. Students are given the opportunity to report on news, arts, entertainment, and sports. They can also publish their work in the Essex County College Observer as well as in other College publications.

If I major in Journalism, can I transfer to an upper-division college or university?

Most or all of the credits earned at ECC toward an A.A. degree in Journalism will transfer to a four-year college or university depending on ECC’s particular transfer/articulation agreements with area institutions. While studying at ECC, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the degree requirements of any baccalaureate program to which you wish to transfer upon graduation.

Are there any requirements I must satisfy before I start taking courses in my major?

Based on your placement test scores, you may have to take developmental courses in reading, English, and/or mathematics before taking the core curriculum courses for your major. Also, although ENG 101 is a prerequisite for the journalism courses required in the program, students who have previous journalism experience may qualify for waiver of this requirement. To do so, writing samples must be submitted for review and approval.

How long will it take for me to complete this degree?

If you do not need developmental course work and you register for an average of 16 credits each semester, you can complete the degree in two years.  You may shorten the amount of time by taking courses in the summer sessions.

Where should I direct specific questions about this program?

Call the Division at (973) 877-3319/3320.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills in writing, reporting, researching, interviewing, and presenting news stories appropriate for college-level discourse;
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge and practical concepts in synthesizing, evaluating, editing, proofreading, and revising;
  • Apply appropriate journalistic styles, news structures, news formats, news values, and elements when producing stories; and
  • Utilize technology, the library, and social media for journalistic reporting and writing of leads, news stories, papers, layouts, and design.



(45 credits)

Written & Oral Communication (9 credits)

ENG 101, ENG 102, and ENG 109 (three 3-credit courses)

Quantitative Knowledge & Skills/Scientific Knowledge & Reasoning (12 credits)

Choose one math course and a lab science sequence or two math courses and one lab science course from the following:

Math: MTH 100, MTH 101, MTH 103, MTH 113, MTH 119, MTH 120, MTH 121, MTH 122, MTH 127, MTH 221, or MTH 222 (one or two 4-credit courses)

Lab Science: BIO 101 – BIO 102, BIO 103 – BIO 104, BIO 121 – BIO 122; CHM 101 – CHM 102, CHM 103 – CHM 104; PHY 101 – PHY 102, PHY 103 – PHY 104, or PHY 113 – PHY 114 (one or two 4-credit courses)

Society & Human Behavior (6 credits)

Choose two of the following courses: ANT 101, ANT 105; ECO 101, ECO 102; POL 101, POL 104; PSY 101, PSY 102, PSY 219; SOC 101, SOC 108, or SOC 219 (two 3-credit courses)

Humanistic Perspective (9 credits)

Choose two of the following literature courses: ENG 205, ENG 208, ENG 215, ENG 221, ENG 222, ENG 232, ENG 237, ENG 238, ENG 242, ENG 250, ENG 263, or ENG 264 (two 3-credit courses)

And choose one of the following art or music courses: ART 100, ART 101, ART 102; MUS 100, MUS 108, MUS 109, or MUS 117 (one 3-credit course)

Historical Perspective (6 credits)

Choose one of the following history sequences: HST 101 – HST 102, HST 111 – HST 112, HST 121 – HST 122, HST 131 – HST 132, HST 134 – HST 135, HST 136 – HST 137, or HST 161 – HST 162 (two 3-credit courses)

Global & Cultural Awareness of Diversity (3 credits)

Choose one additional (non-repeated) course from the following: ANT 101, ANT 105; ART 100, ART 101, ART 102, ART 200; CIN 103; ENG 205, ENG 215, ENG 232, ENG 237, ENG 238, ENG 242, ENG 263, ENG 264; HST 121, HST 122, HST 137; MUS 117; PSY 232; REL 105; SOC 108, SOC 205, or SOC 207 (one 3-credit course)


(13 credits)

JRN 141 Writing for the Media (3 credits)
JRN 142 News Reporting (Print) (3 credits)
JRN 145 Journalism Internship (1 credit)
JRN 243 Introduction to News Broadcasting (3 credits)
JRN 245 Politics and the Media (3 credits)



(6 credits)

Choose two free electives (two 3-credit courses)


Total Credits Required for Degree: 64




First Semester
ENG 101  College Composition I (3 credits)
JRN 141  Writing for the Media (3 credits)
Society & Human Behavior requirement (3 credits)
Art or music requirement (3 credits)
History requirement (3 credits)

Second Semester
ENG 102 College Composition II (3 credits)
JRN 142 News Reporting (Print) (3 credits)
Math/Lab Science requirement (4 credits)
Society & Human Behavior requirement (3 credits)
History requirement (3 credits)

Third Semester
ENG 109 Effective Speech (3 credits)
JRN 243 Introduction to News Broadcasting (3 credits)
Math/Lab Science requirement (4 credits)
Literature requirement (3 credits)
Free elective (3 credits)

Fourth Semester
JRN 145 Journalism Internship (1 credit)
JRN 245  Politics and the Media (3 credits)
Math/Lab Science requirement (4 credits)
Literature requirement (3 credits)
Diversity requirement (3 credits)
Free elective (3 credits)


(1) The two General Education Integrated Course Goals, Ethical Reasoning & Action and Information Literacy, are both addressed by the required curriculum described above, regardless of specific choices made by the individual student.
(2) This plan assumes the completion of all required developmental courses in reading, writing, and mathematics as well as other pre- and co-requisites for some of the courses, as listed in the Course Descriptions section.
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