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Academic Advising

Here is what you need to know about academic advising in the Reynolds School of Journalism: We are here to help! 

Are you thinking about study abroad in the future? Perhaps a double major or minor? Want to create a four-year plan so you know you can graduate on time?

We strongly encourage all students to take the opportunity to be advised. Studies show that seeking out advising is one of the strongest predictors of student success.

It’s a good idea to meet with an advisor early each semester. You can schedule an appointment to meet with an academic advisor who can answer all your questions below. See instructions below to book advising using the Student Success Collaborative – Campus program.

Book Advising  

Jean Dixon

Jean Dixon headshot

Academic advisor
Advises RSJ pre-majors, majors and minors
Office: RSJ 303B

Sally Echeto

Sally Echeto

Faculty coordinator
Advises RSJ graduating seniors and veterans
Office: RSJ 303

Book Advising

Use the steps below to book advising with one of the Reynolds School of Journalism advisors. For more information about scheduling advising, visit the university’s Student Success Collaborative-Campus webpage.

  1. Click the “Book advising” button found at the top of the page or below these instructions and log in using your NetID and password.
  2. Once logged in, go to the “Get Assistance” button in the upper-right corner of the page
  3. Select “Advising UNR-Campus” and choose a service that you want to set an appointment for
  4. Choose a location for your appointment
  5. Choose a staff member (advisor) for the appointment. Please refer above to determine if you should book advising with Jean or with Sally.
  6. Pick the general date and time of the appointment (morning or afternoon)
  7. Choose a specific time for the appointment
  8. Confirm appointment and leave any comments you would want the advisor to know
Book Advising  

Other Advising Resources

Advising can also involve conversations about your broader academic goals and/or your career aspirations. These conversations can involve questions like “which minor should I choose?” or, “what would be a good internship for me?”

All RSJ faculty are willing and able to serve as mentors and have these conversations with you. Simply seek them out and ask questions. You can read the bios of our faculty and get their contact information on our Faculty/Staff page.

Check out our “Advising FAQs” for commonly asked questions. If you don’t see your question, visit the university’s “Academic Central Advising” page.

Still not finding what you are looking for? Then contact one of the RSJ advisors listed above.

Advising FAQs

How do I choose a sequence in the major and which should I choose?

Once you have finished your first four journalism classes (J107, J108, J207, J208) you will be ready to declare the major in journalism. (Here is a link to the application to become a journalism major).

At that point, you will have just eight or nine classes left to finish the major, depending on the year you started: Three of these classes are required (J305-  Media Ethics; J401-First Amendment & Society; and J499 – the Internship). And five or six are upper-division (300 or 400-level) electives. The rule is that you must complete at least 2 of these upper-division electives at the 400-level.

We have devised emphases to organize your path through these five upper-division elective classes. The emphases are News; Strategic Communication; and Visual Design (see the bottom half of the Major Requirements for a list of classes in each emphasis).  You are strongly recommended to choose one of these emphases to organize your upper-division electives.  However, you are not required to do so.  You may choose a “cross-track” route as well.  Still undecided about what track to choose? Visit with a member of the faculty or start with Donica Mensing, who can direct you from there. The only firm rule for your 5 or 6 upper-division electives is that at least 2 must be at the 400 level.

Each of our emphases organizes 3 or 4 classes in a logical sequence. For instance, if you want to specialize in Strategic Communication, you have to take J351, Principles of Strategic Communications, before you can take any of the 400-level classes in this sequence. For Visual Design, the first class is J300, Visual Communication. And for the news track you get to choose two of the following three courses: Narrative Journalism, J318; Data Journalism, J319; and Social Journalism, J320.

By choosing an emphasis, you are deciding to specialize in a field of professional communication. However, you are not writing your future in stone. You can always change emphases at any time and you’re also free to take courses across emphases as well.

What do I need to do to graduate from Nevada with a degree in journalism?

The university catalog includes a complete description of the requirements that must be met to earn a degree in journalism. Remember to check the catalog that was in effect the year you started at Nevada to access the requirements for your degree.

  • Journalism requirements for students starting in fall 2015 or spring 2016 can be found here.
  • Journalism requirements for students starting in fall 2016 or spring 2017 can be found here.

To graduate from Nevada with a degree in Journalism, you have to fill four “buckets” of classes:

  1. Core curricular requirements of the university: 33 credits – 43 credits, depending on the year you started.
  2. Major classes in the Reynolds School: 36 credits or 39 credits, depending on the year you started.
  3. Additional liberal arts classes required by the Reynolds School: 4 – 23 credits, depending on the year you started.
  4. Minor requirements: 18- 24 credits.

Semester to semester, you should have a firm sense of which classes you have finished in each of these buckets. And projecting forward, you should have some sense of which semester you plan to graduate, and which classes you will take semester to semester to reach that goal. In MyNevada, there is a “planner tool” to help you do just this. Become a master of this tool and you will master your curriculum!

How to choose a minor

Unless you are double majoring in journalism and another discipline, you must have a minor to graduate from the RSJ. Which minor should you choose? That’s an excellent question! There are many strategies for choosing a minor. To know which one is right for you, talk with RSJ faculty. They’ll be happy to walk you through the minor morass!

Information on choosing a minor is available here.

How do I enroll in classes?

You enroll in classes through MyNevada. The university’s MyNevada Help page is the place to go for information on how to use MyNevada. It includes tips on how to enroll and un-enroll in classes, how to add yourself to a wait list, and why there may be holds on your account. Still not able to solve your problem? Contact Jean Dixon and she will help you out.

When should I (and how do I) take diversity and capstone courses?

Capstone courses are the final requirements of the University’s core curriculum. They are designed to be interdisciplinary courses that link knowledge across two or more the classes you have taken in the core curriculum. Diversity classes are just that—classes about diverse people and/or cultures—and can be taken before your senior year.

You can find classes that fulfill these requirements by going in to MyNevada. Click on “Class Search” and then scroll down to “Additional Search Criteria.” Then, click on the magnifying glass next to “Course Attribute.” Select “Core” and another box will come up, “is equal to.” Click again on the magnifying glass and select “CAPGENERAL.” Then click search. A list of all general capstone courses will appear. The rule is that you must take at least one capstone course outside of your major, but most journalism students take both outside the major.

Not sure if a particular class counts as a capstone? Come see Jean Dixon or Sally Echeto.

Overall Degree Requirements

Students seeking the bachelor of arts degree from the Reynolds School of Journalism must complete at least 120 credits.

Non-journalism course requirements (84 credits minimum)

  • The University Core Curriculum (36 credits minimum)
  • Minor or second major (18 credits minimum)
  • Two semesters of college-level Foreign Language (8 credits)
  • Additional School requirements in Liberal Arts and Sciences (15-22 credits).
  • Journalism students must complete 65 credits in Liberal Arts. Many of these credits are acquired in the university core, the language requirement and the minor, while other Liberal Arts credits are designated by the school. More credits may be necessary to reach the 65 credit minimum depending on a student’s choice of minor and progress through the University Core Curriculum.

Journalism course requirements

  • 36 credits minimum.
  • 12 of the 36 Journalism credits in 400-level classes.

The 120 credits must also conform to the following:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Journalism GPA of 2.5
  • 40 credits in classes numbered 300 or higher
  • 60 credits acquired at a four-year institution
  • 30 credits in residence at UNR
  • Credits taken for S/U grades equal 5 units maximum.

Related Degrees and Programs

To learn more about overall degree requirements, please visit the University of Nevada, Reno

Final steps to graduation

Congratulations! You are ready to graduate. Sometime early in the semester in which you intend to graduate, you must apply for graduation on your MyNevada account. If you are not graduating, but are within 12 credits of graduating and want to participate in the graduation ceremony, you can fill out the Application to Participate in Commencement.

The deadlines for submitting these forms are the following:

Fall Semester: October 1

Spring Semester: March 1

Summer: June 1

Applying to the Journalism Major

Once you have been accepted to the University of Nevada, Reno, you enter the Reynolds School as a pre-journalism major. Once you complete your first four journalism courses (JOUR 107, 108, 207 and 208), you can apply to become a journalism major. Please find below the deadlines and application for applying to the major.

*Please note: This application is not for students applying to the university or those looking to declare or change a major or minor. Students looking to apply to the university can find more information on the University’s admissions page. Students looking to declare or change a major can fill out the University’s Declare/Change of Plan (Major) form.  Students looking to declare or change a major can fill out the University’s Declare/Change of Minor/Certificate form.

Priority Deadlines for Applying to the Major

  • March 1 for spring applications
  • October 1 for fall applications

Apply for Journalism Major Status

Click on the button below to apply to the journalism major.

Apply for Journalism Major Status