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A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Printing at Kedzie Hall: K-State started the first courses in 1874

History of the A.Q. Miller School

Our nationally accredited program is named for A.Q. Miller of Belleville, who was a pioneer Kansas journalist. His son, Carl Miller, was a significant benefactor to the school. Carl, a former K-State journalism major, was the founding editor of the Pacific Coast edition of The Wall Street Journal. His 1987 gift resulted in naming the school after his father.

Kansas State has a rich journalism heritage. Instruction in printing was offered in 1874 - the first such program in the United States - and a journalism curriculum was formally established in 1910 with the hiring of a Kansas City Star editor. The term mass communications was added to our name in 1971 to reflect our broader curriculum.

The A.Q. Miller School supports K-State's mission statement and does our best to honor its purpose.

"Since its founding in 1863, the University has evolved into a modern institution of higher education, committed to quality programs, and responsive to a rapidly changing world and the aspirations of an increasingly diverse society.

Together with other major comprehensive universities, Kansas State shares responsibilities for developing human potential, expanding knowledge, enriching cultural expression, and extending its expertise to individuals, business, education, and government. These responsibilities are addressed through an array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, research and creative activities, and outreach and public service programs.

In addition, its land-grant mandate, based on federal and state legislation, establishes a focus to its instructional, research, and extension activities which is unique among the Regents' institutions."


Famous JMC alumni: Jerry Wexler, Marlin Fitzwater and Pete Souza

Famous A.Q. Miller School alumni include White House Photographer Pete Souza, former Presidential Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater and 1950s rock and roll record producer Jerry Wexler, who coined the phrase “rhythm and blues.”


JMC Facts

The A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications is now in its second century of training media and strategic communications professionals. Our alumni are everywhere, and our programs continue to grow and expand as we continue to meet the demands of a dynamic media industry.

Here are some “quick facts” about our program:

  • The A.Q. Miller School is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, most recently earning reaccreditation in May 2020.
  • K-State’s first journalism curriculum in 1910 was called “industrial journalism” and featured classes in reporting, editing and writing to support existing programs in agriculture, home economics and business.
  • K-State students work in award-winning student media operations, including the Collegian, the Royal Purple yearbook, KSDB-FM 91.9, and KKSU-TV Channel 8 News.
  • Students of the A.Q. Miller School receive a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. They can choose between two sequences of study, Journalism or Strategic Communications. The latter includes both Advertising and Public Relations.
  • The A.Q. Miller School’s Master of Science in Mass Communications includes specialization in community media, strategic communications and risk, crisis and health communication.
  • Student organizations at the A.Q. Miller School include student chapters of: Advertising Club, Associated Press Sports Editors, Public Relations Student Society of America and the Society of Professional Journalists.
  • A.Q. Miller School faculty members provide hands-on experience and incorporate their research into the classes they teach.
  • The A.Q. Miller School houses the national Journalism Education Association and the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media.

A.Q. Miller School Retention Rates

A. Q. Miller School faculty members value their relationships with students.  Of course, not every student who enters our program will remain a JMC major.  But our goal is to provide a friendly, supportive atmosphere, excellent instruction and quality student advising. Over the past five years, we have invested heavily in our efforts to improve our student retention, as evidenced in our retention statistics:

 First YearSecond YearThird YearFourth YearFifth Year
Fall 201081.8%78.5%74.4%69.9%70.1%62.4%37.4%23.7%8.9%5.4%
Fall 201180.3%86.4%73.1%75.8%68.5%72.7%34.6%25.8%8.2%3.0%
Fall 201281.2%88.6%73.6%84.1%68.5%81.8%34.2% 30.7% 7.7%5.7%
Fall 201383.3%86.5%75.5%78.9%70.7%76.0% 32.4%16.4%7.1%1.0%
Fall 201483.5%81.5% 76.8%69.1%71.6%60.5% 30.6%16.0%6.5%2.5%
Fall 201585.1%82.9% 76.8%73.2% 71.3%63.4% 29.1% 12.2%   
Fall 201684.3%86.6%76.7%80.6%70.1%71.6%    
Fall 201785.5%82.5%78.1%76.2%      
Fall 201885.8%85.4%        
  • Retention rates show the percentage of new, degree-seeking freshmen who continue to enroll at Kansas State University or within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in subsequent fall semesters after they begin coursework.
  • Percentages include those with primary majors within the A. Q. Miller School (both majors and pre-majors).

A.Q. Miller School Graduation Rates

The goal, of course, is to ensure that our students advance through our program in a timely manner towards graduation.  Students who join our program as freshmen and who take their courses as prescribed can easily graduate in four years. But we do find that many students take longer than four years to complete their degrees, as evidenced by recent graduation data.

 Third YearFourth YearFifth YearSixth Year
Fall 20100.9%2.2%31.0%34.4%57.2%49.5%62.8% 52.7% 
Fall 20111.5%1.5%32.6%43.9%57.5% 62.1% 62.8%65.2% 
Fall 20121.7%2.3%33.8% 45.5% 58.1% 70.5% 63.9%78.4%
Fall 20131.5%1.0%36.6% 56.7% 61.1%70.2% 65.2% 71.2% 
Fall 20141.8%6.2%40.4% 49.4% 63.0% 61.7%   
Fall 20151.8%6.1%41.6%52.4%    
Fall 20163.0%7.5%      
  • Graduation rates show the percentage of new, degree-seeking freshmen who enroll within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications or Kansas State University and eventually graduate. JMC numbers do not reflect graduation rates of students who transfer into the major from another institution or from another department at Kansas State University.
  • Percentages include those with primary majors within the A.Q. Miller School (both majors and pre-majors).

A.Q. Miller School Undergraduate Enrollment

Our student media operations and professional organizations, coupled with the reputation of our faculty and the overall atmosphere of our School, have resulted in a growth in the number of majors, as evidenced by our five-year enrollment figures. Enrollment rates include full-time and part-time, degree-seeking students who have listed JMC as their primary major.

 Fall 2013Fall 2014Fall 2015Fall 2016Fall 2017Fall 2018Fall 2019
Public Relations1111121021281059757
Strategic Communication      31

A.Q. Miller School Diversity

A.Q. Miller School students come from varied backgrounds, and while most of our students are Kansans, we find that students from across the United States and around the world are increasingly coming to Manhattan to study with us. Here is a breakdown of the ethnic origins of our student body, accounting for full-time and part-time, degree-seeking students who have listed JMC as their primary major:

 Fall 2013Fall 2014Fall 2015Fall 2016Fall 2017Fall 2018Fall 2019
American Indian/Alaskan Native3110003
Black/African American41454431271916
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander2000011
Not specified101464354
Non-resident alien191410141573

A.Q. Miller School Scholarships

The A.Q. Miller School is blessed with a large and loyal alumni base. Many of our graduates have made generous contributions to JMC Scholarship Fund, as evidenced by our scholarship awards over the past three years:

Undergraduate Scholarships2013-20142014-20152015-20162016-20172017-20182018-2019
Total Amount Awarded$195,150$180,750$267,300$242,432$182,950$151,600
Number of Scholarships Awarded10411913715815157
  • Some students receive two or three scholarships from the A.Q. Miller School in a single academic year.

A.Q. Miller School Internships

One of the hallmarks of our curriculum is our long-established internship program. A.Q. Miller School interns have worked in and developed contacts in media and strategic communications firms in markets large and small across the country and in several countries around the world.  

2017263336 95

A.Q. Miller School Placement

Our media operations, internships, international education opportunities and career advising are all designed to help our students get the jobs in this field when they graduate. Most of our graduates find employment, and most of them are employed in media-related professions:

 Percentage EmployedStarting Salary of EmployedPercentage Continuing Education
2010 Graduates72%$30,27611%
2011 Graduates75%$30,71612%
2012 Graduates81%$32,7819%
2013 Graduates83%$30,1789%
2014 Graduates84%$32,6918%
2015 Graduates86% 9%