Bachelor's degree programs in photojournalism can be taken fully online or as a combination of online and on-campus coursework; however, it is very difficult to find an online degree program specifically in photojournalism. Students who are looking for online photojournalism degree programs should consider a visual arts or journalism program that features a lot of coursework in photojournalism. Such programs offer 100% of their coursework online. As a requirement, students will need to install photo editing software on their computers.
Bachelor's Degree in Photojournalism
Some online journalism programs offer a photojournalism specialization. These programs focus on the importance of photographs to convey information and sentiment. Applicants should have high school diplomas or the equivalent; more specific admission requirements vary by school. Students who hold associate's degrees in photojournalism, mass communications or journalism may be able to transfer credits to the bachelor's degree program.
Photojournalism Bachelor's Degree Program Requirements
Some photojournalism distance learning bachelor's degree programs may be completed entirely online, whereas others are hybrid programs and require students to make occasional campus visits. Students for whom travel to campus presents a problem should discuss their concerns with a program advisor prior to enrollment. Online classes are delivered using Blackboard or some other virtual classroom software. Assignments and other student-professor communications are sent using e-mail. Additional communication is available through phone, video conferencing or online discussion forums.
Technical support is typically available for students who are unfamiliar with virtual classroom operations and have trouble implementing newer versions of Blackboard or other software. Students are strongly advised to have access to the most up-to-date computer hardware and software possible. Computers should have enough free space to accommodate any necessary photo software downloads.
List of Common Bachelor's Degree Photojournalism Courses
Online photojournalism programs provide students with the skills necessary to write effective articles and to supplement those articles with powerful photographs. Reporting, media operations and photography techniques make up the core curriculum.
Through this distance learning course, students are taught the basics of creating journalistic photographs. An emphasis is placed on black-and-white photography.
Editing Photographs and Digital Images
Students learn to use their computers to professionally process images. Graphic design topics are also discussed.
This online course emphasizes lighting, camera lenses and special photography processing techniques. Students begin to gain field experience and start to build their portfolios.
Career Information for Photojournalism Bachelor's Degree Graduates
Photojournalists either work for a particular news outlet, or they freelance and sell their photographs to a number of media agencies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) cautions that photojournalists often work irregular hours and must be on call if an important story breaks (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted that photojournalism jobs may be adversely affected by the decline in the newspaper industry and the widespread use of digital equipment by amateur photographers. In May 2015, the median annual wage for photographers, in general, was $31,710, according to the BLS.
Although fully online bachelor's degree programs in photojournalism are rare, hybrid programs are also offered in some schools, and individuals may also consider pursuing degrees in visual arts or journalism, which involve coursework related to photojournalism. In addition to learning the basics of shooting and processing photographs, students of photojournalism programs will also be required to learn about media reporting and acquire field experience, which can help them with developing their portfolios.