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 press, in a global context, and for the United States.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the multicultural history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  3. Demonstrate communication that empowers those traditionally disenfranchised in society, especially as grounded in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and socioeconomic status, domestically and globally, across communication and media contexts.
  4. Present images and information effectively and creatively, using appropriate tools and technologies.
  5. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and equity.
  7. Apply critical thinking skills in conducting research and evaluating information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.
  8. Effectively and correctly apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  9. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style, grammatical correctness and equity-minded reporting.
  10. Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.

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 219Multicultural Society and the Mass Media4
or JOUR 401 Global Communication
JOUR 228Media, Self and Society (D2) 14
JOUR 285Introduction to Multimedia Journalism4
JOUR 302Mass Media Law4
JOUR 303Web Audio and Video4
JOUR 312Public Relations4
JOUR 334Editing4
JOUR 390Visual Communication for the Mass Media4
JOUR 402Journalism Ethics4
JOUR 444Media Internship3
(See list of Concentrations below)20
Journalism Electives
Select from the following: 212
Any JOUR course, including those listed above, if not used to meet Major requirements, and:
News Media and Democracy
Introduction to Radio Broadcasting
Selected Topics
Cal Poly Radio Laboratory
Contemporary Advertising
Sports Communication
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates
Copyright, Trademark, Patent and Commercial Speech in Digital Media
Media Management Laboratory
Selected Advanced Topics
Selected Advanced Laboratory
Approved Electives
Students are encouraged to pursue minors or develop other areas of interest outside of Journalism 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.
Select from the following (B4): 14
Introduction to 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 30
Total units180

Concentrations (select one)

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 - Select courses in Area D from at least two different prefixes
D1American Institutions (Title 5, Section 40404 Requirement)4
D2Lower-Division D (4 units in Major) 10
Upper-Division D4
Area ELifelong Learning and Self-Development
Lower-Division E4
Area F Ethnic Studies
F Ethnic Studies4
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