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For our Parents

Updated August 15, 2017

Laptop Requirement

The programs of the department of Journalism & Mass Communication have a recommended laptop computer requirement. Students may use any computer, but we recommend the purchase of any new Macintosh laptop and an "office" software package (we recommend Apple's iWork or Microsoft Office 365 available free for SDSU students). Additional software requirements will be announced in specific courses.

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.

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.

Undergraduate Student Enrollment

SDSU: 12,527 (Fall 2017)

MCOM Sequence or SpecialtyUndergraduate Majors
Advertising63
Journalism60
Public Relations23
Undeclared0
Total in Accredited Programs146
Agricultural Communications52
Total Undergraduate198

Undergraduate Student Retention

 1st Year2nd Year3rd Year 
Entering ClassSDSUMCOMSDSUMCOMSDSUMCOM 
200677.4%64.9%67.4%62.2%62.2%54.1% 
200777.1%67.4%67.9%58.1%63.1%58.1% 
200877.6%66.7%68.9%63.0%64.6%44.4% 
200976.6%60.9%66.4%52.2%60.4%56.5% 
201073.5%76.0%63.6%60.0%58.5%56.0% 
201174.7%68.4%65.9%68.4%60.6%68.4% 
201275.9%80.0%65.6%64.0%60.2%52.0% 
201377.0%82.1%66.7%60.7%60.4%57.1% 
201476.1%71.4%67.6%64.3%0.0%0.0% 
2015F78.6%77.3%     

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.

Undergraduate Student Graduation Rates

 4th Year5th Year6th Year  
Entering ClassSDSUMCOMSDSUMCOMSDSUMCOM  
200627.1%27.0%49.2%43.2%55.5%43.2%  
200726.7%23.3%51.6%44.2%56.8%48.8%  
200829.2%33.3%53.7%44.4%58.3%44.4%  
200930.3%26.1%51.0%47.8%54.6%52.2%  
201029.1%24.0%49.5%48.0%53.5%52.0%  
201130.7%15.8%51.9%63.2%0.0%0.0%  
201236.4%24.0%      

Master of Mass Communication

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

Enrolled36
Retention Rate67%
Graduation Rate
2-Year28%
3-Year67%

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 an Advertising, Journalism or Public Relations 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.