Magazine Sequence

The following curriculum is required for students who declared their major before the Fall 2010 semester. Students that declared a major in Journalism during or after Fall 2010 must complete the Department’s new curriculum, found here.

Students who hope to work in the $40 billion magazine industry should pursue this course of study:

Sequence requirements: (12 credits)
JOU 2301 Introduction to Magazine Publishing (3)
JOU 2396 Magazine Article Writing (3)

JOU 3301 Magazine Article Editing (3)
JOU 3302 Advanced Magazine Writing (3)
JOU 3303 Magazine Design (3)
JOU 3601 Publishing to the Web (3)

Minimum Journalism credit hours: 36
Maximum Journalism credit hours: 44

Click here to see a list of all Department of Journalism course descriptions.

Careers in Magazines

If you want a job at Vogue or Rolling Stone after you graduate, you may run into stiff competition. But the good news is, there are more than 18,000 other magazines in America, and they all depend on the energy of a bright, young staff. Read the following descriptions. Can you see yourself working at one of these jobs one day?

Freelancer. A freelance writer works independently and writes articles for any number of different publications. In other words, he or she is employed one article at a time. Freelancers come up with story ideas on their own, research and develop those ideas, and then submit them to an editor at an appropriate magazine. If the editor likes the idea, he or she will hire the writer to write the story. It’s hard to get established as a freelancer, but when you do, you can enjoy career independence, the freedom to develop your own writing style and area of specialization, a flexible work schedule, and access to interesting people and places. The down side is that you have no job security (but who does anymore?), no employer-provided health benefits, and irregular income and work. Lots of people freelance part-time while they work at another job. Those who want to write for a magazine but prefer having a steady job join the staff of a magazine as an editor (see next listing).

Editor. Every magazine has several people on its editorial staff. Many of them are called editors, but they all have slightly different jobs and job titles. They all work together to write the articles that go into the magazine, edit those articles, give them headlines and subheads (called “decks”), find artwork (either photos or illustrations) for the articles, and put all the pieces together into a cohesive issue that will appeal to the readers. The Editor-in-Chief is the top editor on a magazine staff. This person sets the editorial policies for the magazine, creates the personality of the magazine, delegates work to the editorial staff, and has final say over what goes onto the editorial pages of the magazine. Under the Editor-in-Chief at most magazines are the Executive Editor, the Managing Editor, three or four Associate (or Senior) Editors, and several Assistant Editors and Editorial Assistants. A lot of magazines also have a Copy Editor and someone who does research and checks facts (a Researcher, Research Editor, or Fact-Checker). The entry level jobs in most editorial departments are Editorial Assistant, Fact Checker or Assistant Editor, all of which require very good writing, editing, and proofreading skills. People who want to work for a magazine but aren’t great writers or editors may want to look into some of the other positions on a magazine staff (see next listing).

Other Jobs. Magazines offer many different kinds of jobs that utilize skills learned in the Department of Journalism. Besides the editorial jobs described above, magazines have jobs for people with marketing, public relations, and market research skills in their Circulation Department; jobs for people with ad sales and client relations skills in their Advertising Department; and jobs for people with photography, photo editing, illustration, and graphic design skills in their Art Department.