BS Journalism

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Program Learning Objectives

Graduates with a BS in Journalism will:

  1. Apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and of the press.

  2. Recognize key events in the history of journalism and mass communication and key principles in the main theories of journalism and mass communication.

  3. Demonstrate a broad understanding of how diverse personal, cultural, social, economic, and political factors intersect with the design and delivery of journalism and mass communication.

  4. Apply journalism and mass communication concepts and theories in the use and presentation of images and information.

  5. Uphold the personal and professional ethics and values of journalism. These include the pursuit of truth, fairness and accuracy.

  6. Think critically, creatively and independently.

  7. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others to create effective journalism and mass communication messages that are appropriately styled, grammatically correct and relevant to their audiences.

  8. Collect and evaluate information to achieve journalism and mass communication goals.

  9. Innovate and employ appropriate communication tools and techniques.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

In addition to the program requirements listed on this page, students must also satisfy requirements outlined in more detail in the Minimum Requirements for Graduation section of this catalog, including:

  • 60 units of upper-division courses
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP)

A minimum of 104 units must be taken outside of Journalism/Media/Mass Communication. These are taken in Approved Electives, Support Courses and General Education.

Note: Up to 4 units of credit/no credit grading may be selected for courses in Major or Support.

Journalism Core
JOUR 102Introduction to Journalism1
JOUR 203News Reporting and Writing4
JOUR/COMS 218Media, Self and Society (E) 14
JOUR 285Introduction to Multimedia Journalism4
JOUR 302Mass Media Law4
JOUR 402Journalism Ethics4
JOUR 444Media Internship3
JOUR 462Senior Media Practicum 24
Media Technologies
Select from the following:8
Web Audio and Video
Data Journalism
Visual Communication for the Mass Media
Multimedia Production for Public Relations and Advertising
Advanced Digital Journalism
Global and Cultural Perpectives
Select from the following:4
Multicultural Society and the Mass Media
Global Communication
Select the News Track or the Public Relations Track: 20
News Track
Select 12 units from the following:
Public Affairs Reporting
Broadcast News
Broadcast Announcing and Production
Electronic News Gathering
Feature Writing
Select 8 units from the following (may be repeated):
Advanced Newspaper Reporting Practicum
Advanced Broadcast Journalism Practicum
Public Relations Track
Select 12 units from the following:
Public Affairs Reporting
Broadcast News
Public Relations
Advanced Newspaper Reporting Practicum
Advanced Broadcast Journalism Practicum
Select 8 units from the following:
Public Relations Writing and Editing
Public Relations and Crisis Management
Public Relations Campaigns
Advanced Public Relations Practice: CCPR
Journalism/ Media/ Mass Communication Courses
No more than 16 units of these courses can be applied toward the degree: 316
Any JOUR course, including those listed above, if not used to meet Major requirements, and:
News Media and Democracy
Agricultural Communications
Introduction to Radio Broadcasting
Selected Topics
Cal Poly Radio Laboratory
Contemporary Advertising
Advanced Sportscasting
Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates
Copyright, Trademark, Patent and Commercial Speech in Digital Media
Media Management Laboratory
Selected Advanced Topics
Selected Advanced Laboratory
Media/ Mass Communication courses offered by other departments:
Orientation to Agricultural Communication
Special Problems in Agricultural Communication
Software Applications for Agricultural Publications
Selected Topics
New Media Communication Strategies in Agriculture
Internship in Agricultural Communications
Advanced Special Problems in Agricultural Communication
Agricultural Publications
Presentation Methods in Agricultural Communication
Interaction Design I
Digital Video I
Digital and New Media Marketing
Social Media's Role in Integrated Marketing Communications
Technology and Human Communication
Media Effects
Media Criticism
Technical Editing
Information Design and Production
New Media Arts I
New Media Arts II
Introduction to Graphic Communication
Web Development and Content Management 4
Web Design and Production 4
Web and Print Publishing
Graphic Communication in Integrated Marketing Communications 4
Mobile User Experience 4
Magazine Design Technology 4
Emerging Technologies in Graphic Communication 4
Design Reproduction Topics in Graphic Communication 4
Introduction to Media Arts and Technologies
Topics and Issues in Values, Media and Culture
Media Arts and Technologies: Storytelling
Media Arts and Technologies: Cinematic Process
Approved Electives 5
Students are encouraged to pursue minors or develop other areas of interest outside of Journalism, Media, and Mass Communication through Approved Electives and with the following restrictions:36
At least 24 units must be upper-division courses with a lecture or seminar component. This excludes activity-only, lab-only, or supervision courses such as internships.
No Approved Electives may be taken in the area of Journalism/Media/Mass Communication. These include media/ mass communication courses offered in other departments. See the Restricted list above. 3
Select from the following (B4): 14
Statistical Reasoning
Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods
Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences
Statistical Inference for Management I
(See GE program requirements below.)64
Free Electives 6, 70
Total units180

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 8 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • If any of the remaining 64 units is used to satisfy a Major or Support requirement, additional units of Free Electives may be needed to complete the total units required for the degree.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • A grade of C- or better is required in one course in each of the following GE Areas: A1 (Oral Communication), A2 (Written Communication), A3 (Critical Thinking), and B4 (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning). 
Area AEnglish Language Communication and Critical Thinking
A1Oral Communication4
A2Written Communication4
A3Critical Thinking4
Area BScientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
B1Physical Science4
B2Life Science4
B3One lab taken with either a B1 or B2 course
B4Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (4 units in Support) 10
Upper-Division B4
Area CArts and Humanities
Lower-division courses in Area C must come from three different subject prefixes.
C1Arts: Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theater4
C2Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English4
Lower-Division C Elective - Select a course from either C1 or C24
Upper-Division C4
Area DSocial Sciences
D1American Institutions (Title 5, Section 40404 Requirement)4
D2Lower-Division D - Select courses from two different subject prefixes.8
Upper-Division D4
Area ELifelong Learning and Self-Development
Lower-Division E (4 units in Major) 10
GE Electives in Areas B, C, and D
Select courses from two different areas; may be lower-division or upper-division courses.
GE Electives8
Total units64