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Advising

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Advising Forms
Frequently Asked Advising Questions



Advising is absolutely essential for your success as a Journalism major. It’s never too early or too late to see an adviser. You adviser is very knowledgeable about the program, and will be able to guide you in choosing courses and a career path.

Our department is part of the University’s mandatory freshman advising program, so all freshmen who are declared Journalism majors will be seeing an adviser during their second semester at the University,

We recommend that every “home-grown” student and every transfer student see an adviser as soon as possible. When you come to see an adviser, he or she will start a personal file for you, which will be archived in the Journalism main office. You should bring that folder and an unofficial transcript every time you come in for an advising session.

Students are also encouraged to frequently check the CSULB Enrollment Service website and CLA’s own advising center, The Learning Alliance, for more information on non-journalism requirements.

We have posted here a list of advising documents. Please download and review them, but keep in mind that having these documents does not replace talking to an adviser.

Advising Forms (in PDF format)

Requirements for Graduation as a Journalism Major
Requirements for Majors (detailed journalism requirements)
Personal Information (data needed for starting your journalism file)
Major Change Form (declare journalism as your major/minor)

Journalism Courses (a list of all journalism courses)

Journalism 4-Year Plan (sample of a 4-year graduation roadmap)
Journalism Checklist (courses required for the major)

Public Relations 4-Year Plan (sample of PR 4-year graduation roadmap)
Public Relations Checklist (courses required for PR specialization)

Checklist for for a minor in Journalism (courses required for a minor in Journalism)

Frequently Asked Advising Questions (FAAQ) & Important Dates for Fall 2013

  • Common Questions about your major or minor in Journalism & Mass Communication
Please note that these answers were designed for students enrolled in Fall 2011 and after.  If you are a student who first enrolled before Fall 2011, some of the rules below do not apply.  You can consult an adviser about the differences.

Q: How do I declare a major or a minor in Journalism & Mass Communication, or make changes to my current degree?
A: By contacting one of the major advisers, listed on the gold box to the right.  Department advisers will be happy to assist you to become a new major or minor in the department, or make changes to your current degree in Journalism & Mass Communication.

Q. If I’ll be focusing on Public Relations, do I need to make it “official” somewhere?
A. Yes.  Since the Public Relations specialization has its own sets of rules and requirements (available right above in the “Advising Forms” section), you should declare your specialization as soon as you’ve decided on it.  That will allow you and us to properly track your completion of the Public Relations requirements.  You may declare your specialization in Public Relations with a Department Adviser, listed on the gold box to the right.

Q. Once I do declare Public Relations, am I still in a Journalism & Mass Comm student?
A. Yes.  Public Relations at CSULB is a specialization within our department, so even after you declare your specialization, you’re still one of our students, like everyone else.  You just have a different set of classes, to better help you focus in Public Relations.

Q. If I pursue Public Relations, will my diploma state “Bachelors of Public Relations”?
A: As of right now, all diplomas issued to majors in the Department, no matter what their focus is, read “Journalism and Mass Communication.”  But your transcript will clearly state that you pursued a specialization in public relations.

Q. What if I’m a journalism students who wants to focus in TV news, or Radio, or New Media, or design or any other facet of Journalism – do I also need to declare it somewhere?
A. No.  Only those specializing in Public Relations have to declare it.  All others should just choose the appropriate (elective) classes to cover their desired focus.  An academic adviser can gladly help you with that as needed.

Q: Do I have to schedule an appointment to see an adviser in Journalism & Mass Communication?
A: No, you don’t have to.  We have an open door policy for advising, meaning that as long as it’s our advising hours, you can come on over and see us.  If there’s another student already in our adviser’s office, all you need to do is wait for your turn.  However, if you need to meet with an adviser, but can’t make it to their advising hours, you may contact an adviser and try to arrange for a meeting at a more proper time for both you and the adviser.

Q: How many units do I need to graduate in Journalism & Mass Communication?
A: You’ll need to complete 40 units in Journalism & Mass Communication to graduate, no matter whether you’re in Journalism or Public Relations, aside from any General Education (GE) and Capstone, or general requirements listed by the University.  The division of those 40 units can be found on the Advising Forms section, right above this one.

Q: Aside from completing those 40 units, anything else?
A: Yes.  Every Journalism & Mass Communication major has to complete a minor as part of their degree.  The minor can be in any department outside of Journalism & Mass Comm at CSULB, as is bound by that department’s minor requirements.  You’re encouraged to consult an adviser in that department as soon as you’re interested in it.  Feel free to come see one of our advisers if you want some guidance on it!  For ideas, CSULB has a list of majors it currently offers, and since most majors do offer minors, you may use the list as reference.

Q. If I’m a Journalism major, can I do my minor in Public Relations?  Or vice-versa?
A. No.  Your minor, whether you’re in Journalism or Public Relations, has to be outside the department.

Q. If I’m a Journalism major, can I do my minor in Broadcast Journalism?  Or Photojournalism, or any other field within Journalism?
A. No.  Your minor, whether you’re in Journalism or Public Relations, has to be outside the department.

Q. Is a “D” a passing grade for all Journalism classes?
A. No, only for certain classes.  Not only do you need a “C” or better in your overall major to graduate, but certain key classes have a minimum grade requirement of “C” or better.  That information can be found in our current catalog available here.

Q. Can I get a degree in Mass Communication, not Journalism?
A. While the name of our Department is Journalism & Mass Communication, all students are still Journalism students only (some of which choose to specialize in Public Relations, while other do different aspects of Journalism).  But there’s no “Mass Communication” specialization or degree per se at the moment.

  • Key Dates for This Semester

Q: What is the deadline to add or drop classes on my own for Fall 2014?
A: You have until Sep. 8 to make any changes on your own, through MyCSULB, without requiring any signatures, as listed on the Enrollment Services’ Website.  After that date, you may need special permission to add or drop classes.

Q: How do I know when my finals are?
A: Most professors will list their finals on the syllabi.  If a professor will be holding a final during Finals Week, they should be following the schedule listed here.

Q: When do I file for graduation?
A: You should file for graduation one semester before your desired graduation date, early in the semester.  If you’ll be graduating at the end of Fall 2014, your should file for graduation before March 1, as listed here.  If you miss the deadline, you can still file for graduation, though!  You’ll just be asked to pay a small late fee.

  • Registration

Q: When do I register?
A: The date varies from student to student. Check your MyCSULB for your specific registration date.  And, any question on classes or degree progress, just contact one of our advisers!

Q: How many units can I register at first?
A: Students will be allowed to register for as many as 14 units at first.

Q: When will I be able to add more than 14 units to my schedule for next semester?

A: You’ll be able to go up to 18 units starting Aug. 4.

Q: What if I want to take more than 18 units?

A: You’ll have to file a “Petition for Exception to Maximum Unit Load” with Enrollment Services.  The form can be downloaded here.

  • More About Graduation and Commencement

Q: I’m graduating this semester, but I never filed for graduation!  What do I do?
A: You can still graduate this semester!  All you have to do it go ASAP to Enrollment Services and file for graduation.  You’ll be asked to pay a late fee, but you’ll still be able to receive your diploma as you would otherwise.  You can find more information on filing late to graduate here.

Q: I filed for graduation, but I won’t be able to complete all my degree requirements on time.  What do I do?
A: You have to file for a “Request to Change Graduation Date,” which can you download by clicking here.

Q: What else should I know about graduation?
A: All information on graduation is listed on this website, from Enrollment Services.

Q: I filed to graduate; but what about commencement?
A: Filing to graduate actually has nothing to do with commencement.  Filing to graduate tells the University you’ll be done with your coursework, and will be receiving your diploma once you complete your classes properly.  Commencement means you’ll be in a cap and gown, and walking down the quad to celebrate your achievement.  For information on the commencement ceremony, visit the CSULB Commencement Website.

Q: When will the Commencement Ceremony be for Journalism & Mass Communication majors?
A: Please come back to this page in the Spring to check on the actual date for the ceremony.  For more details, you can visit the University’s Commencement Website.

Q: If I’m graduating in the Fall, when do I attend commencement ceremonies?
A: CSULB only holds commencements once a year, at the end of the Spring.  So students graduating in the Fall are encouraged to either attend Commencement a semester early (the Spring before they’ll be graduating, a very common practice amongst our students graduating in the Fall) or a semester late.  Since Commencement and Graduation are two separate things, walking during a commencement ceremony does not affect your graduation status in any way, and it’s a great way to celebrate your achievement with your family, no matter when!

Last edited: 07/24/14

Journalism &
Mass Communication
Advising Schedule

 

Summer 2014
Advising Hours

Prof. Jennifer Fleming
Advising Hours:
Wednesdays, 12-4 p.m.

Email: Jennifer.Fleming@csulb.edu
Office: SSPA-002
Phone: 562-985-7986

* Please note: there will be no on-site advising hours on July 16 and July 23; advising, however, be available during those days by email.