Arts Journalism M.A. About Us

Master of Specialized Journalism (The Arts) Program Information

Our program, a 9.5 month university program in arts journalism, has a record for fundamentally changing the way we look at arts, culture, entertainment and creativity, and how we tell stories about them. 

The Arts Journalism program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism takes the lead on next generation storytelling. And is the place to be. You will have access to people who connect people, shape ideas and define our culture in the maker capital of the world: Los Angeles.

Diverse and dynamic, L.A. is home to the movie industry, the video game industry, the music industry, the entertainment industry. It's also at the intersection of America’s classical new music revolution, visual and graphic arts explosion, and a vibrant arts scene that celebrates chefs and fashion designers as artists. 

USC Annenberg is at the center of all this.

The program is deeply embedded in Los Angeles’ rich cultural life. You are encouraged to spend time inside rehearsal rooms, film studios, architectural firms, and in intimate contact with artists, many of them famous and many not, but all with exceptional stories to tell that deserve to be made visible. You will have the freedom to pursue what you are passionate about and the ability to study with award-winning faculty from USC’s arts schools and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

One of our signatures is that our students have the opportunity, if they choose, to spend a lot of time inside arts & cultural institutions, reporting on them as embedded journalists. Over the past three years, they have worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA),The Huntington Library, Natural History Museum, Los Angeles Poverty Department and The Industry, an opera company. While at these institutions, they experienced a rare insiders’ perspective that vastly expands their knowledge of the arts and contacts in the field. See this Washington Post article about the embeddings, quoting USC Annenberg Journalism Professor, Gabriel Kahn. 

Additionally, all arts journalism Master students work on Ampersand, the online arts & culture magazine that they populate with content, design, manage, edit and distribute to the wide, global public. They set the mission, and gain an entrepreneurial expertise and mindset because this is real journalism in real time.

Applications for the first round of admissions are due, January 31, 2017. Anyone applying by this deadline will be reviewed for scholarship consideration, including the full-tuition Annenberg scholarships. For more information, click here.

Our alumni at present work at traditional and non-traditional jobs, some of which they have created as entrepreneurial start-ups. Our alumni include a film writer for The New York Times' “Watching” site newsletter, the film editor of the Village Voice and a reporter at the Wall Street Journal’s L.A. bureau. They write for the Los Angeles Times and NPR All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Six of them are university professors at prestigious institutions (including USC Annenberg, USC School of Cinematic Arts and USC School of Architecture). They work in public radio in assistant and associate producer positions at KPCC 89.3 FM, KCRW 89.9 FM and Pacifica Radio. One hosts a show at Red Bull Music Academy. And three are successfully pursuing careers as documentary filmmakers and one in feature film as a writer, producer and director. In short, our alumni are highly coveted and doing well. 


We offer a lot. We expect a lot. To thrive here you need to bring your A game. We’re training storytellers for the 21st Century. Are you ready?