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Masters Degrees in Photojournalism: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Read about what the admissions requirements are and what the curriculum is like for a master's degree program in photojournalism. Find out about graduation requirements, and get information on online learning options.

What Kinds of Photojournalism Master's Programs Are Available?

You will find that most schools offer a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Photojournalism program. Some schools may offer a Master of New Media in Photojournalism, though essential components of the curriculum are identical to an M.A. or M.S. program. As a full-time student, you can complete most master's degree programs in two years.

Degree Options Master of arts, master of science, master of new media
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in journalism or related field, writing samples, photography portfolio, GRE scores, current resume
Online Availability Online programs are available, but rare; online journalism programs with photojournalism concentration are available
Common Courses Electronic photojournalism, photojournalism history, journalism and philosophy, history of mass media, photographic essays
Median Salary (May 2018)* $34,000 (for Photographers)
Job Decline (2016-2026)* 6% (for Photographers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Any Prerequisites?

You'll be expected to have a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field. Many programs may ask you to submit a portfolio of your best photography and several writing samples. In some cases, you'll also need to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). Some programs also ask to see a current resume; work experience may translate into credit towards your degree.

Can I Earn It Online?

Online master's degree programs in photojournalism are rare, but an online master's program in journalism may be available through some schools. Most of these programs will allow you to choose photojournalism as a concentration; some cover topics similar to on-campus photojournalism programs. You may be asked to attend campus-based seminars or workshops. You'll need a high-speed Internet connection, a high-quality digital camera, and an up-to-date computer. Some courses may require you to use a specific photo-editing software package, so you'll need to check with your instructor.

What Courses Will I Take?

Much of your coursework will cover general journalism topics with a core of courses that concentrate on photojournalism. You'll explore concepts like reporting, digital photography, ethics, media law and publishing. Other topics of study may include:

  • Photography in society
  • History of mass media
  • Journalism and philosophy
  • Photographic essays
  • Quantitative research methods in journalism
  • Newspaper editing and design
  • Electronic photojournalism
  • Photojournalism history
  • Magazine design and layout
  • Lighting, editing and production skills
  • Newspaper photo desk management

Most programs will also expect you to participate in an internship program, complete a thesis, and in some cases, submit a research project or professional portfolio.