Multimedia production supervisor Joel Zink works with broadcast and digital journalist student Max Schwartz as he prepares for the Presidential election night broadcast for Annenberg Radio News at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.

Journalism Major Admission Standards, Requirements And Application

Journalism Major Information And Requirements For Current Students

The USC Annenberg School of Journalism’s Bachelor of Arts in Journalism is a forward-thinking curriculum that encourages students to embrace technology, assess it critically and employ it in the service of powerful and effective journalism.  Several team-taught courses will allow students to learn from faculty with a strong expertise in video, audio, text and digital journalism. Through this team-teaching approach, students will establish their reporting and writing expertise across multiple platforms. In an integrated Media Center experience, students will acquire the editing, production and digital storytelling skills to produce journalism across a range of media.

The program offers courses that explore the essential components of a contemporary journalism education, including media literacy, ethical constructs of social media, a civic engagement lab experience, coding for storytelling, and law and ethics for the digital age. At the conclusion of the degree program, students will produce digital portfolios and personal websites featuring their best work at the school.

The curriculum also offers an opportunity to add deeper, more specialized media experience through the selection of electives, including app development, virtual reality journalism and native content for social media. Electives may also be concentrated in areas of study, such as broadcast and video journalism, digital and emerging technologies or sports journalism.

Major Requirements 

Journalism Requirements
(44 units)

  • ASCJ 200 – Navigating Media and News in the Digital Age (4 units) or JOUR 300 – Journalism and Society (4 units)
  • JOUR 201 – Culture of Journalism: Past, Present and Future (4 units) 
  • JOUR 207 – Reporting and Writing I (4 units)
  • JOUR 307 – Reporting and Writing II (4 units)
  • JOUR 320 – Introduction to Coding for Storytelling (2 units)
  • JOUR 321 – Visual Journalism (2 units)
  • JOUR 322 – Data Journalism (2 units)
  • JOUR 372 – Engaging Diverse Communities in the Digital Era (2 units)
  • JOUR 414 – Advanced Digital Media Storytelling (2 units)
  • JOUR 462 –  Law of Mass Communication (4 units)
  • Advanced Reporting Elective (choose one course): JOUR 402 (6 units), JOUR 403 (6 units), JOUR 405 (4 units), JOUR 409 (4 units), JOUR 448 (4 units)

Plus 8-10 upper division journalism or public relations elective units chosen in consultation with your adviser. Note: Students who choose a 4-unit Advanced Reporting course will need 10 units of upper division electives; students who choose a 6-unit Advanced Reporting course will need 8 units of upper division electives.

Accreditation Requirement

To meet accrediting guidelines, journalism majors must complete a minimum of 72 units outside the major area of journalism and public relations. 

For more information regarding major requirements for the Annenberg School of Journalism, please visit the USC Catalogue

Learn More About Our:


USC Annenberg faculty members are among the top scholars and professionals in their fields. They include renowned researchers, Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award-winning journalists, and leaders in fields including law, education, publishing, government, advertising and public relations. Students at USC Annenberg learn from the best and graduate with a range of experiences and contacts that will be of great value throughout their careers. 

Academic Advisement

All undergraduate communication majors are required to meet with a USC Annenberg undergraduate adviser each semester to review degree requirements and plan their communication major progress. Students must use their USC email accounts to receive advisement and academic information. 

USC Annenberg Career Development

The USC Annenberg Career Development Office provides internship and job listings, job fairs, résumé and career workshops, and one-on-one counseling to aid both students and alumni in their search for a fulfilling career.

USC Annenberg Connects

Annenberg Connects engages the local community to strengthen current programs and identifies potential new opportunities for partnerships while working with our faculty, staff, and students to build curricular programming that incorporates and promotes civic and community engagement.

USC Annenberg International Programs

USC Annenberg sponsors international undergraduate study abroad programs and graduate internship programs in exciting cities around the globe. Each of the programs provides students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain international experience in their chosen field of study.


USC Annenberg has many professional and social organizations that contribute to USC's 800+ student organizations, which are responsible for the majority of programs and events held on campus, including concerts, lectures, special events, spirit rallies, cultural and social events, and conferences.

Admission Standards and Application Requirements 

Admission to the School of Journalism is selective.  When reviewing applications, the Admission Committee considers many factors, such as academic performance, experience in the field of journalism and solid writing skills. The statement of intent is weighed heavily in the application process. To be eligible to apply, students are required to have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and must complete at least one semester of USC course work (a minimum of 16 units). 

To apply to the School of Journalism, students must complete the online application form by one of the deadlines below.

For more information about the School of Journalism or the application process, contact USC Annenberg Student Services at (213) 740-0900 or Information sessions are offered throughout the fall and spring semesters for students who plan to apply to the School of Journalism. Click here to RSVP for an information session. 

Application Availability, Deadline and Notification

It is recommended that students interested in applying to the journalism major do so before their sophomore year, since they will not begin the curriculum until the semester after they have been admitted to the program.

Fall applications are made available the second Friday of June.

  • Fall applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the fall semester.
  • Fall applicants will be notified during Friday of week four of the fall semester.

Spring applications are made available on the Friday of Fall Recess (in October).

  • Spring applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the spring semester.
  • Spring applicants will be notified during Friday of week four of the spring semester.

Summer applications are made available on the Friday of Spring Break (in March).

  • Summer applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday after commencement.
  • Summer applicants will be notified two weeks after commencement.

Late applications will not be considered. 

NOTE: Students will be notified of admissions status approximately two weeks after the application deadline. 

Required Documents for the Undergraduate Application 

The documents below are required.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

  • Completed School of Journalism online application form for current USC students only.
  • Statement of Intent: A one-page essay focusing on your interest in pursuing an education and career in the field of journalism.  Limit 500-600 words.
  • References: Applicants will be required to list two references. References should be academic or professional.

NOTE: The Admission Committee will review students’ academic records (transcripts and transfer credit statements) on the university system.

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