About the School of Journalism

Students in Television Studio
About the School of Journalism and Media


Journalism has never been more important than it is today, and the University of Texas at Austin is at the forefront of educating students who want to uncover and tell stories that matter.

Our emphasis on traditional journalism skills – observational reporting, skillful interviewing, relentless fact checking and clear, elegant writing – remains as strong as ever. We have standalone courses in ethics and media law. All reporting classes hammer home the importance of verification and deep sourcing. Our internship and publishing partners include the top media organizations in Texas and around the country. 

But students also take courses in mobile app design and development, web and mobile programming, database reporting, data visualization, social media and multimedia storytelling. You can learn how to think like media entrepreneurs and how to experiment with the next generation of technology.

In addition to a large and exciting program for undergraduates, we have a highly regarded graduate program, with master's degrees both in the practice and study of journalism, and a doctoral program for those who want to teach and do advanced research.

We have a strong track record of placing students in top internships and launching graduates into choice jobs across the media landscape. Our school benefits from a committed, well-placed network of alumni and friends. Graduates and faculty, past and present, have won more than 25 Pulitzer Prizes.

Whether you're planning to become a journalist or prepare yourself for the world of digital communication, our school is here to serve and challenge you.

David Ryfe, Professor and Director

School of Journalism and Media Vision Statement

Our vision is to be a global center of innovation in the research and practice of ethical journalism and media in the service of democracy.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to lead the field of journalism and media education as a hub of innovation and excellence in research and practice that responds nimbly to the changing face of public knowledge that is important to society.  We are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of journalism and media professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit, and to equip them with the evolving array of skills and insights necessary to transform and re-create media to benefit a healthy democracy.  We infuse our research, teaching, and practice with the core values and ethics of journalism, understanding their importance to our broader culture and political processes.  We believe diversity in journalism and related media professions is essential.  For this reason, we are committed to regularly updating our knowledge, skills, and curriculum so that our students will be prepared as journalists to report on diversity, accurately, fairly, and without stereotypes. We believe the best media professionals are good citizens competent to critically assess the evolving media ecology in which we live and capable of living and working within a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and global society.  We devote ourselves to strengthening the professions and improving the communities we serve.  In these pursuits, we are eager to partner with others on and off campus, in Texas and around the world to society’s benefit.

Updated 2022. 

The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism started in 1914, in a building that housed heavy printing machinery and was heated by coal-burning stoves. It has grown into the largest and most important program of its kind in Texas, a vital part of one of the nation’s best public universities and now home to courses ranging from mobile app development to international reporting in a digital age.

The School’s noteworthy alumni include Claudia Alta Taylor, who married a young politician and became known as Lady Bird Johnson; Walter Cronkite, who dropped out after two years to take a newspaper job; and Liz Carpenter and Bill Moyers, whose distinguished careers spanned journalism and public service. Lady Bird, Carpenter and Moyers were all aboard Air Force One when Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, while Cronkite broadcast the news to the world.

Today, our graduates work in traditional and startup media organizations around the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, ProPublica, The Texas Tribune, ESPN, NBC News and CBS News. Graduates and faculty, past and present, have won more than 25 Pulitzer Prizes for journalism. 

The School has been continuously accredited since 1948. Throughout that time, the faculty – representing a strong blend of scholarly and professional achievement -- has been known for its hands-on approach in teaching, mentoring and editing to provide students with both the sensibilities and the skills to be complete journalists and valuable contributors to an open, democratic society.

“I think all of us developed really close relationships with the professors,” said alumna Karen Tumulty, a national political correspondent for The Washington Post. “They wanted to shape us, not just so that you came out of the School knowing how to write a headline that fits in a certain space, but so you came out of the School with the right kind of values for journalism.”

In 1965, the School joined with two other departments to become the College of Communication, rechristened as the Moody College of Communication in 2013 after a $50 million gift from the Moody Foundation of Galveston. The college now includes the School of Journalism and Media, the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, and three departments: Communication Studies, Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, and Radio-Television-Film.

In 2012, the School of Journalism and Media moved into the Belo Center for New Media (now G.B. Dealey Center for New Media) and introduced a converged, digitally based undergraduate curriculum with new courses at the lower and upper levels. In 2014, the school celebrated its centennial. The following year, a $1.5 million gift from the Belo Foundation established an endowment to advance journalism innovation at UT Austin.

Student work inside the Dealey Center is reinforced by strong relationships beyond its doors. The School benefits from a committed, well-placed network of alumni and from partnerships with news organizations throughout Texas. This enables our students to obtain quality professional internships and jobs in the major media markets of Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, as well as in national venues.

William H. Mayes was named as organizer and director of the School, and served from 1914 to 1927.

Paul J. Thompson became a faculty member of the School of Journalism in 1919, beginning a 45-year career of journalism teaching and administration. He served as chairman of the department from 1927 to 1958.

DeWitt C. Reddick, one of the founders of the College of Communication, joined the journalism faculty in 1927 and served as director of the school from 1959 to 1965 when he became the first dean of the College of Communication. He served as dean until 1969. Below is the list of past directors:

  • Norris Davis 
  • Griff Singer 
  • Dwight Teeter 
  • Mike Quinn 
  • Max McCombs 
  • Wayne Danielson 
  • Rusty Todd 
  • Steve Reese (1996-2002)
  • Lorraine Branham (2002-2007)
  • Tracy Dahlby (2008-2010)
  • Glenn Frankel (2010-2014)
  • R.B. Brenner (2014-2018)
  • Kathleen McElroy (2018-2022)
  • David Ryfe (2022-present)