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:
- Photo editor
- Video editor
- Sports photographer
- Commercial photographer
- Fashion photographer
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Photographer||$28,490 per year||4% (5,900 more jobs)|
|Film/video editor||$46,270 per year||3% (1,400 more jobs)|
|Producer/director||$71,350 per year||3% (2,900 more jobs)|
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.)
A Photojournalism Major requires 42 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: 42 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
Writing for the Mass Media
Gathering, processing and writing information and opinion on current matters using professional standards and formats in news, public relations and advertising. Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: ENG 101 (C or better) or ENG 103/109 (C or better) or ELI 198 (C or better) or ENG 201 (C or better).
Basic Media Photography
Camera operation, producing and processing of photographs for media use.
Introduction to Digital Journalism
Survey of current theories, issues and trends of the digital journalism environment, and introduction of digital journalism production using current media tools and software. Prerequisites: JRN 202 with a C or better or JRN 361 with a C or better.
Law of Mass Communication
Principles and case studies. Prerequisites: JRN 101 or 102; junior standing.
Required Courses III
Select one of the following:
The Asian Media and Cross-cultural Mass Communication
Analysis of Asian media systems and historical, economic, political and cultural factors shaping those systems. May be offered as Writing Intensive. (University Program Group IV-B: Studies in Cultures Outside of the Anglo-American Tradition)
Racial and Cultural Diversity: Mass Media's Role
Critical, historical and contemporary examination of African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and gender stereotypes in mass media. Self- portrayals by these groups using mass media. May be offered as Writing Intensive. (University Program Group IV-C: Studies in Racism and Cultural Diversity in the United States)
Required Courses IV
Introduction to Graphics and Visual Communication
Principles and techniques of publication/advertising graphics and visual communication, including typography and the printing process.
Use and preparation of photographs for the print media. Prerequisite: JRN 220.
Photography Studio Techniques
Use of camera in a controlled environment, studio lighting and basic studio operation. Prerequisite: JRN 220.
The Picture Story
Extensive use of the multiple-picture project to develop skills in visual storytelling, caption writing, and ethics. Digital SLR camera and external hard drive required. Prerequisites: JRN 220, 320.
Online Visual Storytelling
Online storytelling for the photojournalist. Multimedia production combining still photography, audio, and video with the intended purpose of publishing on the Web. Prerequisites: JRN 220; 56 credits completed.
Multimedia Reporting Capstone
Advanced principles and techniques of online multimedia news and feature packages including writing and reporting, text, photos, interactive graphics, audio, video, other forms of multimedia. Prerequisites: JRN 340, 440 for journalism majors, JRN 340, 423 for photojournalism majors.
Seminar in News Photography
Field experience of the photograph as a means of communicating information, ideas and opinions.
Required Courses V
Select one of the following:
JRN course, 300 level or above, approved by advisor (3 hours) OR
Photojournalism experience under professional and faculty supervision. May be applied to journalism major or minor only with permission of faculty advisor. Prerequisites: junior standing; permission of instructor.
Required Courses I
Select one of the following:
Media and Society
Understanding the influence of media and society. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Introduction to Journalism
An introduction to journalism as a social, cultural, political, technological, and economic force; a professional field; an academic discipline, unit and program.