Bachlor of Arts in Radio
The mission of the Radio program is to provide comprehensive training and education in the art and business of radio broadcasting. We want our graduates to do more than get entry-level jobs--we want them to have a career.
The curriculum is designed around a core group of courses required for all students. These courses provide skills and knowledge in the fundamentals of on-air broadcasting: voice and speech training, studio operations, production, and programming. Other required courses prepare students for the realities of the business side of radio and include ethics in broadcasting, marketing and promotion and an overview of FCC rules and corporate business practices.
This allows students to experience both the creative and business aspects of radio and gives them a well-rounded view of the industry. Students can also choose the Broadcast Journalism concentration in Radio that leads to careers in news and public affairs.
Courses are sequenced to allow students to build skills each semester. Once the core courses are completed, students have a wide variety of electives so they can pursue interest areas in depth. For example, once a student has learned basic digital production, voice training, and writing, they can choose advanced courses in talk radio, voice over, radio theater, documentary or radio station imaging, all of which require students to combine all the skills they have learned in previous courses. All Radio majors are required to complete at least one semester working in the college radio station, WCRX 88.1 FM, so they can apply skills and knowledge learned in the classroom. Students can be on the air as early as their sophomore year if they have the ability and prerequisite courses. Students receive individual guidance from faculty while learning to be on-air music or talk show hosts, programmers, promotion managers, sportscasters, newscasters or production directors. WCRX students have won numerous national awards the past 5 years. WCRX also streams on the world-wide web at wcrx.net, giving students the opportunity to have their programs heard all over the world. Our students regularly receive emails from listeners in all parts of the United States as well as Europe and Japan.
Our internship program, one of the oldest and largest in the country, places approximately 60 students per year in commercial and public radio, as well as production and voice-over companies. A full-time staff member provides individual advising to assess student interests and help secure an internship placement. Our experience is that our most successful students have followed the recommended sequence of courses, taken two or more advanced courses, worked at WCRX and completed at least one internship. These are the students who are working full time in radio in both creative and business positions.
Chair of the Radio Department
School of Media Arts
Columbia College Chicago