Mass Communication & Journalism - Public Relations Option, B.A.
Department of Media, Communications, and Journalism
Betsy A. Hays, Chair
McKee Fisk Building, Room 236
Degrees and Programs Offered
BA in Mass Communication & Journalism - Advertising Option, B.A.
BA in Mass Communication & Journalism - Public Relations Option, B.A.
BA in Mass Communication & Journalism - Multimedia Production Option, B.A.
BA in Mass Communication and Journalism - Broadcast Journalism Option, B.A.
BA in Mass Communication and Journalism - Print Journalism Option, B.A.
MN in Media Arts, Minor
MN in Mass Communication & Journalism, Minor
Contemplating a vibrant career in media, communications or journalism? Check out the MCJ Department. An exciting array of options awaits students, including advertising, broadcast journalism, multimedia production, print journalism, and public relations.
Graduates of the MCJ Department work for many of America’s leading print and digital news outlets, radio and television stations, broadcast and film production companies, advertising agencies, public relations firms, corporations, government agencies, and community-based organizations.
Advertising. Ready to grab the attention of your audience? The department’s advertising students regularly finish with top honors in regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. Graduates in advertising are working for such agencies as J. Walter Thompson, Chiat/Day, Publicis and Hal Riney, and Foote, Cone, and Belding.
Broadcast journalism. Broadcast journalism students learn the importance of producing responsible news coverage while maintaining strong ethical standards. Our program’s core focuses on teaching the principles of storytelling through video, audio, and powerful writing. Our students learn through their experiences, which include producing multimedia content for television, radio, and digital platforms in English and Spanish. Their award-winning weekly newscast, Fresno State Focus, is a collaborative effort between students in the broadcast and multimedia options. Broadcast journalism graduates are now reporters, producers, and anchors at local and national radio and television stations. They also work at network outlets including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, Telemundo, Univision, NPR, and PBS. Other alumni have embarked on careers at technology and social media companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Banjo.
Multimedia production. Have a story to tell? Multimedia production students are creative storytellers who communicate through writing, photography, video, audio, and the web. Graduates in multimedia production are on all the staffs at local television stations and multiple production companies. Some are working on network television shows such as Survivor.
Print journalism. The written word remains one of the most powerful forms of human communication, both in physical publications and on the web. Print journalism graduates are working for leading news outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Fresno Bee, and other major publications. Alumni have also embarked on literary careers and include award-winning non-fiction authors. The Collegian, Fresno State’s award-winning student-run news organization, serves as a key laboratory classroom and allows students to get hands-on experience covering local news.
Public relations. Want to use strategic communication to help an organization succeed? PR alumni from the MCJ Department are working all over the globe — running their own firms and working for top agencies, corporations, government agencies, and community-based organizations. Examples of employers include American Airlines, Google, Facebook, Twitter, FleishmanHillard, Salvation Army, Valley Children’s Hospital, Coca Cola, and Orbitz.
The MCJ department is a member of the Broadcast Education Association and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Student organizations include chapters of the American Advertising Federation, the Radio and Television Digital News Association, The California College Media Association, Kappa Tau Alpha (a national journalism scholarship society), and the Public Relations Student Society of America.
Students in the MCJ department get hands-on experience in a professional television studio with high definition multi-cam capabilities. Other laboratory experiences include digital research and writing; field video production; still photography; photo, video, and audio editing; and publication design with the Adobe Creative Suite.
The campus student-run news organization, The Collegian, serves as a laboratory classroom, as do the department’s two regularly-scheduled television programs: Fresno State Focus (news) and Fresno State Serves (public affairs). Students also collaborate with the campus public radio station 90.7 KFSR.
Through a partnership with the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC), student-produced
television and remote-truck programming can be viewed on local cable channels in Fresno
and surrounding areas and is also streamed online. Additionally, the department’s
Multimedia Production Service produces video and photography projects for numerous
clients and provides students practical experience in media production.
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
Mass Communication and Journalism Major
Majors must complete a minimum of 33 semester units of mass communication and journalism courses with a grade of C or better in each course. To ensure that students obtain a broad academic background, additional coursework outside of the department is required.
In addition to completing the university's General Education requirement of 49 units, students must also complete 15 units from the department's Liberal Arts and Sciences Course List. The Liberal Arts and Sciences Course List is available from the student's faculty advisor and on the MCJ website.
The department's requirements for study outside the major meet the communications industries' preference for graduates with strong grounding in the liberal arts and sciences.
1. Major requirements
Major requirements (33 units)
Liberal Arts and Sciences block (15 units)
2. General Education requirements(49 units)
3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)
4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)
5. Total (120 units)
* G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. See advisor for details.
Specializing within the major
Each MCJ major must select an option, which is an area of specialization within the major. The options are advertising, broadcast journalism, print journalism, multimedia production, and public relations. The courses required for each option are listed under Major Requirements.
In addition to the above requirements, MCJ majors must observe the following:
- Before enrolling in any of the department's writing or editing courses, all students must have passed the Department Qualification Exam (DQE). The DQE is administered by the department and tests fundamentals of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Students are permitted three attempts to pass the DQE but after two unsuccessful attempts, they must take MCJ 5.
- MCJ majors are not permitted to enroll for CR/NC grading in MCJ courses applied to the major, except for courses that require such grading.
- Students must meet all university graduation requirements. This includes the Upper-Division Writing requirement, which may be met by taking MCJ 102W, a "W" course from another department, or the Upper-Division Writing Exam.
Major Requirements for the Degree
1. Major requirements (33 units)
Select one option
MCJ 1, 10, 102W, 152S, 158S, 159S, 164, 172 or 173, 191 (27 units)
One MCJ elective numbered between 163 and 179 (3 units)
One additional MCJ course elective selected from MCJ 30, 104, 105, 106, 115, 124, 131S, 142, 144, 146, 148, 157 (3 units)
MCJ faculty members have substantial professional experience and maintain close ties with the professional communities in their disciplines. Numerous faculty have been recognized nationally for their research, scholarship, and creative works. All faculty members serve as career and academic advisors.
For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.
For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.
B.A. in Mass Communication & Journalism - Public Relations Option
A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.
Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.
If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.
Contemplating an exciting career in mass media? Check out the Department of Media, Communications, and Journalism (MCJ). Graduates of the program are well represented on the staffs of many of America's finest newspapers, radio and television stations, broadcast and film production companies, advertising agencies, and public relations firms.
MCJ graduates in print -journalism are working for newspapers such as the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Fresno Bee, and other major newspapers. Graduates in broadcast journalism are heavily represented on the staffs of Fresno radio and television stations. They also can be found at CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, and PBS. Graduates in advertising are working for agencies that includeJ. Walter Thompson, Chiat/Day, Publicis and Hal Riney, and Foote, Cone, and Belding. Public relations graduates have obtained jobs with American Airlines, Caltrans, Coca-Cola, and other nationally known entities.
The department's advertising students regularly finish high in regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Advertising Federation.
What You Can Earn
$52,287 (in our region)
Public Relations Specialist I
$47,107 (in our region)
Account Executive - Advertising
$69,060 (in our region)
Source: HR Reported data from salary.com as of December 2012
Media Job Market Website
Interesting Classes You Might Take
- Video Production
- Broadcast News Writing
- Radio-Television Performance
What You Can Learn
- Media planning and buying for advertising media
- Principles of graphic design for mass media and the selection of photographs and design elements for content, aesthetic values, and technical quality
- Production theory and practice; planning and producing for the director's role
- Editorial leadership, newspaper writing, and newspaper production techniques
About the College
The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.
College Contact Information
College of Arts & Humanities
Office of the Dean
2380 E. Keats MS/MB99
Fresno CA 93740-8024
FAX: (559) 278-6758
Where We Are Located
We are located in the west wing of the Music Building in Room 186.
Department Contact Information
Department of Media, Communications, and Journalism
Office Location: McKee Fisk Bldg, Room 236
Phone: (559) 278-2087
2225 E. San Ramon Ave. M/S MF10
Fresno, CA 93740-8029