Frequently Asked Questions: Journalism

Who will teach me?

Our instructors are top-notch working journalists with deep expertise in reporting everything from soft features to hard news, whether traditional beats, investigative stories or profiles. They are affiliated with media outlets, such as USA Today, Los Angeles Times, La Opinión, KTLA, NBC, CBS, and Noticias Univision-34, as well as associations, such as the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Los Angeles Press Club. Our instructors also have a deep understanding of today’s fast-paced media climate and are passionate about helping you develop the people skills, writing, analytical abilities, curiosity, and persistence needed to succeed as a journalist.

Will I fit in as a student?

Most of our students are new journalists who wish to develop their skills in reporting, interviewing, story structure, writing, editing, digital media, and photography. In both our online and classroom courses, you’ll study alongside a diverse group of students from across Southern California and around the world. Our certificates also draw graduates of other universities’ communications programs.

When can I start? What if I work full time already?

You can start taking individual classes at any time. Most of our students hold full-time jobs in addition to their studies, so our conveniently scheduled evening, weekend, and online courses let you learn while you earn.

Are your programs open to international students studying on an F-1 visa?

Yes. International students on an F-1 visa may enroll in the Certificate in Journalism, Concentration in Media Studies. These students must start the program in fall and finish in spring, carrying at least 12 units per quarter. For more information contact the UCLA Extension International Student Office at (310) 825-9351, email iso@uclaextension.edu or visit uclaextension.edu/iso.

Where are my classes held?

Courses are held on the UCLA campus in Westwood, at our downtown Los Angeles location, and online.

What networking and professional development opportunities are there for me?

Networking is an important part of professional growth and development, so through our curriculum and instructors, you’ll have contact with experts who can help you cultivate your professional reputation and reach your goals.

Opportunities include specialized conferences, in-class guest speakers who share information about the profession and upcoming jobs, and peer-to-peer networking with fellow students. In addition, many certificate students take advantage of our internship program to expand their network and open doors.

Do you offer internships?

Yes! Internships are offered for elective credit to eligible certificate students. For eligibility requirements and an application, email journalism@uclaextension.edu or call (310) 825-0641

What is a certificate?

Certificates provide a focused curriculum designed to give you knowledge and skills in a specific area. These are the perfect way for you to get the skills needed to change careers or improve your likelihood of getting a promotion. Certificates are considered post-baccalaureate professional training and are designed in content, focus, and presentation style to the standards of instruction used in degree programs—with an added benefit of practical training. Students choose certificate programs to prepare for work in fast-changing fields, boost their careers, or simply master a subject area in a comprehensive, well-articulated way. Successful completion of the requirements leads to the award of a Gold Seal certificate from UCLA Extension.

How do I complete a Journalism Certificate?

As soon as you’ve taken a course or two and feel journalism is the right fit for you, establish your certificate candidacy. By applying for your certificate, you’ll be the first to receive email notices when you can enroll each quarter, and set your course requirements for the next 3 years. Most courses taken in the past 3 years can count toward a certificate in journalism.

Plus, if you’ve completed the necessary prerequisites, you’re eligible for internships that can boost your resumé. You’ll also have access to a Certificate Advisor who can assist you if you’ve already taken some journalism courses to see if those can be applied toward your requirements. A maximum of 2 required courses may be waived based on similar coursework at another institution, pending departmental approval.

How soon can I complete my requirements?

Our students typically take 18 months to 2 years to complete a certificate, though international students on an F-1 visa in the Certificate in Journalism, Concentration in Media Studies must complete the program in 3 quarters, taking a minimum of 12 units each quarter. All certificate students must complete their requirements within 3 years from the date of enrolling in the certificate. Courses must be completed with a minimum letter grade of “C”.

How can I stay up-to-date on program requirements?

For a current schedule of courses and requirements, contact our department at (310) 825-0641, or visit certificate information page.

How much do classes cost?

Our classes range from $195-$550 per class–not including books and parking. Course fees are payable upon individual course enrollment. A separate certificate candidacy fee is payable upon enrollment in the certificate program of your choice.