School of Communication & Journalism

Investigative Journalism

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Do you question authority? Do you think public officials should be accountable for their promises and taxpayers’ money? Do you want to write stories about true crime, real politics and real people with problems and dreams only you can tell the world about? Our investigative reporting area of emphasis will teach you to how to interview everyone from millionaires to murderers, introduce you to traditional and multimedia information-gathering techniques, and give you a basic understanding of the way systems should work and what happens when they don’t. Through non-journalism electives, students can learn about governments, politics, business, public health policy, economics and international affairs. You choose the areas where you’d like to seek and find “inconvenient truths.”

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism Degree Requirements

JOURNALISM (JRNL)

GROUP 1 COURSES (6 hours)

Must select TWO specialized reporting courses below 

  • JRNL 3020/3023 Broadcast and Digital News Reporting
  • JRNL 3220/3223 Magazine and Feature Writing
  • JRNL 3510/3513 Multimedia Journalism
  • JRNL 3530/3533 Sports Reporting

GROUP 2 COURSES (6 hours)

Must select TWO production courses below 

  • CMJN 3410/3413 Introduction to Sports Video Production
  • CMJN 3410/3413 Control Room Operations
  • JRNL 3010/3013 Broadcast and Digital News Production
  • JRNL 3410/3413 Photojournalism
  • JRNL 3470/3473 Editing and Design

GROUP 3 COURSES (18 hours)

Select SIX of the courses listed below in CMJN, COMM, JRNL, MDIA or PRCM 

If students do not pass JRNL 1AA0 exam, JRNL 1100 must be one of the six courses

  • COMM 2010/2013 Communication In Society
  • COMM 2400/2403 Introduction to Workplace Communication
  • COMM 2410/2413 Small Group Communication
  • COMM 3100/3103 Advanced Public Speaking
  • COMM 3110/3113 Persuasion
  • COMM 3300/3303 Communication and Conflict
  • COMM 3400/3403 Organizational Communication
  • COMM 3450/3453 Intercultural Communication
  • COMM 3500/3503 Foundations of Human Communication
  • COMM 3510/3513 Research in Human Communication
  • COMM 3600/3603 Foundations of Rhetoric and Social Influence
  • COMM 3610/3613 Research in Rhetoric and Social
  • COMM 3700/3703 Argumentation
  • COMM 3800/3803 Family Communication
  • COMM 3970/3973 Special Topics in Communication
  • CMJN 2910 Communication and Journalism Practicum
  • CMJN 3110/3113 Sports Media Relations*
  • CMJN 3210/3213 News and Sports Announcing*
  • CMJN 3350/3353 Visual Communication
  • CMJN 3650/3553 Rhetoric of Sports*
  • CMJN 4110/4113 Sports Storytelling and Video Profiles*
  • CMJN 4340/4343 Mass Communication and Family
  • CMJN 4370/4373 Mass Communication and Religion
  • CMJN 4400/4403 Gender Communication
  • CMJN 4410/4413 Advanced Sports Video Production*
  • CMJN 4510/4513 Sports Storytelling & Video Profiles*
  • CMJN 4430/4431 Sports, Media and Society*
  • CMJN 4610/4613 Live Sports Producing*
  • CMJN 4970/4943 Special Topics in Communication and Journalism*
  • JRNL 1100 Journalism Fundamentals
  • JRNL 3010/3013 Broadcast and Digital News Production*
  • JRNL 3020/3023 Broadcast and Digital News Reporting*
  • JRNL 3103 Global Journalism and Media Systems*
  • JRNL 3220/3223 Magazine and Feature Writing*
  • JRNL 3410/3413 Photojournalism*
  • JRNL 3470/3473 Editing and Design*
  • JRNL 3510/3513 Multimedia Journalism *
  • JRNL 4320/4323 Entrepreneurial Journalism
  • JRNL 4410/4413/4417 Journalism History
  • JRNL 4230/4233 Advanced Reporting*
  • JRNL 4470/4473 Advanced Magazine and Feature Writing*
  • JRNL 4490/4493 Literary Journalism*
  • JRNL 4530/4533 Advanced Sports Reporting
  • JRNL 4870/4873 Community Journalism
  • MDIA 2420/2423 Introduction to Filmmaking
  • MDIA 2700/2703 Introduction to Visual Media
  • MDIA 2800/2803 Multimedia Production
  • MDIA 3210/3213 Soundtracks, Music and Media
  • MDIA 3300/3303 Foundation of Media Studies
  • MDIA 3320/3323 Gender and Sexuality in Media
  • MDIA 3350/3353 Screenwriting
  • MDIA 3360/3363 Audio Storytelling and Podcasting
  • MDIA 3370/3373 Global Media
  • MDIA 3580/3583 Reproducing Popular Culture
  • MDIA 3600/3603 Film Genres
  • MDIA 3650/3653 Media Industries
  • MDIA 3700/3703 Audiences and Fan Culture
  • MDIA 3750/3753 Race and American Film History
  • MDIA 3970/3973 Special Topics in Media Studies
  • PRCM 2400/2403 Foundations of Public Relations
  • PRCM 3080/3083 International Public Relations
  • PRCM 3090/3093 Public Relations in Political Processes
  • PRCM 3270/3273 Public Relations in The Not-For-Profit Arena

*May take this course to fulfill a Group 3 requirement if the course was not taken as one of your required Group 1, Group 2 or Group 4 courses.

GROUP 4 COURSES (3 hours)

Select ONE of the advanced courses listed below

  • JRNL 4230/4233 Advanced Reporting
  • JRNL 4470/4473 Advanced Magazine and Feature Writing 
  • JRNL 4530/4533 Advanced Sports Reporting

University Core Curriculum and Non-Journalism Electives

In addition to the required journalism coursework, all journalism majors take a variety of classes that provide the opportunity for interdisciplinary learning, information literacy, informed citizenship and global awareness. Journalism majors are required to take 21 elective credit hours, 10 hours of College core and 41 hours in Auburn University’s core curriculum. Please consult with the Auburn Bulletin and your academic adviser as to prerequisites and class standing requirements for these courses before registration.

RECOMMENDED NON-JOURNALISM ELECTIVES (21 HOURS): Journalism majors may take any electives in the AU bulletin, as long as they meet the prerequisite and class standing requirements.

However, selecting electives from the list below is strongly encouraged for a student interested in the Investigative Journalism area of emphasis.

  • ACCT 2110/2117 PRINCIPLES OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING OR ACCT 2810 FUNDAMENTALS OF ACCOUNTING (3)
  • ACCT 2990 BUSINESS LAW (3)
  • CAHS 3700/3707 GENDER, WEALTH AND PHILANTHROPY (3)
  • CCEN 2000 INTRODUCTION: COMMUNITY AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (3)
  • CCEN 2100 WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP (3)
  • ECON 3100 LAW AND ECONOMICS (3)
  • ECON 3200 MONEY AND BANKING (3)
  • ECON 3500 COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC SYSTEMS (3)
  • ECON 3800 PUBLIC CHOICE (3)
  • ECON 4000 ECONOMICS OF WORK AND PAY (3)
  • ECON 4100 INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION (3)
  • ECON 4200 GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS AND SOCIETY (3)
  • ECON 4300 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS (3)
  • FORY 3440 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (3)
  • GEOG 2010 CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY (3)
  • GEOG 5310 GEOGRAPHY OF RURAL CHANGE (3)
  • HADM 2200 HEALTH POLICY (3)
  • HUSC 2000/ HUSC 2007 HUNGER: CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES, AND RESPONSES (3)
  • HRMN 4430 LABOR RELATIONS (3)
  • POLI 2100 STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (3)
  • POLI 3030 AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT (3)
  • POLI 3090 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (3)
  • POLI 3100 INTRODUCTIION TO WORLD AFFAIRS (3)
  • POLI 3120 INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3)
  • POLI 3140 AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY (3)
  • POLI 3150 AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT (3)
  • POLI 3160 NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY (3)
  • POLI 3170 SOVIET AND POST-SOVIET FOREIGN POLICIES (3)
  • POLI 3180 LATIN AMERICA AND THE UNITED STATES (3)
  • POLI 3190 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST (3)
  • POLI 3240 ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE (3)
  • POLI 3250 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (3)
  • POLI 3260 ORGANIZATION THEORY (3)
  • POLI 3270 POLICY PROCESS (3)
  • POLI 3290 THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY (3)
  • POLI 3300 LAW AND SOCIETY (3)
  • POLI 3310 THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS (3)
  • POLI 3320 JUDICIAL PROCESS (3)
  • POLI 3350 CONTROVERSIES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3)
  • POLI 3360 FEDERAL JURISDICTION (3)
  • POLI 3370 FEDERAL INDIAN LAW (3)
  • POLI 3380 EVIDENCE AND LEGAL REASONING (3)
  • POLI 3390 RELIGION AND POLITICS (3)
  • POLI 3400 POLITICAL PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUPS (3)
  • POLI 3420 POLITICS AND THE MEDIA (3)
  • POLI 3430 JUSTICE AND SOCIETY (3)
  • POLI 3510 THE EUROPEAN UNION (3)
  • POLI 3520 COMPARATIVE POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST (3)
  • POLI 3530 SOVIET AND POST-SOVIET POLITICS (3)
  • POLI 3540 EAST EUROPEAN POLITICS (3)
  • POLI 3550 GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF LATIN AMERICA (3)
  • POLI 3610 ASIAN POLITICS (3)
  • POLI 3710 ISUES IN AMERICAN POLITICS (3)
  • POLI 3720 ISSUES IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3)
  • POLI 3730 ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (3)
  • POLI 3740 ISSUES IN POLITICAL THOUGHT (3)
  • POLI 4010 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: GOVERNMENT POWERS (3)
  • POLI 4020 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CIVIL LIBERTIES (3)
  • POLI 4030 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CIVIL RIGHTS (3)
  • POLI 4040 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CRIMINAL JUSTICE (3)
  • POLI 4050 AMERICAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT (3)
  • POLI 4220 UNITED STATES POLITICAL ECONOMY (3)
  • POLI 4700 POLITICS OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS (3)
  • RSOC 3620 COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION (3)
  • RSOC 5640 SOCIOLOGY OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (3)
  • SOCY 2000 SOCIAL ISSUES (3)
  • SOCY 2050 CRIME AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA (3)
  • SOCY 3500 MINORITY GROUPS (3)
  • SOWO 2650 HISTORY OF SOCIAL WELFARE (3)

Students must apply for admission to the Journalism program after 30 hours of AU courses (transfer credits included).

Students who transfer to Auburn University’s Journalism major are required to take a minimum of 21 credit hours in the AU program.

TOTAL HOURS REQUIRED 
University core: 41 hours
College core: 10 hours
Department core: 3 hours
Major Core/Required: 45 hours
Electives: 21 hours
TOTAL: 120 hours

Please consult the Auburn Bulletin for information on the University and College of Liberal Arts Core.

For more information

Dr. Justin Blankenship 

Justin Blankenship
Associate Director of Journalism
105 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2727
jzb0124@auburn.edu

Last Updated: April 18, 2020