Updated August 15, 2015

Laptop Requirement

The programs of the department of Journalism & Mass Communication have a laptop computer requirement. We require that students purchase any new Macintosh laptop computer and a software package an "office" package (we recommend Apple's inexpensive iWork or Microsoft Office 2011), and the latest version of Adobe's Creative Suite (Design Standard Edition.).

Students and parents may purchase their computers and software from the SDSU Bookstore.

Ordering Instructions

Visit the SDSU Bookstore (or the Online Apple Education Store) and select any of the Apple laptop computers (we recommend the MacBook Pro, 13" because of its durable, aluminum shell). Add RAM or a larger hard drive as finances allow, and add the AppleCare extended warranty.

Once you receive your computer, visit the SDSU Bookstore in the Student Union and order your software packages in the main office. You won't find the software on the shelves of the bookstore. We have negotiated very favorable prices on the Apple software and the bookstore is an Adobe Education Dealer.

Public Accountability: Department and SDSU Data

The SDSU Department of Journalism and Mass Communication is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. ACEJMC requires its accredited programs to report enrollment and retention and graduation rates to the public. Following is the most recent student achievement information available for SDSU and the department.

Undergraduate Student Enrollment Data

Year Advertising % Journalism % Total
2014 107 51% 102 49% 209
2013 106 52% 96 48% 202
2012 98 47% 110 53% 208
2011 82 38% 132 62% 214
2010 104 43% 139 57% 243

The SDSU Administrative Information Service provided the data on student retention and four- and five-year graduation rates. The information below is for students who began their career at SDSU in either of the two majors offered by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication: Advertising and Journalism. It should be noted that the majority of students in the department do not start as majors as freshmen, but instead transferred in after beginning their studies at SDSU.

Retention numbers for SDSU are based on students placed in the first time, full-time bachelor-degree-seeking federal cohort. Each cohort is tracked separately, each student on an individual basis to determine if he or she returns fall of the following year - first year, second year, etc. This summary first gives raw student counts and then the same information in percentages. The university count is in the SDSU column, and a subset of those cohort students is in the JOURN column. The First Year retention rate is always under heavy scrutiny.

Student Retention Rates

START First Year Second Year Third Year
S2006 1788 37 1384 24 1204 23 1116 20
S2007 1857 43 1431 29 1261 25 1174 25
S2008 1930 27 1497 18 1329 17 1247 12
S2009 1989 23 1523 14 1319 12 1204 13
S2010 2111 25 1551 19 1343 15 1294 14
S2011 2087 19 1559 13 1375 13 1266 13
S2012 2075 25 1574 20 1359 16
S2013 2137 28 1645 23

First Year Second Year Third Year
S2006 77% 65% 67% 62% 63% 54%
S2007 77% 67% 68% 58% 63% 58%
S2008 78% 67% 69% 63% 65% 44%
S2009 77% 61% 66% 52% 61% 57%
S2010 74% 76% 64% 60% 61% 56%
S2011 75% 68% 66% 68% 61% 68%
S2012 76% 80% 66% 64%
S2013 77% 82%

As with retention data above, graduation rate data starts with students who are part of the first time, full-time bachelor degree-seeking federal cohort, students who receive their undergraduate degree within four years or within five years are counted. Again, the university count is in the SDSU column, and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication majors who were part of that year's cohort are found in the JOURN column.

Student Graduation Rates

START Fourth Year Fifth Year Sixth Year
Entering Class
S2007 1853 42 495 10 955 19 1053 21
S2008 1929 26 562 9 1035 11
S2009 1986 23 602 6

Fourth Year Fifth Year Sixth Year
S2007 26.7% 23.8% 51.6% 45.2% 56.8% 50.0%
S2008 29.1% 34.6% 53.7% 42.3%
S2009 30.3% 26.1%


MMC Graduate Student Enrollment Data


The Master of Mass Communication Degree was approved by the South Dakota Board of regents in 2012.  The first chort of students for the MMC were enrolled in fall 2013.

MMC Graduate Student Retention Rates

 StartFirst Year


Several students who had been enrolled in the departmental Master of Science program had taken all of their coursework online. Those students chose to switch from the MS to the MMC. The graduation rate below include those former MS students in the second year and third year data.

MMC Graduate Student Graduation Rates

 StartFirst Year
Second Year
Third Year
 StartFirst Year
Second Year
Third Year

In both retention and graduation, students who started in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in the cohort are counted. They are considered retained if they are taking classes at SDSU, even if they are no longer in the department's program. When looking at graduation rates, the data do not indicate the program in which the student ultimately graduated. As an institution, SDSU is aware that there is movement between programs and that many students do not declare a Journalism or Advertising major until their sophomore or junior year. At this time, the Administrative Information Service is not prepared to address this kind of movement at a more granular level.