USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

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Annenberg Building on the edge of Founder's Park
Entrance to the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism comprises a School of Communication and a School of Journalism at the University of Southern California (USC). It is led by Dean Ernest J. Wilson III, Ph.D.

Wallis Annenberg Hall, set to open 2014, will feature advanced technology for communication and journalism programs.


The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is relatively new. It was established in 1971 through the support of United States Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg. The USC Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and the School of Journalism became part of USC Annenberg in 1994. To this day, the school focuses on Annenberg's mission statement:

Every human advancement or reversal can be understood through communication. The right to free communication carries with it the responsibility to respect the dignity of others, and this must be recognized as irreversible. Educating students to communicate this message effectively and to be of service to all people is the enduring mission of this school.

During Dean Geoffrey Cowan's leadership (1996–2007), the endowment rose from $7.5 million to $218 million.[1]


School of Communication: The USC Annenberg School of Communication is the school's center for general communications. It offers degrees from undergraduate to doctorates. Its current director is Sarah Banet-Weister, who took over from Larry Gross in 2014.

Degrees offered: B.A. (communication), M.A. (global communication, communication management, public diplomacy, strategic public relations), Ph.D. (communication)

School of Journalism Annenberg's School of Journalism is one of the most recognizable in the country and consistently ranks in the top 10. The school benefits from its access to the Los Angeles market. Its director is Willow Bay, who joined in 2014.

Degrees offered: B.A. (journalism, public relations), M.A. (journalism, specialized journalism, strategic public relations)


  • The Annenberg Research Network on International Communication generates research on critical international communication issues.
  • The Johnson Communication Leadership Center provides undergraduate scholarships and conducts research on the role of African-Americans in the media.
  • The Center on Communication Leadership & Policy sponsors research and organizes courses, programs and symposia for scholars, students and working professionals to prepare the next generation of leaders in a rapidly evolving media environment. The center's director is the former dean of USC Annenberg Geoffrey Cowan.
  • The Center for the Digital Future studies communication technology and mass media and their impact on individuals, communities and nations around the world. Includes the research project:
    • Surveying the Digital Future
  • The USC U.S.-China Institute (USCI) informs public discussion of the evolving and multidimensional U.S.-China relationship through policy-relevant research, graduate and undergraduate training, and professional development programs for teachers, journalists, and officials. It produces compelling public events, widely-viewed documentary films, and the popular magazines US-China Today and Asia Pacific Arts.

USCI was established in 2006 by USC President C.L. "Max" Nikias (then provost). In fall 2011, USCI became part of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, whose world-class programs include those on public diplomacy, new Chinese media, and economics reporting.

  • The USC Center on Public Diplomacy, operated in partnership with the USC College’s School of International Relations, examines how government, corporate and non-state actors engage foreign audiences to facilitate intercultural dialogue and understanding worldwide. Includes the:
    • U.S. Canada Fulbright Chair in Public Diplomacy
  • The Haptics Lab, which develops the science of integrating the sense of touch into human/computer interactions, is supported by the Integrated Media Systems Center, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center.
  • The Metamorphosis Project is an in-depth examination of the transformations of urban community under the forces of globalization, new communication technologies and population diversity.
  • The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center exploring implications of the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society. Includes the research projects.
  • The mission of the Strategic Public Relations Center is to advance the study, practice and value of public relations through research and engagement with professionals in the field.
  • The Annenberg Innovation Lab
  • The USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media & Society

Professional education[edit]

  • Knight Digital Media Center
  • USC Annenberg/California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships
  • USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program
  • Institute for Justice and Journalism
  • NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater

Awards presented[edit]


Editors: Manuel Castells, Larry Gross

  • Online Journalism Review

Editor: Robert Niles (ceased operation on June 16, 2008)

Student activities[edit]

Students are active with USC’s student-run newspaper, the Daily Trojan; USC Annenberg’s online news publication, Neon Tommy; USC Annenberg’s nightly television newscast, Annenberg TV News; its TV newsmagazine Impact; Radio show Annenberg Radio News; Community digital journalism news website focusing on South Los Angeles Intersections South LA. USC Annenberg is also home to the nationally ranked, award-winning Trojan Debate Squad, as well as student chapters of the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Public Relations Student Society of America. Students also run TriSight, an in-house public relations agency that works with non-profit and small business clients.

Annenberg TV News airs Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m. on Trojan Vision. Students are responsible for reporting local, national and international news and producing the newscast live on air. The show is also available on ATVN's website.


USC Annenberg’s career development office provides services exclusively to USC Annenberg students and alumni. Services include daily online job and internship postings; career and job fairs; and a variety of workshop, counseling and interview opportunities.


Resources include a fully digital three-camera broadcast studio, a television newsroom, a digital lab equipped with more than 50 Avid nonlinear video editing systems, four computer classrooms and the Experiential Learning Center. Fourteen classrooms feature multimedia display capabilities. Professional media and research software applications are installed on more than 200 computers available for student use.

International programs[edit]

USC Annenberg offers study-abroad opportunities for undergraduate students in Amsterdam, Auckland, Buenos Aires, Christchurch, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Sydney. Graduate journalism and public relations students may complete summer internships in Cape Town, Hong Kong and London, and public diplomacy students have the opportunity to complete summer internships abroad. USC Annenberg offers a joint MA/MSc graduate degree program in global communication with the London School of Economics & Political Science.

Notable faculty members and instructors[edit]



Admissions statistics[edit]


Total undergraduate enrollment (Fall 2007): 1,321

Freshman class statistics[edit]

Number applied 1,876
Number admitted 326
Number entered 157
Average GPA (weighted) 4.10
Middle 50% SAT 1920–2130
Middle 50% ACT 27–31


Total graduate enrollment (Fall 2007): 545

Graduate program statistics[edit]

Program No. Enrolled
Communication Ph.D. 92
Communication Management 238
Journalism 97
Public Diplomacy 52
Strategic Public Relations 54

Finances and fundraising[edit]

  • Annual operating budget, 2007–08: $49 million
  • Endowment (as of July 1, 2007): $228 million
  • Undergraduate tuition & fees (with living expenses): $45,810 ($58,403)
  • USC undergraduates receiving financial aid: 60%

See also[edit]


External links[edit]