Communication and Journalism

Haag Hall, Room 202
5120 Rockhill Road
(816) 235-1337

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Department of Communication and Journalism
HH 202
5120 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Department Chair
Ye Wang

Professors Emeriti:
Joan E. Aitken, Gregory Black, Michael Neer, Robert Unger

Associate Professor Emeriti:
Gregory Gutenko, Larry G. Ehrlich, G. Thomas Poe

Associate Professors:

Peter Morello, Ye Wang

Teaching Professors:

Steve Kraske

Associate Teaching Professors:

Linda Kurz, Judith K. McCormick, Steven Melling


Jean Dufresne,  Michael Schaefer

The department offers courses leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies degree offers three areas of emphasis:

  • Professional Communication
  • Digital Journalism and Media
  • Strategic Communication

Department Description

The Department of Communication and Journalism produces students who think creatively and critically and who have developed oral, written, and visual communication skills essential to professional and personal collaboration, digital media and analysis, cultural awareness, and community engagement.  The Department of Communication and Journalism offers a variety of program areas, including professional communication, interpersonal communication, public communication, digital, multimedia, broadcast, and print journalism, strategic communication, advertising, public relations, media theory and history, as well as multimedia, digital media, audio, and media/video production. 

Students graduating from the Department of Communication Studies Will:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in formal writing, oral presentation and visual communication.
  • Create messages and media works appropriate to their audience, purpose and context.
  • Explain, synthesize and apply Communication research methods, theories, perspectives, principles and concepts.
  • Articulate the connection between communication and culture.

The Professional Communication emphasis offers study in the areas of public address and rhetoric, interpersonal and intercultural communication, organizational communication and areas associated with communication in professional settings, including advertising, public relations and strategic communication.

The Digital Journalism and Media emphasis offers concentrated study in digital, multimedia, broadcast, and print journalism, radio, television, advertising and public relations.

The Strategic Communication emphasis offers concentrated study in advertising, public relations, advocacy, influence, persuasion, writing for the media, and digital media, technologies, healthcare, marketing, public relations, sales, and business.

Special Laboratories

The department has media classrooms and production spaces for student projects that include a video production studio soundstage with lighting grid and green-screen, sound recording facility with radio console and podcast capabilities, a multi-camera digital broadcast studio outfitted for newscast, interviews & webinars, in addition to iMac based post production media labs running the latest versions of video, audio and digital imaging software. An equipment check-out lab for journalism students, maintains an extensive inventory of portable production equipment including cameras, audio equipment, lights, tablets, stationary and mobile camera support. Our facilities foster the ability to light, shoot, record and edit professionally, allowing the students to tell compelling stories that make an impact on audiences.

RooNews ( is the independent student-run newspaper that offers high-quality campus and community news. RooTV produces Roo News weekly broadcasts and a weekly newsletter is available free by subscription.  Students also produce the Roo Report Podcast.

K-ROO Radio is a student-run multimedia organization that aims to provide students, faculty, staff, and the Kansas City community with quality entertainment and information about UMKC events and organizations. Through Internet radio and live events, provides a platform to reach a worldwide audience to promote and support student endeavors, as well as create programming in music, sports, news, and spoken word productions.

KCUR-FM is the 100,000-watt public radio station licensed to UMKC. - Programming includes offerings from National Public Radio and Public Radio International, as well as local news from the award-winning news department. - Internships are available year round to Communication and Journalism students.

Special Awards and Scholarships

The Alex and Josephine B. Coleman Scholarship is awarded each year to an outstanding junior- or senior-level student. The award recognizes meritorious undergraduate work in communications and journalism and encourages program completion. The Suzanne Crispin Williams Scholarship is awarded annually to a non-traditional returning female student in Communication and Journalism or Women's Studies.  The Faye Kircher Public Speaking Contest is held in the spring semester. Students enrolled in COMM-ST 110 courses are selected by their classmates for participation in the public speaking contest. Cash prizes are awarded. The Carol Koehler Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a Communication and Journalism student enrolled in a three hour internship. 

Career Implications

Communication and Journalism students may find rewarding careers in the multifaceted communication, news media, digital media, and media industry, and the corporate and non-profit world. The program is excellent preparation for careers in organizational communication, marketing communication, journalism, advertising, public relations, strategic communication, sales, radio, nonprofit organizations and human resources.

Further Educational Opportunities

The B.A. in Communication prepares students for advanced study in communication and journalism, as well as in graduate programs such as communications, law, journalism, strategic communication, advertising, public relations, medicine, business, public administration and those associated with the humanities and social sciences.

Internship Program

All students completing the emphasis in Digital Journalism and Media are required to complete an internship. - Although an internship is not required for students completing an emphasis in Professional Communication or Strategic Communication, the Communication and Journalism Department strongly recommends the internship experience as a means of linking theory to practice, and preparing students to work effectively in professional settings. - Internships provide students with on-the-job experience which is both practical and purposeful. The internship program allows opportunities for experience on a national and international level.

The Internship course number is COMM-ST 484. Each intern is required to enroll in at least one credit hour. One credit hour requires 75 hours of internship work. Two credit hours require 150 hours of internship work. Three credit hours require 225 hours of internship work. Four credit hours require 300 hours of internship work.

Financial Aid

Students with University work-study assignments are welcomed as student assistants in various aspects of the department's activities.