The USC Annenberg School prepares graduates for significant careers in journalism. Our 36-unit, 9 1/2 month program – the foundation of which is built on reporting and writing -- teaches you how to produce digital content across all platforms (broadcast, online and print), understand the importance of context and analysis, and embrace the role of diverse communities in storytelling. Through a variety of core and elective courses taught by a world-class, award-winning faculty, you hone a journalistic sensibility that prepares you for a rapidly changing profession. Optional media internships are available following the final semester of the degree program. Learn more about Journalism at USC Annenberg.
Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the M.S. in Journalism program you should be able to:

  1. understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press for the country;

  2. demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications;

  3. demonstrate an understanding of gender, race ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications;

  4. demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society;

  5. understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;

  6. demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;

  7. think critically, creatively and independently;

  8. conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which you work;

  9. write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes you serve (deadline/short-form and non-deadline/long-form);

  10. critically evaluate your own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;

  11. apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;

  12. apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which you work (text, audio, video, web);

  13. demonstrate competency in leadership.


Your USC Annenberg experience will begin with a three-week digital news immersion. During the two semesters that follow, you will gain hands-on, real-world experience covering news stories throughout Los Angeles. Classroom work includes topics such as entrepreneurship and data. Following the second semester, optional media internships are available.


 Required Courses

  • JOUR 505 - The Practice: Journalism's Evolution as a Profession (2 units)
  • JOUR 528 - Summer Digital News Immersion (4 units)
  • JOUR 531L - Fall Digital News Immersion (8 units)
  • JOUR 546 - News and Numbers (2 units)
  • JOUR 547 - The Business of News (2 units)
  • JOUR 560 - Seminar in Mass Communication Law (2 units)
  • JOUR 598 - Journalism Capstone Project (2 units)

Students interested in specific journalistic platforms are encouraged to select an emphasis and complete the recommended courses for that emphasis:


Long-Form Video

  News Video
  • JOUR 521 - Documentary Pre-Production (2 units)
  • JOUR 522 - Video Documentary Production (4 units) JOUR 575 - Converged Media Center (4 units)


  • JOUR 524 - Advanced Broadcast Reporting (4 units)
  • JOUR 552 - Television Reporting and Production (2 units)
  • JOUR 575 - Converged Media Center (4 units)
Digital   Audio
  • JOUR 551 - Intermediate Online Publishing (4 units)
  • JOUR 553 - Coding and Programming for Storytelling (2 units)
  • JOUR 555 - Multimedia and Graphics in Online Publishing (4 units)
  • JOUR 575 - Converged Media Center (4 units)
  • JOUR 523 - Public Radio Reporting (2 units)
  • JOUR 525 - Public Radio Documentary (4 units)
  • JOUR 575 - Converged Media Center (4 units)

Any two advanced reporting and writing courses

  • JOUR 539 - Introduction to Investigative Reporting (2 units)
  • JOUR 575 - Converged Media Center (4 units)
How to Apply

The M.S. in Journalism degree program is competitive; admission is limited to the summer term.

The program is designed for students who possess some journalism experience. You may have worked for your college newspaper or radio or television station, reported for a community newspaper, blogged for a web site, had some internships, or worked in another journalistic capacity.

Before submitting an application, please carefully review:

Student Media

Beyond the classroom, you will immediately engage with award-winning, student-produced media outlets, including Annenberg TV News, our day-of-air newscast; Annenberg Radio News, our radio newsmagazine; Impact, our TV newsmagazine; Neon Tommy, our digital news outlet; and our community news sites such as Alhambra Source, Boyle Heights Beat, and Intersections: The South Los Angeles Report. Through these outlets, you will hone your skills, work collaboratively with your classmates and faculty, and discover your role in shaping the future of journalism.


Your professors are world-renowned, holding Pulitzer Prizes, duPont-Columbia batons and Emmy Awards. They are newscasters, writers, editors and producers. Below are some of the faculty who teach in the M.S. in Journalism program:

Vince Gonzales Vince Gonzales
Lecturer, School of Journalism; Coordinator, M.S. in Journalism Program
Expertise: Broadcast Journalism, Investigative Journalism

Professor Laura Castañeda Laura Castañeda
Professor of Professional Practice, School of Journalism

Expertise: Changing News Industry, Media Effects, Practice of Journalism, Race and Ethnicity
Willa Seidenberg USC Annenberg Faculty Willa Seidenberg
Professor of Professional Practice, School of Journalism; Director, USC Annenberg Radio News

Expertise: Broadcast Journalism, Practice of Journalism, Radio
/images/faculty/tolan_sandy_121p.jpg Sandy Tolan
Associate Professor, School of Journalism

Expertise: Broadcast Journalism, International Journalism, Long-Form Journalism, Practice of Journalism