Undergraduate Minor In Journalism

The Journalism minor at UC Berkeley debuted in 2016 as a summer-only program. In response to increasing student demand, the minor was expanded in 2021 to include the fall and spring semesters, making the program year-round. The summer curriculum, which offers students the option of completing the minor in a single summer, remains unchanged.
The addition of selected courses to the fall and spring semesters now gives students three options: complete the minor in summer-only, in fall and spring only, or by combining them. (See a schedule of class offerings below)

"Why Minor in Journalism If I Don't Plan To Be a Journalist?"

Whatever your field, success in the digital age demands skill in communicating across a variety of media platforms. Berkeley’s minor in journalism will prepare you for a future in which communication skills will be a vital part of any endeavor.

This is a hands-on curriculum that gives students real world experience. Instruction focuses on core techniques of reporting and writing, video, still photography, audio, social media, data, and the creation of online multimedia packages that will enable you to attract and engage an audience in your work. Each year students from every campus departmental major enroll in the journalism minor, including students from engineering, chemistry, microbiology, cognitive science, economics, psychology, Media Studies and more.

For UC Berkeley Students

Journalism Minor

The Minor in Journalism consists of five courses: two required and three electives. Once the required courses are completed any three electives will satisfy the minor. Courses providing credit for the minor are now available year-round. Students may enroll during the fall and spring semesters, during summer sessions, or blending both. Summer sessions will continue to provide students with an option to finish all five courses in a single summer. All students declaring the minor must do so in writing to the Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Graduate School of Journalism.

For non-UC Berkeley Students

Journalism Certificate

The Certificate in Journalism consists of five courses: two required and three electives. Once the required courses are completed any three electives will satisfy the certificate. Summer Sessions provides students with the option to finish all five courses toward the certificate in a single summer if they choose, or multiple summers. (Non UCB students are not eligible for regular term classes.) All students declaring the certificate must do so in writing to the Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Graduate School of Journalism.

Two New Courses Offered Summer 2022!

Undergraduate Journalism announces two new courses to be offered in summer 2022 during Session D:

J110 Foundations of Multimedia

THIS COURSE WILL BE TAUGHT ONLINE ONLY
Foundations of Multimedia will be taught online, asynchronously in Session D. J110 provides core course credit toward the Journalism minor and is open to all UCB students and visitors. Foundations of Multimedia led by Professor Koci Hernandez, is now open for enrollment. Enroll now.

J112 Intro to Podcasting

During the last decade, led by expert journalists reporting for audio news productions such as Code Switch, Serial, and This American Life, podcasts have exploded in popularity, amassing huge national audiences and emerging as a captivating and influential new form of journalism. Journ 112 is designed to give students a look at reasons behind the success of podcasts, help them develop or sharpen their skills at developing podcasts, and train them to pitch podcast ideas to established producers. Enroll now.

Questions? Reach us at journalismminor@berkeley.edu

Required Courses

REQUIRED CORE COURSE

J100 Foundations of Newsgathering

This is an intensive introduction to the principles, practices, and fundamentals of what it means to be a journalist. Students will learn classic forms of reporting and news writing – including learning how to conduct interviews, gather information, and write quickly, concisely and accurately in a style that engages mass audiences. Students will meet professional practitioners and newsmakers, and will examine ethical issues that may arise in reporting, verifying and publishing information.

REQUIRED CORE COURSE

J110 Foundations of Multimedia

Competence in the use of new media tools is essential for any communicator in the 21st century. This intensive introductory course teaches foundational skills for understanding multimedia and creating multimedia news packages. The course consists of lectures, guest-speakers, seminar-style discussions and lots of hands-on instruction: in video, photojournalism, audio, data and other elements that go into the creation of effective visual multimedia stories. No equipment is required; student smartphones will be their primary newsgathering tool.

Elective Courses

ELECTIVE COURSE

J111 Social Media

Social media has entered a new age of relevance, making it of critical interest to journalists and communicators of all kinds. This course will help students better understand and use social media by focusing on how social networks, conversational media, and associated digital media tools and platforms can be used to develop new sources, converse with end users, identify new ideas and emerging trends, aggregate and curate the work of others, and promote their own work.

ELECTIVE COURSE

J115 Advanced Multimedia

This advanced course provides hands-on instruction in digital storytelling techniques, lessons on capturing multimedia, and how to build websites. Curriculum begins with considering how to choose which media forms-video, audio, photo, graphics or text-are best for a particular story or story segments. This is followed by lessons on capturing video, photo, and audio, and in working with live subjects. Equipment for this class will consist primarily of student- owned smartphones.

ELECTIVE COURSE

J122 The Future of Visual Storytelling

360 degree video, Virtual Reality, drones and mobile. The future of video journalism is here and presents journalists with powerful new options in crafting stories. This course explores digital narratives as they are designed, produced, and consumed in various electronic and \"virtual\" formats. The course will lay the foundation for understanding new trans-media environments and explore best practices for creating non-fiction narratives on emerging platforms.

ELECTIVE COURSE

J124 Data Journalism

Data analysis skills are now part of the standard repertoire for many journalists. But like all evidence, data needs context and interpretation. In this class, we\'ll use brainpower and software to interrogate data, question its veracity and collection methods, and perform analyses to understand the ways it describes our world, and ways that it does not. In addition to working with data, this course will also cover storytelling methods for communicating the essence of a dataset for the general public. We will use storytelling techniques, including visualizations, interactive graphics, and narrative techniques to tell engaging stories in a variety of media.

ELECTIVE COURSE

J130 Specialty Reporting (sec. 1)

Specialty Reporting teaches background and techniques for students interested in deepening their journalism skills as well as their subject-matter expertise through intensive coverage of a single topical area. The course will explore the concepts and methods used by specialists to conduct inquiries that go beyond general reporting- including source development, finding and interpreting key documents, understanding important issues, and knowing how key institutions function. The Specialty Reporting topic for 2022 is Earth Journalism:  Reporting on the Environment.

ELECTIVE COURSE

J134 International Journalism

In a globalizing world local stories often become international ones. From politics to financial markets to terrorism and climate change, a more closely connected world means critical issues do not stay put. Events in Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela regularly occupy headlines in the U.S. Learn the specialized techniques international journalists use to cover wars, political change, and social turmoil. Learn how to develop reliable sources, overcome language barriers, and perform their job safely of keeping readers around the world informed of critical issues emerging in foreign lands.

Upcoming Schedule of Courses

Use the list of courses shown below to help you plan your schedule and course sequence.

CORE COURSES

Spring 2022

  • J110 Multimedia Design & Practice  
ELECTIVE COURSES

Spring 2022

  • J136 Media Ethics
CORE COURSES

Summer 2022

  • J100 Foundations of News Reporting
  • J110 Multimedia Design & Practice
ELECTIVE COURSES

Summer 2022

  • J111 Social Media
  • J115 Advanced Multimedia
  • J122 The Future of Visual Storytelling
  • J124 Data Journalism
  • J130 Specialty Reporting (sec. 1)
  • J134 International Journalism
CORE COURSES

Fall 2022

  • J100 Foundations of News Reporting
ELECTIVE COURSES

Fall 2022

  • J130 Specialty Reporting
CORE COURSES

Spring 2023

  • J110 Multimedia Design & Practice
ELECTIVE COURSES

Spring 2023

  • J136 Media Ethics
CORE COURSES

Summer 2023

  • J100 Foundations of News Reporting
  • J110 Multimedia Design & Practice
ELECTIVE COURSES

Summer 2023

  • J111 Social Media
  • J115 Advanced Multimedia
  • J122 The Future of Visual Storytelling
  • J124 Data Journalism
  • J130 Specialty Reporting (sec. 1)
  • J134 International Journalism
CORE COURSES

Fall 2023

  • J100 Foundations of News Reporting
  • J110 Multimedia Design & Practice
ELECTIVE COURSES

Fall 2023

  • J130 Specialty Reporting
CORE COURSES

Spring 2024

  • J110 Multimedia Design & Practice
ELECTIVE COURSES

Spring 2024

  • J136 Media Ethics
CORE COURSES

Summer 2024

  • J100 Foundations of News Reporting
  • J110 Multimedia Design & Practice
ELECTIVE COURSES

Summer 2024

  • J111 Social Media
  • J115 Advanced Multimedia
  • J122 The Future of Visual Storytelling
  • J124 Data Journalism
  • J130 Specialty Reporting (sec. 1)
  • J134 International Journalism
CORE COURSES

Fall 2024

  • J100 Foundations of News Reporting
ELECTIVE COURSES

Fall 2024

  • J120 Public Interest Reporting
  • J121 Advanced Narrative Journalism

How To Enroll

FOR UC BERKELEY STUDENTS

Journalism Minor

1 - Choose your journalism courses and enroll for summer courses through CalCentral. Enrollment opens February.

2 - At the start of Session D, fill out the Completion of Minor form.
◦ Email the form to journalismminor@berkeley.edu.

3 - Or print out the Completion of Minor Confirmation form and
◦ bring to the Office of Undergraduate Programs at the Graduate School of Journalism.

◦ You will receive a Completion of Minor document signed by the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism and the Journalism Minor Program Director.

FOR NON-UC BERKELEY STUDENTS

Journalism Certificate

1 - Choose your journalism courses and enroll. Enrollment opens February.

2 - At the start of Session D, fill out the Completion of Certificate Confirmation form.
◦ Bring the form to the Office of Undergraduate Programs at the Graduate School of Journalism.
◦ Or Email the form to journalismminor@berkeley.edu.

◦ You will receive a Certificate of Completion signed by the Dean the Graduate School of Journalism and the Journalism Minor Program Director.

UC Berkeley Students who do not choose to complete the minor
but wish to take individual summer journalism courses may enroll through Cal Central without notifying the School of Journalism. Please note that enrollment in electives require permission of the instructor.

Non-UC Berkeley students who do not choose to complete the certificate but wish to take individual summer journalism courses may enroll through the visiting Student Portal without notifying the School of Journalism. Please note that enrollment in electives require permission of the instructor.

Get Updates & Learn More About the Undergraduate Minor in Journalism

Frequently Asked Questions

The summer program in Journalism is an intensive academic program designed to help students of all majors improve their skills as communicators in digital media. The curriculum focuses on hands-on reporting, writing, photography, video, audio, social media and multimedia work.

The minor in Journalism prepares students to succeed in a world where skilled communications is vital. Students will learn how to craft engaging narratives and create visibility and build audiences for their professional work, whether they are in the sciences, business, humanities, the arts, or other fields.

Courses are open to all UC Berkeley students as well as visitors, including all University of California system students, out of state students currently enrolled in a college or junior college, college graduates, as well as international visitors from around the world.

A minor degree is available to matriculating UC Berkeley students upon successful completion of five journalism courses.

The academic requirements for the certificate are identical to the requirements for the journalism minor, but the certificate is available to non-Berkeley students only. Like the minor, the certificate represents a standard of achievement that is recognized by employers.

There are no prerequisite courses for enrollment in summer journalism.

Both the minor and the certificate require the successful completion two core courses in Session A and three electives in Session D, for a total of 15 units of credit.

Yes. Students may complete the minor or certificate in one summer or multiple summers.

No, but students are expected to bring an iPhone or Android phone with working audio, video, and photography capability.

This is a writing-based curriculum that also demands plenty of class participation. All students must demonstrate reasonable fluency in written and spoken English.

Students must receive a "C" or better in each of five courses in order to qualify for the minor or certificate.

No.

That decision is up to the student's home college or university.

No. Students intending the minor or certificate cannot opt out of the required courses.

Enrollment opens in early February for Berkeley students and 2 weeks later for visitors, but you may begin shopping for courses now.

Important Dates

ENROLLMENT OPENS FOR SUMMER MINOR

  • February 05: UC Berkeley Students and All UC Students
  • February 15: Visitors and International Students

SUMMER CLASSES BEGIN

  • May 23: Session A
  • July 05: Session D

SUMMER SESSION ENDS

  • July 1: Session A
  • August 12: Session D

FALL SEMESTER BEGINS

  • August 24

SPRING SEMESTER BEGINS

  • Jan 17, 2023

What Students Are Saying...

Thank you for a summer to remember and for this opportunity! I'm glad I was able to take advantage of this program before my senior year at Cal.

As a political science major, I have found that the journalism courses have taught me how to concisely articulate information on politics when people ask me questions.

Gives international students more time to learn new skills and digest them, as well as get used to the American media system.

My communication skills improved greatly! In fact, I believe the multi- media story I worked on in J110 helped me obtain a job at a non- profit that focuses on helping non-citizens.
I have become a better writer and learned how to effectively voice my views. Furthermore I thoroughly enjoyed the multimedia classes with the focus on Adobe Premiere and Photoshop.
I am a media studies major so the production aspect of digital communication can complement the theoretical approach of the media studies program at Berkeley.
The great professors! It was amazing to gain from the J school's professors experience. They were great!

Contact Us

Got Questions?

Got questions on what courses to take, what professors to seek out, or how to succeed in the summer journalism minor?

Reach out to second year Berkeley undergrad Rachel Barber who completed the minor in Digital Journalism last summer. Barber, summer journalism\'s new Student Ambassador, is taking questions at rlbarber@berkeley.edu. Reach out to her today!!

Visit Us

Summer Journalism Minor Program

Room B1 - North Gate Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720

David Thigpen (davidthigpen@berkeley.edu)

Michele Kerr (mkerr@berkeley.edu)

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