The School of Journalism’s newest pairing partners with the James E. Rogers School of Law and offers students a dual master’s degree in Journalism and Legal Studies. Four other dual degrees are offered in partnership with other units in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
At a time when law is having such a profound impact on political, economic, and social institutions and values, journalists who understand the factors that shape the decisions of legislatures, courts, and regulators are of crucial importance. There is a significant demand in the news media and other information industries for graduate students who have an educational background in both law and journalism.
News reports about issues such as climate change regulation, corporate bankruptcy, health care reform, and criminal prosecutions illustrate clearly how providing journalists with a cross-disciplinary education in law can affect decisions about how information about legal topics is selected and used in news reports that become part of the global information environment. This coverage, in turn, has a major impact on discourse about justice and a range of related topics like the environment, social inequality, and race in this country and others.
Students who acquire the research background, professional training, and knowledge of law and journalism provided by this dual-degree program can make important contributions not only to discussions within news organizations about timely legal developments but also to the fields of law and journalism about the ways in which this information influences society and the economy.
Admission to the Dual Degree Program
Students must apply to and be accepted by both the James E. Rogers School of Law Master of Legal Studies Program and the School of Journalism to qualify for the dual degree program.
A request to transfer must be submitted to the Graduate College, in consultation with the Directors of Graduate Studies of both units, by the end of the first year. Many of these transfer units may be applicable to requirements in either degree program, or may count toward the additional units required of the student.
Thesis or Project
By the end of the second semester of enrollment, students must form a master’s thesis or master’s project committee of at least three faculty members, one of whom serves as the thesis or project adviser.
The committee membership must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or the Master’s Program Director in each unit.
Curriculum for Dual Master’s Degrees in Legal Studies and Journalism (51 units)
JOURNALISM COURSES (18 units)
Journalism Course Requirements (18 units)
Take all: JOUR 506 Introductory and Advanced Reporting (3 units)
JOUR 507 Reporting with Multimedia (3 units)
JOUR 508 Journalism Theory and Practice (3 units)
JOUR 509 International and U.S. Media Law (3 units)
JOUR 589 Research Methods (3 units)
JOUR 590 School Media (3 units)
SHARED JOURNALISM/LAW COURSES (16 units max)
Take both: LAW 571 Communications Law (3 units)
JOUR 520 Digital Communications Law (3 units)
Select one: JOUR 539 Ethics and the News Media (3 units)
JOUR 547 Government Secrecy (3 units)
LAW 655K First Amendment (3 units)
LAW 615E Freedom of Speech & Religion (4 units)1
LAW 615 Constitutional Law II (3 units)
Select one: JOUR 909 or 910 Project or Thesis (6 units)
LAW 909 or 910 Thesis or Project (6 units)
LAW COURSES (18 units)
Law Course Requirements (14 units)
Take all: LAW 501 Procedure (3 units)
LAW 502A Common Law System I (contracts, torts) (3 units)
LAW 502B Common Law System II (property) (3 units)
LAW 504 American Public Law (constitutional law, administrative law) (3 units)
LAW 507 Legal Process, Analysis & Writing (2 units)
Law Course Electives (4 units)
Select two: LAW 550 Native American Law & Policy (3 units)
LAW 551 Public International Law (3 units)
LAW 552 Health Law (3 units)
LAW 553 Immigration Law (3 units)
LAW 554 Environmental Law & Policy (3 units)
LAW 556 Family Law (3 units)
LAW 557 Employment Law (3 units)
LAW 558 Criminal Law & Procedure (3 units)
LAW 561 Legislative Analysis (3 unit)
LAW 655B Copyright Law (2 units)
LAW 682 Cyberlaw (3 units)
LAW 692A Information Privacy (2 units)
LAW 655A Trademarks & Unfair Competition (2 units)
Students may also petition to enroll in other 600-level LAW electives, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the program director and the course professor.