​​​​Photojournalism at CMU

CMU's photojournalism program focuses on practical applications inside and outside the classroom that blend news value with the selection of photographs. You will be able to graduate from the program with concrete proof that you have what it takes to succeed as a professional photographer or photo editor, whether for a weekly newspaper or an up-to-the-minute online news service.​

Your photographic and reporting skills, creativity and knowledge will be exemplified in the photographic portfolio you'll develop through the classroom theory and hands-on learning opportunities CMU's photojournalism program offers. These career-building experiences are guided and provided through:

  • Faculty members who all hold advanced degrees - doctoral or specialized master's degrees - and have significant experience working for media organizations such as the Grand Rapids Press and The Flint Journal
  • A state-of-the-art computer lab equipped with the most advanced photo and graphic design software
  • Internship possibilities with many local, state and national media and agencies that maintain a professional relationship with program faculty
  • Potential college employment as a photographer and photo editor for either CM Life - the award-winning campus newspaper - or the department's online multimedia website.
  • Opportunities for involvement in professional organizations and student affiliates such as the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the American Advertising Federation, and the Central Press Photographers Association (CPPA)
  • Class sizes small enough to provide individualized student-faculty interaction ​

Taken from the 2016-17 academic bulletin
A photojournalism major requires 42 hours of journalism course work. The last 18 hours of journalism course work leading to a photojournalism major should be taken within the journalism department of CMU. A grade of C or better is required in each course counted toward the major and an overall grade point average of 2.5 for all journalism courses counted toward the major. A maximum of 44 journalism credits can be applied to graduation. No more than three credits of journalism internship can be applied toward the major. 

In order to graduate as a major in the Department of Journalism, a student must complete at least 80 semester hours of course work in departments other than journalism. Of those 80 semester hours, 65 must be in the liberal arts and sciences, which are listed under the University Program and area requirements for the B.A. and B.S. degrees. Each photojournalism major must consult with a journalism faculty advisor prior to registering for courses each semester to ensure orderly progress toward meeting these requirements.​

​JRN 102Introduction to Journalism 3(3-0)
​JRN 202​Writing for the Mass Media 3(3-0)
​JRN 220​Basic Media Photography 3(3-0)
​JRN 340​Introduction to Online Journalism 3(3-0)
​JRN 404​Law of Mass Communication 3(3-0)
Select one of the following:
JRN 372International and Cross-cultural Mass Communication 3(3-0)
​JRN 380​​Racial Diversity: Mass Media's Role 3(3-0)
JRN 302Introduction to Graphics and Visual​
​JRN 320​Photo Editing 3(3-0)
​JRN 420​Photography Studio Techniques 3(3-0)
​JRN 422​The Photographic Process 3(3-0)
​JRN 423​Online Visual Storytelling 3(3-0)
​JRN 445​Multimedia Reporting 3(3-0)
​JRN 521​​Seminar in News Photography 3(3-0)
JRN course 300 level or above approved by advisor (3 hours) OR​
JRN 529Photojournalism Internship 1-4(Spec)
ART 140Photography I: Introduction to Digital Photography 3(0-6)
​ART 239​Digital Imaging I 3(0-6)
​ART 240​​Photography II: Digital Montage & Studio Lighting 3(0-6)

Career Options

As a graduate of the photojournalism program, you will find numerous career opportunities available as a photographer or photo editor in a variety of areas:

  • Newspapers
  • Advertising Firms
  • Magazines
  • Modeling Agencies
  • Publishing Firms
  • Public Relations Agencies
  • Graphic Design Studios
  • Printing Shops
  • Television Stations
  • Multimedia



Photojournalism is a major within CMU's journalism program, which is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. This designation is held by only one other university in Michigan.


Special Resources

CMU offers a variety of resources that support your classroom learning

Library Resources
The university's Park Library​ contains more than 850,000 volumes. The library has an on-line computer card catalog to help you locate materials for class reports and research papers. The microfilm division, audiovisual department and interlibrary loan division offer you other resources.

Computer Facilities
Each residence hall is equipped with a computer room, and computer laboratories are in other campus locations. Some labs are open 24 hours a day.

Special Resources
CMU also offers special centers, student organizations and resources to help you prepare for your career.​

About the University

CMU is a comprehensive four-year institution that offers degree programs on the bachelor's, master's, specialist's and doctoral levels. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Undergraduate students may choose from more than 150 programs of study. Its wealth of resources and its size offer students the academic advantages of a large university with the personal attention provided by smaller private schools.

CMU offers you:

  • A solid academic reputation
  • Respected faculty who make teaching their top priority
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Opportunities for internships, study abroad and honors study
  • A variety of active professional organizations
  • Numerous clubs, organizations and extracurricular programs ​