Demonstrating “high potential for success in the major”

“High potential for success in the major” is the standard that the Admissions Committee uses when considering applications that have a 2.89 or lower UO GPA.

PLAN AHEAD! Successful petitions are ones that develop over time. You are highly encouraged to consult a journalism advisor on your petition. In addition to the major application form, students must provide a statement of intent, letters of recommendation, work samples and other supporting materials.

The admissions committee looks for the following:

  • A well-written, well-articulated statement of intent. The committee wants a clear sense of who you are, what you are applying for, and why. You must demonstrate a good understanding of the major and industry you want to pursue and articulate what you plan to do with it. Also explain if there are extenuating circumstances that have resulted in your lower GPA and what you are doing/have done to adjust to/resolve these circumstances.
    • Document specifications:
      • Include your name and ID number at the top right hand corner of the first page.
      • The statement of intent may not exceed two double-spaced pages.
      • Document margins: One inch all around (top, bottom, left, right).
      • Font: 12 point.
      • Save the statement of intent as a pdf document: “[Last Name_ID number_statement.pdf” (Example: Smith_951000000_statement.pdf)
  • Improving overall grades and solid journalism grades. The committee can forgive a lower GPA if they were a result of the wrong major choice or a one-time emergency situation. However, they will want to see that you’ve made adjustments and moved “onward and upward.” The committee will also want to see solid journalism grades. A student who earns a C in J350 Principles of Public Relations, for example, will face an uphill battle trying to convince the committee that he/she will be successful as a PR major.
  • Letters of recommendation. Petitions must include at least one letter. Letters of support from within the journalism school are ideal. Letters from sources outside of the school will also be considered. Academic or professional references (rather than personal references) are more effective. Students are advised to consider “quality over quantity.” One or two strong letters will be much better than three or four mediocre letters. Letters can be emailed directly to, if the recommender would like to keep the letter confidential. If letters are given directly to students, they need to be saved as a .pdf using this naming convention: “[Last Name_ID number_LOR.pdf” (Example: Smith_951000000_LOR1.pdf, Smith_951000000_LOR2.pdf, etc.)
  • Work samples. Limit: five samples. The samples should consist of materials that are relevant to the student’s major: published newspaper or magazine clips, layout work, photography, news releases, radio or TV clips, blogs, podcasts, etc. Students are advised to attached a brief explanation on each materials explaining why they have chosen these particular pieces to highlight. Work samples can also include materials that have not been published (e.g. school work, independent projects, etc.). The application portal will accept only .pdf or URLs (website addresses). Multimedia work samples (video, audio clips, etc.) should be uploaded to a website. Documents (papers, class assignments, etc.) need to be saved as a .pdf using this naming convention: “[Last Name_ID number_WorkSample.pdf” (Example: Smith_951000000_WorkSample1.pdf and Smith_951000000_WorkSample2.pdf)
  • Other materials. This is optional and might include documentation of a learning disability, a resume, etc. Students submitting a petition for the PR major are highly recommended to include a resume. These materials must be submitted as a .pdf.

Petition Tips

  1. Do your research. Understand the major/career field you want to pursue. Demonstrate a proactive orientation to the field and the work ahead of you.
  2. Provide context for your work samples. What are they? What were their purposes? Why are you including them? What was your role in their creation? A short, half-page description is an easy way to accomplish this.
  3. Edit your materials well.
  4. For public relations petitions: It is highly encouraged that you take J350 Principles of Public Relations before petitioning.

How to Apply

Applications are submitted online.

  • To start Gateway this summer: The online portal will go live in late May.
  • To start Gateway this fall (June deadline): The online portal will go live in late May.
  • To start Gateway this fall (August deadline): The online portal will go live in late July.

Document naming instructions (all documents must be saved as pdf documents):

  • Statement of intent (application essay): Last Name_ID number_statement.pdf (e.g. Smith_951000000_statement.pdf)
  • Letters of recommendation: Last Name_ID number_LOR.pdf. Use numbers for multiple letters. (e.g. Smith_951000000_LOR1.pdf, Smith_951000000_LOR2.pdf, etc.)
  • Work samples (documents): Last Name_ID number_WorkSample.pdf. Use numbers for multiple documents. (e.g. Smith_951000000_WorkSample1.pdf, Smith_951000000_WorkSample2.pdf, etc.)
  • Resume: Last Name_ID number_Resume.pdf (e.g. Smith_951000000_resume.pdf)
  • Other optional materials: After “Last Name_ID number_,” use the title that best describes the document (e.g. Smith_951000000_AECletter.pdf, Smith_951000000_ConcussionDocument.pdf, etc.)


All petitions are due by the last day of term. See upcoming deadlines below. The online application portal for the June 16 deadline will go live in late May. Students may not begin full major work (including starting the Gateway to Media series) without being admitted to the school. If a petition is denied, the student must withdraw from any full major course(s) he/she may be registered for.

  • If you plan to begin the Gateway series in Summer 2017, the petition deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 16, 2017.
  • If you wish to begin the Gateway series in Fall 2017, the petition deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 16, 2017 (if you are not doing summer school at UO) or 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 18, 2017 (if you are doing summer school at UO).