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Publishing Program | Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology Simon Fraser University Calendar | Fall 2020


Master of Publishing

This program leads to a master of publishing degree (MPub) and is designed for those in, or intending to enter print or digital publishing work in trade companies, government or the non-profit sector. The program is composed of a set of seminar and simulation courses, an internship, and a project report, and encompasses a range of print and online publishing activities including marketing, management, design and technology.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Meeting the minimum University requirements for admission does not guarantee acceptance. Entering students are expected to have a minimum knowledge of publishing which will be assessed through an evaluation of experience and submitted documents, and in some cases, through interviews and examinations. For further information on additional admission requirements, see the program website or contact Direct admission is only permitted into the Project Option.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work, an internship, and the requirements from either a project or course option for a minimum of 49 units.

Students must complete

PUB 600 - Topics in Publishing Management (4)

An analysis of management issues essential to the daily operation of publishing firms. Emphasis will be placed on the distinctive nature of publishing as a cultural/information industry, the applicability of theory and practice in marketing and accounting and the legal underpinnings of publishing. Prerequisite: Admittance to the program.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Mo, We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
PUB 601 - Editorial Theory and Practice (4)

An examination of and engagement with editorial work, which comprises tasks ranging from conceptual to copy editing, as well as close collaboration with artists, designers, and marketers. Through readings, discussions, exercises, and assignments, all approached in the context of rhetorical theory, students learn to edit text, images, and combined forms - in print and online. Prerequisite: Admittance to the program.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Mo 1:30 PM – 4:20 PM
We 1:30 PM – 4:20 PM
PUB 602 - Design and Production Management (4)

A project-based consideration of the theory, elements, and principles of graphic design, as well as current trends in publication design for both print and online projects. The course examines the essential role of design and production in editorial, planning, budgeting, and marketing. This course is taken over two terms. Prerequisite: Admittance to the program.

PUB 605 - Book Publishing Project (5)

Students work in teams to set up simulated publishing companies, taking on industry roles such as editor, art director, and marketing manager. Each team then develops a company mission and a list of printed books and digital publications. The team produces editorial and marketing documents; creates design solutions for print and online; projects revenue and expenses for each publication; and makes a final presentation to a panel of publishing professionals.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Tu 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Th 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
PUB 606 - Magazine Publishing Project (4)

Teams of students take on industry roles such as editor, art director, and circulation manager and each team conceives a magazine to be published online, or in print with an online presence. Working with faculty and industry guests, the team researches audience potential, develops editorial and design concepts, and creates a comprehensive business and marketing plan for final presentation to a panel of publishing professionals. Prerequisite: admittance to the program.

PUB 607 - Publishing Technology Project (4)

Students work in teams to explore applied research and development directions in publishing technology. Project teams design and develop working implementations and produce documentation and specifications for industry review. Prerequisite: admittance to the program.

PUB 800 - Text & Context: Publishing in Contemporary Culture (4)

An examination of the state of publishing in the context of public policy, international agreements, the Internet, and 21st century media ecologies. Emphasis is placed on trade, educational, and scholarly publishing in book, periodical, and online forms. This course is taken over two terms. Prerequisite: Admittance to the program.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Tu, We, Th 1:30 PM – 4:20 PM
PUB 801 - History of Publishing (4)

A consideration of publishing from tablets, scrolls and codices to movable type and mass production including discussion of the medium of print and its influence on human expression. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of publishing and publishing policies in history. Prerequisite: Admittance to the program.

PUB 802 - Technology and the Evolving Form of Publishing (4)

An examination of the economic, legal, social, and cultural role of publishing vis-à-vis the emerging digital paradigm. The emergence of new forms, genres, and contexts is explored, as is the adaptation and evolution of existing industrial forms. Attention is given to both broad-scale phenomena and to the details of digital technology. Prerequisite: Admittance to the program.

and an internship

PUB 899 - Publishing Internship or Project (6)

Students are placed in an applied setting. The work they undertake must be of sufficient depth and breadth to allow the student the opportunity to demonstrate his or her acquired knowledge and skills. Students will be required to produce two reports; the first, a work report which will be an appraisal of the student's work experience, and the second, a project report which will be an investigation and analysis of a particular problem or case. Prerequisite: Admittance to the program.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD

and the requirements from either a project or course option

Project Option

PUB 898 - Internship Project Report Supervision and Evaluation (6)

Students complete their internship project report and work with their supervisory committee to bring it to a final acceptable form. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD
G200 TBD

Course Work Option

Students complete a minimum of eight units from the following list of courses selected in consultation with supervisor or graduate program chair.

PUB 631 - Graphic Design: The Page and the Screen (4)

Students propose, create, produce, and defend a publication design project, which contributes to the development and understanding of the role of graphic design in society.

PUB 638 - Design Awareness in Publishing Processes and Products (4)

An exploration of fundamental design principles complemented by media-specific approaches to design as a strategic framework in publishing.

PUB 648 - Publishing and Social Change: Tech, Texts, and Revolution (4)

An exploration of the relationship between publishing and major moments of social and political change, with a focus on how publishing has historically been linked to revolution: democracy, science, abolition, anti-fascism, and feminism.

PUB 655 - Online Marketing for Publishers (4)

Explores the formulation and analysis of marketing goals within the evolving realm of online promotion and marketing. Emphasis is given to approaches to measurement of effect; implementation and campaign management; finding and nurturing audiences and conversations; branding; forecasting and budgeting.

PUB 656 - Institutional and International Event Planning and Management (4)

An exploration of events and their management with emphasis on theories, social context, practices in the context of audience building, market creation and community building. Skill development, including curating, planning, design, marketing, human and financial resource management, sponsorship, budgeting, risk management and program evaluation are featured in this course.

PUB 877 - Special Topics in Publishing (4)

Intensive study of a particular topic in publishing; course content varies per term.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in five terms.

Other Information

Satisfactory Performance

The progress of each student is assessed at the end of each term. A course grade of less than B is considered unsatisfactory. Any student who obtains a grade of less than B in two or more courses may be required to withdraw from the program.

Internship and Project Report

A key component is an internship and project report which integrates the knowledge the student has gained with the demands of an applied setting. This internship is in the workplace, typically in industry, public institutions, or government. An appropriate level of documentation and reporting is required. During the internship, which generally last four months, the student receives academic supervision as required from the student's supervisor. Day-to-day supervision is by designated industry supervisors who have appropriate qualifications and will be appointed by the University. In very small companies, alternate arrangements may be made.

The internship will focus on a specific student-initiated project, overseen by one or more supervisory committee members or by the industry supervisor. The student submits a proposal defining the project scope, plans for documentation and reporting, anticipated activities, schedule and conclusion. The proposal is approved by the supervisory committee. Commitment of the company or institution, the industry supervisor and the University will be formalized by a letter exchange.

The student produces two reports: a work report which documents the tasks performed during the internship term; and a project report which investigates a particular problem. The latter serves as a project record and interpretation.

The supervisory committee assesses the project on the basis of the quality of writing and the substance, scope, and relevance of research conducted.

There is no oral exam. However, a project report will be submitted to the library.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.