Credits and costs
Become a Voice of Truth in the Age of Digital Journalism and Media — 100% Online
The field of journalism has been radically transformed by the onset of new opportunities to engage an audience using technology. The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism and Media program, offered by Penn State World Campus in partnership with the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, can prepare you for the fast-changing field of digital journalism and other web-based communication careers, including multimedia storytelling, digital production, and digital content management. While offering a cutting-edge education in digital media, this program also focuses on writing, editing, and journalistic ethics.
Customize Your Education for Your Future
Once you have gained a foundational knowledge of journalism, you can then customize your studies to acquire a more in-depth understanding in an area of special interest to you. You can prepare for a job as writer, content producer, marketing specialist, communications officer, and more. No matter which path you choose, this program can provide you with valuable and relevant courses to prepare you to become not only a digital journalist, but also a leader on the digital media front.
Earn a Respected Degree While Preparing to Succeed in a Number of Fields
The curriculum is comprehensive but flexible enough to allow you to develop an educational background that suits your career aspirations. Upon graduation, you should be able to:
- write and produce content for digital journalism organizations
- apply multimedia skills to research, develop, create, and assess pieces appropriate to specific mediums and audiences
- understand ethics and laws regarding freedom of speech and the press
These skills, and your ability to create, execute, and evaluate communication strategies, can make you a valuable asset for news outlets, businesses, corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Stand Out with a Penn State Digital Journalism and Media Degree
The curriculum and faculty for this World Campus degree originate from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, which is the largest accredited school in the field. Graduating from a program with an accreditation shows future employers you have successfully completed a degree from an established name in higher education.
The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism and Media program requires you to complete a minimum of 120 credits.
If you are a transfer student, the number of credits you will have to take will vary according to the courses you transfer into the degree program. Once you are admitted into the degree program, an assigned academic adviser will help you with remaining requirements.
Students can earn up to six (6) COMM credits through the credit-by-portfolio process. However, it is important for students to know that completing the credit-by-portfolio process does not guarantee that the credits will be awarded.
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major.
Prescribed Courses (19 credits)
Additional Courses (select 9 credits)
Supporting Courses (select 12 credits)
Electives (select 11 credits)
Students should choose an additional 11 credits to satisfy the electives requirement.
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
Some Bachelor of Arts requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major, General Education courses, or electives. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Foreign Language: 0–12 credits
Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language.
- B.A. Fields: 9 credits
Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (cannot be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
- Other Cultures: 0–3 credits
Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate or have completed your GED.
For students transferring directly into the major:
- A current Penn State student needs a grade-point average of 2.0 or higher to enter the major.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.
Submit all official documents to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our returning students page for instructions. For your application to be considered complete, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions designed to help you follow the steps outlined in the online application.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your determination letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
You can use the knowledge gained from this journalism degree program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals and course work.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism and Media, offered in partnership with the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, please contact:
World Campus Admission Counselors
Email: [email protected]
Michelle Baker, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor & Lead Faculty
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
The Pennsylvania State University
115 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802
Email: [email protected]
John BealeDegreeB.A., Journalism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
John Beale teaches introductory and advanced courses in photojournalism. Because his students will work in the evolving communications industry, Beale's courses place an emphasis on active learning in an environment that is in constant change. Prior to coming to Penn State, he worked as a staff photographer and chief photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His photojournalism, including assignments for the Associated Press, has been widely published on websites and in newspapers, magazines, and books.
DegreeMFA, Communications, Southern Illinois University
DegreeB.A., Communications, Penn State
Martin Camden has taught beginning film production, beginning screenwriting, and introduction to audio and video production. He received the 2004 Liz Ralston Award from the cinema and photography faculty at Southern Illinois University and the 2000 Samuel Abrams Endowment Award from the film-video faculty at Penn State. His filmography includes numerous short films, such as Homesick, screened at the Big Muddy International Film Festival, and Cul-de-sac, screened at the Athens International Film Festival.
DegreePh.D., Mass Communications, Penn State
DegreeM.A., Telecommunications, Penn State
DegreeCertificate (filmmaking), New York University
DegreeB.S., Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
DegreeA.S., Engineering Science, Dutchess County Community College
Dr. Jo Dumas researches and writes about information and communication technology policy, education, and development. She teaches media studies. Dr. Dumas previously worked as an engineer with IBM and Harris Corporation, and as a broadcast engineer with Fox Television in New York City. She produced Three Minutes from Broadway, which aired on PBS in New York City, and The Garden, with the late actor Al Lewis. She conducts research, writing, digital media, and theatre production with Charles Dumas.
DegreeJ.D., University of Virginia School of Law
DegreeB.A., University of Pennsylvania
Rob Frieden holds the Pioneers Chair and serves as professor of telecommunications and law. He has written several books, including Winning the Silicon Sweepstakes: Can the United States Compete in Global Telecommunications? published by Yale University Press. Frieden also has written more than 100 articles in academic journals, and he provides biannual updates for All About Cable and Broadband (Law Journal Press). Before accepting an academic appointment, he served as deputy director, international relations, for Motorola Satellite Communications, Inc.
DegreeMFA, Film, Ohio University
DegreeMFA, Playwriting, Ohio University
DegreeB.A., English, University of Akron
Anita Gabrosek brings a valuable mix of teaching and professional production experience to her role in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. She has served as an adjunct instructor at New York University. She boasts an important mix of documentary and narrative film work, along with a long list of TV production credits.
DegreePh.D., Mass Communication, Indiana University
DegreeM.A., Mass Communication, University of Florida
DegreeB.S., Telecommunication, University of Florida
Dr. Matthew Jackson, associate professor of telecommunications, has worked in both commercial and public radio, where he earned regional awards from the Associated Press for his radio features. His articles on internet copyright have been included as recommended reading at Harvard Law School and Catholic University, and his expert commentary has appeared in such media outlets as The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian. He researches the impact of copyright on free speech and teaches courses in telecommunications policy, media programming, and strategic communications law.
DegreePh.D., Mass Communications, Indiana University
DegreeM.A., Mass Communications, Indiana University
DegreeBT, Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Technology-BHU, India
Dr. Krishna Jayakar teaches telecommunications management and media economics. He also serves as co-director of the Institute for Information Policy. His areas of research cover telecom policy and media economics, with a special interest in universal access to telecommunications. A three-time winner of the Deans' Excellence Award for Integrated Scholarship, he earned the Deans’ Excellence Award for Teaching in 2002. Before joining academics, Dr. Jayakar was a research officer in India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, drafting research reports and position papers on media policy.
DegreePh.D., Mass Communications, Penn State
DegreeM.Ed., Counseling Psychology, College Student Personnel Administration, James Madison University
DegreeB.A., Early Childhood Education, University of Richmond
Dr. Shannon Kennan oversees the online portfolio for the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and teaches a variety of online courses. Formerly, she was a second-grade teacher, an in-home family therapist, and a student affairs professional. She is interested in the place where technology, psychology, and education converge. She also works with a variety of social media, new technologies, and online teaching competencies. Dr. Kennan's latest research has to do with training journalists to understand how trauma affects people at the scene of tragedies, such as mass shootings or natural disasters.
DegreeMBA, Marketing, Rutgers University
DegreeB.S., Industrial Engineering, Penn State
David Norloff, a wireless industry veteran, joined the Department of Telecommunications in 2014 after a 20-year career leading technology and wireless initiatives. His diverse corporate experience includes leadership positions in management consulting, product strategy, and product development. In 2014, he received the Deans' Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Associate. In 2016, he was elected Telecommunications Faculty Marshal.
DegreePh.D., Mass Communication, Howard University
DegreeM.A., Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
DegreeB.A., Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Dr. Anthony Olorunnisola, a tenured professor, is the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research. He previously served as head of the Department of Film Production and Media Studies since July 2006. He routinely teaches undergraduate and graduate courses that include media and society, world media systems, and comparative theories of press systems. Lately, Dr. Olorunnisola's focus has embraced studies of segments of societies' systems that may — when unchecked — lead democratized nations toward dysfunctionality. His ongoing work includes an edited volume that examines the post-democratic status of broadcast media policies across Africa.
Will YurmanDegreeBachelor's Degree, University of Albany - State University of New York
Will Yurman, an innovative, award-winning photojournalist with more than two decades of professional experience, joined the College's Department of Journalism in January 2011. Before coming to Penn State, he worked for 10 years as a staff photographer and multimedia producer for the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle. For the past decade, he has been a leader in moving newspaper photography from its traditional print base into the world of multimedia. He has taught at Rochester Institute of Technology and served as a lecturer at numerous professional workshops.