Mission Statement:

The Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism at the University of Arkansas prepares students to be innovative and ethical media professionals and scholars in the digital world. The faculty is engaged in scholarly and professional pursuits, bringing fresh approaches to challenges faced by media. Our students gain conceptual knowledge and practical skills from a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and mastery of state-of-the-art technology.

Adopted May 1, 2015


Twenty full-time and two part-time faculty members, which includes a mix of instructors, clinical professors, and tenured/tenure-track professors.

All journalism instructors teach from their substantial experience in the profession. News editorial faculty members have worked or written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, The San Antonio Express News. They have covered local and national news, including the U.S. Supreme Court, presidential campaigns, and the White House.

Three broadcast faculty members have won Emmys for their documentary films. Another broadcast faculty member manages the National Public Radio station for Northwest Arkansas.

An advertising/public relations faculty member conducts research on international advertising issues in Ghana, and another investigates how advertisers market fast food to children.The media law instructor is a lawyer who organizes annual media law workshops.

Department Statistics
Journalism BA Student Retention Rates
Fall CohortYear* Student Count 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year
ACT HS GPA Retained to Journalism Retained to UA Retained to Journalism Retained to UA Retained to Journalism Retained to UA
N Avg Avg % % % % % %
2008 58 25.0 3.56 65.5 82.8 55.2 74.1 53.4 72.4
2009 69 24.3 3.43 58.0 81.2 52.2 76.8 44.9 73.9
2010 87 25.0 3.51 62.1 87.4 48.3 79.3 47.1 74.7
2011 106 25.5 3.53 62.3 83.0 45.3 76.4 42.5 71.7
2012 105 25.1 3.59 59.0 86.7 42.9 80.0
2013 82 25.1 3.56 63.4 84.1
2014 88 25.3 3.57
Journalism BA Student Graduation Rates
Journalism BA Student Graduation Rates
Fall Cohort Year* Student Count 4th Year 5th Year 6th Year
ACT HS GPA Graduated in Journalism Graduated from UA Graduated in Journalism Graduated from UA Graduated in Journalism Graduated from UA
N Avg Avg % % % % % %
2004 65 25.1 3.60 30.8 40.0 38.5 52.3 40.0 55.4
2005 84 25.1 3.64 26.2 47.6 29.8 64.3 33.3 69.0
2006 65 25.6 3.63 38.5 52.3 44.6 64.6 44.6 66.2
2007 76 24.5 3.50 25.0 39.5 35.5 53.9 36.8 61.8
2008 58 25.0 3.56 37.9 48.3 46.6 67.2 48.3 69.0
2009 69 24.3 3.43 27.5 39.1 34.8 55.1
2010 87 25.0 3.51 33.3 51.7
*Fall cohorts are composed of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students in journalism enrolled on the 11th class day of the fall semester.



Student Enrollments
Fall Enrollment Year Journalism, BA Journalism, MA
2002 399 15
2003 450 17
2004 505 22
2005 544 28
2006 526 27
2007 535 23
2008 487 20
2009 529 17
2010 574 16
2011 648 19
2012 692 15
2013 722 18
2014 682 19
Journalism Departmental Scholarships*
2011 $70,000
2012 $75,000
2013 $63,000
*Awarded to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors based on academics and need.


  • 3 multimedia computer labs for teaching skills classes
  •  Three-camera television studio and control room
  • Ten video editing suites
  • 30 high-definition video camcorder packages
Honors Program

The University of Arkansas has an outstanding Honors Program in which journalism majors can participate. Students can choose the Four-Year Honors Program, which involves a specific honors curriculum designed for four years of study, or Departmental Honors, which is less structured and puts more emphasis on a student’s major area. Students enter Four-Year Honors as freshmen and they enter Departmental Honors as juniors.

More information on Four-Year Honors is available through the website for the Honors College: honorscollege.uark.edu. Information specifically on the Fulbright College Honors Program can also be found at this site.

The Honors adviser in journalism is Professor Patsy Watkins (479-575-3601; pwatkins@uark.edu).

To qualify for Departmental Honors, a student must have completed at least 28 hours and not more than 85 hours, and must have a GPA of 3.25. To complete the program, the student must meet these requirements:

  • Complete JOUR 5043, the journalism research course
  • Complete at least one journalism honors colloquium, a special-topic seminar. Certain graduate courses may qualify as journalism honors colloquia.
  • Complete an honors colloquium in a second discipline (this must be approved by the student’s adviser).
  • Complete and orally defend an honors thesis based on the student’s courses of study. Note that the student must register for honors thesis beginning the first semester of his/her junior year.
  • Maintain a 3.5 GPA in journalism courses

Successful completion of Departmental Honors is recognized at graduation by the award of distinction Journalism Scholar Cum Laude or Scholar Magna Cum Laude, depending on the student’s degree of achievement. The highest level of honors, Scholar Summa Cum Laude, is generally reserved as a potential award for Four-Year Honors students.


The Walter J. Lemke Journalism Department has the most outstanding scholarship support of all departments and programs in Fulbright College. About $60,000 to $70,000 a year is awarded to journalism majors who meet requirements of the various departmental scholarships. Students must be journalism majors to apply for these scholarships. There are no scholarships designated for entering freshmen. The application process is usually in January and February for the following semester.

Scholarships are supported from several sources. Some come from endowed accounts established decades ago by admirers of Dr. Walter J. Lemke, for whom the department is named. Others have been established more recently by professional groups and through funds that honor an individual by encouraging special studies in journalism. Professional groups that provide scholarship support include the following:

  • Arkansas Broadcasters Association
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Northwest Arkansas Advertising Federation
  • Memphis Gridiron

Two recently established special scholarships include:

  1. The Elizabeth Messner Scholarship, which provides about $13,000 for one year to a student who excels in writing.
  2. The Tony Dyke Scholarship in Sports Journalism, which provides about $16,000 for one year to a student who is passionate about sports reporting, whether in print or broadcast.  Applications are made available to students through the Department of Journalism office in Kimpel 116. The application deadline is generally in late February. Award decisions are made by the journalism faculty according to guidelines specified by the scholarship.
Student Media

Participation in Student Media is open to any student at the University; it is not restricted to journalism majors. Students can join at any time, from their first day on campus, to get as much experience as they want.  An important point about UA Student Media is that they are managed by students.  Student staff members make all editorial decisions and oversee production. They are free to consult with faculty members but bear all responsibility for the content and quality of their products

The Arkansas Traveler is the student-run newspaper at the University of Arkansas. It publishes three days a week and includes sections on news, opinion, sports and lifestyle. A salaried editorial staff manages the paper. Beginning staff members start out as writers and are paid by the story.

(To learn more: Contact Professor Gerald Jordan, gjorda@uark.edu)

UATV is the student-run television station of the University of Arkansas. It is on air 24 hours a day, with student-produced programming running five to six hours a day. Leadership is provided by a station manager and UATV staff. Students interested in broadcast television can begin by volunteering for production positions and practice the skills they are learning in their journalism classes.

(To learn more: Contact Professor Robyn Ledbetter, rledbet@uark.edu, or Professor Larry Foley, lfoley@uark.edu)

The Razorback Yearbook is managed by a student staff directed by the yearbook editor. The book is published once a year. The staff works to design and write the content, meeting regular deadlines with the publisher over the course of several months.

(To learn more: Contact Steve Wilkes, swilkes@uark.edu)

KXUA is 24-hour-a-day student radio at the University. The student staff plans the programming schedule, which includes more alternative music than local Top 40 radio, as well as news and live broadcasts of some student sports.

(To learn more: Contact Professor Rick Stockdell, stockde@uark.edu)

Programs of Study

The Lemke Department of Journalism offers three programs of study:

  1. News/Editorial: traditionally an emphasis in writing for newspapers,magazines, and websites.
  2. Broadcast: preparation for careers in radio and television, with an emphasis on news
  3. Advertising/Public Relations: focus on strategic planning and production of promotional messages using traditional and new media

Within these programs, students are trained in:

  • identifying, reporting and writing news
  • analyzing media audiences and their interests
  • creating and planning advertising and public relations campaigns
  • producing television programs
  • taking photographs and publishing online
Special Interdisciplinary Options:

There are also two special combined major programs through which students can take a selection of courses from two areas for more specialized career paths:

  1. Journalism/English Combined Major– Students take selected courses in journalism and English. Journalism courses can be from News/Editorial or Broadcast.
  2. Journalism/Political Science Combined Major– Students emphasize either American or international areas in political science, and combine those courses with journalism studies in News/Editorial, Broadcast or Advertising/Public Relations.

Students interested in design of ads, magazines and Web sites can major in either Advertising/Public Relations or in News/Editorial and take five to six courses in the Art Department to further develop their skills.

Courses Required for Journalism Majors

Students in the undergraduate program follow an outline of courses which include “core” courses mandated by the University and Fulbright College, journalism requirements determined by the department, and a number of general electives selected by the student and his/her adviser. Journalism majors frequently select electives in marketing, history, political science, English, sociology, psychology, anthropology and art.

For UA catalog descriptions of all journalism courses, you can visit our Web site at journalism.uark.edu

The degree in journalism is a Bachelor of Arts and requires completion of 120 hours of course credit.


  • Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Core: 65 hours
  • Journalism Requirements: 34 hours
  • General Electives: 21 hours*

*Note that Advertising/Public Relations students take 6 hours of marketing; this reduces their General Electives to 15 hours.

Details on Course Requirements

Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Core
For information on these courses, it is best to visit the Fulbright College Web site at the University of Arkansas fulbright.uark.edu and look for the Advising Center.

Journalism Course Requirements:

  • A minimum of 34 hours in journalism is required. This includes the core courses that all journalism majors must take:
  • Journalism Core (9 hours)
  • JOUR 1023- Media and Society
  • JOUR 1033- Fundamentals of Journalism*
  • JOUR 3633- Media Law
  • JOUR 4981- Journalism Writing Requirement (see advisor for enrollment)
    Note: A minimum grade of C is required in all courses that are prerequisites for advanced journalism courses. In specific cases a grade of B is required (See Advertising/Public Relations major).
Program Requirements
News/Editorial Sequence

For specific information on the News/Editorial Sequence, contact Professor Gerald Jordan, 479-575-3601, or gjorda@uark.edu.

  • News/Editorial Specified Courses (12 hours)
  • JOUR 2013- News Reporting I
  • JOUR 3013- Editing
  • JOUR 3123- Feature Writing
  • JOUR 3023- News Reporting II, or
  • JOUR 4553- Magazine Editing and Production
  • News/Editorial Electives (12 hours)
    These include any journalism courses that support the student’s interests and for which the student has prerequisites. We strongly recommend an internship as a journalism elective.
Broadcast Sequence

For specific information on the Broadcast Sequence, contact Professor Richard Stockdell, 479-575-6573, or stockde@uark.edu.

  • Broadcast Specified Courses (12 hours)
  • JOUR 2032/2031L- Broadcast News I
  • JOUR 3073- Broadcast News II
  • JOUR 4863- TV Reporting I
  • JOUR 4873- TV Reporting II
  • Broadcast Electives (12 hours)
    These include any journalism courses that support the student’s interests and for which the student has prerequisites. We strongly recommend an internship as a journalism elective.
Advertising/Public Relations Sequence

For specific information on the Advertising/Public Relations Sequence, contact Dr. Phyllis Miller, 479-575-3601, or pmiller@uark.edu.

  • Advertising/Public Relations Specified Courses (15 hours)
  • JOUR 3723- Advertising Principles (minimum grade of B required)
  • JOUR 3743- Public Relations Principles (minimum grade of B required)
  • JOUR 4143- PR Writing
  • JOUR 4423- Creative Strategy and Execution
  • JOUR 4453- Media Planning
  • Marketing Requirement (6 hours)
  • MKTG 3433- Principles of Marketing
  • MKTG 4553- Consumer Behavior
    Note: The prerequisites for Advertising Principles and Public Relations Principles are 60 credit hours and a cumulative GPA of 2.5.
  • Advertising/Public Relations Electives (9 hours)
    These include any journalism courses that support the student’s interests and for which the student has prerequisites. We strongly recommend an internship as a journalism elective.