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The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 39 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Major Academic Plans page or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

Courses in this program may complete more than one graduation requirement.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

This major has approved GE modification(s). See below for information on how to apply these modification(s).

  • JOUR 460W is an approved major course substitution for Upper-Division Arts/Humanities.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

Writing Across the Curriculum (Executive Memorandum 17-009) is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of four Writing (W) courses, two of which are designated by the major department. See Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog for more details on the four courses.  The first of the major designated Writing (W) courses is listed below.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W. For Option in News: JOUR 321W. For Option in Public Relations: JOUR 341W.
Ethical principles and case studies will be used to help students develop insights or responses to ethically challenging events or situations in mass media. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. (005360)

The second major-designated Writing course is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GW) (Executive Order 665). Students must earn a C- or higher to receive GW credit. The GE Written Communication (A2) requirement must be completed before a student is permitted to register for a GW course.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Course Requirements for the Major: 48 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option are outlined following the major core program requirements.

National accreditation standards require a journalism major to take a 48-unit journalism curriculum. Of the 120-unit degree program, 72 units must be taken outside of the Departments of Journalism and Public Relations; Communication Arts and Sciences; and Media Arts, Design, and Technology. The following courses, if taken as General Education or upper-division pathway, will apply to the 72 outside units: CMST 131, CMST 132, CMST 255, CMST 334. Community college transfer students may apply 18 units to the 48-unit major in agreement with the Journalism Transfer Model Curriculum (equivalents to JOUR 101, JOUR 210, JOUR 260W, JOUR 265, lower-division student media, and lower-division photojournalism).

Major Core Program: 36 units

8 courses required:

Students must earn a grade of C or higher in JOUR 260W to advance to subsequent writing courses in the Department of Journalism and Public Relations.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Tightly focused on the evolution of digital information technologies, particularly with regard to legacy and digital media, and the rapid-fire communication technology changes that have impacted virtually every aspect of American life. Information technology is explored from historical, cultural and critical perspectives, with particular emphasis on how technology has changed what it means to be part of a community and to engage in civil discourse as a democracy. The course also delves into the domestic and global digital divides and their significance for division and opportunities for connection. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (020555)

OR (the following course may be substituted for the above)

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Tightly focused on the evolution of digital information technologies, particularly with regard to legacy and digital media, and the rapid-fire communication technology changes that have impacted virtually every aspect of American life. Information technology is explored from historical, cultural and critical perspectives, with particular emphasis on how technology has changed what it means to be part of a community and to engage in civil discourse as a democracy. The course also delves into the domestic and global digital divides and their significance for division and opportunities for connection. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. This is an approved General Education course. (021263)
Prerequisite: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W.
Techniques of information gathering and writing for various audiences in the mass media. Required course for the Options in News-Editorial and Public Relations. Students must earn a grade of C or higher to advance to subsequent writing courses in the Department of Journalism. Students who do not receive at least a C may repeat the course. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. (004838)
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing; JOUR 260W (may be taken concurrently) for Journalism majors.
A survey of public relations: problems and issues, organization and operations, skills and techniques, careers and opportunities. 3 hours lecture. (001995)
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W, JOUR 265.
This course provides a comprehensive assessment and understanding of the nature of crisis from the perspective of communication professionals. It examines the role public relations practitioners play in helping organizations manage a wide range of crises, while also exploring the responsibilities of journalist in covering them and the role organizations, the public and social media in defining them. 3 hours lecture. (022163)
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W.
The law as it applies to the press, pictures, and broadcasting. Philosophical basis and historical evolution of legal precedent governing the media. Practical limitations of libel, slander, privacy, copyright, information access, free press-fair trial, contempt and reporter's rights, advertising and media concentration as they affect freedom of the press. Required for news-editorial option; elective for public relations option. 3 hours lecture. (002032)
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
Evaluating and editing newspaper copy; perfecting copyreading skills; typography, headline writing, page makeup and layout, and newspaper design. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (002007)
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
Introduces students to the social constructions of ethnicity and how they are involved in the production, distribution and consumption of the U.S. mass media. 3 hours lecture. (005356)
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W. For Option in News: JOUR 321W. For Option in Public Relations: JOUR 341W.
Ethical principles and case studies will be used to help students develop insights or responses to ethically challenging events or situations in mass media. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. (005360)

Group A: Theory

6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course is also offered as MADT 101.
This course teaches the concepts, history, and applications of communication. The implications and ethical issues of media and the communication process are covered. 3 hours lecture. (001636)
Prerequisite: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W.
This course considers the influence popular culture has on our lives by examining representational messages spread through widely available traditional and digital media, including film, music, television, streaming services, print and social media. The course takes historical and critical approaches to media trends and innovation, with discussions about economics, demographics and other factors that shape mediated messages, especially in relation to gender and ethnicity. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (021224)
This course is also offered as WMST 211.
The purpose of this course is to help students examine portrayals of gender and sexuality in the range of media they consume. This course treats gender and sexuality as something we co-create through communication, rather than as something that we inherently are. Course topics are approached from historical, critical and cultural perspectives and encourage individual reflection and opportunities for digital activism. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (021252)
How the press operates in other societies, both free and authoritarian: the role of journalism in shaping foreign policy in America and abroad; the role of the press in developing countries; the part journalism plays in international and world organizations; the history of significant foreign press systems; the American press in an international context. Open to non-majors. 3 hours lecture. (002034)
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
Introduces students to the social constructions of ethnicity and how they are involved in the production, distribution and consumption of the U.S. mass media. 3 hours lecture. (005356)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331W, CMST 350 with a grade of C- or higher for CMST majors only.
This course is also offered as CMST 424, POLS 424.
Analysis of major factors in group and individual opinion formation, with emphasis on politics, opinion measurement, and the role of mass media in the political process. 3 hours lecture. (002029)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331W, and CMST 350 with a grade of C- or higher for CMST majors only.
This course is also offered as CMST 428, POLS 428.
An examination of the relationships of politics and the mass media. Topics may include politics, visual rhetoric, the public sphere studies, media analysis, public policy decisions, political media campaigns, and social movements. 3 hours seminar. (002246)

Group B: Applied Skills

6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
Techniques of writing nonfiction articles and features for publication; where to find material, markets. Student writings may appear in campus publications such as Orion. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. (001667)
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W, JOUR 327, faculty permission.
Students learn and apply journalism fundamentals - deadline-driven, multi-platform writing and editing, print/digital/audio/video presentation - by working as staff members of The Orion, Chico State's award-winning weekly newspaper and daily digital website/app. The Orion is entirely student operated and has been an independent campus news source since 1975. Two hours of lecture, with one hour of onsite instruction at The Orion. 3 hours lecture. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (005351)

Note: JOUR 329 is repeatable, with instructor and advisor permission, up to 6 units to count toward the major: 3 units for The Option in News; 3 units toward Group B.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W, JOUR 320, JOUR 321W, JOUR 327, JOUR 329; or instructor permission. PR option students may substitute JOUR 341W for JOUR 321W.
This course is for journalism majors who manage The Orion, Chico State's independent students news organization. Students supervise their peers and work as a team to publish news and other content for a weekly newspaper and daily digital website/app. Two hours of lecture, with one hour of onsite instruction at The Orion. 3 hours discussion. (020118)
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
Instruction in persuasive writing, design, and production of public relations publications via desktop publishing. Publications include fliers, institutional advertisements, brochures, and newsletters that are produced to promote the views, products, or services of organizations or companies. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (005352)
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W for Journalism majors only.
Theory and practice of news photography, including picture-taking for college publications, as well as special photographic projects. 3 hours lecture. (002011)
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
This course is designed to teach students intensive, hands-on visual and audio storytelling using smart phones, digital cameras and mobile production applications for news and public relations audiences using web-based and traditional publishing. 3 hours lecture. (021948)
Prerequisites: JOUR 255, JOUR 260W.
This course focuses on skills required to create and publish Web sites that feature interactive journalism. Students learn effective strategies in the production of multimedia news and public relations for online readers. 3 hours discussion. (005357)
Prerequisites: CAGD 112, CAGD 180 for CAGD majors; JOUR 255 or 255W, JOUR 260W for JOUR majors; MADT 206 for MADT majors.
This course is also offered as CAGD 358, MADT 358.
This professional skills and technology course teaches students in media, entertainment, and technology fields about new and emerging trends in media and entertainment technologies, including, but not limited to, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Photogrammetry, LIDAR scanning, 360 degree photo-scanning, and Motion Capture. The course is focused on the exploration of emerging technologies, as it applies to the various industries in media and entertainment, including, but not limited to, journalism, storytelling, and game development. 3 hours discussion. (021966)
Prerequisites: Options in News majors take JOUR 255, JOUR 260W, JOUR 265. Option in Public Relations students take JOUR 260W, JOUR 265, JOUR 341W, JOUR 342.
This course is designed to provide senior-level Journalism majors in the News and PR options with the opportunity to explore their professions and develop the job hunting skills necessary to apply for entry-level positions. 3 hours discussion. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 3.0 units. (005358)
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W, JOUR 265, JOUR 341W, JOUR 344. News option majors take JOUR 260W, JOUR 327 only.
Advanced public relations field experience. Repeating this course for credit requires faculty permission. 3 hours discussion. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (004852)

Note: JOUR 445 is repeatable, with instructor and advisor permission, up to 6 units to count toward the major: 3 units for The Option in Public Relations; 3 units toward Group B.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: JOUR 255 (or equivalent), JOUR 260W.
This course explores how the Silicon Valley startup culture is changing the state of news in the digital sphere. From Medium to Jezebel to Mashable, digital entrepreneurs who are also writers are creating new media ecosystems that create, share, and engage with readers in ways that can be profitable. Through guest speakers, media analysis, and case studies, students explore how these digital entrepreneurs are using core journalistic skills, public relations strategy, creativity, and drive to create their own jobs and careers in digital journalism. 3 hours lecture. (021612)
Prerequisites: CAGD 112, CAGD 180 for CAGD majors; JOUR 255 or JOUR 255W, JOUR 260W for JOUR majors; MADT 206 for MADT majors.
This course is also offered as CAGD 458, MADT 458.
This professional skills and technology project-based course engages students in new and emerging technologies in media and entertainment through applied projects requiring students to work in multidisciplinary teams to create completed visual content projects. The course is focused on the application of new and emerging technologies with relevance in various media and entertainment industries, including, but not limited to, journalism, storytelling, and game development. 3 hours discussion. (021969)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Students will experience a wide range of professional situations, conditions, and practice in the journalism/public relations professional setting prior to graduation. Length of internship will vary according to type of placement. Students will be supervised by a practicing member of the profession. Repeatable for credit toward the major up to 6 units with instructor permission. 3 hours independent study. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. (005362)

Note: JOUR 489 is repeatable, with instructor and advisor permission, up to 3 units toward Group B.

Formal Minor Requirement

All Journalism majors are required to complete a formal minor in a department outside the School of Communication.  GE Pathway minors do not fulfill this requirement.

Major Option Course Requirements: 12 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.  Use the links below to jump to your chosen option.



The Option in News: 12 units

4 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
The unprecedented availability of "big data" constitutes a surfeit of digital information that is utilized by academics, government institutions, private industry, and digital firms. This course trains students to use the tools (software, methods, and theory) required to access, process, analyze, and compose findings in the manner of public interest and social science journalism. 3 hours lecture. (021760)
Prerequisites: GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, HIST 130, JOUR 260W, POLS 155.
Designed for students planning reporting or editing careers. Development of greater skills in story recognition and judgment, information gathering, and finished written presentation, including specialized reporting and ethics. Stress is placed on leads, the complex story, and polished writing. Journalism majors in the news-editorial option who earn below a C- in JOUR 321 are required to repeat the course and are expected to earn a C- or higher to receive writing proficiency credit. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or higher certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (002000)
Prerequisite: JOUR 260W.
Study of the American media, from the Colonial period to the present time. Emphasis is placed upon changing trends and the outstanding people who shaped the development of modern media, noting the influence of the past upon the present. 3 hours lecture. (004851)
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W, JOUR 327, faculty permission.
Students learn and apply journalism fundamentals - deadline-driven, multi-platform writing and editing, print/digital/audio/video presentation - by working as staff members of The Orion, Chico State's award-winning weekly newspaper and daily digital website/app. The Orion is entirely student operated and has been an independent campus news source since 1975. Two hours of lecture, with one hour of onsite instruction at The Orion. 3 hours lecture. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (005351)

The Option in Public Relations: 12 units

4 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, JOUR 260W, JOUR 265.
Principles and practices of writing styles for public relations. Emphasis will be on writing tailored to an organization's communication needs. Required for majors. Journalism majors in the public relations option who earn below a C- in JOUR 341 are required to repeat the course and are expected to earn a C- or higher to receive writing proficiency credit. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or higher certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (004844)
Prerequisite: JOUR 265.
The overall objective of this course is to equip students with the skills to conduct qualitative and quantitative public relations research including measurement and performance evaluation. The emphasis will be on measurement of tangible results in evaluating effectiveness. The impact of culture and diversity will be considered. Process and techniques to be studied include public-opinion polling, focus groups and interviews, survey research, experimental design, fact-finding and applied research. 3 hours lecture. (020558)
Prerequisites: JOUR 244, JOUR 260W, JOUR 341W, JOUR 342.
Theory and norms used in strategies for public relations activities and programs. Emphasis on selection of strategies under varying kinds of information conditions. Major areas addressed are strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and strategic control. Required for majors. 3 hours lecture. (002003)
Prerequisites: JOUR 260W, JOUR 265, JOUR 341W, JOUR 344. News option majors take JOUR 260W, JOUR 327 only.
Advanced public relations field experience. Repeating this course for credit requires faculty permission. 3 hours discussion. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (004852)

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Catalog Cycle:21