Return to: USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
3502 Watt Way, Suite 303
(213) 740-0900 (academic inquiries)
(213) 740-3914 (administrative)
(213) 821-0770 (admission inquiries)
FAX: (213) 740-8624
Director: Willow Bay, MBA
Director, Operations and Finance: Debra Lawler, MA
Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication: Ernest J. Wilson III, PhD
University Professor and Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership: Geoffrey Cowan, LLB
Jayne and Hans Hufschmid Chair in Strategic Public Relations and Business Communication: Robert Kozinets, PhD
Knight Chair in Media and Religion: Diane Winston, PhD
Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts: Henry Jenkins, PhD
Professors: K.C. Cole, BA; Geoffrey Cowan, LLB*; Henry Jenkins, PhD; Robert Kozinets, PhD; Joshua Kun, PhD (Communication); Judy Muller, BA; Tim Page, BA; Michael Parks, BA; Joe Saltzman, MS*; Philip Seib, JD; Roberto Suro, MS; Sandy Tolan, BFA
Associate Professors: William Celis, MS*; Jonathan Kotler, JD*; Jian Wang, PhD; Diane Winston, PhD
Assistant Professors: Mike Ananny, PhD (Communication); Daren C. Brabham, PhD; Aimei Yang, PhD
Professors of Professional Practice: Willow Bay, MBA; Daniel Birman, MA; Laura Castañeda, EdD; Serena Cha, MS; Fred Cook, BA; Jennifer Floto, MA*; Vince Gonzales, MA; Gabriel Kahn, BA; Stacy Scholder, BA; Willa Seidenberg, BA; Burghardt Tenderich, PhD
Clinical Professor (Communication): Mark Lloyd, JD
Associate Professors of Professional Practice: Amara Aguilar, MA; Sasha Anawalt, BA; Peggy Bustamante, MA; Rebecca Haggerty, EdD; Robert Hernandez, BA; Matthew LeVeque, BA; Alan Mittelstaedt, BA
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice: Laura Davis, BA
Senior Lecturers: Jeff Fellenzer, MA; Mary Murphy, BA; Richard Reeves, ME
Lecturers: Alan Abrahamson, JD; Dana Chinn, MBA; Jennifer de la Fuente, BA; Myra Turner, BA; Lisa Pecot-Hebert, PhD
Emeritus Professors: Ed Cray, BA; Murray Fromson; Felix Gutierrez, PhD; Bryce Nelson, MPhil; Clancy Sigal, BA
Emeritus Professor of Professional Practice: Gerald Swerling, MS
Emeritus Associate Professors: William Robert Faith, PhD; Larry Pryor, MS
*Recipient of university-wide or college teaching award.
The School of Journalism offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and Public Relations. It also offers minors in Advertising, News Media and Society, and Public Relations. The school stresses a broad-based liberal arts education to enhance writing and reporting and encourages undergraduate students to pursue double majors or minors in disciplines outside the school.
At the graduate level, a Master of Science degree is offered in Journalism and Master of Arts degrees are offered in Specialized Journalism, Specialized Journalism (The Arts) and Strategic Public Relations. The MS in Journalism degree is an intense, deadline-driven program in which students learn to write, report, produce, code, publish and promote cross-platform stories in a converged news environment. Cutting-edge digital courses cater to students interested in careers in social media, data journalism, data visualization, app creation, online design and publishing, emerging mobile platforms and coding. The Specialized Journalism degree is designed for experienced professionals and recent journalism graduates interested in developing specialized reporting expertise. The Specialized Journalism (The Arts) degree is designed for experienced professionals, art practitioners, and recent journalism graduates interested in arts and culture criticism and reporting. The Strategic Public Relations degree emphasizes the requisite skills of that discipline, with an emphasis on strategic problem solving, public relations theory and techniques, writing, research-based planning and analysis, case studies, and the application of the discipline to specific industry categories.
Students must meet with an advisor at least once each semester to receive academic advisement covering university degree requirements and major course selection. The school also offers several international study programs to students. 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.
The School of Journalism offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and Public Relations. The school also offers minors in Advertising, News Media and Society, and Public Relations. Journalism students are encouraged to pursue double majors or minors in other areas of study.
To meet accrediting guidelines, a minimum of 72 units must be completed outside the major area of journalism. A maximum of 16 units of course work taken prior to high school graduation and a combined 32 units of AP, IB and pre-high school graduation course work will count toward this requirement. Journalism and public relations majors can take up to a maximum of 48 journalism units; however, the major unit total (44 units) cannot be exceeded, unless the student has fulfilled the accreditation requirement.
A grade point average of at least C (2.0) on all baccalaureate units attempted at USC, as well as on the combined USC-transfer GPA, is required for undergraduate degrees. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all upper-division courses applied toward the major is also required. Students must complete each journalism class with at least a grade of C- in order to count the course toward a major requirement. Journalism courses with a grade of D+ or below must be repeated; courses may only be retaken once.
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 journalism must file a formal application with all supporting documents through the Annenberg Student Services Office. Students must have 16 units completed at USC with a minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to be eligible to apply to the journalism major. The 3.0 GPA is a minimum standard and does not guarantee admission. In order to be eligible to apply for the Advertising or New Media and Society minors, students must have a minimum USC cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a declared major. To apply to the Public Relations minor, students must have a minimum USC cumulative GPA of 2.5 and a declared major.
General Education Requirements
The university's general education program provides coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program is effective for all students entering USC in fall 2015 or later, or transfer students beginning college elsewhere at that time and subsequently transferring to USC. It requires eight courses in six Core Literacies, plus two courses in Global Perspectives (which may double-count with courses in the Core Literacies) and two courses in writing. For more information about USC's general education requirements, see the General Education Program .
Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (GSP) Requirement
All undergraduate journalism and public relations majors are required to complete the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (GSP) online learning module and exam. The GSP exam is administered in PR 209 for public relations majors. Depending on when a journalism student enters the degree program, the GSP exam may be administered in JOUR 201 , JOUR 207 or ASCJ 200 . This exam must be taken and passed by the end of the semester. Students who do not pass the exam will be allowed to retake it. Students who fail to pass the GSP will not be allowed to progress in the program until they pass the exam.
Note: Students with disabilities may register with the Disability Services and Programs office (DSP) so the DSP staff can assess the nature of the students' disabilities and recommend the appropriate accommodations to be provided for each student.
Annenberg International Programs
Spring Semester in London, England (Journalism and Public Relations)
Undergraduate Journalism and Public Relations students may spend the spring semester of their Junior year at a dedicated study center, where they enroll in 16 units of upper-division Annenberg course work, eight of which are for major credit. In addition to their studies, students tour publishing and broadcasting companies, meet communication executives and government policy-makers and gain exposure to British media, culture and civilization. The program also includes group excursions to such places as Bath, Oxford, Liverpool and Hampton Court. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Spring Semester in Auckland, New Zealand (Journalism and Public Relations)
This undergraduate semester program offers students the opportunity to study at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, a leading southern hemisphere school of journalism and media studies. Fully integrated into the university and its vibrant urban surroundings with strong connections to the nation's indigenous heritage, the program allows students to earn 8 units that fulfill journalism electives and eight units of general electives. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Spring Semester in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Journalism and Public Relations)
This semester program offers students the opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture through an intensive pre-semester Portuguese-language course* and through civic engagement projects that benefit the local communities in Rio de Janeiro. (*This course does not count for a USC language requirement.) Through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), USC Annenberg students enroll in 18-20 USC units in courses offered by CIEE and at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, Brazil's top communication and journalism school. The program is open to Journalism and Public Relations majors. Visit the Annenberg International Programs Website for more information on language and other prerequisites. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
Spring Semester in Rome, Italy (Journalism and Public Relations)
Undergraduate Journalism and Public Relations students may spend a spring semester at a dedicated study center, where they enroll in 16 units of upper-division Annenberg course work, eight of which are for major credit. In addition to their studies, students tour publishing and broadcasting companies, meet communication executives and government policy-makers and gain exposure to Italian media, culture and civilization. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.
International Communication Studies — London, Paris, Istanbul, Prague and Rome
The International Communication Studies Program (ICS) allows undergraduate students to study a range of approaches to public communication media acros Europe. Students divide the five-week course into stays in Los Angeles, London, Paris, Istanbul, Prague and Rome. In addition to regular class meetings, students discuss the interplay of current world issues and international media practices with communiction practitioners from international news and public relations media, government institutions, private industy and global organizations. Students enroll in JOUR 482 Comparative Media in Europe (4 units). 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.
Undergraduate students who are nominated by journalism faculty to participate in JOUR 498 – Honors Seminar (2 units) their senior year are eligible for departmental honors. Nominations are based on academic achievement, performance in the classroom, leadership, and involvement in the school. Students who successfully complete JOUR 498 with a B+ or higher and achieve no less than a USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a journalism major GPA of 3.5 at the time of graduation will receive departmental honors.
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 cumulative GPA and an Annenberg major GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Academic Integrity Policy
Since its founding, the USC School of Journalism has maintained a commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct and academic excellence. Any student found plagiarizing, fabricating, cheating on examinations, and/or purchasing papers or other assignments faces sanctions ranging from an "F" on the assignment to dismissal from the School of Journalism.
Progressive Degree Program
The School of Journalism offers progressive degree options for the Master of Science in Journalism, Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism, and Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism (The Arts). The progressive degree program allows USC students to complete a bachelor's degree and master's degree in as little as five years.
Students with a USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all classes taken at the university level are eligible to apply for admission to the degree program during their junior year. The 3.0 GPA is a minimum standard and does not guarantee acceptance. Current students should attend an 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 further information on the application process, vist annenberg.usc.edu/progressive.
The School of Journalism offers one Master of Science degree program in Journalism, three Master of Arts degree programs in Specialized Journalism, Specialized Journalism (The Arts) and Strategic Public Relations, and two certificates in Journalism and Public Policy Advocacy.
The nine-month, 36-unit MS in Journalism is an intense, deadline-driven program in which students learn to write, report, produce, code, publish and promote cross-platform stories in a converged news environment. Students also choose a specialty area that prepares them for careers in broadcast television and radio news, long-form audio and video documentaries, in-depth reporting and writing or multimedia news production. Cutting-edge digital courses cater to students interested in careers in social media, data journalism, data visualization, app creation, online design and publishing, emerging mobile platforms and coding.
The MA in Specialized Journalism is a program geared toward experienced journalists seeking subject-matter expertise and toward experienced professionals in other fields seeking journalism skills to advance their expertise. The program is also open to recent journalism school graduates with records of excellence and a demonstrated aptitude and commitment to developing an expertise in a specialized field of reporting.
The MA in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) is geared toward experienced arts journalists as well as recent graduates with a demonstrated commitment to specializing in arts journalism. The program is also open to experienced artists and practitioners with a highly developed background in at least one art form who want to acquire journalism skills toward a future specializing in the coverage of arts and culture.
The professionally oriented MA in Strategic Public Relations degree is designed to train both recent graduates interested in the PR/communication field and young professionals considering transitions into, or seeking to advance their careers, in that field, for management-level positions in all types of organizations. In their first year, all students take a core group of courses focusing on strategic problem-solving, research-based actionable insight, business acumen and skills, and in their second year they choose from a wide variety of highly specialized electives.
An applicant must have the equivalent of a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university for the MS or MA degree. This is not required for the graduate journalism certificate.
Minimum recommended criteria are a 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work and all graduate work, and valid Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test scores; the GMAT is not accepted in lieu of the GRE. International applicants are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and should receive a score of at least 114 on the Internet-based exam; the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is accepted in lieu of the TOEFL and the minimum recommended score is 8.5. All completed applications are reviewed by the faculty admission committee even if the applicant's academic quality is below the minimum recommendations. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete admission testing at least one month prior to the application deadline. GRE scores are valid for five years; TOEFL and IELTS are valid for two years.
In addition, applicants are judged on a statement of purpose, résumé, writing sample and three letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf. Professional journalism or internship experience is expected for the MS in Journalism and required for the nine-month MA degree program in Specialized Journalism. A professional work bibliography and samples must be uploaded to the online application. No professional public relations work experience is required for the MA in Strategic Public Relations.
Applicants must complete and submit the online USC Graduate Admission Application. Refer to the Annenberg graduate application guidelines on the Annenberg Website for details before initiating the application. In addition, international students must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission consideration and, after submitting the online graduate admission application, a Confidential Statement for Financing Studies at USC.
Applicants must upload the following supporting materials to the online USC Graduate Admission Application: statement of purpose, copy of official transcripts from college/university attended, writing sample and résumé. Letters of recommendation must be submitted online. Official GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores must be reported electronically from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to USC (institution code 4852). Paper copies of score reports are not required or accepted in lieu of the official ETS report. Official transcripts must be mailed to USC Graduate Admission.
New students are admitted to the MS in Journalism, the MA in Specialized Journalism and the MA in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) for the summer session only. Refer to the graduate application guidelines on the Annenberg Website for application filing dates.
New students are admitted to the MA in Strategic Public Relations degree program for the fall semester only. Refer to the Annenberg Website for application filing dates.
All course work applied toward a degree must be approved by the School of Journalism and the Graduate School.
Academic Integrity Policy
Since its founding, the USC School of Journalism has maintained a commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct and academic excellence. Any student found plagiarizing, fabricating, cheating on examinations and/or purchasing papers or other assignments faces sanctions ranging from an "F" on the assignment to dismissal from the School of Journalism.