The USC Annenberg School for Communication was founded in 1971 and was reorganized in 1994 to include USC’s School of Journalism and its Department of Communication Arts.
Following the reorganization of the school, its name was changed to the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2009.
Communication degrees available to students at the school include a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, master’s degrees in areas such as communication management and public diplomacy, and a PhD in communications.
Students in the journalism school can pursue undergraduate degrees in journalism and public relations as well as graduate degrees in public relations and advertising, journalism, and specialized journalism.
USC Annenberg currently has 2,300 students enrolled across the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. These students study under the school’s 195 faculty as they prepare to become the next generation of editors, reporters, journalists, and public relations agents.
Among the facilities available to journalism and communications students is the 20,000-square-foot media center that provides the space and equipment to support students’ experiential learning and the Jacki and Gilbert Cisneros Assignment Desk, where student editors work to compile the day’s news reports.
Not limited to providing its students with excellent learning facilities on its campus, USC Annenberg also allows them to study abroad in locations such as China, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
With the excellent opportunities available to its students, it is no wonder that many choose to apply to the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as one of the most important career steps.
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate for undergraduate students applying to USC Annenberg is about 10%.
The acceptance rate for graduate students applying to USC Annenberg is 37%.
Compared to the overall acceptance rate of USC, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism was more selective in its admission than its parent school.
In the fall of 2022, USC Annenberg had a total undergraduate population of 1,305 students, with 740 studying communication, 336 studying journalism, and 229 studying public relations.
In addition to its undergraduate students, USC Annenberg had 962 students at the graduate level, with 55 pursuing a PhD in Communication.
The majority of the remaining graduate students studied communication management, digital social media, or public relations and advertising.
In 2022, undergraduate students enjoyed a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1, while graduate students saw a ratio of 5 to 1.
While the admission department at USC Annenberg may be quite selective for entering freshmen, dedicated journalism, communication, and public relations students will indeed remain undeterred as they seek admission to one of the country’s leading schools of communication and journalism.
Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Ranking
Given the high regard in which its parent university is held and the notable works of many of its faculty and alumni, it should come as no surprise that the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is also held in high esteem.
QS World University Rankings placed the University of Southern California at number 2 in its 2022 rankings of the best universities with communication and media studies programs, and USC has held this spot since 2020, when it moved up from number 3 in the world.
Similarly lauding USC, Niche.com ranks the university at number 2 in its Best Colleges for Communications in America and at number 8 in its Best Colleges for Public Policy in America categories.
Among universities in California, USC ranks number 1 for communications in the state.
Collegefactual.com also ranks the communication and journalism programs at USC favorably, placing the school at number 2 out of 670 for its Best Communication & Journalism Bachelor’s Degree Schools.
With the programs offered through USC Annenberg, students who wish to pursue careers in communication, journalism, or public relations are well advised to seek admission into the school as they take the first steps toward their goals.
USC Annenberg Requirements
First-year applicants are directed to the USC undergraduate admission website and will submit their applications via the Common Application.
Students applying to USC are reviewed holistically, with the admission department considering academic performance and rigor, personal characteristics, community involvement, extracurricular activities, and test scores, if submitted.
The school requires students to submit high school transcripts, a letter of recommendation from a counselor or teacher, a personal statement, an activities list, and responses to USC’s short answer questions.
According to USC’s 2022 to 2023 first-year student profile, the middle 50% GPA range of students admitted to the school was 3.88 to 4.0 on an unweighted, 4.0 scale.
For the same year, students had the option to submit test scores, and 48% of the students who enrolled in the fall submitted standardized test scores.
Data collected by Niche.com shows that students admitted to USC who submitted test scores had ACT scores from 30 to 34 and SAT scores from 1340 to 1530.
USC’s admission department makes admission decisions; the Annenberg admission department will review undergraduate applications for the purpose of identifying students eligible for merit scholarships.
Students who are interested in applying through the school’s Early Action plan are required to submit their applications by the 1st of November. November 1 is also the deadline for students who wish to be considered for USC Annenberg merit scholarships.
For those who wish to apply through the Regular Decision plan, the application deadline is January 15. Students who apply through Early Action will receive a decision in mid to late January, and those who apply through Regular Decision will be notified of the school’s decision by the 1st of April.
Notable Alumni of USC Annenberg
The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has produced a number of famous and influential alumni who have gone on to shape much of the media and communications landscape.
Among the notable alumni of USC Annenberg is improvisational comedian Will Ferrell, who graduated from the school with a BA in sports information before later embarking on his comedy and acting career.
Filmmaker Terry Moloney, known for his award-winning documentaries, graduated with his bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC.
Some of the major journalists who have graduated from Annenberg are television news anchor Marc Brown of Los Angeles’ KABC-TV, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jack Jones, and CBS news correspondent Tracy Smith, who graduated with a master’s degree in broadcast journalism.
Herbert Klein, known for being Richard Nixon’s Executive Branch Communications Director, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1940 before beginning his work in journalism and politics.
Associate Register of Copyrights at the United States Copyright Office Maria Strong earned her master’s degree in communication management at USC Annenberg before obtaining her law degree from the George Washington University Law School.
Should You Attend the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism?
Students interested in pursuing careers in the media, journalism, or public relations will find the opportunities presented by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism enticing as they consider which school will be the best fit for them.
USC Annenberg’s facilities allow students ample opportunities for experiential learning, while the school’s 195 faculty provide students with expert instruction and advice in their chosen majors. The school’s study abroad programs further enrich students’ experience and education by providing the opportunity to learn in diverse settings and exchange ideas with others who have different perspectives from their own.
As both USC and Annenberg award merit scholarships to high-achieving students, students who have demonstrated academic excellence and community involvement will have a good chance at qualifying for scholarships to offset the cost of tuition.
No matter what draws a particular student to apply to USC Annenberg, successful applicants can rest easy knowing that they will receive one of the best educations available for their chosen fields.