Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication policies
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has a student-centered culture focused on helping students complete their degrees in a timely manner. Students are encouraged to visit the school’s website https://cronkite.asu.edu or contact its student services center at 602-496-5055 with questions about any of the school’s policies.
Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The crux of U.S. democracy is the ability of citizens to obtain honest, truthful and balanced information, and the credibility and integrity of the individual journalist and communications professional are crucial in that effort.
In light of the Cronkite School’s mission to prepare students to become journalists and communication professionals, it is critical that credibility and integrity are fostered within the educational environment of the school. To that end, a zero tolerance policy toward academic dishonesty will be enforced within every course and educational activity offered or sanctioned by the school.
Any allegations of academic dishonesty will automatically be referred to the Standards Committee of the school for review and recommendation to the dean of the school. If any student is found to have engaged in academic dishonesty in any form – including cheating, plagiarizing and fabricating (examples available here) – that student shall receive a grade of XE for the class and may face suspension or expulsion from ASU.
The policy, along with guidance on how to avoid plagiarism and fabrication, can be found at https://cronkite.asu.edu/assets/pdf/Academic_Integrity_Policy.pdf.
The Cronkite School notifies the Graduate College if a graduate student is being recommended for dismissal from the school for having engaged in academic dishonesty.
Responsibilities related to academic integrity
Accuracy: Since accuracy is the most important aspect of journalism, the Cronkite School adheres to rigid standards in all journalism courses. Any major error of fact such as a misspelled proper name, an erroneous phone number, an incorrect address, a libelous statement or a misstatement of a major fact, or anything else that would require a printed correction if the story were to appear in a newspaper will result in an "E" (55 percent) on an assignment. Misspellings or errors of grammar will bring a student’s grade down. Carelessness will cause a student to lose points fast.
Attendance and makeup work: Students are expected to attend every class and arrive on time. If they miss an in-class assignment, quiz or test, they receive a zero. Excused absences are not given. Instructors may allow up to two absences for any reason or drop designated grades. Specific language regarding absences and makeup work will be included in each syllabus.
Deadlines: Like accuracy, the ability to meet deadlines is a hallmark of good journalism, and students are expected to meet them. Assignments submitted even one minute past the deadline are not accepted; the student receives a zero.
Diversity principles: The Cronkite School practices inclusivity in student, staff and faculty populations in order to create an academic environment that embraces diversity of thought and acceptance of all people regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation or societal, political, cultural, economic, spiritual or physical differences. The principles are posted at https://cronkite.asu.edu/about/diversity-principles.
ACEJMC values and competencies: As a member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Cronkite School is committed to classroom learning that achieves ACEJMC professional values and competencies. These include the core areas: freedom of speech, ethics, diversity, critical thinking, research, writing and use of tools and technologies related to the field. For a full list of ACEJMC values and competencies, students should see http://www2.ku.edu/~acejmc/PROGRAM/PRINCIPLES.SHTML#vals&comps.
Social media guidelines: It is important that students of journalism and communication know how to use social media ethically and professionally. The Cronkite School has developed standards drawn from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the Society of Professional Journalists. Those guidelines may be found at https://cronkite.asu.edu/degree-programs/admissions/student-resources/social-media-guidelines.
All ASU students, freshman through senior, must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 for all courses completed at ASU. If this standard is not maintained, the student is placed on probation. Students on probation must see an adviser before further registration and must do one of the following:
- Achieve an ASU GPA of 2.00 or greater in order to return to academic good standing.
- Obtain a semester GPA of 2.50 with no grade less than a “C” in order to be granted one additional semester on continued probation. At the end of the continued probation, the student must return to academic good standing (a minimum cumulative ASU GPA of 2.00) to avoid disqualification.
Students who do not meet probation requirements are academically disqualified. Disqualified students should meet with their academic advisers. These students may attend ASU only during the summer session immediately following disqualification.
Cronkite School journalism and mass communication and sports journalism majors: Students in these majors must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 for all courses completed at ASU in order to be in good standing in the major. If a student’s cumulative GPA is less than a 2.50, the student has one semester to raise his or her cumulative GPA to meet the requirement. Failing to raise the cumulative GPA to a 2.50 or greater results in the student having to change his or her major from Journalism and Mass Communication or Sports Journalism.
Cronkite School mass communication and media studies and digital audience majors: Students in this major follow the university policies for GPA requirements, probation and disqualification.
Cronkite School undergraduate students are assigned an advisor by the student’s last name. Students should see the undergraduate advising page for specifics: https://cronkite.asu.edu/student-life/undergraduate-advising.
To ensure students are making progress toward their degrees, the Cronkite School encourages students to check in with their advisors each semester. Advising is mandatory for:
- first-time first-year students, both semesters their first year at ASU
- students who have completed 75 credit hours
- transfer students prior to enrolling for their first semester at ASU
- students on probation
- students who are off track in the major
ASU Online students are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with their respective advisers before enrolling for their first semester.
For additional information, students should contact the Cronkite School’s advising center at 602-496-5055.
Students should follow the sequence of courses outlined on major maps and online degree audits and contact their Cronkite advisor with any questions. Critical requirements for first-year students in the school are available at https://cronkite.asu.edu.
Changes of major
Students are eligible to change their major if they meet the criteria below.
Journalism and mass communication and sports journalism degree programs: Current ASU students are eligible for admission if they have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 in 12 or more hours of credit earned at ASU in courses that can be used to satisfy the Cronkite School's nonelective General Studies requirements.
Transfer students with at least 12 hours of academic credit earned after high school and at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA are eligible for admission.
Online mass communication and media studies and digital audience degree programs: Current ASU students who have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 are eligible for admission.
Prospective transfer students (not yet admitted to ASU) and ASU students who have a cumulative GPA less than 3.00 are encouraged to meet with a Cronkite School adviser. To schedule a meeting, students should contact the advising center at 602-496-5055.
Students may apply up to 64 credits of coursework from an accredited two-year institution to their degree. Students may apply up to nine credit hours of approved upper-division journalism coursework from a four-year ACEJMC-accredited institution to the Cronkite School’s journalism degree requirements. Students interested in having these courses reviewed should provide detailed syllabi and course schedules to the Cronkite School’s academic standards committee. Students should see their academic advisers for assistance.
All Cronkite students must meet the critical requirements for their majors. Students who are required to follow eAdvisor tracking requirements and do not comply with the critical requirements are off track, and a hold is placed on their records. These students must meet with an adviser to have the hold removed.
Specific requirements for the journalism and mass communication degree can be found at https://webapp4.asu.edu/programs/t5/majorinfo/ASU00/CSJMCBA/undergrad/false.
Specific requirements for the sports journalism degree can be found at https://webapp4.asu.edu/programs/t5/majorinfo/ASU00/CSSPJBA/undergrad/false.
Specific requirements for the mass communication and media studies degree can be found at https://webapp4.asu.edu/programs/t5/majorinfo/ASU00/CSMCMSTBA/undergrad/false.
Specific requirements for the digital audiences degree can be found at https://webapp4.asu.edu/programs/t5/majorinfo/ASU00/CSDIGABS/undergrad/false.
The primary degree is the one that shows at the top of a student's transcript. A concurrent degree is an additional degree a student pursues.
General rules for students pursuing concurrent degrees in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication:
- Currently enrolled Cronkite School journalism and mass communication or sports journalism majors who would like to add a concurrent degree must have a cumulative ASU GPA of 2.50 or greater and must have completed 30 credit hours of coursework.
- Currently enrolled Cronkite School mass communication and media studies or digital audiences majors who would like to add a concurrent degree must have a cumulative ASU GPA of 2.00 or greater and must have completed 30 credit hours of coursework.
- ASU students not enrolled in the Cronkite School who would like to add a concurrent degree in journalism and mass communication or sports journalism must be in good academic standing with an ASU, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 and must have completed 30 credit hours of coursework.
- ASU students not enrolled in the Cronkite School who would like to add a concurrent degree in mass communication and media studies or digital audiences, offered online, must be in good academic standing, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 in an ASU Online degree program and must have completed 30 credit hours of coursework.
- The Cronkite School requires that students enrolled in journalism and mass communication or sports journalism majors take a minimum of 36 credit hours of Cronkite School courses.
- The Cronkite School requires that students enrolled in the mass communication and media studies or the digital audiences majors take a minimum of 30 credit hours of Cronkite School courses.
- A student may not take concurrent degrees in journalism and mass communication, sports journalism, mass communication and media studies, or digital audiences.
Procedures for adding a concurrent degree:
- Once a student has decided to declare a concurrent degree, the student should inform the academic adviser for each degree in order to receive proper information about degree requirements, courses, etc.
- When a student meets the requirements for a concurrent degree, the student should complete a Standards Committee Petition and turn it in to the assigned Cronkite School academic adviser. Students in the Cronkite School are assigned an advisor by the student’s last name.
- The student also needs to contact the college offering the concurrent degree to be added and follow that college’s procedures for requesting and pursuing concurrent degrees.
- If a student no longer wishes to pursue a concurrent degree, the student should email that intention to the academic advisor, and the message should include the student's full name and ASU ID number as well as which degree the student wants to have removed from the academic record.
Any questions should be directed to Cronkiteadvising@asu.edu.
Additional information about specially designed Cronkite concurrent degrees can be found on the Cronkite School Dual Degree Programs page.
Students seeking readmission after being discontinued from the university should contact undergraduate admission services at https://admission.asu.edu/contact.
Other special requirements
Major proficiency requirements: All Cronkite students must receive at least a “C” (2.00) or better in all JMC and MCO courses. Journalism and Mass Communication and Sports Journalism majors must also receive a grade of "B-" (80%) or better in JMC 101 Grammar for Journalists. Students also must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 2.50 to be eligible to enroll in JMC and MCO classes.
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is a nationally recognized professional program that prepares students for careers as reporters, editors, producers, correspondents, anchors, multimedia journalists and strategic communicators. Students go on to online media outlets, television stations, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, websites, public relations firms and digital media companies.
More information on the school’s academic standards, policies and procedures and those of the Graduate College can be found at https://graduate.asu.edu/current-students/policies-forms-and-deadlines/policy-manuals. Students must fulfill all requirements of their individual graduate programs to remain in good academic standing, and they must abide by all university policies including those of the Graduate College and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Candidates for the on-campus Master of Mass Communication, Master of Arts in investigative journalism or Master of Arts in sports journalism degrees apply online at https://admission.asu.edu/graduate/apply.
The graduate application opens September 1. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received before December 1 are given priority for both admission and funding. The final application deadline is June 1.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
They must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- three letters of recommendation
- personal statement of interest (350 to 500 words in length)
- proof of English proficiency
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. TOEFL scores must be at least 100 for the internet-based test. Students should see the program website for application deadlines and admission terms. Applicants must meet all deadlines and application requirements to be considered. The Cronkite School's master’s degree committee reviews complete and on-time applications. Recommendations for admission are made to Graduate Admission Services, where the final admission decisions are made.
Candidates for the online Master of Science in business journalism apply online at https://webapp4.asu.edu/dgsadmissions/Index.jsp?program=GRCS&plan=CSBSJMS&subplan=&campus=ONLINE. Candidates must submit a graduate application, application fee, resume, statement of personal interest (300-500 words) and official transcripts. An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency, regardless of current residency, with an internet-based TOEFL score greater than 100.
Candidates for the online Master of Science in digital audience strategy apply online at https://webapp4.asu.edu/dgsadmissions/Index.jsp?program=GRCS&plan=CSDASMS&subplan=&campus=ONLNE. Candidates must submit a graduate application, application fee, resume, statement of personal interest (300-500 words) and official transcripts. An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency, regardless of current residency, with an internet-based TOEFL score greater than 100. The Master of Science in digital audience strategy is only available to candidates who have not completed the BS in digital audiences or the undergraduate minor in digital audiences.
Plan of study
After completing 50 percent of the minimum credit hours required for master's degrees, students must submit an official plan of study with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The plan of study is available online in the My Programs box on My ASU at https://my.asu.edu.
The student selects the ASU courses that have been taken, those in progress and those the student plans to take in future semesters. Once the plan of study is completed, it is electronically forwarded to the Cronkite School’s graduate office. It must be approved by the Cronkite School’s assistant dean responsible for the master's programs. The completed plan of study is sent to the Graduate College and then to the graduation office. The approved plan of study is a contract between the student and the school verifying the classes the student intends to take during his or her course of study. Students who do not have an approved plan of study on file are not eligible for graduation. Changes in the plan of study may be made by using the form Course Changes to the Graduate Plan of Study available online on My ASU at https://my.asu.edu.
Students who need to file a plan of study will be notified by the Graduate College via email. If the student fails to file the plan of study within the specified time period, a hold is placed on the student’s ASU record. The hold will prevent the student from registering for classes. Once the student has filed the plan of study and it has been approved, the hold is removed. The Graduate College monitors students’ iPOS statuses and places or removes the holds.
Satisfactory academic progress
All graduate students are expected to make systematic progress toward completion of their degree. This progress includes satisfying the conditions listed below and achieving the benchmarks and requirements set by the individual degree programs. Each degree program should have in place policies for satisfactory academic progress. Students are responsible for verifying additional satisfactory progress policies as described in the program handbook. If a student fails to satisfy the requirements of their degree program and the benchmarks outlined below, the student may be dismissed from their program based on the academic unit’s recommendation to the Graduate College. The dean of the Graduate College makes the final determination.
- maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 on the iPOS, graduate and cumulative GPAs
If a GPA is less than 3.00, the student must develop, with their advisor, an academic performance improvement plan that includes the conditions and time frames for making satisfactory academic progress in the degree program.
- The iPOS GPA is calculated from all courses that appear on the student’s approved iPOS.
- The graduate GPA is calculated from all courses numbered 500 or greater that appear on the transcript, with the exception of courses counted toward an undergraduate degree at ASU (unless shared with a master’s degree in an approved bachelor’s and master’s degree program) and from courses identified as deficiencies in the original letter of admission. The student is considered to be on academic probation until the conditions specified in the academic performance improvement plan are met and both GPAs are greater than 3.00.
- The cumulative ASU GPA represents all courses completed at ASU during the graduate career.
- satisfy all requirements of the graduate degree program
- satisfy the maximum time limit for graduation from the student’s graduate degree program
- complete all program requirements within 10 consecutive years if a doctoral students
- successfully pass any comprehensive exams, qualifying exams, foreign language exams and the oral defense of the proposal or prospectus for the thesis or dissertation that are required for the specific graduate program
- successfully complete the culminating experience and, if required, the oral defense of the culminating experience
- stay continuously enrolled in the graduate program
Failing to do so without a Graduate College-approved Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment is considered to be a lack of academic progress and may lead to automatic dismissal of the student from the graduate program. Persistent “W” (withdrawal) and “I” (incomplete) grades during multiple semesters on a plan of study or transcript may reflect a lack of academic progress.
In addition to the Graduate College satisfactory academic progress policies, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has adopted the following:
- If any of a student’s GPAs are less than 3.00, the student will be placed on probation. If the student’s GPAs are not raised to at least 3.00 by the end of the next semester, a recommendation is made to the Graduate College to remove the student from the graduate program.
- If a student in the Master of Mass Communication, Master of Arts in investigative journalism or Master of Arts in sports journalism earns less than a "C" (2.00) in MCO 502 Journalism Skills (Bootcamp), the Cronkite School recommends to the Graduate College that the student should be removed from the program immediately.
- To receive their degrees, Master of Mass Communication, Master of Arts in investigative journalism and Master of Arts in sports journalism students who have MCO 570 Capstone as their culminating experience are required to earn at least a "B" (3.00).
- Students in the online Master of Science in business journalism must earn at least a "B" (3.00) in the applied project MCO 593.
- Students in the Master of Science in digital audience strategy program must earn a "B" (3.00) or better in MCO 561 - Defining the Digital Audience before enrolling in MCO 562, 563, 564 or 565. To receive their degrees, students also are required to earn at least a "B" (3.00) in MCO 566 - Digital Audience Management (Capstone). To enroll in the MCO 566, students must earn a B (3.00) or better in MCO 561, and a "C" (2.00) or better in all other courses.
Students who want to appeal a course grade must first discuss the issue with the instructor. If the issue is not resolved, the student may appeal the decision to the school’s standards committee; the standards committee reviews the issue and makes a recommendation to the dean. The dean’s decision is final. Students should be aware the standards committee may recommend a grade lower than the one awarded by the course instructor.
If a student fails to make satisfactory academic progress and a recommendation is made to the Graduate College to remove the student from their graduate program, the student has 10 business days to file a written appeal with the dean. The dean’s decision regarding appeals is final.
Students admitted to the 30 credit hour mid-career MMC program may transfer up to six credit hours of approved coursework taken before beginning the program not used toward a previous degree; the six credit hours may include non-degree coursework. Only courses with a grade of "A" (4.00) or "B" (3.00) and taken within three years of admission to an ASU graduate program may be accepted as transfer credit.
In order to have graduate coursework that was completed at other accredited institutions included on a plan of study, a student must petition the Cronkite School’s master's or doctoral committee. The student also must complete the petition section of the plan of study.
Students who are in the 36 credit hour professional master’s degree program are not permitted to transfer coursework from another institution or from another ASU program.
400-level courses taken for graduate credit
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication may allow graduate students to enroll in and use up to two three-credit 400-level courses on their plans of study (a total of six credit hours). Students must receive permission from the assistant dean prior to enrolling in any 400-level course they intend to include in their plans of study. Students taking these courses are responsible for obtaining and completing the 400-level course contract form. This form specifies what the student must do to receive graduate credit for the course. It must be signed by the professor.
Credit earned in graduate‐level courses (per the Graduate College pre-admission policy) by undergraduate students may count toward their graduate degrees at ASU provided the credit hours have not been used toward a previously awarded degree. Before awarding a bachelor’s degree, ASU undergraduate students should contact their undergraduate advisor to set aside graduate courses for use toward a graduate degree.
Reserving a course does not guarantee the student will be admitted to a graduate degree program or that the course will be used to meet graduate degree requirements. A maximum of nine semester hours of credit may be reserved, and only courses with a grade of “B” (3.00) or better are applicable. Reserved credit is classified as non-degree credit and must be taken within the six-year time limit to be included on a plan of study.
Grades of incomplete
The Graduate College requires students who receive an incomplete in graduate coursework (500 level or above) to complete the necessary work within one calendar year or a shorter time frame as agreed up on by the instructor and student. If the incomplete is not removed within one calendar year, it becomes part of the student’s permanent transcript and cannot be used on a student’s plan of study. To receive credit for the course, the student must repeat the course by re-registering, paying fees and fulfilling all course requirements.
Master's degree students with more than one incomplete at any time are considered failing to make adequate progress, and they are placed on probation. If the student does not complete the work to remove the incomplete and earn a letter grade by the end of the calendar year, a recommendation may be made to the Graduate College to remove the student from the program.
With 400-level courses taken for graduate credit, students are required to complete the necessary work to remove an incomplete grade within one calendar year. If the incomplete grade is not removed within one calendar year, the “I” will become an “E”. An “E” cannot be used to meet the requirements for a graduate degree, but it is used to calculate the student’s GPA. Students may retake the class to earn a higher grade; however, both the “E” and the new grade are used in calculating the student’s GPA. If this results in a GPA of less than 3.00, a recommendation to withdraw the student from the program is made to the Graduate College.
Other special requirements
Students have three years from the start of their program to complete the Master of Science in digital audience strategy, six years from the start of their program to complete other Cronkite School master's degrees, and 10 years from the start of the program for doctoral degrees.
Many graduate students receive financial aid from ASU to assist in financing their education. More information can be found at https://graduate.asu.edu/pay-for-graduate-education.
ACEJMC values and competencies
As a member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Cronkite School is committed to classroom learning that achieves ACEJMC professional values and competencies. These include the core areas: freedom of speech, ethics, diversity, critical thinking, research, writing and use of tools and technologies related to the field. For a full list of ACEJMC values and competencies, students should see http://www2.ku.edu/~acejmc/PROGRAM/PRINCIPLES.SHTML#vals&comps.
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication practices inclusivity in student, staff and faculty populations in order to create an academic environment that embraces diversity of thought and acceptance of all people regardless of societal, political, cultural, economic, spiritual or physical difference, age or sexual orientation.
To this end, the school directs efforts to the following four principles:
- Actively seek out and encourage diverse populations to become productive members of the faculty, staff and the student body.
- Create and maintain a work, learning and social environment that is cognizant of and supportive of a diversity of human differences and beliefs.
- Incorporate within the formal content of the curriculum and in each course an affirmation of the core journalistic values of accuracy, fairness, ethical behavior and sensitivity when reflecting an increasingly multicultural world.
- Foster and support a climate in which events and activities of the school reflect diversity of awareness, sensitivity to and support for people of different origins, orientations and abilities.
Social media guidelines for student journalists
The Cronkite School encourages participants in its professional programs to make use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are valuable reporting tools and promotional and distribution channels for the school's content. To ensure the highest journalistic standards in these programs, participants must abide by the standards for social media use drawn from The Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.
Those guidelines are found at https://cronkite.asu.edu/degree-programs/admissions/student-resources/social-media-guidelines.