The Bachelor of Arts degree provides a balance of practical and theoretical elements of journalism and mass communication. Students take core courses in media history and theory in tandem with a variety of skills courses emphasizing the diverse elements of today’s news media landscape (37 units, plus 15 units in a collateral field of study). The general Journalism degree affords students the opportunity to take courses in a particular emphasis, such as broadcast, or they can sample courses in all of the emphases.
Areas of Emphasis:
• General: While all Journalism majors are considered "general," some students, instead of choosing a particular set of emphasis courses, prefer creating a custom group of upper division courses to match the skills required in today’s multimedia newsrooms.
• Newspaper (print/online): Designed around practical experience and knowledge to prepare students for online and print news careers. They apply the skills they gain in courses, such as reporting, editing, multimedia, social media, design and photojournalism. Students in the practicum work for the online and print editions of the award-winning The Sundial, which also produces content for a mobile app, available on iOS and Android platforms.
• Broadcast (radio/television): The sequence provides students with training comparable to an entry-level professional position in news by teaching them to write, edit, report, produce and anchor news for the campus-based public radio station, KCSN, as well as the "daily" Matador News, On Point, a multimedia public affairs program, and Valley View News, the weekly program covering news and feature stories about
the San Fernando Valley.
• Magazine and Freelance: Students seeking careers in freelance, magazine or alternative media take the Department’s magazine courses and publish the award-winning Scene magazine. Students in magazine classes learn reporting, article writing, graphics and design as well as photojournalism.
• Photojournalism: Students are exposed to advanced digital and documentary techniques. Photojournalism students work on The Sundial, the bilingual multimedia El Nuevo Sol, Scene magazine and produce independent documentary projects.
• Public Relations: The public relations concentration teaches theory, but also focuses on how to apply what they have learned to “real-life” situations, involving corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations and the entertainment industry. Students learn about crisis communication, audience analysis and social media as they develop public relations and marketing strategies and plans for clients through projects and the student-run Matador PR firm.
The Journalism Minor provides students with the opportunity to take specialized journalism courses to develop the skills and knowledge of the field (22-24 units).
The Interdisciplinary Minor in Spanish-Language Journalism prepares students to report on Spanish-language and Latino communities. The interdisciplinary minor consists of study designed specifically for the program’s core and in the four participating departments and programs (24 units, including 6 in the Journalism core and 18 units from Journalism, Chicano/a Studies, Central American Studies and Spanish). Students in this program produce El Nuevo Sol, the bilingual online multimedia publication.
The Master of Art in Mass Communication requires analytical and research skills and culminates in a thesis or graduate project in an applied setting. MA students focus on the primary interest of their choice, investigating issues they may later face as professionals by probing the intellectual, social and technical aspects of mass communication (30 units).