Expand mobile version menu
  Skip to main content


Program Description

Just the Facts

Photojournalism. A program that focuses on the use of still and motion photography in journalism and prepares individuals to function as news photographers and photographic editors. Includes instruction in photography, journalism, studio procedures and techniques, camera and equipment operation and technique, news editing, print and film editing, news scene composition, subject surveillance, media law and policy, news team field operations, and professional standards and ethics.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

Check out related careers

Additional Information

Photojournalism programs train students to take the news photos that change the world.

Most programs are offered as a track of a larger journalism program, but associate's and bachelor's degree programs can be easily found.

Former photojournalism professor Steve Simon says that typical courses cover ethics, digital imaging, electronic pagination, freelancing and business practices.

"A photojournalist is a journalist first and a photographer second," says Susan Zavoina, a photojournalism professor at the University of North Texas. "The skill of operating the tools of photography will not make a photojournalist -- visual and verbal news-gathering skills must work together."

Zavoina hopes her students will gain the ability to write news stories, gather news in both word and picture form and use all types of technology, including film processing, printing, scanning and web page development.

Many programs include internships. Students can opt to take time away from studies to get some real-world experience. Some of Simon's students have interned as reporters, photographers, photo editors and digital publishing specialists at companies like the Magnum Agency and Life magazine.

Most successful students are passionate about the subject -- they eat, breathe and live photojournalism. They take on extra part-time jobs and set up personal photography businesses on the side.

And professors have come to expect this level of dedication in their students.

"It's a complete full-time deal," says Simon. "They spend about 20 to 26 hours in class and then it's up to them....Sometimes they spend an eight-hour day in the classroom and then go out and put in another eight-hour day."

There are a few things you should concentrate on in high school. "Writing is very important," says Simon. "You're not going to continue on in photojournalism if you can't put but a couple of sentences together."

Simon also suggests students take as many journalism courses and computer courses as they can.

Zavoina suggests students participate in any political association or activities that may be available. That will help students get acquainted with the political issues facing people today and encourage them to develop their own opinions.

Simon says students should definitely take part in the usual things -- such as the school newspaper, yearbook and photography clubs -- but they should also make an effort to stay physically fit, read a lot and stay on top of current affairs.

The main cost is camera equipment, which can be thousands of dollars.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Photographers

National Geographic Photography
Stunning images from a giant in photojournalism

Visual Journalists Showcase
See photo galleries presented by National Press Photographers Association


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


Powered by XAP

OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.