Independent journalism plays a crucial role in democratic societies, providing citizens with the information they need in order to participate knowledgeably in their local, national, and international communities. The courses in this program provide opportunities for students to identify stories, gather facts, and present news and information clearly and effectively in a variety of media in print and on screen. The curriculum takes into account new communication technologies that have impacted the way people get their news and the skills needed by journalists today. Students completing the program will create a professional website showcasing their best work.


This Professional Certificate Program Provides:

  • Professional training by experienced journalists.
  • Practice in applying strategies and approaches for various kinds of journalism.
  • Opportunity to create and receive feedback on your portfolio of work.


Additional Details

Program Course Schedule

Required Writing Courses (8 units):

Required Elective Course Option (at least 1 course/4 units):

Advisory Board members: Jerry Roberts, Cissy Ross, Patricia Stark, Nomi Morris, Madeleine Sorapure, and Henry Dubroff.


Students are required to complete 12 units of regular-session WRIT courses and 2-3 X400-level courses that teach professional skills in photojournalism, data-driven journalism, the business of journalism, and international reporting.

To be eligible for the professional certificate, students must:

  • Complete a minimum of 18 units from the above program schedule
  • Earn no less than a "C" in any particular course to be eligible for the certificate
  • Enroll in the UCSB regular-session courses via Open University if they are non-matriculated (not UCSB students)

Transfer units will not be accepted as credit toward this certificate.


Program Cost

For UCSB matriculated students the approximate cost is $1,800 for 6 units. Each X400-level professional course is $275/unit. The non-refundable certificate application fee is $150. These figures do not include the costs of textbooks and/or materials, and can change without notice.

Financial Aid: Current UCSB matriculated students, who are eligible for financial aid, are strongly encouraged to take a minimum of 12 units of regular undergraduate courses. The units offered for the X400 professional courses do not count toward that minimum.

For non-UCSB matriculated students the approximate cost of completion of this program is $4,800.

Journalism Student

“Journalists are vital to a free society. We perform a public service, delivering information in a way that helps readers better understand the world around them.”

-Gwendolyn Wu