Students courses
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“The background and training I received in the program have been instrumental throughout my career in journalism and public affairs.”
Phil Trounstine
Former Communications
Director, Governor Gray Davis
Course descriptions
Advertising

Journalism

Mass Communications

Public Relations

Graduate Courses

Advertising

ADV 91: INTRODUCTION TO ADVERTISING (3 units). A comprehensive survey of the basic principles of advertising. Topics include: strategic planning, integrated communications, audience targeting, creative strategy, advertising media, social responsibility, advertising ethics, international advertising, and current issues in advertising. Prerequisite: none.

ADV 116: SPARTAN DAILY ADVERTISING STAFF (3 units). This class constitutes the paid advertising staff of the online and print editions of The Spartan Daily. Students work with clients and handle the newspaper’s advertising sales and production. Prerequisite: ADV 91.

ADV 121: CONSUMER ADVERTISING (3 units). Principles and practices of advertising consumer products and services using traditional mass media, alternative media, and new media. Topics include consumer behavior, branding, targeting and positioning; national brand advertising; retail strategy, advertising and merchandising. Prerequisite: ADV 91.

ADV 122: BUSINESS–TO–BUSINESS ADVERTISING (3 units). Principles and practices of developing marketing communications programs and collateral materials for business–to–business products and services; translating technical information into persuasive communications; direct marketing, and other forms of sales support communications. Prerequisite: ADV 91.

ADV 123: BROADCASTING AND NEW MEDIA ADVERTISING (3 units). History, development, and current applications of traditional broadcast advertising, the Internet as an advertising medium, and the implications of emerging new media. Focus is on creative strategy and media strategy. Prerequisite: ADV 91.

ADV 124: COPYWRITING (3 units). Conceptual development. Advertising theory used in the development of writing, editing and evaluating advertising copy. Research methods and techniques. Ethical problems. Prerequisites: ADV 91, ENGL 71 and MCOM 100W.

ADV 125: LAYOUT AND PRODUCTION (3 units). Principles of design, typography, and advertising theory applied to print advertising layout and print production. Preparation of layouts utilizing InDesign and Photoshop applications. Prerequisite: ADV 91.

ADV 126: MEDIA PLANNING AND BUYING (3 units). Theory, evaluation and selection of advertising media for a variety of target audiences; demographics and psychographics. Students plan, buy, and measure the success of a real media plan. Prerequisites: ADV 91 and BUS 130.

ADV 128: INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC) (3 units). Learn how advertising, public relations, promotions, and marketing all work together to achieve campaign objectives. Strategic planning, budgeting, research, tactics, evaluation, presentation skills, and team building. Prerequisites: Three ADV courses and BUS 130.

ADV 129: CAMPAIGNS (3 units). Capstone course in which students engage hands–on in the process and methods employed to develop a fully integrated advertising campaign based on the marketing objectives established by a real–world client. Prerequisites: Four ADV courses and MCOM 111.

ADV 130: ADVANCED LAYOUT AND PRODUCTION (3 UNITS). Creative development, strategy, concept, and execution using InDesign and Photoshop. Advanced layout and design principles, integration of language, and visual communication theory will be emphasized in product positioning. Prerequisite: ADV 125 or instructor consent.

REQUIRED SUPPORT COURSE FOR ADVERTISING MAJORS

APSC 63: NEW MEDIA (3 units). Hands on instruction in multimedia and emerging new media technologies. Print and web page design, blogging, podcasting, videocasting, RSS, and creation of multimedia presentations by combining still photos, graphics, and video with music and/or audio.

Journalism

JOUR 61: WRITING FOR PRINT, ELECTRONIC AND ONLINE MEDIA (3 UNITS). Introduction to writing for media—newspaper, magazines, electronic and the Internet—as well as producing content for multi–media distribution in a converged media environment. Emphasis on how different media require different writing styles and content. Prerequisites including major restrictions: ENGL 1A and ENGL 1B.

JOUR 95: BEGINNING DIGITAL NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY (3 units). Basic introduction to news photography and photojournalism field. Includes camera use – composition, aperture, shutter speed, and lens selection – and processing for print or electronic media using PhotoShop. Emphasis on technical aspects of digital news photography and storytelling with photographs.

JOUR 132A: NEWS REPORTING FOR ONLINE AND PRINT MEDIA (3 units). Emphasis on reporting—gathering/verifying facts for news stories through observation, interviewing, attending press conferences/meetings, and using public records, electronic databases and the Internet/library. Writing enterpriser, trend, feature, profile and investigative stories. Prerequisites including major restrictions: JOUR 61 or instructor consent.

JOUR 132B: REPORTING FOR ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3 units). Emphasis on reporting—gathering/verifying facts and audio or video actualities through interviewing, attending press conferences/meetings, and using public records, electronic databases and the Internet/library. Producing news and features for electronic media and websites. Prerequisites including major restrictions: JOUR 61 or instructor consent.

JOUR 132C: MAGAZINE REPORTING (3 units). History, development, and current applications of traditional broadcast advertising, the Internet as an advertising medium, and the implications of emerging new media. Focus is on creative strategy and media strategy. Prerequisite: ADV 91.

JOUR 133: EDITING AND NEWS MANAGEMENT (3 units). Media Lab. Designed for the editor serving as wordsmith and coach, a hands–on approach to copy editing and headline writing for online and print media. Students work as editors for media lab publications. Prerequisite: JOUR 61 or instructor consent.

JOUR 134: IN–DEPTH ONLINE REPORTING (3 units). Media Lab. Designed for experienced writers who want to report for online media. Includes feature and in–depth reporting as well as Web design for a team project. Prerequisite: JOUR 61 or instructor consent.

JOUR 135: REPORTING, EDITING AND MANAGEMENT (1–3 units). Media Lab. A team of reporters, photographers and editors will produce the SPARTAN DAILY online publication as well as its daily newspaper and magazines. The editors will direct the coverage, including digital photography and audio–video streaming. Prerequisites: Reporters, JOUR 61 and JOUR 132, Photographers, JOUR 142; Editors, JOUR 135 as reporters. Non–majors, demonstrated writing and/or Web–design skills and instructor consent. Repeatable for credit with instructor consent. Lecture and lab ability.

JOUR 136: NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE DESIGN (3 units). Principles of newspaper and magazine design—news judgment, story and headline hierarchy, typography, and meaningful visual storytelling through use of photos/art. Practice in creating newspaper pages and magazine layouts and cover designs. Prerequisites including major restrictions: JOUR 61, JOUR 133 or instructor consent.

JOUR 142: BEGINNING VISUAL JOURNALISM FOR PRINT/ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3 units). Media Lab. Introduction to basic principles and practices of photojournalism for online media, newspapers, magazines, and corporate publications using still photographs (black–and–white photography). Prerequisites: PHOTO 40, JOUR 95 or instructor consent. Lecture 2 hrs/lab 3 hrs.

JOUR 144: PICTURE EDITING FOR PRINT/ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3 units). Presentation and picture editing for online media, newspapers, magazines, and other publications; visual tactics to bring readers to a page, picture selection, graphics, layout, design and ethical considerations using illustrative art and photography. Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

JOUR 145: ADVANCED VISUAL JOURNALISM FOR PRINT/ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3 units). Media Lab. Advanced practices in photojournalistic storytelling with single and multiple picture color assignments. Technical emphasis on achieving proper color balance via lighting techniques. Aesthetic emphasis on pictures elevating a student’s portfolio to professional level. Prerequisite: JOUR 142 or instructor consent. Lecture two–hrs/lab three hrs.

JOUR 153: MAGAZINE WRITING AND EDITING (3 units). Overview of magazine field, focusing on reporting, writing, and editing. Students learn how an idea progresses from manuscript through art meeting to the printed or online page. Prepares students to produce San Jose State’s students magazine, Access, in JOUR 155. Prerequisite: JOUR 61 or instructor consent.

JOUR 155: MAGAZINE EDITING AND PRODUCTION (3 units). Media Lab. Editing/producing print and online versions of the award winning Access magazine. Staff edits articles, art and photography submitted by media lab students and other SJSU freelancers. Prerequisites: JOUR 61 and JOUR 153, recommended. Non–majors with demonstrated writing, editing and/or Web design skills, instructor consent. Repeatable for credit. Lecture two–hrs/activity two hrs.

JOUR 163: AUDIO AND VIDEO STREAMING FOR THE WEB (3 units). Media Lab. Instruction in producing ambient and actuality sound, digital and analog, for online publications. Video streaming for the web. Prerequisite: JOUR 61 or instructor consent. Lecture two–hrs/activity two hrs.

JOUR 164: ELECTRONIC NEWS GATHERING FOR TELEVISION (3 units). Media Lab. Principles and techniques of covering news for electronic media. Instruction in all aspects of television news gathering, presentation and production, including writing, shooting, editing, producing and anchoring. Includes both field and studio work. Prerequisite: JOUR 61 or instructor consent. Lecture two–hrs/activity two hrs.

JOUR 165: TELEVISION NEWS STAFF (1–3 units). Media Lab. Reporting, shooting and editing in digital and analog formats, producing and anchoring for television. Working in the field and studio to produce a weekly newscast/Webcast. Prerequisite: JOUR 164 or instructor consent. Repeatable for credit with instructor consent.

REQUIRED SUPPORT COURSE FOR JOURNALISM MAJORS

APSC 63: NEW MEDIA (3 units). Hands on instruction in multimedia and emerging new media technologies. Print and web page design, blogging, podcasting, videocasting, RSS, and creation of multimedia presentations by combining still photos, graphics, and video with music and/or audio.

Mass Communications

MCOM 70: VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS (3 units). Introduction to design for television, newspapers, advertising, public relations, magazines, film and video. Modules include designing and impact of visual imagery and how to apply sound ethical principles.

MCOM 72: MASS COMMUNICATIONS AND SOCIETY (3 units). Mass communication and its relationship to society. Basic theories in mass communication, contemporary issues, and milestones in our understanding of media effects. Not repeatable for credit if equivalent course has been taken elsewhere.

**MCOM 100W: WRITING WORKSHOP: MASS COMMUNICATIONS (3 units). Advanced writing across the media advertising, journalism and public relations. Writing and research for an increasingly convergent media with multiple media formats from the Web to print and broadcast, including writing to accompany audio and visual images. Prerequisites: Completion of core GE, satisfaction Writing Skills Test and upper GE standing. Letter or C/NC grading. This course is waived for students receiving a waiver score on the writing skills test (wst).

MCOM 101: MEDIA LAWS AND ETHICS (3 units). Principles and case studies of mass communications law and ethics. Constitutional guarantees, libel, privacy, contempt, privilege, free speech, FCC, FTC regulatory law, and copyright. Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

MCOM 103: HISTORY OF AMERICAN MEDIA (3 units). Development of mass communications and the information society in the United States. Social, economic, and political factors which shaped modern journalism and the information society. Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

MCOM 104: INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH (3 units). Introduction to social science research in mass communications; emphasis on public opinion research, including sampling, survey research design, measurement; also precision journalism, content analysis, and external data bases; may include class project. Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

MCOM 105: LIFESTYLES, DIVERSITY AND THE MEDIA (3 units). Identifies and evaluates the impact of ethnicity/culture, alternative lifestyles, and gender issues on Advertising, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and public relations. Examines attitudes, trends, and perceptions that help shape mass communication messages. Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

MCOM 106: GLOBAL MASS COMMUNICATION (3 units). Societal factors behind gathering and disseminating information and entertainment content among mass communication systems of the world. Basic theoretical concepts about international communication and international relations. Impact on economy, politics, culture, and governmental communication policies. Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

MCOM 111: JOURNALISM INTERNSHIP (3 units). Fieldwork for advertising, journalism and public relations majors near end of junior or beginning of senior year, including intersession and summer session. Prerequisites: at least nine units of major course work in the department, including specified foundation courses, and advisor approval. CR/NC grading.

MCOM 136: WWII PRESS COVERAGE (3 units). The study of press coverage during World War II with specific emphasis on the Holocaust Concentration Camps and Japanese Internment Camps.

MCOM 139: SPECIALIZED WRITING (3 units). Writing for mass communication with focus on specific topic during the semester. Topics may include specialized writing in advertising, journalism, or public relations. Prerequisites: JOURN 61, upper division standing or instructor consent. Note: Offered on occasion.

MCOM 180: INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1–3 units). Advanced independent work for majors only. Prerequisite: Upper division standing. CR/NC grading. Repeatable for credit. Advisory consent/approval required.

Public Relations

PR 99: CONTEMPORARY PUBLIC RELATIONS (3 units). Principles, evolution, and professional practice of modern public relations. Concepts of planning and executing effective communication strategies, including message design and distribution, for any organization.

PR 190: MEDIA WRITING IN THE INFORMATION AGE (3 units). Writing and preparation of public relations materials for distribution to today's print, broadcast, and Internet media. Writing techniques for various media to reach specific audiences. Prerequisite: JOUR 61.

PR191: STRATEGIC WRITING FOR THE ORGANIZATION (3 units). Writing and production of marketing communication material such as speeches, direct mail, brochures, newsletters, and Web sites, all with an emphasis on computer–aided design and graphics. Prerequisite: JOUR 61.

PR 192: CASE STUDIES IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS (3 units). Case studies focusing on the problems and challenges faced by a variety of organizations. Practical application of creative problem solving, theory, and research about "real world" situations. Prerequisite: PR 99.

PR 193: SPECIAL EVENT MANAGEMENT (3 units). The planning and managing of events for the purpose of accomplishing organizational objectives. Emphasis on creative thinking, logistics and practical application of strategies and tactics. A major project is the execution of an actual event. Prerequisite: PR 99 or instructor consent.

PR 194: FUND RAISING MANAGEMENT (3 units). Strategies and tactics of managing fund development programs for non–profits and charitable organizations. The planning and execution of annual giving programs, major gifts, capital campaigns and fund–raising events. Prerequisite: PR 99 or instructor consent.

PR 199: CAMPAIGN PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT (3 units). Creative problem solving in strategic planning and program management. Conceive, develop, and present an integrated communications plan to a "real–world" client. Prerequisites: PR 99, PR 190 or PR 191, PR 192 and MCOM 111.

REQUIRED SUPPORT COURSE FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS MAJORS

APSC 63: NEW MEDIA (3 units). Hands on instruction in multimedia and emerging new media technologies. Print and web page design, blogging, podcasting, videocasting, RSS, and creation of multimedia presentations by combining still photos, graphics, and video with music and/or audio.

M.S. Program In Mass Communications

MCOM 210: MEDIA AND SOCIAL ISSUES (3 units). Selected readings and group discussions of significant published works dealing with mass communications: history, biography and appraisals; law and ethics of the print and broadcast media, advertising and public relations; public opinion and propaganda.

MCOM 240: MASS COMMUNICATIONS HISTORY (3 units). Application of historical method in mass communications research; emphasis on source and bibliographical materials. Research projects in media history and development.

MCOM 250: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS (3 units). Factors affecting the international flow of news; sociocultural–economic influences on national media systems and concepts of press freedom; comparative mass media systems; the technology of international communications and its implications in developing a world community.

MCOM 260: INTEGRATED STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS (3 units). Investigates the theory and practice of integrated communications to include promotion, advertising, public relations, and direct marketing and branding. It explains how to integrate these methods and develop a comprehensive integrated marketing communications plan. Prerequisites: Intro course in advertising, public relations or marketing, or instructor consent.

MCOM 270: COMMUNICATION LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY (3 units). A case history approach to the law of communications, including libel, privacy and regulation of broadcasting. Major development and landmark decisions, with emphasis on contemporary ethical and social issues such as free–press/fair trial and new technology.

MCOM 280: COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT (3 units). Explores the practice and theory of media management as it applies to: online media, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, advertising agencies, public relations firms, and corporate communications, and marketing communications. It incorporates leadership, media economics and conflict resolution. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

MCOM 285: NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES (3 units). This course provides an introduction to new media technologies for mass communication students. The course examines these technologies and the ways they influence and converge with traditional media, particularly in the specialty fields represented by the students in the program. The social, political and regulatory ramifications of the emerging technologies are also covered.

MCOM 290: THEORY OF MASS COMMUNICATIONS (3 units). Basic theories of communications systems. Functional comparisons of various communications systems in relation to political structure. Communications theories in related disciplines of psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics and political science.

MCOM 295: MASS COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH (3 units). Methodologies of research in mass communications: historical, descriptive and empirical with emphasis upon statistical aspects of data processing and interpretation. Prerequisite: Prior completion of a course in elementary statistics.

MCOM 298: SPECIAL STUDIES IN MASS COMMUNICATIONS (1–6 units). Independent studies in specific areas of mass communications. Repeatable for credit (not in same semester). Note: 3 units for Plan B projects. Grading: C/NC

MCOM 299: MASTER'S THESIS (3–6 units). Supervised thesis in the field of mass communications. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for the master's degree and approval of thesis proposal. Repeatable for credit (not in same semester). Grading: C/NC