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)

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 (D4) 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
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:
Journalism History
Agricultural Communications
Introduction to Radio Broadcasting
Selected Topics
Cal Poly Radio Laboratory
Contemporary Advertising
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates
Copyright, Trademark, Patent and Commercial Speech in Digital Media
Selected Advanced Topics
Selected Advanced Laboratory
Media/ Mass Communication courses offered by other departments (see the list below)
Approved Electives
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 below. 3
STAT 130Statistical Reasoning (B1) 14
or STAT 217 Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods
or STAT 218 Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences
or STAT 251 Statistical Inference for Management I
(See GE program requirements below.)64
Free Electives 40
Total units180

Media/ Mass Communications Courses

No more than 16 units of these courses can be applied toward the degree.
AGC 102Orientation to Agricultural Communication2
AGC 200Special Problems in Agricultural Communication1-4
AGC 207Software Applications for Agricultural Publications2
AGC 270Selected Topics1-4
AGC 301New Media Communication Strategies in Agriculture4
AGC 339Internship in Agricultural Communications1-12
AGC 400Advanced Special Problems in Agricultural Communication1-4
AGC 407Agricultural Publications4
AGC 426Presentation Methods in Agricultural Communication4
ART 288Interaction Design I4
ART 383Digital Video I4
BUS 453Digital and New Media Marketing4
BUS 459Social Media's Role in Integrated Marketing Communications4
COMS 317Technology and Human Communication4
COMS 385Media Criticism4
COMS 419Media Effects4
ENGL 317Technical Editing4
ENGL 319Information Design and Production4
ENGL 411New Media Arts I4
ENGL 412New Media Arts II4
GRC 101Introduction to Graphic Communication3
GRC 338Web Development and Content Management 54
GRC 339Web Design and Production 54
GRC 377Web and Print Publishing4
GRC 420Graphic Communication in Integrated Marketing Communications 54
GRC 429Digital Media 53
GRC 440Magazine Design Technology 54
GRC 452Emerging Technologies in Graphic Communication 53
GRC 453Design Reproduction Topics in Graphic Communication 53
ISLA 240Introduction to Media Arts and Technologies4
ISLA 320Topics and Issues in Values, Media and Culture4
ISLA 340Media Arts and Technologies: Storytelling4
ISLA 341Media Arts and Technologies: Cinematic Process4

Required in Major/Support; also satisfies GE.


JOUR 460 Senior Project (3 units) combined with one unit of additional JOUR upper division credit, may substitute for JOUR 462 Senior Media Practicum (4 units), with consent of department head.


 This is particularly relevant to students pursuing minors in Agricultural Communication; Art & Design; Communication Studies; English; Graphic Communication; Integrated Marketing Communications; and Media Arts, Society and Technology.


If courses meeting GE requirements are used to satisfy Major requirements, additional units of free electives may be needed to satisfy the requirement of 180 units for the degree.


GRC majors have priority for registration in these highly impacted courses.

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 8 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • Minimum of 12 units required at the 300 level.
Area ACommunication
A1Expository Writing4
A2Oral Communication4
A3Reasoning, Argumentation and Writing4
Area BScience and Mathematics
B1Mathematics/Statistics (4 units in Support plus 4 units in GE) 14
B2Life Science4
B3Physical Science4
B4One lab taken with either a B2 or B3 course
B5Area B elective (select one course from B1-B5)4
Area CArts and Humanities
C3Fine/Performing Arts4
C4Upper-division elective4
Area D/E Society and the Individual
D1The American Experience (Title 5, Section 40404 requirement)4
D2Political Economy4
D3Comparative Social Institutions4
D4Self Development (CSU Area E) (4 units in Major) 10
D5Upper-division elective4
Area FTechnology
FUpper-division elective4
Total units64

Required in Major/Support; also satisfies GE.