Photojournalism Degrees, Courses and Schools

If the idea of a career in photojournalism appeals to you, many schools offer degree programs and photography courses to get you started. Read on for career information, program overviews and areas of study. Get advice on how to pick a school. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Photojournalism programs emphasize journalistic writing along with technical photography skills. Degree programs range from 2-year undergraduate options to master's degrees.

Courses Coursework often includes photography, news writing, mass communication, and photo editing.
Degrees Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees
Schools Consider programs offering internships and instruction in the most current photographic technologies.

What is Photojournalism?

Photojournalists tell a story with images. As a photojournalist, you'll describe an entire news event with a camera. If you're experienced in writing, you may contribute by including captions with your pictures, or even writing the news story to correspond with the artwork. Photojournalism is often a very competitive profession, though your career options may also include work at or with advertising agencies, publishing houses, film companies or portrait studios.

What Are My Degree Options?

As an undergraduate, you can earn either a 2-year Associate of Arts degree or a 4-year Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Bachelor of Arts degrees typically include more liberal arts courses in its general education requirements, while Bachelor of Science degrees often consist of more math and science courses. Some schools also have graduate programs that offer a Master of Arts degree in photojournalism or visual communication. In a few instances, a journalism program may include a concentration in photojournalism, rather than offering it as a separate major. Online photojournalism degree programs are rare, but individual photojournalism courses through community or 4-year universities may be available via distance learning.

What Will I Learn?

Since a photojournalist's job is related to news and current events, nearly all programs include courses in newsprint, mass communication and news writing. Courses in photojournalism may include:

  • Introduction to Visual Journalism
  • Fundamentals of Photojournalism
  • Beginning and advanced photography
  • Legal issues of mass communication
  • Investigative reporting and interviewing
  • Comparison of SLR and digital photography
  • Documentary and story photography
  • Desktop publishing and photo manipulation
  • Studio, outdoor and lighting techniques
  • Television broadcasting and film

Even as a photojournalism major, you'll learn some degree of news writing, publication and production. Many schools also offer services or elective courses that will teach you how to compose a portfolio or give you experience through internship opportunities.

How Do I Choose a School?

You should first decide the type of degree you want to pursue and if you want to attend graduate school for advanced instruction. Next, look for a school that offers the widest variety of current photographic technology within the degree program. Don't hesitate to call a school to learn about the instructors; some schools employ Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalists. If you're a hands-on learner, programs that offer you internship opportunities will allow you to get a feel for the trade and make contacts within the profession.

Schools that offer photojournalism programs include:

  • George Washington University Corcoran School of the Arts and Design (Washington, DC)
  • St. John's University (NY)
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism (IL)
  • University of California Berkeley

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • American University

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