Radio is about more than a voice and a microphone. It is about connecting to an audience through whatever audio media platform you use, whether it’s traditional radio broadcasting, podcasting, audio documentary, or other media formats. Columbia College Chicago’s Radio BA program will help you recognize and create dynamic and effective audio content for the audio media platforms of today and tomorrow.
As part of your degree, you’ll work in a professional radio station, WCRX-FM in the country’s third-largest broadcast market. You’ll gain experience in podcasting, voiceover work for commercials, narration, and animation, and learn to develop engaging copy for radio promos, how to pace a radio story, or record an insightful interview.
Supported by faculty experienced in the industry as on-air talent, voiceover talent, writers, production experts, and program and content directors, you’ll leave the program with a well-crafted audio media portfolio and be prepared to work in radio broadcasting and its related fields. Our alumni enjoy successful careers as radio personalities, radio talk show hosts, podcasters, voice actors, content managers and providers, radio station directors, and audio producers.
All Radio majors select one of three concentrations:
In the Classroom
What to expect your first year
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What to expect your junior and senior years
The highlight for Radio majors is the Practicum, which you might take as early as the first semester of your junior year. In this course, you’ll work at our award-winning station, WCRX-FM, to gain hands-on experience working in broadcast media. You’ll learn to do the jobs of show hosts, producers, music curators, sportscasters, newscasters, production directors, and online content producers. As you focus on your area of interest in Radio, you can also concentrate on voiceover, radio storytelling, and club-DJ mixing. Because we’re located in a major media market, many of our seniors and juniors intern at local radio stations.
We regularly place student-interns in commercial and public radio stations, at audio content providers, as well as in production and voiceover companies. We’ll work with you to secure an internship that meets your interests and career goals.
Learn more about how Columbia’s Career Center can help you find the right internship.
You can find Radio alumni thriving in radio and TV stations and in independent media companies across the country. Here are just a few of our Radio alumni:
- Chris Boden ’85: radio studio host, Chicago Blackhawks, WGN Radio
- Carmen DeFalco ’99: on-air sports personality, ESPN Chicago
- Ray Flores ’09: on-air announcer, Premier Boxing Champions
- Maha Gorgi ’11: radio personality/DJ, WPWX-FM Power 92.3 Chicago
- Jeff Kapugi ’88: region senior vice president of programming, iHeart Media, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
- Craig Larson ’93: chief operating officer/programming director, SB Nation Radio, Houston
- Demi Lobo ’12: media correspondent, Rolling Out
- Barbara A. McDowell ’98: music director, WPWX-FM Power 92.3 Chicago
- Dave Santrella ’84: president of Radio Division and Broadcast Media, Salem Broadcasting
- Erik Zachary ’14: cohost, MTV’s TRL; radio personality, Z100 (New York City), 103.5 KISS FM (Chicago), 92.5 The Bull (Boston), and 101.7 The Bull (Sacramento)
Katie Baker ’08
Podcasts aren’t just Katie Baker’s work: they’re her passion.
Creative Spaces and Facilities
We have audio media labs, workspaces, and professional equipment for Radio students to use for their projects.
- WCRX 88.1 FM
- Club DJ Classroom Lab
Our faculty members are active professionals and leaders in their fields. Instructors have extensive experience in the classroom, in professional organizations, and in the field as reporters, documentarians, program directors, and on-air hosts.
“Being knowledge-based and curious is an important part of being an audio storyteller, and that includes everything from beat producing, to voiceover work, to NPR-style storytelling, to hosting a music show.”
-Associate Professor David Berner