Why is advisement important?

Advisement is important in helping students make educated decisions regarding their major and general education course selections. Required advisement provides students and faculty the opportunity to get to know each other and discuss future goals. These sessions help students stay on track to graduate, and allow students the opportunity to ask questions regarding major requirements or other academic related issues.

How do students know when to do advisement?

Generally, advisement takes place during the six weeks before registration begins for the following semester. The Department uses various ways to inform students when advisement begins and ends. These include announcements placed in the department’s student newsletter the Monday Memo, classroom announcements from faculty members, posted flyers around the department, and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of when advisement begins and ends.

Which adviser do I meet with?

Freshmen (Third Semester), Sophomores & First Time Transfers – are required to make an appointment with Undergraduate Staff Academic Adviser Virginia Avila-Hernandez. Call Student Resource Center/EOP at 818-677-2024 to schedule an appointment. 

 Juniors, Seniors, & Second BA – are required to meet with a faculty adviser during their walk in office hours. Click here for Faculty Office Hours.

Where can I obtain information about the major?

There are several methods of obtaining information about the major.  Information is available in front of the department office, MZ 210, the CSUN catalogue, or here.  


How many units are required in the major?

Students are required to complete 120 units for the major, of those 37 are required in major course work, 80 units outside the major with 65 in LASH (this is commonly referred to as the National Professional Accreditation 80/65 rule), and 3 additional units.  Click here to download a list of major requirements.

What is the 80/65 rule?

The 80/65 rule is part of the department’s accreditation standards.  According to this rule, of the 80 units outside of the journalism major at least 65 units need to come from LASH courses, core academic/lecture based classes.  Students are advised not to take more than 15 units of Non-LASH credit toward their graduation requirement. Click here to download a diagram of the 80/65 rule.

What are LASH and Non-LASH classes?

LASH is the acronym for Liberal Arts, Science, or Humanities.  Courses that qualify under the LASH category are core academic/lecture based classes.  Examples of LASH classes are political science, sociology, language based courses, history, and geography.  Non-LASH classes are typically hands-on/hobby based classes.  Examples of this are kinesiology, sign language, marketing, computer science, and business.  Click here to download the list of LASH and non-LASH classes.

What courses are restricted?

The following courses have been determined to overlap journalism coursework and, as such, cannot be taken as part of the collateral field requirement nor can they apply toward the 80 units required outside the field of Journalism/Mass Communication.

Art – 151, 200, 243, 244, 250, 300, 301, 341, 343, 344, 350, 351, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 444, 446, 450, 455, 458, 496PM
Asian American Studies - 230
Chicano Studies – 390, 405
Cinema & TV Arts (RTVF) – all courses except 210, 305, 309, 310, 410, 412, 413, 415
Communication Studies – 428
Gender and Women’s Studies - 410
Pan African Studies – 355, 451
Religious Studies – 204
Political Science – 447A
*Internships or field studies in other departments which involve work related to journalism and mass media will not count for credit.
*Transferred Journalism courses that are not articulated will not count towards credit.
*AMC courses (Arts, Media, and Communication) will not count towards credit.

Click here to download the list of LASH and non-LASH classes.


What is the difference between a Collateral Field and a Minor, and why is this important to students?

All journalism majors are required to complete either a collateral field or minor, as part of the department’s national accreditation standards. The collateral field consists of 15 upper-division units in a specified area of study. Students are required to inform the Journalism Department of their collateral field only when they file their graduation check. Students who choose to minor in another field will need to declare their intentions and follow the design of the minor with the respective departments. Students attempting a minor still must complete a minimum of 15 units of upper-division course work.

Are there any limitations when choosing a Collateral Field?

Yes. However, some areas are restricted. For example, a collateral field in Cinema Television and Arts (CTVA) is not permitted. CTVA and Journalism are closely related programs and therefore CTVA cannot be used to fulfill the collateral requirement. In addition, disciplines, such as communication studies, business, music, family and consumer science or manufacturing systems engineering & management, can be challenging. These majors tend to be highly impacted and present students with limited available classes, making it difficult to fulfill the 15-unit upper-division requirement needed to complete their collateral in a timely fashion. Students who select a collateral field or minor outside of LASH should confer with their adviser to make sure they can meet the 80/65 rule.

What is the difference between Journalism and CTVA?

Although both Journalism and CTVA prepare students to work in the field of media, both departments take different approaches to the use of media.  Journalism focuses on writing and reporting news through different media: television, radio, print, and internet.  CTVA takes a production approach to media, as it focuses on electronic media management, film production, media theory and criticism, multimedia production, radio production, screen writing, and television.

What are the grade requirements for the major?

In order to graduate, students must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in all major coursework, including the collateral field.  Students must obtain a “C” or better in courses that are prerequisites.  For example, a student must have a “C” or better in J110, or its equivalent, in order to move on to J210.  Without appropriate grades, students will be required to repeat the course until a satisfactory grade is received.

What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a requirement (such as the completion of one or more courses, a minimum placement test score, or a minimum grade in a course) that the student must have completed in order to take a course.  Without completion of the prerequisite, a student would not be allowed to take the next course.  Click here for the list of prerequisites.

How do I run a DPR through the Web Portal?

Log into your CSUN portal

  1. Click on the tab that reads Student found on the top left corner.
  2. Under the category “My Path to Graduation,” click on Degree Progress Report (DPR).
  3. In the Report Type box, located on the right side of the screen, click on Degree Progress Report
  4. Click on Submit Request.
  5. When a message pops up that says, “Your request has been submitted successfully,” click OK.
  6. Click on the tab that reads View Report, next to the tab Submit Report.
  7. Click Refresh unit you see View Report on the right side of the page.  (You might need to click refresh every 5 seconds). 
  8. Click View Report to view your DPR.

How do I transfer course work from another college/university to CSUN?

Submit your official transcripts from the community college, university, or institution to CSUN’s Admissions and Records.  Depending on how busy Admissions and Records are, it will take three to four weeks to be reflected on your Degree Progress Report (DPR). 

How do I change my major to Journalism?

To declare Journalism as a major, students with 80 units or less can complete the Change of Major form, along with a copy of their My Academic Planner (MAP) to the Department office MZ 210.  A copy of the Change of Major/Minor form is available here.

Questions about Journalism Minor or Spanish-Language Journalism Minor?

Any questions pertaining to the Journalism minor can be referred to Linda Bowen.  Students are encouraged to meet with her during her office hours or she can be contacted at 

Information regarding the Spanish-Language Journalism minor is available on the Journalism website.  Any specific questions can be answered by José Luis Benavides. Students can meet with him during his office hours or contact him at  .


What are the steps to apply for graduation?

  1. Meet with your adviser to do a departmental “Graduation Check.” DO NOT print out a copy of the Application for Bachelor’s Degree as the department will supply you with one. Faculty advisers DO NOT sign off on the form, the Department Chair is the only authorized signee. 
  2. Submit Grad Check to the Journalism department for processing which takes about two weeks.
  3. When you return, you will need to bring a copy of your My Academic Planner (MAP). To access the MAP go to the web portal and click on “View My Academic Planner.” Use MAP to plan your remaining coursework.  Check out the tutorial on My Academic Planner here if you are not already familiar with this excellent planning tool. 
  4. Submit your “Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma Application” form, Grad Check and a copy of your MAP to Admissions and Records with the $47 fee [plus the $10 late fee if applicable] at the Student Services Center in Bayramian Hall.