Photojournalism, Bachelor of Science
The Bachelor of Science degree in Photojournalism prepares students for graduate and professional opportunities in photojournalism and photography in general by fusing together critical areas in photojournalism, documentary, experimental, fine art, commercial and editorial photography to ensure that students acquire the theoretical, aesthetic and professional skills to succeed in today's visually driven world. The program is interdisciplinary in nature, requiring students to take courses in photography, filmmaking, editing, news writing and multimedia production to sharpen their creative and professional opportunities as photojournalists, documentarians, commercial and fashion photographers, and editorial photographers.
The program is among few in the New York metropolitan area that requires students to take no less than 18 required courses in photographic production, and St. John's University is the only New York metropolitan university or college to offer a specific degree in the field of photojournalism, having been endorsed by The New York Daily News and the premier photo agency, Magnum Photos.
"A misnomer about photojournalists is that they're only photojournalists. They're photographers foremost, and ... St. John's program offers students the chance to develop their skills in all fields of professional photography ... documentary filmmaking, video production, and online journalism. This shows foresight, as today's photojournalist needs to be skilled in these areas if he or she is to compete" (Dennis Stock, Magnum Member).
By the time they graduate, students in the B.S. Degree Program in Photojournalism will have met the following academic and personal objectives of the program:
- Master photographic production and gain the knowledge of the history of photography and the cultural influence the medium has had (and continues to have) on societies.
- Students develop the aesthetic skills to communicate ideas photographically, while honing journalistic and artistic voices so to communicate both visually and through the written word.
- Learn how to research news worthy issues, and make decisions on the validity of the subject matter, and develop individual photographs and a long-form series.
- Demonstrate how to act ethically, and within the law, when covering a subject or issue.
- Master an individual artistic approach to making images through vigorous experimentation and exploration of various photographic styles.
- Master the ability to critically "read" photographs for aesthetic quality and ability to convey meaning.
- Demonstrate an advance level of aesthetic and theoretical approaches to commercial, fashion and art photography.
- Demonstrate an advance ability to write critically about modern society, individuals, communities, and social and political beliefs.
- Master the skills to produce, direct and edit documentary films, as well as create multimedia packages for video, the web and traditional print-based applications.
- Master a defined artistic statement that conveys an aesthetic philosophy.
- Learn how to apply for a grant to produce a long-formed photgraphic series.
- Complete a comprehensive and professional portfolio.
Global Approach to Education
Every student at St. John's also benefits from St. John's focus on an international academic experience. The University offers extensive study abroad courses during the academic year as well as the winter and summer semesters. Students can live and learn at St. John's Rome, Italy, campus and Paris, France location.
Photojournalism students at St. John's benefit from a first-class academic curriculum that covers film, television, communications and journalism as well as photography. Students learn from internationally known faculty whose work has appeared online and in galleries, newspapers, magazines and other venues around the world.
Thanks to our faculty's extensive connection in the industry — especially in New York City, a world capital of communications and the media — students enjoy internship and job placement opportunities with industry leaders.
Photojournalism students are able to develop their craft in the University's outstanding photography studios and other facilities. The state-of-the-art Sullivan Hall Graphic Classroom features cutting-edge visual design equipment and software, including Adobe PhotoShop, Quark Xpress, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PageMill, Microsoft Office, Macromedia Director, Macromedia Freehand, Dreamweaver, Flash, Macromedia Fontographer and Macromedia Sound Edit.
The University maintains a well-stocked collection of print materials on journalism as well as online resources. These include access to nearly 80,000 of Magnum Photos most prized photographs.
Photojournalism students enjoy abundant opportunities to exhibit their work. Located in Sun Yat-Sen Hall on the Queens campus, the Dr. M.T. Geoffrey Art Gallery is a prominent showcase not only for established photographers and artists beyond the campus community, but for professors and students as well.
Students develop a strong academic and professional edge by joining any of St. John's more than 180 student clubs and organizations. Clubs of interest to Photojournalism students include these:
- The Society for Performing and Communication Arts
- Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture
- St. John's University Television Club (WRED)
Students also may qualify for any of St. John's varied honor societies. For example, Photojournalism majors can apply to The College of Professional Studies Honor Society, which recognizes undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence and involvement in campus, community and church activities.
Other facilities include high-tech classrooms, laboratories and our 1.7 million-volume University Library. Our new D’Angelo Center is a five-story, 127,000-square-foot University and Student Center with classrooms, lecture halls, a Starbucks Café and a full-service food court.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of photojournalism, incorporating elements of art, photography, communication studies, and journalism, the relevant library collections are similarly diverse. ARTstor is of particular note to the Photojournalism Program as it provides students with access to a collection of nearly 80,000 Magnum photographs: "Magnum photographers have produced some of the most celebrated and recognizable photographs: of the 20th centruy and contemporary life, documenting an astounding range of subjects, whether industry, society and people, places of interests, politics and news events, or disasters and conflicts."
In addition, ARTstor includes a strong collection covering the history of photography, including more than 16,000 images from the Library of Congress and nearly 18,000 images from the George Eastman House. Other important research resources include online databases. Some relevant examples include:
- Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCO)
- Communication Studies (Sage)
- Art Index and Art Index Retrospective (Wilson)
- Design and Applied Arts Index (CSA)
- ProQuest Historical Newspapers, including: The Christian Science Monitor (beginning 1908), The Hartford Courant (beginning 1764), The Wall Street Journal (beginning 1889), The Washington Post (beginning 1877).
In addition, the University Libraries provides access to the following selected reference resources that cover photojournalism both electronically (and in print, where indicated)
- The Dictionary of Media Studies
- Key Concepts in Journalism Studies
- The Oxford Companion to the Photograph
- The Encyclopedia of American Journalism
- World Press Encyclopedia
- Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Journalists
- America Magazine Journalists
Journals for photojournalism:
- PSA Journal
- The Quill
- Visual Studies
- PDN: Photo District News
- The International Journal of Press/Politics
- Visual Communication Quarterly
- Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
- History of Photography
- Aperture (Print)
Students take advantage of St. John’s location in dynamic New York City. Our faculty and Career Center have strong ties to employers and other professional and educational resources throughout the New York area. Students also make New York their classroom through innovative courses like Discover New York.