Return to: USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (ASC) 305
(213) 740-0900 (academic inquiries)
(213) 740-3951 (administrative)
(213) 821-0770 (admission inquiries)
FAX: (213) 740-3913
Director: Sarah Banet-Weiser, PhD
Associate Director: Imre S. Meszaros, EdD
Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication: Ernest J. Wilson III, PhD
University Professor and Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership: Geoffrey Cowan, LLB
University Professor and Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society: Manuel Castells, PhD
Norman Lear Chair in Entertainment, Media and Society: Martin H. Kaplan, PhD
Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts: Henry Jenkins, PhD
Professors: Jonathan D. Aronson, PhD; Sandra Ball-Rokeach, PhD; Sarah Banet-Weiser, PhD*; Manuel Castells, PhD; Peter Clarke, PhD; Michael J. Cody, PhD; Geoffrey Cowan, LLB*; Nicholas Cull, PhD (Director, Public Diplomacy Master's Program); Janet Fulk, PhD; G. Thomas Goodnight, PhD; Larry Gross, PhD; Thomas A. Hollihan, PhD; Andrea Hollingshead, PhD; Henry Jenkins, PhD; Joshua Kun, PhD (Journalism); Doe Mayer, MA (Cinematic Arts); Margaret McLaughlin, PhD; Lynn C. Miller, PhD; Peter R. Monge, PhD (Director, Doctoral Program)*; Sheila T. Murphy, PhD; Philip Seib, JD; Ernest J. Wilson III, PhD
Associate Professors: Francois Bar, PhD; Robeson Taj Frazier, PhD; Randall Lake, PhD; Stephen O'Leary, PhD; Patricia Riley, PhD (Director, Global Communication Master's Program); Kenneth K. Sereno, PhD*; Stacy Smith, PhD; Douglas Thomas, PhD; Dmitri Williams, PhD
Assistant Professors: Michael Ananny, PhD (Journalism); Christina Dunbar-Hester, PhD; Yu Hong, PhD; Lian Jian, PhD
Clinical Professors: Daniel Durbin, PhD; Colleen M. Keough, PhD; Ben Lee, PhD; Mark Lloyd, JD; Karen North, PhD (Director, Digital Social Media Master's Program); Susan Resnick West, PhD; Robert Scheer; Christopher Smith, PhD; Gordon Stables, PhD (Director, Trojan Debate Squad); Alison Trope, PhD (Director, Undergraduate Studies); Rebecca Weintraub, PhD (Director, Communication Management Master's Program)
Clinical Associate Professors: Robert Banks, PhD; Daniela Baroffio, PhD; Mathew Curtis, PhD; Carmen Lee, PhD; Paolo Sigismondi, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professors: David Craig, PhD; Dorine Lawrence-Hughes, JD, EdD; Brad Shipley, PhD; Kimberlie Stephens, PhD
Lecturers: Nithya Muthuswamy, PhD; Jessica Gould Neff, PhD; Courtney Pade, PhD
Research Professors: Jeffrey Cole, PhD (Director, Center for the Digital Future); Colin Maclay, PhD (Director, Annenberg Innovation Lab)
Research Associate Professor: Hernan Galperin, PhD
Adjunct Faculty: Rook Campbell, PhD; Helen Choi, JD; Laurel Felt, PhD; Mayanna Framroze, MA; Carlos Godoy, PhD, JD; James Hubbard, MA, MDiv; Hye Jin Lee, PhD; Michael Phillips, MA, MS; Jillian Pierson, PhD; Michael Overing, JD; Paula Patnoe-Woodley, MA; Kelton Rhoads, PhD; Clinton Schaff, MA; Simon Uwins, MA; Lisa Vebber, MA; Gary Wexler, BA; Michael Wissot, MBA, MIM
Emeritus Professor: Walter R. Fisher, PhD
*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.
The School of Communication offers programs of study leading to a BA in Communication; minors in Sports Media Studies; Culture, Media and Entertainment; Communication Technology Practices and Platforms; Global Communication; Health Communication; Media Economics and Entrepreneurship; Professional and Managerial Communication; Communication Policy and Law; Cultural Studies; and Interdisciplinary Law and Society; progressive degrees in Master of Communication Management and Master of Public Diplomacy; a Master of Science in Digital Social Media; an MA and PhD in Communication; MA in Global Communication (in conjunction with the London School of Economics); a Master of Communication Management and two Masters of Public Diplomacy. The Master of Public Diplomacy combines the resources of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences' School of International Relations. The Communication Management Program has established dual degree programs with the USC Gould School of Law and Hebrew Union College.
The School of Communication offers programs of study leading to a BA degree and minors in Culture, Media and Entertainment; Communication Technology Practices and Platforms; Global Communication; Health Communication; Media Economics and Entrepreneurship; Professional and Managerial Communication; Sports Media Studies; and Communication Policy and Law. Many communication majors pursue, with the school's encouragement, a double major with another discipline or a minor to complement the major. Through careful planning, students can complete these options within four years.
Students must consult with an undergraduate academic adviser at least once each semester to explore course selections within the major, the minor, general education offerings and electives.
Admission is competitive. Fall 2015 incoming freshmen had an average GPA of 3.61 with an SAT score of 1920-2180 (middle 50%). Transfer students had an average college GPA of 3.66. For admission information and deadlines, refer to the USC Admission Website. All transfer applicants must review the transfer admission application guidelines on the Annenberg Website; contact the Annenberg Admissions Office for more information. USC exclusively uses the Common Application for freshman and transfer admission. Applicants must submit the Common Application and the USC Supplement, both of which can be accessed at commonapp.org. In addition to the university writing samples, a 250-word statement of intent is required; instructions are included with the USC Supplement.
Students currently enrolled at USC who wish to change their major to communication must file a formal application with all supporting documents through the Annenberg Student Services Office. Students who entered USC as freshmen must have 32 units completed with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students who entered USC as transfers must have 16 units completed at USC with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The 3.0 GPA is a minimum standard and does not guarantee admission.
For current USC students, the application period is the first week of classes each fall and spring semester. No applications will be accepted after the first week of classes.
Students who have not been admitted to the communication major or one of the minors may complete a maximum of 20 communication (COMM) units at USC. No further communication course work may be taken until the student is admitted. Students who complete the maximum number of units without gaining admission to the school will be advised to select another major. Students are encouraged to contact the Annenberg Student Services Office, ASC 140, (213) 740-0900, for advisement on change of major criteria and major requirements. In certain cases, students may be referred to Dornsife College Advising, CAS 120, (213) 740-2534, to consult with an adviser to select another major.
Academic Integrity Policy
The School of Communication maintains a commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct and academic excellence. Any student found responsible for plagiarism, fabrication, cheating on examinations, or purchasing papers or other assignments will be reported to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards and may be dismissed from the School of Communication. There are no exceptions to the school's policy.
Curriculum Areas of Study
By design, the courses in the curriculum tend to cluster into different areas of study. These areas represent important foci in the communication discipline and are areas in which the school's faculty possess special expertise. Four such areas of study are described below. They are not mutually exclusive, nor do they exhaust the curriculum; rather, they represent partially overlapping areas of unusual depth. Students may specialize in one of these areas or may design individual programs of study by choosing other combinations of electives that best meet their needs and career objectives. Relevant courses for the clusters are posted on the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Website.
Communication and Culture Option: This option will be attractive to a broad range of students whose careers have an international or multicultural dimension, from those interested in foreign service, travel and consulting to those seeking careers in the arts. In addition, students taking this option will be well prepared for advanced graduate study. Courses emphasize: communication as an essential component of culture and cultural production; cultural forces that shape communication practices; cultural barriers to communication; gender and diversity issues in human and mass communication and cultural production; media representations of race, ethnicity and gender; the production of meaning in diverse modes such as art, religion, popular culture and technology; and cultural criticism.
Entertainment, Communication and Society Option: This option is for students who wish to pursue careers in the entertainment industry, as well as students interested in the relationship of communication and entertainment to popular culture, globalization, cultural studies, marketing, advertising and ethics. Students taking this option will be well prepared for graduate study; they will also be able to enter the entertainment industry with a grounding in the theory, roles, issues and effects of entertainment. Courses emphasize: the theoretical underpinnings of entertainment studies; the historical context of entertainment; the roles and effects of entertainment concepts in "high art" and popular culture; the impact of entertainment on politics; advertising in an entertainment society; the blurring of marketing and entertainment and the effects of this on culture; the effects of entertainment in general and specifically on constructions of race and childhood; issues in the blurring of fact and fiction; ethical dilemmas; and the globalization of entertainment industries.
Media, Law and Politics Option: This option is designed for students who are interested in careers in government and public service, the law, and political and legal consulting, as well as advanced graduate study. Students examine communication processes in the public sphere and learn how to participate competently in these practices. Courses emphasize: the role of persuasion in the political and legal processes; the techniques used by individuals, institutions and social movements to influence public affairs; the history, design, implementation and evaluation of political campaigns; the role of public opinion; ethical issues in public communication, including the influence of media in the political and justice systems, the role of the First Amendment and the changing nature of freedom of expression in a mass-mediated environment, and problems of public participation.
Organizational and Interpersonal Communication Option: This option is most relevant to students interested in careers in business, management, human resources and development, corporate communication, and consulting, as well as advanced graduate study. Courses emphasize: interpersonal communication processes that affect and reflect personality, motives, beliefs, attitudes and values; communication's role in the development, maintenance and disintegration of social, family and intimate relationships; managing interpersonal conflict; communication between superiors and subordinates and in teams; communication's role in determining organizational culture; managing information in organizations; and the role of information technology in processes of globalization.
Progressive Degree Program
This progressive degree program allows USC students to complete a bachelor's degree and a Master of Communication Management or a Master of Public Diplomacy in as little as five years. Students with a 3.0 overall GPA or higher in all classes taken at the university level are eligible to apply for admission to the degree program during their junior year, if a minimum of 24 semester hours will be completed in the final year of undergraduate enrollment. However, a 3.0 GPA does not guarantee acceptance.
Current students must attend a mandatory information session conducted by Annenberg Admissions and a member of the faculty before initiating the application process. Students admitted into the progressive degree program begin taking master's level courses in their senior year and may complete the master's degree in year five. For information on the application process, refer to the Annenberg Website, annenberg.usc.edu/currentstudents. Click on progressive degree. For further details on progressive degree programs, see the Requirements for Graduation page.
Minor in Cultural Studies
See the Department of English .
Minor in Global Communication
See the School of International Relations for complete course requirements.
Minor in Health Communication
See the Department of Preventive Medicine , Keck School of Medicine of USC for complete course requirements.
Minor in Law and Society
See the Department of Political Science .
Minor in Photography and Social Change
See the Department of Sociology .
The Trojan Debate Squad provides an opportunity for outstanding students (3.0 GPA or better), both communication majors and non-majors, to compete in an intensive intercollegiate laboratory setting. Whatever the student's intended career, the skills he or she develops in research, critical thinking and oral advocacy will be invaluable. The team has an excellent record in team policy debate and is now also offering British parliamentary (worlds format) debating. The team competes at both regional and national competitions.
The School of Communication offers an 8-unit honors program for exceptional students. To qualify, students must have a 3.5 GPA both overall and in the COMM major after completing the core courses (COMM 200 or COMM 313 , COMM 206 or COMM 311 , COMM 209 or COMM 309 , COMM 204 or COMM 322 , COMM 301 or COMM 305 , ASCJ 200 or ASCJ 210 ). To graduate with School of Communication honors, a student must maintain a 3.5 overall and COMM major GPA and receive at least a B+ or higher in the two honors courses. Students either take COMM 495 Honors Seminar or work with a professor to customize a 400-level COMM course for honors status (4 units). All honor students complete COMM 497 x Honors Thesis (4 units). Contact an undergraduate adviser for further information and application forms.
Lambda Pi Eta is a national communication/journalism honor society that is open to declared communication, journalism and public relations majors who have completed (or are currently registered for) at least 60 units, at least 12 of which are in the major. To be eligible, students must have a USC GPA and a major GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Honors in Multimedia Scholarship
This program offers qualified undergraduate students an opportunity to approach their discipline(s) of study through the critical application of multimedia expression and scholarship. The student experience will be characterized by smaller classes taught by leading faculty members and enriched by a program of lecture series, visiting scholars, symposia and conferences. For complete program requirements, see the USC School of Cinematic Arts .
Annenberg Career Development
The USC Annenberg Career Development Office has listings for paid and unpaid internships from around the country. Career advisers conduct mandatory advisement appointments for all sophomores and offer career workshops, guest speakers and mentoring opportunities. Students are advised to participate in at least two internships before graduation.
Annenberg International Programs
Semester in Amsterdam
Through the Council on International Education Exchange, students study at the University of Amsterdam. The first week students spend in orientation sessions that include an overview of the academic program, an introduction to Amsterdam and to Dutch society and culture, as well as excursions in and around the city. Students enroll in the offerings taught in English at the University of Amsterdam. Such courses include communication, art, history, economics, environmental sciences, computer science, history, philosophy, literature, social science and theology. Students may earn a maximum of 12 USC units of upper-division COMM elective credit. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Spring Semester in Australia
This semester program offers students the chance to study at one of Australia's premier universities, in one of the country's most exciting cities. Students take communication courses that count for major credit at USC at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and can choose from a wide variety of elective courses. UNSW is located in Kensington, just south of the center of Sydney and its commercial hub. The program gives students the chance to explore mass media and communication in a challenging environment with a distinct worldview, very different from that of the United States. Students may earn a maximum of 12 USC units of upper-division COMM elective credit. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Fall Semester in Buenos Aires
This semester program offers students the opportunity to study Latin American culture and study at the Universidad de San Andrés, a small liberal arts college in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. Students will live and learn in this vibrant metropolis while taking communication courses that count toward major credit at USC. Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in Latin America and will give students the chance to explore the worldview of Latin America and how it relates to communication, mass media and the world at large. The program will immerse students in South American culture. With classes being taught exclusively in Spanish, this program requires a high degree of proficiency in Spanish, both written and oral (five semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent required). A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Semester in Hong Kong
The semester program offers students the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture at the Chinese University in Hong Kong, a bilingual institution. The program also gives students the experience of living in Hong Kong where they can witness the "one country, two systems" experiment. Courses in English are offered in fine arts, literature, history, Japanese studies, intercultural studies, music, philosophy, computer science, anthropology, economics, international relations, as well as journalism and communication. For students interested in Chinese language, courses are offered in Putonghua (Mandarin) or Cantonese. Extracurricular activities include the opportunity to teach English in rural China, monthly dinner talks with Asian studies specialists and excursions to local areas of interest. Students may earn a maximum of 12 USC units of upper-division COMM elective credit. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Semester in London
The semester program offers students the opportunity to study communication in London, the most important center of media in Europe. Many of the communication courses offered include British media guest lecturers and site visits. The program includes one-day visits to such places as Oxford, Cambridge and Liverpool. Planned activities within London include theatre and museum visits. Students may earn 16 units of upper-division COMM elective credit. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program. Please visit the Annenberg International Programs Website for more information on additional program requirements.
Spring Semester in New Zealand
Annenberg's New Zealand program offers students the opportunity to travel to the Southern Hemisphere. Each spring, students can study at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), a world-class institution that offers students the chance to take communication courses that count toward major credit at USC, all the while exploring the beautiful city of Auckland and the surrounding countryside. The AUT program offers communication students an exciting way to broaden their understanding of media and mass communication in a challenging environment with an outlook distinctly different from that of the United States and Southern California. Students may earn 12 units of upper-division COMM elective credit. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Semester in Rio de Janeiro
The semester program offers students the opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture through an intensive pre-semester Portuguese language course (*does not count for USC language requirement) and through civic engagement projects that benefit the local communities in Rio de Janeiro. Through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), USC students enroll in 20 USC units in courses offered by CIEE and at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, Brazil's top communication and journalism school. Students may earn 12 units of upper-division COMM elective credit; please visit the Annenberg International Programs Website for more information on language prerequisites. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
International Communication Studies — London, Paris, Prague, Istanbul and Rome
The International Communication Studies program (ICS) allows undergraduate students to study a range of approaches to public communication media across Europe.
Students divide the five-week course into stays in Los Angeles, London, Paris, Prague, Istanbul and Rome. In addition to regular class meetings, students discuss the interplay of current world issues and international media practices with communication practitioners from international news and public relations media, government institutions, private industry and global organizations.
Students enroll in JOUR 482 Comparative Media in Europe (4 units), which will count as 4 units of upper-division COMM elective credit. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
For further information, contact Annenberg International Programs at (213) 821-1276, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit annenberg.usc.edu/international.
The School of Communication offers programs of study leading to a professional Master of Communication Management, an MA/MSc in Global Communication in collaboration with the London School of Economics, a Master of Science in Digital Social Media, two Masters of Public Diplomacy and research-oriented Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Communication. The Master of Public Diplomacy combines the resources of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences' School of International Relations. The School of Communication also collaborates with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to offer a Master of Communication Informatics (MCI) which gives students the opportunity to innovate at the intersection of communication and engineering. For more information, please see Communication Informatics (MCI) . In addition, special programs enable students to earn dual degrees in communication management and law (USC Gould School of Law) and in communication management and Jewish nonprofit management (Hebrew Union College).
The degree programs are designed to ensure that students are educated in substantive studies that constitute the discipline of communication and provide a basis for competing effectively in the job market.
All students seeking the degrees in communication management and global communication will take a range of courses that prepare them for successful professional management careers in communication-related businesses, organizations and fields.
All students pursuing the research-oriented degree (PhD in Communication) are required to take two theory courses that introduce them to inquiry in human communication and two research methods courses that acquaint them with the historical/critical and social scientific techniques available to conduct scholarly research. These requirements strengthen the student's appreciation of the intellectual bases of human communication study and further the concept of a community of scholars and practitioners in the profession. Students specialize in one of seven available tracks: Global and Transnational Communication; Groups, Organizations and Networks; Health Communication and Social Dynamics; Information, Political Economy and Entertainment; Media, Culture and Community; New Media and Technology; or Rhetoric, Politics and Publics. In addition, students are encouraged to sample courses in the remaining tracks, thus obtaining an education of unparalleled breadth and depth.
Master of Communication Management, Master of Arts in Global Communication, Master of Science in Digital Social Media, Master of Public Diplomacy and Master of Public Diplomacy (Practitioner and Mid-Career Professional)
The school accepts students from a broad range of academic backgrounds in social sciences, humanities, physical sciences or professional schools. Some are employed or have work experience in communication-related fields. Others apply immediately after completing baccalaureate degrees.
Criteria: All applicants must submit the online USC Graduate Admission Application. The faculty admission committees consider many criteria in the admission selection process: the academic record and professional and work-related accomplishments are taken into account. The minimum criteria are the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree and a 3.0 GPA for all undergraduate and graduate work completed. The Master of Arts in Global Communication requires a minimum 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative GPA or international equivalent for admission. For admission to communication management, digital social media and public diplomacy, scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test are required. Applicants to the communication management degree program may submit Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores in lieu of the GRE. Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required for applicants whose undergraduate degree was not completed in a country where English is the only official language. Letters of recommendations from those persons familiar with the applicant's work — preferably academically — are required also. In addition, applicants must submit a statement of purpose, transcripts of all previous college and university work attempted, résumé and writing samples.
Applicants to the global communication degree program must apply to USC and the London School of Economics (LSE). Participation in this degree program requires that students simultaneously gain admission to LSE and USC. GRE or GMAT scores are not required for admission. Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required for applicants whose undergraduate degree was not completed in a country where English is the only official language. All students will begin their studies in London at the LSE.
Procedure: Refer to the Annenberg Website for degree program admission application guidelines, deadlines and filing periods.
Doctor of Philosophy
Students may enter from a variety of academic fields and majors. Applicants whose undergraduate work was in fields other than communication may be admitted on the condition that adequate preparation in directly relevant areas is evident. Completion of a master's degree in communication is not required for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy.
Criteria: All applicants must submit the online USC Graduate Admission Application. The faculty admission committee reviews each application comprehensively. Three letters of recommendation from faculty qualified to comment on an applicant's capacities for a rigorous program of study are required. Completion of a basic descriptive statistics course is recommended. In addition, a personal statement, transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, a résumé and a sample of scholarly writing are required. The MA in Communication is earned as part of the PhD program.
Procedure: Admission is granted for the fall semester only. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take the Graduate Record Examinations prior to November 1.
The Global Communication, Master of Arts in Communication and Doctor of Philosophy in Communication are awarded under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to The Graduate School section of this catalogue and the Requirements for Graduation section for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.
Digital Social Media