Bachelor of Arts in Journalism: Concentration in Print and Online Journalism

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, students must complete 43 journalism units. Only ten journalism units may be lower-division for print and online journalism majors —JOUR 205 and JOUR 221, JOUR 222 and JOUR 226. Only 13 units may be lower-division for photojournalism majors — JOUR 205 JOUR 221, JOUR 222, JOUR 226 and JOUR 235, or their equivalents completed elsewhere. Courses numbered 300 and above are not open to first-year students. Upon enrolling in journalism classes, students will be required to use their SF State email accounts. These email addresses will be used as the primary source of communication between students and the department.

To ensure that every journalism student's education is as rich and varied as possible, the department has established these requirements:

  • A journalism major must complete a minor in one of the areas of study approved by faculty advisors. A list of approved disciplines for this requirement is posted at Students should consult with an academic advisor in journalism to determine the minor that best meets their interests and professional goals.
  • A journalism major must have a minimum of 72 non-journalism units in the 120 minimum overall units required for graduation. Included in these 72 units must be a minor in a single subject area chosen in consultation with the advisor. The 72 unit requirement is consistent with the department's philosophy that a well-rounded education is crucial preparation for journalism and is consistent with the standards of the national accrediting agency (ACEJMC) that evaluates journalism education programs. These standards exclude classes in broadcasting (BECA), public relations (MKTG), and advertising (MKTG) from qualifying as non-journalism units. Photography and film production classes in Art and Cinema are also excluded.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. News Judgment: Work demonstrates news judgment that identifies and develops story ideas through observation, reading, and paying attention to their environment
  2. Critical and Independent Thinking: Work demonstrates an ability to synthesize information, think independently, and work through problems using inference and logic.
  3. Cultural Competence: Work demonstrates an understanding of a variety of cultures and how those cultures influence perspectives, attitudes, and personal interaction with the world.
  4. Writing: Work demonstrates concise, clear, and accurate writing that engages the audience with compelling storytelling.
  5. Analytical Competence: Work demonstrates an ability to discern and weigh the quality of information they gather, as well as know how to analyze and interpret it.
  6. Research and Reporting: Work demonstrates an ability to methodically find information through personal interviews, public documents, and the Internet.
  7. Media Literacy: Work demonstrates an ability to competently navigate through a rapidly changing media world, understanding media’s influence on society, community, and the democratic process, and that students also understand the power of visual storytelling in shaping society’s understanding of the world.
  8. Ethics, Integrity, and the Law: Work demonstrates knowledge and practice of ethical standards and constitutional laws that guide journalism excellence.
  9. Critical Evaluation: Work demonstrates critical evaluation of their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style, and grammatical correctness.
  10. Data and Numbers: Work demonstrates an ability to apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  11. Technology: Work demonstrates an ability to know when and how to apply technology in their professional work.
  12. Visual Competence: Work demonstrates a technically competent ability to research, find, and capture a concise and compelling story that reflects the gamut of human experience in a variety of formats.

Journalism (B.A.): Concentration Print and Online Journalism — 43 Units

Core Requirements (22 Units)

JOUR 205Social Impact of Journalism3
JOUR 221Newswriting3
JOUR 222Newswriting Lab1
JOUR 226Introduction to Multimedia Journalism3
JOUR 300GWReporting - GWAR3
JOUR 304Cultural Diversity and News Media3
JOUR 307News Media Law3
JOUR 310Journalism Ethics3

Concentration Requirements (9 units)

Select one:
Investigative Reporting
Feature Writing
Opinion Writing
Community Media
Environmental Journalism
Magazine and Feature Writing
JOUR 650
JOUR 667
Select one:
Online Journalism
Video Journalism

Electives (6 units)

Select Two:

Advanced Writing (if not taken to satisfy a major requirement above)
Investigative Reporting
Feature Writing
Opinion Writing
Community Media
Environmental Journalism
Magazine and Feature Writing
JOUR 667
(if not taken to satisfy a major requirement above)
JOUR 685
Independent Study
Photojournalism I: Foundations of Photojournalism
Anthropology and Photography
Photojournalism II: Staff Photojournalism
Publication Design and Graphics
Online Journalism (if not taken to satisfy a major requirement above)
Video Journalism (if not taken to satisfy a major requirement above)
JOUR 582
Bilingual English and Spanish Newswriting
Data Journalism
Media Entrepreneurship
Contemporary Magazines
Advanced Journalism Internship
JOUR 650
JOUR 680
Anthropology and Photography
Building Chinese Media Literacy
Media Chinese
International Media Politics
Latina/o Journalism

Practicum (3 units)

Select one:3
Magazine Publication Lab
Newspaper Publication Laboratory

Capstone (3 units)

JOUR 695Senior Seminar3

Skills Courses

Skills courses offered by the Department of Journalism impart the various skills and crafts necessary for the practice of journalism. There are three levels of skills courses: foundational, advanced, and capstone. The capstone skills courses provide students a culminating opportunity to integrate skills acquired in foundational and advanced courses, working and learning collaboratively. Journalism majors and minors must earn grades of C or better in all foundational, advanced, and capstone skills courses.

Non-Journalism units (includes required minor): 72 Units

These 72 units must include a single subject minor chosen in consultation with an advisor. Classes in broadcasting (BECA), public relations (MKTG), advertising (MKTG), and production classes in film (CINE) and photography (ART) do not qualify as non-journalism units.

Complementary Studies

Twelve units of Complementary Studies are required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Students completing the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism must complete a minor that has been approved by the department. The minor fulfills the Complementary Studies Requirement.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

  1. The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.
  2. In order to choose your English Composition A2 course and your QR/Math B4 course, please complete the online advising activities at and Questions? Contact Gator Smart Start.

First-Time Student Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

Suggested path of study for students transferring in.
Print and Online Journalism ADT Roadmap

Journalism Transfer Academic Planner

Download the Print/Online Journalism Major Academic Planner.

Print/Online Journalism Transfer Roadmap. This roadmap opens in a new tab.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.