Program Description

Students dedicated to building professional careers in journalism, print and digital media, film, television, new/emerging media, and the associated fields of public relations and advertising, will find degree programs designed by the Communications Department to meet their needs and to challenge their skills and interests.

The Communications Department offers a major with options in Advertising/Public Relations, Journalism, and Media Studies as well as minors in Communications and Advertising. The curriculum provides a broad understanding of communications media within a liberal arts framework. The university's close proximity to the Los Angeles media industries allows students to take advantage of wide-ranging internship opportunities in order to complement their coursework.


Journalism Option

The Bachelor of Arts/Journalism Option is designed for students interested in print, online, and broadcast journalism careers. Students who graduate with a journalism degree are prepared for a wide variety of media-related careers, already armed with industry experience.

New technologies and media platforms have created many dynamic opportunities for journalism graduates who possess the skills, principles, and practices for a successful career in the diverse regional, national, and international job markets. We train students in the various practices of contemporary journalists, including news writing and reporting, feature writing, column and opinion writing, interviewing, broadcast journalism, video podcasting, editing, and blogging.

Taught by seasoned journalists from a variety of media outlets, the curriculum focuses on the knowledge, practices, principles, and strategies of successful journalism professionals. In addition to learning effective writing, information gathering, and production techniques, students gain an understanding of how media organizations operate through hands-on internship training and in our news and broadcast production laboratories. Students also develop a keen understanding of how to decipher and navigate through an unprecedented amount of electronic information through media literacy training.

Media Studies Option

The Bachelor of Arts/Media Studies option provides students with the opportunity to study the history, theory, and criticism of media culture. The option emphasizes the development of critical thinking and writing skills through courses that examine all aspects of film, television, and digital media: their production and reception, history and contemporary structures, and texts and formal attributes. Students in the option gain a complex understanding of media culture that prepares them for careers in the media industries and for post-baccalaureate programs.

Advertising/Public Relations Option

The department offers the Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an option in Advertising/Public Relations. This program is designed for students interested in careers in public relations, advertising, integrated communications, and the related field of marketing.

Government, civic groups, nonprofit organizations, corporations and educational institutions all require the services of public relations andadvertising practitioners to manage their communications programs and to help determine public policy. This process, sometimes defined as strategic problem-solving through communications, encompasses everything from counseling top management to the preparation of communication strategies and campaigns. It includes the entire gamut of informational media materials such as audio and video programs, employee publications, brochures, newsletters and annual reports; surveying and analyzing public opinion; speech writing; lobbying; fund raising and the planning of special events. Students in this emphasis are encouraged to join the department-sponsored Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter.

Advertising Minor

The department offers an Interdisciplinary Minor in Advertising (18 units), in conjunction with the College of Business Administration and Public Policy, and the Art and Design Department, combining courses in advertising, marketing and graphic design. The Advertising Minor provides an overview of both the business and creative sides of the advertising field.

Communications Minor

The department offers a minor in Communications (12 units). The Communications minor integrates rather than segregates instruction in media studies, public relations, and journalism. Students are required to take two basic courses, and then choose their upper division courses based on their interests.