The School has a proud history of public service to the Commonwealth dating back to 1914. It is one of only 111 accredited journalism programs in the country and abroad. Students study journalism, integrated strategic communication (ISC) or media arts and studies .
Emphases within journalism include print or broadcast reporting and editing.
ISC emphases include advertising creativity, public relations, direct response and account management.
Media Arts and Studies emphases include audio and video production, media management and social effects.
Students learn first-hand working at the Kentucky Kernel, the Kentuckian Yearbook, radio stations WRFL and WUKY, and UK Student News Network's live, four-day-a-week student newscast. The School also promotes the free flow of information through its Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. Since 1981, the School has been the home of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
On September 16, 1975 the UK Board of Trustees abolished the School of Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences with its Departments of Journalism, Speech and Telecommunications and replaced it with a School of Journalism and Department of Human Communication.
On May 4, 1976, the School of Journalism and Department of Human Communication separated from the College of Arts and Sciences to form the new College of Communications composed of these units.
On April 7, 1981, the Department of Telecommunications as an educational unit was established in the College of Communications.
On June 22, 1993, the Board of Trustees approved the merger of the College of Communications with the College of Library and Information Science to form the new College of Communications and Information Studies.
Also in 1993, the School of Journalism and the Department of Telecommunications merged to form the School of Journalism and Telecommunications within the College.
In 1997, the Advertising program within the School of Journalism and Telecommunications was renamed Integrated Strategic Communication and expanded to also cover public relations, direct response and other forms of persuasive communication.
In 2011, the Telecommunications program was renamed Media Arts and Studies to more accurately describe the range of coursework offered.