Undergraduate Minor In Journalism

"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 summer 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, specialized reporting skills, video, still photography, audio, social media, and the creation of online multimedia packages that will enable you to attract and engage an audience in your work.

2021 Summer Journalism Minor will be offered online only.
All classes are synchronous.

Enrollment is open
Classes begin May 24

Our year-round Summer Minor launches Fall 2021


For UC Berkeley Students

Journalism Minor

The Minor in Journalism consists of two required courses and three elective courses taught in two consecutive, six-week summer sessions. Once the required core courses are completed, any three electives will satisfy the minor. Students declaring a minor must do so in writing to the Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Graduate School of Journalism. The minor can be completed in one summer or more.

For non-UC Berkeley Students

Journalism Certificate

The Certificate in Journalism consists of two required courses and three elective courses taught in two consecutive, six-week summer sessions. Once the required core courses are completed, any three electives will satisfy the requirements of the certificate. The certificate can be completed in one summer or more.

New Programs

Year-Round Minor

In Fall 2021 we launch the first course of our new year-round minor. J100 will be taught by veteran Journalism professor Bill Drummond. Additional courses will be added each semester. Summer, fall and spring courses will now all provide credit toward the Journalism minor.  Interested in enrolling?  Write us at: journalismminor@berkeley.edu

Required Courses


J100 Introduction to News Writing

This is an intensive introduction to basic principles and practices, introducing students to the fundamentals of what it means to be a journalist. Students will learn classic forms of expository writing, study contemporary practices, meet professional practitioners and newsmakers, and be introduced to the ethics of gathering and relating information.


J110 Introduction to Multimedia

Competence in the use of new media tools is essential for any communicator in the 21st century. This intensive introductory course is designed to teach foundational skills for students who have little or no experience creating multimedia news packages. The first half of the course will consist of lectures, guest-speakers and seminar-style discussions. The second half will be a hands-on introduction to how to use video, photography, data and other elements to create effective visual and multimedia stories. Students will be taught how to use smartphones as their primary tool.

Elective Courses


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.


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.


J120 Investigative Reporting

This is an introduction to the basic tools and techniques of investigative reporting-how to identify sources, obtain and use public records, and craft inquiries that go behind the curtain of political, civic, corporate, and institutional life. The course is also an opportunity to gain practical experience working collaboratively on in-depth projects. By the end of this course students will be able to apply investigative techniques to routine reporting as well as produce longer expositions.


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.


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. 2021's Specialty Reporting topic is Earth Journalism:  Reporting on the Environment.


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.


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.

How To Enroll


Journalism Minor

1 - Choose your journalism courses and enroll for Summer 2021 courses through CalCentral. Enrollment opens February 5, 2021

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.


Journalism Certificate

1 - Choose your journalism courses and enroll. Enrollment opens Feb 15, 2021.

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.

Financial Aid

UC Berkeley students who enroll in the minor in Journalism and complete all requirements in one summer or two consecutive summers are eligible for a $2,000 scholarship.

To be awarded the scholarship you must:

- Be currently enrolled as a UC Berkeley undergraduate.

- Successfully complete all academic requirements of the Minor in one summer or two summers back-to-back.

- Receive a grade of "C" or higher in all courses comprising the Minor and complete all courses before graduation.

- You will receive an acknowledgment from the School of Journalism that you have successfully completed the Minor. Your $2,000 scholarship will be posted as "Scholarship" to your Cal Central account by December of that year. Please note that Certificate candidates and visiting students not enrolled at UC Berkeley are not eligible for the scholarship.

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.


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

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

May 24:  Session A
July 06:  Session D

August 14 

August 25

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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