The first journalism course was offered at KU in 1891, and journalism classes have been taught continuously since 1903. In 1909, Chancellor Frank Strong authorized a new department of journalism within the College of Arts and Sciences. The journalism program retained that status for many years.
In 1944, after the death of William Allen White, the world-famous editor of the Emporia Gazette, the Kansas Board of Regents established the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information. The School was among the first group of journalism programs to achieve national accreditation in 1948. In 1982, the name of the School was changed to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
The School moved into its present building in 1952, when it was renamed Flint Hall in honor of Leon "Daddy" Flint, a longtime teacher and department chair. The building was again renamed Stauffer-Flint Hall in recognition of a $1 million contribution for complete remodeling by Oscar Stauffer of Topeka. Stauffer-Flint contains classrooms, computer laboratories, faculty offices, the School's main administrative offices, and the advising and recruitment offices. In August of 2012, the Richard C. Clarkson Gallery and the Center for Excellence in Health Communication to Underserved Populations opened in the space previously occupied by the University Daily Kansan.
In 1990, the School's Radio-Television sequence moved into a section of the newly built Dole Center for Human Development, with space for up-to-date classrooms, laboratories and offices. The Dole Center contains production studios for KUJH-TV and the Digital Jayhawk. In 2010 the University Daily Kansan news and advertising staffs were moved to the Dole Center as well. Dole also houses classrooms, faculty offices and computer labs, including audio and video editing suites. In Fall 2014, the School opened The Agency, a student-run strategic brand and marketing communications advertising agency.
The air studio of KJHK-FM is in the Kansas Union.