For the class of 2018, there were 205 students in the program's freshman class, with about 47.8 percent of those admitted to the program enrolling. For the class of 2021, which started in fall 2017, 146 students enrolled, about 35.7 of those admitted.
The smaller freshman class for the journalism school coincides with a smaller freshman class at the university. The journalism school, however, is experiencing a slightly bigger drop than the university overall. The school has also been shrinking for several years, even as enrollment at the university increased.
Robert Stewart, the director of the journalism school, said he is waiting for the down trend "to bottom out." The trend has a clear source to him, however, and it's not rooted in attacks on the media.
"I think it's not about the politics. It's about the headlines," Stewart said, referencing reports that the journalism industry is shrinking.
The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism did see an approximately 20 percent rise in applicants for the 2017-18 academic year. Stewart said he thought that was due to OU joining the Common Application.
In a communication with alumni, Stewart indicated that maybe a smaller journalism school would be better. "I think some of our alums probably think that a gentle decrease in size somewhat matches what the job market looks like," Stewart said. "Rather than have a bunch of graduates who can't get jobs, maybe the better thing is to have slightly fewer graduates."
The Post says some journalism programs may be getting a "Trump bump." The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California reported more applicants this academic year.