Program Fees and Course Fees

The School of Journalism charges students program fees and course fees to provide special services and equipment required to prepare students for their professional careers. Ideally, the university would provide funds for the extra expenses, but that would not be fair to other majors, such as History or Philosophy, that do not require specialized equipment or services. Many majors at the UA don’t need the latest industry-standard software, digital cameras, or internship training, but journalism does to remain nationally competitive. We want to make sure students have the tools they need to succeed.

Undergraduate Program Fees

Journalism majors at the junior and senior levels are charged $250 per semester in program fees. In comparison, most departments at the UA with program fees charge more, some as high as $900 per semester or more (see list at Arizona State University’s journalism program also charges $250 per semester, except they apply it to all majors, not just juniors and seniors. We might consider expanding the program fee to all majors, since many students begin using the services immediately. Of the roughly $90,000 in program fees collected each year, 14 percent is set aside and redistributed to students who demonstrate financial need, and about 15 percent is allocated to the university’s central administration, leaving about $68,000 a year directly for student services. Here is the annual budget for the undergraduate program fee:

• Internship coordinator, part-time (Renee Schafer Horton) to help students
get internships, jobs                                                                                    $26,980

• Staff support for extracurricular activities (coordination of events
for students, such as Loft movie series, Just Desserts awards, etc.)         $26,980

• Special page design assistance for courses and publications                   $5,000

• Graders and other student course assistants                                             $4,250

• Student club support (SPJ, etc.)                                                                 $3,500

• Student club dues                                                                                       $1,500

• Extras when available (reading room equipment, school media expenses, etc.)

TOTAL                                                                                                    $68,210

Graduate Program Fees

Journalism grad students pay $100 per credit as a program fee. Of the total $22,000 in revenue typical each year, the university distributes about $3,000 for students who demonstrate financial need and another $3,000 is allocated to the university’s central administration. The school is left with about $16,000 to go toward coordination of the master’s program by paying for some of the salary and benefits of the graduate program coordinator.

Course Fees

Course fees pay for specific resources used in specific classes, such as lab computers, software, video cameras, and course travel. Course fees total about $50,000 annually to pay the equipment and software needed to prepare students for the workforce. This ensures we have excellent equipment and software in our five computer labs. Course fees are a lot more limited than program fees because they can be spent only on direct costs tied to each class, such as computers used in specific classrooms, cameras, or travel expenses. This can make it more challenging in updating labs that are used for multiple purposes (e.g., students technically cannot have open labs unless they are tied to a specific class that has course fees paying for the lab.) In addition to course fees, we also raise donations toward class expenses, including the purchase of a drone, 360 virtual reality cameras, and updated classroom projectors and furniture. Here is a typical annual budget in course fees in total:

• Lab attendants for Jour 203 and 307                                 $5,000

• Video cameras                                                                    $5,000

• DSLR digital cameras                                                         $5,000

• Lab refresh                                                                         $34,850

During summer 2016 we provided new computers
for the Harelson Lab, Marshall 342. After a refresh
each 18 months, we cascade the old computers
toveach other lab.

TOTAL                                                                                 $49,850          


Specifically, here are the course fees for each class:

Course Fees



Annual total

Multimedia courses ($100 each)


203 Photojournalism


319 Visual Journalism


307 Multimedia


507 Multimedia for MA




Writing-intensive courses ($55 each)


205 Newswriting


209 Writing and Reporting


306 Advanced reporting




Applied skills courses ($26 each)


320 Editing


385 TV production


405 Apprentice


505 Apprentice


411 Feature writing


511 Feature writing


313 RPA


422 Design


522 Design


426 Middle East


489 Research methods


589 Research methods


490C Cat's Eye


590C Cat's Eye


490F Arizona Sonora News


590F Arizona Sonora News


496F Seminar


596F Seminar


506 Reporting


509 Law


508 Theory and Practice


597C Global reporting


497C Global reporting