​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

The photojournalism major at CMU is one of the top-ranked programs in the country. Students and alumni consistently win state, regional and national awards. Small classes enable one-on-one interaction with award-winning professors, who provide structured hands-on experiences and guide you in service-learning projects. CMU faculty members have excellent contacts with media around the globe. You can gain photojournalism experience with our campus newspaper, Central Michigan Life, or our online publication, Grand Central Magazine.​​

Points of Pride

  • CMU has the only photojournalism program in Michigan.
  • As a photojournalism student, you’ll have opportunities to work as an intern at four national parks, including two in Alaska.

Put Your Degree to Work

CMU alumni work as photojournalists at news agencies across the country as well as in business, government and the private sector. Careers include the following:

  • Photojournalist
  • Photo editor
  • Videojournalist
  • Videographer
  • Video editor
  • Sports photographer
  • Commercial photographer
  • Fashion photographer

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2022​
Photographer$28,490 per year4% (5,900 more jobs)
Film/video editor$46,270 per year3% (1,400 more jobs)
Producer/director$71,350 per year3% (2,900 more jobs)

For More Information

Visit the Department of Journalism website or contact:

Department of Journalism
Moore Hall 454
Email: jrndept@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-3196

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Photojournalism Major

A Photojournalism Major requires 48 hours of journalism coursework. The Journalism Department requires that ALL graduating seniors take an exit exam prior to graduation as part of the department's assessment efforts.
Total: 48 semester hours Note: JRN 420 and 422 are offered in the fall semester and JRN 423 and 521 are offered in the spring semester.
Required Courses II
(12 hours)
JRN 202WI
Writing for the Mass Media
3
JRN 220
Basic Media Photography
3
JRN 340
Introduction to Digital Journalism
3
JRN 404
Law of Mass Communication
3
Required Courses III
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
JRN 372
The Asian Media and Cross-cultural Mass Communication
3
JRN 380
Racial and Cultural Diversity: Mass Media's Role
3
Required Courses IV
(24 hours)
ART 241
Introduction to Photography
3
JRN 302
Introduction to Graphics and Visual Communication
3
JRN 320
Photo Editing
3
JRN 420
Photography Studio Techniques
3
JRN 422
The Photographic Process
3
JRN 423
Online Visual Storytelling
3
JRN 445
Multimedia Reporting Capstone
3
JRN 521
Seminar in News Photography
3
Required Courses V
(3 hours)
Select one of the following: JRN course, 300 level or above, approved by advisor (3 hours) OR
JRN 529
Photojournalism Internship
1-4
Required Courses VI
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
ART 342
Alternative Photographic Processes
3-6
ART 441
Photography Lighting Studio
3-6
Required Courses I
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
JRN 101
Media and Society
3
JRN 102
Introduction to Journalism
3