Photojournalism Major and Undergraduate Degree Program Information

Photojournalism majors learn how to use photography to relate stories or describe events. Along with a core curriculum in photography and journalism, students can pursue their own interests through a diverse offering of electives.

Essential Information

Students in photojournalism programs gain a thorough understanding of photography, writing, journalism, and the media in society. These programs prepare students for careers in online and print journalism through hands-on training options in addition to coursework. A photojournalism major receives a bachelor's degree, typically a Bachelor of Arts, upon completion of the program.

  • Prerequisites: General undergraduate admission
  • Other Requirements: Capstone project

BA in Photojournalism

A high school diploma or equivalent is required to apply for entry into a photojournalism bachelor's degree program. The curriculum focuses on developing occupational skills, such as editing digital photos and creating documentaries, and also incorporates fundamental training in news writing. In addition to emphasizing photography skills and news gathering techniques, coursework can also explore mass media issues such as journalism ethics and multimedia forms. Students in these programs can expect to join the school's newspaper staff or participate in internships, and some sort of capstone project, typically a photographic essay, is usually required. The classes listed below are often included in a photojournalism program:

  • Photographic studio techniques
  • Visual editing and production
  • Digital and commercial photography
  • Interviewing skills
  • Film production
  • Gender and race in the media

Popular Career Options

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in photojournalism are prepared for jobs working with mass media organizations, news agencies, or consulting groups.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that slower-than-average growth (4%) is expected for photographers of all types from 2012 to 2022. However, photojournalists who are considering working strictly for newspapers should be aware that jobs are expected to decline 36% in that field for the same time period.

The BLS indicates that the median annual salary for photographers was $30,490 in 2014. Job prospects are better for photographers, including photojournalists, who are able to use digital video or can edit their own photos. Payscale.com reports that photojournalists earned a median annual salary of $38,323, as of June 2015.

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