Columbia College Chicago

Multimedia Photojournalism, BA

Columbia is home to one of the most innovative photojournalism programs in the country. Our faculty comprises Pulitzer Prize winners and photojournalists who document for the New York Times, CNN and the Chicago Tribune. They teach a solid foundation in photography technique for equipment ranging from professional cameras to smartphones. You’ll hit the ground running documenting events around Chicago and gain experience with audio and video, too. In fact, roughly one-third of the curriculum focuses on audio and video, ensuring you’ll graduate as a well-rounded photo and media expert. You’ll take scripting classes and learn how to build your own portfolio website to help you land internships or jobs at the Washington Post, Chicago Reader, National Geographic, Vox, NPR, Ad Age or Crain’s Chicago Business.

What to Expect Your First Year

You’ll take the Foundations of Photography course and practice camera work within the first few weeks of the program. You’ll also take Reporting and Writing, and Introduction to Journalism as part of the foundational course requirements for your Multimedia Photojournalism major. These are not, however, your traditional survey classes. In these courses, you’ll venture out into the Columbia community and beyond, finding and developing stories with close guidance from your professors. There are ample opportunities to have your stories published so you can start building your body of work. This practical application will help you hone your reporting skills and support your study of theory, practice and historical perspectives.

What to Expect Your Last Year

As a senior, you’ll take the Multimedia Newsroom capstone course, as well as Documentary Methods and Digital Storytelling II. You’ll curate your video reel and build a competitive portfolio website. You’ll review and refine your portfolio backed by the insight of faculty mentors who are working journalists.

By your last year, you’ll likely be working on your second internship, bringing to the table your practical knowledge of industry standards, technology and practices on a broad multimedia scale. By the time you graduate, you’ll have a body of work that reflects your experience as a digital journalist reporting news in a major media market.

Detailed Program Information

Download a Four-Year Plan

For More Degree Requirements and Transfer Plans, Visit the Catalog

Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

Columbia prides itself on giving you real-world opportunities while you’re in school. As a Multimedia Photojournalism student, you’ll have the chance to cover exciting Chicago issues and events in many spheres, including politics, architecture, music, theatre, sports and literature. You’ll use the city as a working lab, learning and reporting alongside some of the best.

You’ll have the chance to work on award-winning, student-produced media outlets like the Columbia Chronicle newspaper, Echo magazine, ChicagoTalks and AustinTalks online publications, 88.1 WCRX-FM (our radio station) and Frequency TV (our TV station).

You can also take advantage of study abroad opportunities. Past locations have included Ireland and China.

What are my internship options?

You’ll have access to an array of internship opportunities at companies ranging from globally known media outlets to startups—in Chicago and other markets. Our students have landed assignments at the New York Times, Chicago Reader, Time Out magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Dow Jones, U.S. News & World Report, O magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, Ad Age magazine, Modern Luxury, banks, nonprofit organizations—and the list goes on.

Our full-time internship coordinators can help you find opportunities, professional environments and internship learning experiences that best complement your coursework. Though internships are not required, we encourage you to find multiple internship experiences beginning your junior year.


Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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