Journalism at Langara

Journalism is going through a period of tremendous change, innovation and excitement. Reporters around the world are breaking important stories every day about the changing nature of work, climate change, political wrongdoing, sexual misconduct, international trade, real-estate ownership, the treatment of immigrants and refugees, and more.

There are tens of thousands of people working in journalism in Canada, some in traditional outlets, some in new operations that are springing up, and some as freelancers who serve both. Journalism graduates are getting jobs and they are loving them, because of the unique opportunity journalism offers to be creative, to write, to meet interesting people, to be independent, to tell truth for social change, and to play a role in the world like no other.

We want to help you make the right choice.

If you want more information, please visit the department website and our Langara Journalism Facebook page, where our students and grads post information about journalism issues, about jobs, and about life. If you’d like a one-on-one visit or phone call, please get in touch with department chair Effie Klein, eklein@langara.bc.ca or program assistant Neil Amsler namsler@langara.ca.

Why study journalism at Langara?

First apply to enter Langara College.  Indicate on the application that you want to enter the Journalism Program (Diploma program for high school graduates and Certificate program for university graduates).  Your application will first be assessed by Registrar and Enrolment Services to make sure you meet the college's basic requirements and your documents (transcripts, necessary test scores) are in order. 

The Journalism department requires applicants to submit an essay on your goals and objectives in studying journalism. Certificate applicants should also submit a resume. Applicants to either program may submit a portfolio of journalism-related work. Many applicants submit a statement of intent, a resume, and samples of their journalistic work. 

Here's an application checklist:

  • transcripts
  • test scores
  • essay on goals and objectives
  • resume (Certificate applicants only)
  • samples of work, if any (newspaper articles, blog postings, photos, videos, letters to the editor, podcasts, etc.

The statement should outline what you intend to do as a journalist and what kind of journalism do you want to do and why. Tell us about your goals and your ambitions.  Where do you want to be in five years? Whose job do you want? Do you plan to go into print or broadcasting? Do you want to work for a small media outlet or large?  What are your dreams, your passions about journalism?

While you’re at it, tells us about how you became interested in journalism. Tell us about your past experience in writing or journalism? Was there one incident or experience that turned on the light bulb for you? In short, you should give us some indication that you are serious about and committed to journalism. And one more thing–it should show us that you can write!

We look for people who have a solid academic record, especially in English-language skills. We look for people who like to write, take pictures, record video, and design websites.  We look for people who are curious about the world around them, and who love to tell stories. We look for people who have a range of interesting experiences in their lives: everything from waitressing to volunteering at an animal shelter to working on an organic farm in Australia are experiences that can help enrich you as a journalist.  

We look for people who have made up their minds that they want to pursue journalism as a career. We look for enthusiasm, dedication and commitment. We look for people who can demonstrate their interest in journalism—for example, those involved in high school, college or university publications, or club newsletters.
We look for other demonstrations of your interest. For example, have you done any research on journalism so you know what the job entails? Have you interviewed any working journalists to see what their lives are like? Have you taken any part-time or evening courses in journalism?  Tell us all you’ve done.

Once your application is complete, (see checklist in #1) we will evaluate it and notify you by mid-May. Note that we usually receive more applications than we have space available.  If the spots have been filled, you may be placed on a waitlist and notified if a space becomes available.

If you have nearly all the required credits for an undergraduate degree, you may be considered for the Certificate program. The following factors will also be taken into consideration:

  • other education credentials
  • writing or journalism experience
  • maturity

We allow some general-admissions students to register for some basic journalism courses. If you don’t get into the program, apply as a general student and see which journalism courses have space.

If you are a Diploma program applicant, we recommend that you also apply to the College as an Arts and Science student. Register in university-transferable academic courses—if possible courses that are part for the Journalism package. That way, you will have already completed the required academic courses for the Journalism program should you be accepted into the program the following year. We strongly recommend you take JOUR 1100, Introduction to the News Media, which is open to non-journalism students.

Applicants to both programs are encouraged to apply again for the following year, if they want to be in the full-time program. You may re-activate your existing application with Registrar and Enrolment Services any time after October 1. You do not need to pay the application fee again. Try to enhance your application by such things as adding to your writing portfolio, providing letters of support, taking part-time courses in writing or journalism, interviewing a journalist, and improving your test scores, if applicable.

Though we encourage students to attend full-time in order to benefit from the intensive, hands-on nature of these programs, we will consider requests to attend part-time if space is available.  Contact the chair for permission.  We do not offer evening courses. 

Applicants to the Diploma program can, if they wish, take required academic courses before coming into the program. The advanced standing will then make the load somewhat lighter, primarily in semesters one and two.

Students who are interested in journalism or the media but who don’t feel ready to study journalism full-time might consider enrolling in JOUR 1100, Introduction to the News Media, a three-credit university-transfer course open to non-journalism program students.

We strongly recommend that you do not have to work to support yourself while in the program. The program workload is heavy, deadlines must be taken seriously, and some of your assignments will be off-campus or involve evening or weekend work. Some journalism students do manage to work part-time on weekends or during breaks. It helps if work hours are flexible.

Most necessary equipment, such as cameras, video recorders and all computer hardware and software, is provided. You may borrow the equipment on a three-day loan basis. You are responsible for damaged and lost equipment. You will need to buy your own digital sound recorder and batteries and a portable hard drive.

The Journalism department welcomes students from all over the world. Our students have joined us from countries such as India, China, Brazil, Austria, Korea, and Africa and have gone on to work as reporters, editors, and marketing managers in Canada or as editors of their own publications or others in their home countries.

Learn more about the Journalism program's Admission Requirements.

Find out more about International Education at Langara College.