California Communications Degrees

The state of California has one of the largest rosters of institutions that offer accredited digital media and communication degrees by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). Numerous schools within the California State University umbrella offer bachelor's degrees within Journalism and Public Relations.

Popular institutions, such as the University of Southern California and San Diego State University, also offer programs with this designation. In total, there are eight universities and all of them are in different locations throughout the state.

Some concentrations have been added to these schools, but have not yet been reviewed by the ACEJMC. This includes the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies at SDSU and the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Broadcast and Public Relations at CSU-Northridge.

In order for institutions to have programs accredited, they must go through a self-study reporting process that is assessed by the organization. They review the commitment to diversity, uniqueness of the program offering, and curriculum development.

Here is a quick view of schools with communications degrees in California:
  • California State University, Chico: B.A. Journalism
  • California State University, Fullerton: B.A. Communications
  • California State University, Long Beach: B.A. Journalism; B.A. Public Relations
  • California State University, Northridge: B.A. Journalism
  • San Diego State University: B.A. Journalism; B.A. Journalism, Emphasis in Advertising; B.A. Journalism, Emphasis in Public Relations

Top Locations for Communications Schools and Job Opportunities in
California

Compared to any other state in the nation, California has the highest overall employment of reporters, advertisers, and public relations positions in the United States. There are numerous job opportunities in the state's largest city, Los Angeles, along with San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and many more.

All eight institutions that have ACEJMC accreditation are in different locations. The Bay Area has opportunities through San Francisco State University and San Jose State University, while Southern California has numerous institutions, such as USC and the California State University umbrella - Chico, Fullerton, Long Beach, and Northridge. There is only one Master's degree option among all the accredited schools, and that is the Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations at USC.

Most Bachelor's degrees are offered in the field of Journalism with the next most popular discipline in Public Relations. San Jose State University offers three different Bachelor of Science degrees in the above disciplines and Advertising.

They are the only university in the state that offers BS degrees within journalism and mass communication. Differences between the two include an emphasis in influence and persuasion and the impact course topics have socially with the BA degree, and studies will be more applied toward business and public affairs with the BS programs.

San Francisco and Los Angeles are home to thousands of digital media opportunities. In the Bay Area, tech giants like Facebook and Google have many job positions available, such as communications managers, global media strategists, creative social strategists, and event marketers. Other corporations in the LA area include Snapchat, Oath, performance marketing agency MuteSix, the University of Southern California itself.

California Journalism and Communications Careers, Salaries, and Associations

California provides some of the highest-paying opportunities in all communication and digital media fields. This is mostly due to the numerous opportunities and high cost of living in more popular cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here are the following median annual salaries for select career fields.

  • Reporters and correspondents: $49,180
  • Editors: $68,530
  • Multimedia artists and animators: $84,740
  • Public relations specialists: $65,830
  • Advertising managers:$121,800
  • Marketing managers: $153,080

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has the largest overall employment of marketing managers, nearly double the second-highest state of Illinois with over 33,380 workers. Many of these positions can be found in Silicon Valley with a number of technology giants, such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and many more.

These organizations are constantly hiring management positions within their core company or subsidiaries. For example, Facebook frequently looks for advertising or marketing management for products like Instagram, Portal, and WhatsApp to boost their profitability and awareness in various communities.

The Center for Investigative Reporting was established in 1977 as the country’s first nonprofit investigative journalism organization, and is based in Emeryville. They help produce Reveal, which releases news stories on a variety of platforms, such as digitally, through podcasts, and on social media. They have won numerous awards and maintain full independence as a nonprofit through donations.

Campus-based and online Communications programs in California

California State University, Chico

  • B.A. Journalism

California State University, Fullerton

  • B.A. Communications

California State University, Long Beach

  • B.A. Journalism; B.A. Public Relations

California State University, Northridge

  • B.A. Journalism

San Diego State University

  • B.A. Journalism; B.A. Journalism, Emphasis in Advertising; B.A. Journalism, Emphasis in Public Relations

San Francisco State University

  • B.A. Journalism

San Jose State University

  • B.S. Journalism; B.S. Advertising; B.S. Public Relations

University of Southern California

  • B.A. Journalism; B.A. Public Relations
  • M.A. Strategic Public Relations
Notice a missing or inaccurate program? Our school and program information has been collected over a year plus time frame. If you notice a missing program or school, or one needs updated, please email schools at communicationsdegrees.com.