Apr 13, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
    
USC Catalogue 2023-2024

School of Journalism


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 and student services inquiries)
(213) 740-3914 (administrative)
(213) 821-0770 (admission inquiries)
FAX: (213) 740-8624
annenberg.usc.edu

Administration 

Director: Gordon Stables, PhD

Faculty

Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication and Journalism: TBD

Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication: Willow Bay, MBA

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

Norman Lear Chair in Entertainment, Media and Society: Martin H. Kaplan, PhD

Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts: Henry Jenkins, PhD

Professors: Willow Bay, MBA; Geoffrey Cowan, LLB*; Afua Hirsch, MA (Oxon), BL; Henry Jenkins, PhD; Robert Kozinets, PhD; Josh Kun, PhD (Communication); Joe Saltzman, MS*; Roberto Suro, MS; Sandy Tolan, BFA; Diane Winston, PhD

Associate Professors: Mike Ananny, PhD (Communication); Ben Carrington, PhD; Su Jung Kim, PhD; Jonathan Kotler, JD*; Allissa Richardson, PhD; Mark Schoofs, BA; Jian Wang, PhD; Aimei Yang, PhD

Assistant Professor: Eunjin Kim, PhD

Professors of Professional Practice: Amara Aguilar, MA; Christina Bellantoni, BA; Clarissa Beyah, MBA; Daniel Birman, MA; Laura Castañeda, EdD; Fred Cook, BA; Jeff Fellenzer, MA; Jennifer Floto, MA*; Oscar Garza; Vince Gonzales, MA; Rebecca Haggerty, EdD; Robert Hernandez, BA; Gabriel Kahn, BA; Matthew Le Veque, BA; Lisa Pecot-Hébert, PhD; Stacy Scholder, BA; Burghardt Tenderich, PhD

Associate Professors of Professional Practice: Alan Abrahamson, JD; Peggy Bustamante, MA; Laura Davis, BA; Alan Mittelstaedt, BA; Mary Murphy, BA; Miki Turner, BA

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice: Keith Plocek, MPhil

Research Professor of Communication and Journalism: Martin H. Kaplan, PhD

Lecturers: Melanie Cherry, MA; Dana Chinn, MBA

Emeritus Professors: K.C. Cole, BA; Felix Gutierrez, PhD; Judy Muller, BA; Philip Seib, JD

Emeritus Professors of Professional Practice: Sasha Anawalt, BA; Gerald Swerling, MS

*Recipient of university-wide or college teaching award.

Degree Programs

The School of Journalism offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism as well as Public Relations and Advertising. It also offers minors in Advertising; Food Journalism and Public Relations; Latinx News Media; News Media and Society; Podcasting; Public Relations; and Sports Media Industries and an interdisciplinary minor in Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism. 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, Master of Science degrees are offered in Journalism and Public Relations Innovation, Strategy and Management; and Master of Arts degrees are offered in Specialized Journalism, Specialized Journalism (Arts and Culture) and Public Relations and Advertising. The MS in Journalism degree teaches students 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, emerging technology and coding. The MS in Public Relations Innovation, Strategy and Management prepares professionals to advance their careers in the field of brand communication disciplines, including public relations and advertising. The Specialized Journalism degree is designed for experienced professionals and recent journalism graduates interested in developing specialized reporting expertise. The Specialized Journalism (Arts and Culture) degree is designed for experienced professionals, art practitioners and recent journalism graduates interested in arts, food and culture criticism and reporting. The Public Relations and Advertising degree emphasizes the requisite skills of that discipline, with an emphasis on strategic problem solving, critical thinking, research-based planning and analysis, writing, digital multiplatform content development, and the application of the discipline to specific industry categories.

Graduate Certificates are offered in Journalism and Public Policy Advocacy.

Student Services 

Students must meet with an adviser 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.

Honor Society

Lambda Pi Eta is a national communication/journalism honor society that is open to students in graduate and undergraduate Annenberg programs. To be eligible, students must have a USC cumulative GPA and an Annenberg major GPA of 3.5 or higher. In addition, undergraduate students must have a declared communication or journalism major, and have completed (or currently be registered for) at least 60 units, at least 12 of which are in the major. Graduate students must have completed at least 12 units in the fields of communication, journalism or public relations.

Undergraduate Degrees

The School of Journalism offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and also in Public Relations and Advertising. The school also offers minors in Advertising; Food Journalism and Public Relations; Latinx News Media; News Media and Society; Podcasting; Public Relations; and Sports Media Industries and an interdisciplinary minor in Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism. 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 and public relations class with at least a grade of C- in order to count the course toward a major requirement. Journalism and public relations courses with a grade of D+ or below must be repeated; courses may only be retaken once. If students do not pass a required major course the second time, then the School of Journalism will drop them from the journalism or public relations major and have their major changed to undeclared. It will be the students’ responsibility to declare another major. If students do not pass a major elective course the second time, they can choose to take a different journalism or public relations course for their major elective requirement.

Students interested in taking JOUR 489  Hands-on Disruption: Experimenting with Emerging Technology must contact the instructor for permission to enroll. The instructor will need to assess the technical skill sets of the students to ensure that everyone who enrolls meets the class requirements. 

Undergraduate students who are interested in enrolling in JOUR 585  Specialized Reporting: Religion must be a senior, have at least a 3.7 cumulative GPA, and must contact the instructor for permission to enroll.

Non-majors who are interested in enrolling in PR 209  Effective Writing for Strategic Public Relations and/or PR 250  Strategic Public Relations: An Introduction must have at least a 2.5 GPA.

Admission Requirements

Admission is competitive. Fall 2022 first-year students had an average GPA of 3.85 unweighted. Submission of SAT or ACT test scores is optional for the 2024-2025 academic year. Transfer students had an average college GPA of 3.70. For admission information and deadlines, refer to the USC Admission website. All transfer applicants must review the transfer admission application guidelines on the Annenberg Admissions 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 Writing Supplement, both of which can be accessed at commonapp.org

Students currently enrolled at USC who wish to apply to the School of Journalism must complete the online application with all supporting documents. To be considered competitive for admission to the journalism major, students must have 16 units completed at USC with a minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0. Students who do not meet the 3.0 cumulative GPA standard must submit a statement of interest along with their application. In order to be eligible to apply for the Advertising or News 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 or Sports Media Industries minors, students must have a minimum USC cumulative GPA of 2.5 and a declared major. For further information on the application process, current USC students are encouraged to attend an information session conducted by Annenberg Advisement and Academic Services

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 .

Annenberg International Programs

Fall and Spring Semester in London, England (Journalism and Public Relations and Advertising)

Undergraduate journalism and public relations students may spend the fall or 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.

Fall and Spring Semester in Hong Kong, SAR China (Journalism and Public Relations and Advertising)

The Annenberg Hong Kong program offers students the exciting opportunity to live and study in the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong. Students study alongside local and international students in a variety of disciplines at the highly regarded, global research institution the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The program allows students to directly enroll in the university and earn 6-9 units that fulfill journalism electives and 6-9 units of general electives. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.

Spring Semester in Sydney, Australia (Journalism and Public Relations and Advertising)

This undergraduate semester program offers students the opportunity to study at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, one of the top universities in Oceania and highly ranked globally. Conveniently located in the center of Sydney with strong connections to a vibrant media scene, the program allows students to fully integrate into the university and earn 8 units that fulfill journalism/public relations electives and 8 units of general electives. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program.

Spring Semester in Rome, Italy (Journalism and Public Relations and Advertising)

Undergraduate journalism 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. The program also includes guided visits to museums and historical districts, as well as an overnight group excursion to Tuscany. A minimum USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for this program. 

Spring Break Career Immersion in Mexico City

Undergraduate and graduate students may spend spring break exploring career opportunities in vibrant Mexico City. Students engage with the most influential media hub in Latin America by visiting industry leaders and various media companies. This program offer students the unique opportunity to evaluate the Annenberg disciplines of practice in different emerging areas of the world. 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.

Summer International Communication Studies — London, Paris and Madrid

The International Communication Studies Program (ICS) allows undergraduate students to study a range of approaches to public communication media across Europe during the summer semester. Students divide the four- to five-week course into stays in Los Angeles, London, Paris and Madrid. 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). 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 ascintl@usc.edu or visit annenberg.usc.edu/international.

Departmental Honors

Undergraduate students who are nominated by journalism faculty to participate in JOUR 498  – Honors Seminar (2 units) or PR 498  – Public Relations Honor 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  or PR 498  with a B+ or higher and achieve no less than a USC cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a journalism or public relations and advertising major GPA of 3.5 at the time of graduation will receive departmental honors.  

Academic Integrity Policy

Since its founding, the 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 Public Relations and Advertising. 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 must attend a mandatory information session conducted by Annenberg Admissions and a faculty member before initiating the application process. Students admitted into the progressive degree program begin taking master’s level courses in their senior year and then enroll exclusively in graduate courses until the master’s degree is completed.  

For information on the application process, refer to the Annenberg Student Progressive Degree website. Application materials must be downloaded from undergrad.usc.edu/programs/progressive/.

Graduate Degrees

The School of Journalism offers two Master of Science degree programs in Journalism and Public Relations Innovation, Strategy and Management; three Master of Arts degree programs in Specialized Journalism, Specialized Journalism (Arts and Culture) and Public Relations and Advertising; and two certificates in Journalism and Public Policy Advocacy.

The 11-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 may also choose a specialty area that prepares them for careers across a broad spectrum, including but not limited to broadcast television and radio news, long-form audio and video documentaries, investigative, sports and entertainment reporting and writing and/or multimedia news production. The MS program accepts applicants with little to no journalism experience as well as seasoned journalists who wish to learn cross platform/multimedia reporting and producing skills. 

The 24-unit MS in Public Relations Innovation, Strategy and Management (PRISM) is a practice-focused program that emphasizes innovation and the critical role communication plays in the performance of global organizations, providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to be effective leaders. Students attending the program on a full-time basis can earn the degree within 12 months and those on a part-time basis can complete the program in less than two years. 

The 11-month, 34-unit 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 11-month, 34-unit MA in Specialized Journalism (Arts and Culture) is geared toward experienced arts and food journalists, as well as the amateur. The program comprises two separate and distinct journalism concentrations – one focusing on the arts and the other on food. For both concentrations, the emphasis is on culture: arts and culture; food and culture. 

The 16- to 21-month professionally oriented MA in Public Relations and Advertising degree is designed to train both recent graduates interested in public relations, advertising and related fields, and young professionals considering transitions into that field or seeking to advance their careers, for eventual management-level positions in all types of organizations. In their first two semesters, students take a core group of courses focusing on strategic problem-solving, research-based actionable insight, business acumen, persuasive writing, multiplatform content production and leadership skills. In their third and fourth semester, students choose from a wide variety of electives and have the opportunity to specialize in one of six specific tracks.

Admission to the Journalism certificate is by permission only. Only current graduate students may apply to the Public Policy Advocacy certificate.

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites

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. Applicants with a three-year bachelor’s will be considered for admission to the graduate journalism certificate.

Criteria

Refer to the Annenberg graduate application guidelines on the Annenberg Admissions website for complete details about graduate application requirements. Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) are required for applicants whose undergraduate degree was not completed in a country where English is the only official language.

Procedure

Applicants must complete and submit the online USC Graduate Admission Application. Before initiating the application, refer to the Annenberg graduate application guidelines on the Annenberg Admissions website for deadlines and details about specific materials that must be uploaded to the application and documents that must be submitted directly to USC Graduate Admission. 

New students are admitted to the MS in Journalism; the MS in Public Relations Innovation, Strategy and Management; the MA in Specialized Journalism; the MA in Specialized Journalism (Arts and Culture) and the Journalism Certificate for the summer session only.

New students are admitted to the MA in Public Relations and Advertising degree program for the fall semester only. 

Annenberg International Programs
Spring Break Career Immersion in Mexico City

Undergraduate and graduate students may spend spring break exploring career opportunities in vibrant Mexico City. Students engage with the most influential media hub in Latin America by visiting industry leaders and various media companies. This program offer students the unique opportunity to evaluate the Annenberg disciplines of practice in different emerging areas of the world. 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.

Degree Requirements

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 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.

Programs

Bachelor’s Degree

Minor

Master’s Degree

Graduate Certificate

Courses

Journalism

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