Journalism Graduate Schools in California

Sep 26, 2018

Students interested in graduate study in journalism can find several program options in California. Although doctoral degrees in closely related fields are available, most graduate programs specifically in journalism are offered at the master's level. These programs offer advanced education in reporting, story construction, and technological aspects of journalism.

California Journalism Graduate Program Information

These programs often require between 36 and 45 units of coursework and the completion of a thesis or major project. As they complete courses, students have the option to focus on interests including digital media, video reporting and production, and legal aspects of journalism. The following provide an example of courses that are typically offered in these programs.

Multimedia Journalism

In multimedia courses, students learn to use media including audio, video, and photography as components of digital story construction. These classes usually examine the process of creating a story from reporting through post-production. Topics covered may include narration techniques, slideshow construction, and the use of editing software such as Final Cut Pro.

News Reporting

Journalism students are required to complete fundamental courses in news reporting and writing. These classes cover identifying sources, conducting interviews, and crafting stories in the deadline-driven field of news reporting. They may focus on a particular subject like news related to health or public affairs.

Video Production

Graduate work in journalism covers different media platforms, so students usually take production courses. Classes in video production cover processes of shooting video footage, use of backgrounds, equipment usage and lighting. They may include approaches to reporting that are unique to television as a medium.

Special Assignment Reporting

Students in these programs have the option to learn about strategies for reporting particular topics. Classes on reporting techniques for special assignments cover sectors like business and economics, science, crime, religion, or foreign correspondence. Students learn how to cover a specific beat and construct stories addressing issues particular to those topics while making stories meaningful for a diverse audience.

Communication Law

Since the practice of journalism presents unique legal challenges, advanced study in the field includes classes focused on laws that affect journalists and their work. Topics include ethical processes for gathering information, libel, hate speech, and guidelines for protecting sources. These classes also examine constitutional issues impacting journalism like the First Amendment and the notion of a free press. Specific court cases may be studied to illustrate how perspectives on these issues have changed over time.

California Journalism Graduate School Admissions

Admissions to graduate journalism programs in California can be competitive. Although a specific undergraduate major is usually not required, applicants should have an interest in journalism, and some programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants should submit a statement of purpose outlining career goals and discussing how a particular program is a good fit. Programs also often require samples of journalistic writing, letters of recommendation, and a resume. Prospective students may also need to take the GRE and program-sponsored writing tests.

California graduate programs in journalism offer students advanced instruction in aspects of the field including media platforms, reporting, production, and relevant laws. Applicants to these programs should have a strong interest in the field, a solid undergraduate record, and writing samples from prior journalistic experience.

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