If you're interested in a career as a photojournalist, you'll eventually need to enroll in one of the many photojournalism colleges. Before making such a large commitment of time and money, it's a good idea to gain an understanding of the field and the programs offered to ensure the career is right for you.
Choosing a Program
Sometimes the simplest approach is the most effective. Networking and word-of-mouth is a good first step. Start with your school counselor to get tips on where and how to explore photojournalism programs. If some of your peers or family members have undertaken a career in photography or journalism, find out which programs they selected and more importantly, why they made those choices.
Most reputable colleges publish their course schedules and curriculum online. Use search parameters tailored to your needs such as the types of courses you desire, the length of the program, and the degree offered. Once you locate a promising university, navigate to the "journalism" or "photojournalism" section to find course and curriculum information. Don't automatically discount schools without specific photojournalism programs as they often allow students to focus on photojournalism through the art or journalism departments. Keeping detailed notes about each college's program is useful as you research the many schools that cater to photojournalism.
No matter how you acquire information about photojournalism colleges, it's crucial to investigate each school and each program on your own. Only by learning how these programs fit within your needs can you decide if a college is right for you.
Photojournalism College and Degree Programs
Depending upon the desired level of education and the school, students may acquire a Bachelor's, Associate's, or Master's degree in photojournalism. Listed below are just a few of the many schools that offer full photojournalism programs or courses that focus on photojournalism.
Schools and Colleges
- Brooks Institute: This year-round program consists of six eight-week terms. The Institute trains students in all areas of visual media such as still cameras, computers, and digital video cameras. Program elements include the specialty courses Picture Story, Real World Photojournalism, Digital Video, and Documentary. The broad spectrum of this type of training prepares students to work in print media, broadcasting, and on the Internet. Brooks provides a Bachelor of Science in Visual Journalism upon completion.
- Kent State University: Photojournalism college is taken seriously at Kent State. Its school of journalism features a comprehensive undergraduate program filled with courses tailored to train students in most areas of photojournalism. This program is also geared towards helping students build a dynamic portfolio as they progress through their coursework, which is invaluable for breaking into the photojournalism field. Classes include Photojournalism 1, Photojournalism 2, Advanced Photojournalism, Photography, and Broadcast Documentary.
- Point Park University: This school is located in Pittsburgh and offers curriculum that will prepare students for a career in photojournalism. As students learn, they are given publishing opportunities in school media outlets like newspapers, broadcasting, and magazines. Full access to the school's labs, darkroom, and computer workstations is part of the program as well. The school offers photography courses, photojournalism courses, and writing and editing courses along with opportunities to take elective courses at Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
- Rochester Institute of Technology: RIT places a firm emphasis on storytelling and provides photojournalism students with the tools to acquire an education that balances creativity and professional journalism. The school's alumni include ten Pulitzer prize winning photojournalists.
- Corcoran College of Art and Design is proud of its Washington, DC location, which offers students reliable and timely news sources for documentary subjects. Its structured curriculum focuses on photography skills, photojournalism ethics, legal elements, and storytelling. When students graduate, they take away a portfolio to support the skills they have acquired.
The websites listed below provide additional guidance in choosing the right photojournalism college as well as general information about this area of education such as tuition rates, length of program, job opportunities, duties and requirements, and graduate information.