The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Comunication College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Iowa: An impressive history

Established in 1924, the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication has long been recognized as a leader in journalism education.

Iowa conferred the nation's first two doctorate degrees in mass communications in 1948.

The School has produced thousands of distinguished graduates, and some have gone on to win
Pulitzer Prizes, Peabody Awards, and Emmy Awards. Many UI alumni have been inducted into the
School's Hall of Fame.

Perhaps the UI’s most famous journalism graduate is George Gallup (Ph.D. 1928), who founded the Gallup Poll in 1935 and conducted the nation’s first newspaper readership surveys while teaching
at the UI in the 1920s.

Children's author Mildred Wirt Benson (M.A. 1927) wrote several books in the Nancy Drew mystery series under the name Carolyn Keene. Benson was the guest of honor among 500 attendees at the UI's Nancy Drew Conference in 1993.

Other notable alumni include:

  • Kirsten Scharnberg (B.A. 1998)
    Reporter for The Chicago Tribune who has covered the U.S.-led war in Iraq
  • Dana Roberson Johnson (B.A. 1987)
    Producer for CBS-TV's 60 Minutes
  • Carol McKay (B.A. 1971)
    Photo editor for U.S. News & World Report
  • James Harris (B.A. 1969)
    Founder of Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City, one of the nation's top independent bookstores
  • John Cochran (M.A. 1967)
    Chief Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC News
    Chief White House correspondent for NBC News
    Freelance reporter during the Vietnam War
  • Wilbur Schramm (Ph.D. 1932)
    Founder of the Iowa Writers' Workshop
    While UI School of Journalism director, designer of the nation's first doctoral program in mass communication
  • Theodore Koop (B.A. 1928)
    Creator of CBS-TV's Face the Nation, one of the longest-running news programs in television history
  • Beatrice Blackmar Gould (B.A. 1921)
    Co-editor of the Ladies' Home Journal

Alumni links:

See Building Memories, a retrospective on the buildings that previously have housed the J-MC School, and send memories of your time at the UI. Visit a timeline of journalism and mass communication history at the UI. Read alumni news.