Photojournalism Major and Undergraduate Degree Program Information
This article provides an overview of undergraduate degree studies in photojournalism. Find out about program coursework as well as salary and employment information.
Photojournalism majors learn how to use photography to relate stories or describe events. These programs prepare students for careers in online and print journalism through coursework and hands-on training options. Students who major in this field learn the technical and aesthetic aspects of using photography to report the news and editorialize on current events.
The curriculum in a photojournalism undergraduate program focuses on developing occupational skills, such as editing digital photos and creating documentaries, and also incorporates fundamental training in news writing. Students also explore mass media issues, like journalism ethics and multimedia forms. A photojournalist major receives a bachelor's degree, typically a Bachelor of Arts, upon completion of the program. A high school diploma or equivalent is required to apply for entry into a photojournalism bachelor's degree program.
The coursework in photojournalism bachelor's degree programs emphasizes photography skills and news gathering techniques. Students in these programs can expect to join the school's newspaper staff or participate in internships. 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
- News writing and reporting
Career and Salary Info
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in photojournalism are prepared for jobs working with mass media organizations, news agencies or consulting groups. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that average growth is expected for photographers of all types from 2010 to 2020. However, photojournalists who are considering working strictly for newspapers should be aware that jobs are expected to decline by 30% in that field for the same time period.
The BLS indicates that 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 $32,160, as of October 2013.
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