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Photojournalism Masters Degree Program Overviews

Photojournalism master's degree programs teach students to provide visual and graphic representations of the news. Students gain extensive technical experience taking and editing photos from a legal, ethical, and historical point of view.

Essential Information

A master's degree program in photojournalism is intended to prepare students for entry-level work, if transferring from another field, or for advancement in their current careers. Students learn both photography and journalism skills. Significant attention is devoted to digital photography and photography software. Students often contribute photos to professional publications or prepare work for art exhibits.


Master's Degree in Photojournalism

Photojournalism master's degree programs are most commonly available at 4-year colleges and universities. Applicants are required to possess a bachelor's degree. In most cases, applicants must also submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Some programs require that students submit portfolios demonstrating their experience, skills, and creativity.

Courses in photojournalism master's degree programs cover technical aspects of the field, while also approaching photojournalism from a historical, legal and ethical perspective. Common courses include:

  • Documentary photography
  • Photo editing
  • Lighting techniques in photography
  • Online photojournalism
  • History of photojournalism
  • Ethical issues in photojournalism and mass media

Popular Careers

Graduates with a master's degree in photojournalism are prepared for a range of career opportunities in journalism, books, film, broadcast media and art galleries. Photojournalists may choose careers as photographers, editors or producers. Some specific career titles include:

  • Editor
  • Freelance Photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • Producer
  • Visual Reporter

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Photographers, including photojournalists, portrait photographers and others, held approximately 50,070 jobs in 2015, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Employment growth in this field is expected to be slower than other industries, rising only 3% between 2014 and 2024. Opportunities in photojournalism are anticipated as a result of growth in the internet versions of magazines, newspapers and journals. As of May 2015, the median annual wage for salaried photographers was $31,710.

Continuing Education Information

A photojournalism master's degree can provide an individual with opportunities for advancement or teaching. Those with a master's degree can go on to pursue a Ph.D. in communications, journalism or photography.

Photojournalism master's degree programs train students to become visual reporters by incorporating courses in documentation and storytelling with the fundamentals of photo editing and ethics. These prepare graduates to take roles as photographers, editors or producers in various fields.


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