Professional Writing Minor

The Journalism Track

Your entry point into a career in media writing

The Journalism Track in UCSB’s Professional Writing Minor gives students the knowledge and skills they need to practice evidence-based journalism in a quickly changing digital environment – at a time when this type of communication is urgently needed in our democracy. Students study the tenets of professional journalism, practicing writing for both mass and niche audiences, using both text and visuals on various media platforms.

Journalism students learn and apply key concepts, approaches and techniques found in this dynamic and quickly-changing industry, working in the classroom and out in the field to identify stories, gather original material, verify facts, and present information clearly and effectively in a variety of media for print and screen. Journalism training equips students to produce text and multimedia for mass audiences—skills with professional applications to virtually every business, non-profit and government agency that maintains a digital identity — not only traditional journalism outlets. 

Students complete the Minor with a professional website showcasing their best work, internship experience relevant to their interests, and skills and techniques of the craft of journalism that carry far beyond the field. 

Journalism Track: Preferred path

Click here to download the preferred path of the Journalism Track of the Professional Writing Minor.

Prerequisite Courses

Writing 107 courses focus on writing in a professional or workplace setting in a variety of specific arenas and fulfill the Area A2 requirement in writing. Representative courses focus on writing for business in the US and abroad, writing for high tech, journalism, and law. The 107 courses are geared to students who intend to enter the workforce after graduation or who plan to pursue graduate school in a specific profession.



Prerequisites: Writing 2 or 2E or 2LK; upper-division standing.


Academic Writing

Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement . Not open for credit to students who have completed English 2 or Writing 2LK or 2E.

Writing 2 is students’ initiation to the foundations of academic writing in the university. The work occurs in a small classroom setting where teachers interact intensively and creatively with students. Students receive feedback on writing, learn strategies for engaging in critical inquiry, explore multiple genres, and develop their writing processes. After successfully completing Writing 2, students will have developed critical writing, reading, and analysis strategies that they can use in upper-division classes in the Writing Program and the university. Writing 2 satisfies the Area A1 requirement.


journalism & news writing

Analysis and practice of news writing for print and broadcast with focus on inverted pyramid style, interview techniques, background research, editing, writing to deadline, and ethical issues.


Magazine Writing

Focuses on writing interviews, reviews, and general articles for print media, and submitting them for publication. Students learn about audiences and the demands of each genre, as well as editing and the tyranny of deadlines.


Digital Journalism

Students acquire skills in digital journalism, including writing for web and social media using text, photo, graphics and video. The class forms an editorial group that covers campus events as well as profiles, interviews, blogs, and social media. Course work may be offered to UCSB’s College of Letters and Science for publication.

Minor Track Coursework


Advanced beat reporting

The first of two capstone courses in the Journalism track of the Professional Writing Minor. Students pitch, report, write and revise news and feature articles in a particular “beat” area, enhancing their proficiency in journalistic research and writing.


Multiplatform Journalism

Second capstone course for the Journalism track in the Professional Writing Minor. Focus on creating a long form feature using narrative and multimedia elements (photos, videos, audio, data visualization) and a professional website featuring journalism writing samples suitable for professional audiences.

WRIT 150

internship in Writing

Fieldwork experiences to explore professional writing in particular workplace contexts. The professional writing may be in varied genres, in print and/or digital media. Students create documents for the instructor and participate in periodic seminars with the instructor and Minor students.
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