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Photojournalism Graduate Degrees

Photojournalism graduate degree programs are available at the master's degree level. You may learn about media law, photojournalism research and electronic photojournalism. Continue reading for more information about what you can study in a master's degree program in photojournalism.

What Types of Graduate Degrees are Available in Photojournalism?

You can earn a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Art (M.A.) in Photojournalism. You will not be able to earn this degree online, but you might find select courses offered through distance learning. Whether you're looking to add a master's degree to your job credentials or enter a new career field, these full-time programs take 1-2 years to complete. Graduates of these programs can also pursue doctoral programs in journalism or communication arts.

Program Fields Master of Science, Master of Art
Common Courses Photo editing, visual storytelling, news reporting, color correction, photojournalism techniques
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree; GRE scores; letter(s) of recommendation and personal essay(s); portfolio of work
Median Salary (May 2018)* $34,000 (for Photographers)
Job Decline (2016-2026)* 6% (for Photographers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

As a photojournalist your job is to tell a story, just as a reporter does. You will be making quick decisions, often working without the benefits of artful lighting and staged settings, so you need to be an expert with your equipment. You will also need to understand the legal and ethical implications of reporting for the media.

To meet these needs, master's degree programs are designed to give you an in-depth understanding of the news business along with strong technical and design skills. You will complete basic news reporting and writing courses as well as advanced photography courses. Course topics may teach you how to take black and white or color photographs for the fashion or sports industries or correct color and lighting in post production. All programs include at least one semester of professional experience and culminate in either a master's thesis or final project. Below are examples of master's-level photojournalism courses.

  • Media law and ethics
  • News reporting
  • Photo editing
  • Research methods in journalism
  • Advanced techniques in photojournalism
  • Electronic photojournalism
  • Visual storytelling

Do I Need Prior Experience for a Graduate Program?

You don't need prior experience in journalism, but undergraduate experience in photography is helpful. For some programs, you will have to submit a portfolio of about 20 photos as part of your admissions requirement. You may also have to demonstrate strong written communication skills by submitting as many as three essays with your application. Other requirements include a bachelor's degree in any major, strong Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores and letters of recommendation.