Radio (BA)

Radio is about more than a voice and a microphone. You need to connect with your audience in whatever audio media platform you use, whether it’s radio broadcasting, podcasts, audio documentary, or other media formats. Columbia College Chicago’s Radio BA program will help you recognize and create dynamic and effective audio content for the audio media platforms of today and tomorrow. As part of your degree, you’ll work in a professional radio station in the country’s third-largest broadcast market. You’ll also gain experience in other audio media like podcasts or voiceover and develop engaging copy for radio promos, pace a story for a radio drama, or record an insightful interview.

Supported by faculty experienced in the industry as on-air talent, writers, voiceover talent, production experts, and program directors, you’ll leave the program with a well-crafted audio media portfolio and be prepared to work in radio broadcasting and other related fields. Our alumni enjoy successful careers as radio personalities, radio talk show hosts, station managers, content managers and providers, technical producers, podcasters, voice actors, and more.

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Concentrations

All Radio majors select one of three concentrations:

Narrative
Production
Voiceover

In the Classroom

What to expect your first year
You’ll take Intro to Radio to learn about career options in the professional radio world. You’ll also take Voice and Articulation to work on your diction, enunciation, and ability to communicate your thoughts effectively to your audience. In Music Radio Broadcasting, you’ll develop your on-air skills as a radio host and see the behind-the-scenes activities of a radio station. You’ll apply your knowledge in Radio Production I by completing hands-on projects, which give you opportunities not only to use music and sound effects but also to master audio-production techniques such as recording, editing, and mixing.

What to expect your junior and senior years
The highlight for Radio majors is the Practicum, which you might take as early as the first semester of your junior year. In this course, you’ll work at our award-winning station, WCRX-FM, to gain hands-on experience working in broadcast media. You’ll learn to do the jobs of show hosts, producers, music curators, sportscasters, newscasters, production directors, and online content producers. As you focus on your area of interest in Radio, you may take electives like sportscasting, voiceover, audio theatre, radio storytelling, and club-DJ mixing. Because we’re located in a major media market, many of our seniors and juniors intern at local radio stations.

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Internships

We regularly place student-interns in commercial, public, internet, and satellite radio as well as in production and voiceover companies. We’ll work with you to secure an internship that meets your interests and career goals.

Learn more about how Columbia’s Career Center can help you find the right internship. 


Alumni

You can find Radio alumni thriving in radio and TV stations and in independent media companies across the country. Here are just a few of our Radio alumni:

  • Chris Boden ’85: radio studio host, Chicago Blackhawks, WGN Radio
  • Carmen DeFalco ’99: on-air sports personality, ESPN Chicago
  • Ray Flores ’09: on-air announcer, Premier Boxing Champions
  • Maha Gorgi ’11: radio personality/DJ, WPWX-FM Power 92.3 Chicago
  • Jeff Kapugi ’88: region senior vice president of programming, iHeart Media, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
  • Craig Larson ’93: chief operating officer/programming director, SB Nation Radio, Houston
  • Demi Lobo ’12: media correspondent, Rolling Out
  • Barbara A. McDowell ’98: music director, WPWX-FM Power 92.3 Chicago
  • Dave Santrella ’84: president of Radio Division and Broadcast Media, Salem Broadcasting
  • Erik Zachary ’14: cohost, MTV’s TRL; radio personality, Z100 (New York City), 103.5 KISS FM (Chicago), 92.5 The Bull (Boston), and 101.7 The Bull (Sacramento)

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Katie Baker ’08

Podcasts aren’t just Katie Baker’s work: they’re her passion.

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Creative Spaces and Facilities

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We have audio media labs, workspaces, and professional equipment for Radio students to use for their projects.

  • WCRX 88.1 FM
  • Club DJ Classroom Lab

View the full list of facilities



Faculty

Our faculty members are active professionals and leaders in their fields. Instructors have extensive experience in the classroom, in professional organizations, and in the field as reporters, documentarians, program directors, and on-air hosts.

View all department faculty.

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“Being knowledge-based and curious is an important part of being an audio storyteller, and that includes everything from beat producing, to voiceover work, to NPR-style storytelling, to hosting a music show.”

-Associate Professor David Berner

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