Radio & Television

Whether you aspire to rock the airwaves as a radio personality, seamlessly produce the nightly newscast, or break news as a big network reporter, St. Ambrose has the program, the facilities, and the opportunities to prepare you in achieving your goals.

Our graduates work at ABC/ESPN Radio, Big Ten Network, Harpo Productions, KWQC-TV, and NBC Olympics.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Hands-On Skills and Classes
  • Hit the Airwaves
  • We Know Your Name

SAUtv Control Room

Camera for SAUtv

KALA Student at computer

Our expert faculty encourage creativity, hone your professional skills, and guide you in mastering the state-of-the-art technology used in TV and radio stations today. You will be exceedingly prepared to immediately launch your career or enter graduate studies.

See Our Television and Radio Major Fact Sheet (pdf)

SAUtv: Year in Review

On Air and On Screen
You can tell a story and report the news

With both a radio and TV station, the SAU Communication Department will give you plenty of experience – and set you up for valuable internships – to get you started on your broadcasting career.

More Information on the Television and Radio Program

What will I learn?

You'll learn every stage of radio and television production: writing for Radio/TV, media ethics, and news broadcasting and audio production. Other courses teach you skills in media management and give you a foundation in communication law.

With this major, we layer your education so each year of courses builds on the last. First-year students are encouraged to take radio and television production courses to get hands-on training in operating audio and video equipment and reporting broadcast news.St. Ambrose is envied by larger universities because our radio and television studios are state-of-the-art, equipped with the same technology used by on-air television and radio stations. We want you to learn by doing, so we give you these opportunities, and more:

  • SAUtv is a 24/7 station that offers programming on education and technology. Our students produce a weekly newscast, operate cameras, edit video on state-of-the-art equipment, broadcast live sporting events, and work as on-air talent. Check out the SAUtv YouTube Channel
  • KALA Radio broadcasts 24/7 on 88.5 and 106.1 FM, featuring everything from blues to gospel to urban to rock. We also have The Stinger, an online-only radio station featuring pop, alternative, and some new country music. Best of all, our students choose the shows, program music, edit news specials, volunteer at community events, and broadcast live sporting events under the direction of an expert staff advisor.
  • Our faculty encourage our students to be creative and professional, and they soar. Check out the list of awards KALA and SAUtv students earned last year from the Iowa Broadcast News Association (below).
What other unique learning opportunities do I have?

You can build your reporting and communications skills by getting involved with The Buzz, SAU's student-run newspaper. When you join the staff, you can help choose content, report and edit stories, handle design and layout pages, be a photographer, and sell and design advertising.

Intern! You will get hands-on, marketable experience, learn from professionals, and network with your future colleagues while you are still in college. Our Communication Department faculty have deep connections in the media world, and working with the SAU Career Center, they give you every opportunity to learn in the field. For instance:

  • Radio and Television majors have interned with local NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX affiliates, and with many area radio stations.
  • Public Relations and Strategic Communication majors have interned with Quad City Mallards, Genesis Medical Center, The District of Rock Island, Quad City River Bandits, and several advertising and public relations agencies.
  • Journalism students have interned with local NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates, and newspapers including the Quad-City Times and The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus.
What are some potential career outcomes?

Many of our graduates work at TV and radio stations, as on-air talent, producers, directors, photographers, and more.

You'll also find jobs at corporate audio/visual production departments, training centers, or creative agencies.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Stephanie (Massick) Alexander '01 is a Public Relations Specialist at Skiff Medical Center. Previously, she worked as a print journalist and copy editor, and as a writer and web designer for a major healthcare provider.
  • Kelly Christopher '02 has skills at the camera and a love for sports which have taken him coast to coast. NFL Superbowl? NBA All-Star Game? Major League baseball playoffs? He's been front row (and sometimes on field) at all of them as a freelance camera operator. A Des Moines native, Kelly also was a student-athlete at SAU.
  • Haley Gibbs '16 was always on the move at SAU. She was editor-in-chief of The Buzz, an intern at KALA and KWQC-TV, and a top reporter/anchor for SAUtv - all while completing a double major in Journalism and Radio/TV, along with a minor in Spanish. A winner of several student awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association, she has taken her passion for writing and storytelling to RealWorld Marketing in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year. For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award


Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Based on Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership. Award is $12,500 per year for new transfer students.

Awards are renewable each year up to a maximum eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)


All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio & Television (40 credits)

COMM 224 Radio & Television Production
COMM 225 Introduction to Visual Communication
COMM 230 Media Writing
COMM 232 Media & Society
COMM 305 Media Theory & Ethics
COMM 334 News Broadcasting (Fall only)
COMM 335 Techniques in Audio Production (Fall only)
COMM 337 Television Practicum I
COMM 338 Television Practicum II
COMM 339 Broadcast Technologies (Spring only)
COMM 375 Media Programming & Management
COMM 432 Communication Law
COMM 475 Convergent Electronic Production

C+ required in 224, 225, 230 and 232. C+ Average required throughout the major.

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Radio/TV. This plan assumes the student has not taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

COMM 232 3 COMM 230 3 ENGL 101
ENGL 101 3 COMM 225 3
COMM 224 4 COMM 129 3
Foreign Language 101 THEO/PHIL 3
NSS 101 New Student Seminar 1 Foreign Language 102 3
Wellness Concepts 1 Information Literacy 1
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 16

Year Two

COMM 335 3 COMM 224 COMM 337 3 COMM 224
Quantitative Reasoning 3 COMM 375 3 ENGL 101
Social Science 3 THEO/PHIL 3
Humanities 3 Natural Science 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Three

COMM 338 3 COMM 337 COMM 339 3 COMM 338
THEO/PHIL 3 COMM 432 3 ENGL 101, Jr/Sr status
Social Science 3 Humanities 3
Humanities 3 Electives 6
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

COMM 305 3 COMM 232              COMM 475 3 COMM 224, 305, 337, 375, 432
COMM 334 3 COMM 230              THEO/PHIL (300-400 level)              3
Creative Arts              3 Electives 9
Electives 6
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15
Minor in Radio/TV (15 credits)

Requirements for a Minor in Radio/TV

COMM 224 Radio & Television Production
COMM 232 Media & Society
COMM 334 News Broadcasting (Fall only)
COMM 335 Techniques in Audio Production (Fall only)
COMM 337 Television Practicum I

Click here to read course descriptions in the online course catalog

Meet Some of Our Alumni

Apply Visit Info


Ann Preston, PhD, Chairperson

Communication Department
Galvin Fine Arts Center
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!