Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2023

Photojournalism, Bachelor of Arts (750P, 750)

Department website: http://www.wku.edu/journalism

Program Coordinator

James H. Kenney, james.kenney@wku.edu, (270) 745-6307

With a tradition of highly successful graduates, state-of-the-art facilities, and award-winning faculty, WKU’s Photojournalism program is regarded as one of the nation’s finest. The program is an integral component of the School of Media and has been a significant contributor to the high quality of the university’s student publications. In the William Randolph Hearst Journalism Awards competition, often referred to as the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism, WKU’s Photojournalism program has won the Intercollegiate Photojournalism competition 27 out of 32 years, and the Intercollegiate Multimedia competition 8 out of 10 years.

The Photojournalism program emphasizes documentary photography, both still photography and video. Its comprehensive curriculum prepares students to enter the photojournalism profession at the highest level through the practice of producing content-driven stories for both online and traditional publications.

Admission Requirements

Students wishing to enter the major in Photojournalism initially are admitted as majors seeking admission (reference 750P). Prospective majors may take no more than 15 hours in the major before admission. Students must meet the following requirements before they can be admitted:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 24 hours of coursework applicable to a baccalaureate degree;
  2. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.5;
  3. Completion of ENG 100 with a grade of “C” or better and 9 additional hours in the Colonnade program;
  4. Completion of the following courses with a grade of "C" or better: SOM 101, SOM 102PJ 131 , and PJ 330 or PJ 331.

Students not meeting the above admission requirements will not be admitted to the Photojournalism major and cannot register for any additional courses in the major.

Program Requirements (45 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

The major in photojournalism requires 45 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. No course with a grade of “D” or below may be counted toward the major or fulfill prerequisite requirements for any major in the School. One half of the hours in the major must be at the 300- or 400- level. Students must take a minimum of 72 semester hours in courses outside of the School of Media unit, including the University's Colonnade program requirements.

In addition to meeting the Colonnade and major requirements for graduation, the Photojournalism major must have a minor or second major outside of the School of Media that is approved by a major faculty advisor. Students may not select a minor in Film Studies, or those offered within the School, unless taken as a second minor. One-half of the hours must be at the 300- or 400-level.

Specific objectives of the photojournalism program:

  1. To develop the artistic, technical and personal qualities of those who want to pursue a professional career in photojournalism and documentary video;
  2. To develop a background for understanding the role of storytelling through photojournalism and documentary video in shaping and reflecting contemporary society;
  3. To provide instruction in photographic theory, principles, ethics, and practice for students pursuing any area of scholarly activity;
  4. To provide a conceptual grounding in journalistic principles that will encourage advancement of the photojournalist in the profession.
SOM 101Understanding Media Content, Ethics and Technology3
SOM 102Media Content, Collaboration and Community3
PJ 131Fundamentals of Photography3
JOUR 202Introduction to News Writing3
PJ 330Short Form Documentary3
PJ 331Photojournalism3
PJ 333Lighting Technologies3
JOUR 302Intermediate Reporting3
PJ 430Advanced Short Form Documentary3
PJ 431Advanced Photojournalism3
PJ 436Photojournalism Projects3
Select one of the following law classes:3
Press Law and Ethics
Mass Communication Law and Ethics
Diversity Elective
Select one of the following:3
African American Experience
Art and Power
Contemporary Art
Art Theory and Criticism
Visual Anthropology
Intercultural Communication
Race, Class, and Crime
Gender, Crime, and Justice
Popular Culture and Gender: Signs & Narratives
Cultural Connections and Diversity
Introduction to Gender And Women's Studies
Communities of Struggle
Communities of Struggle
Minority Politics
Women and Politics
Sociology of Gender
Social Institutions: Race, Class, and Gender
Diversity in American Society
Topics in Spanish
A diversity class approved by an academic advisor.
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
Multiplatform News Presentation
Feature Writing
Picture Editing
Cultural History of Photography
Advanced Lighting and Contract Photography
Film Sound
Special Topics in Media--Study Abroad
First Amendment Research and Reporting
Total Hours45

Finish in Four Plan

First Year
SOM 1013PJ 3313
SOM 1023PS 110*3
ENG 1003Colonnade: Arts & Humanities3
PJ 1313Colonnade: Quantitative Reasoning3
COMM 1453Minor Course3
 15 15
Second Year
PJ 3303PJ 3333
JOUR 2023PJ Diversity Elective3
HIST 101 or HIST 1023Colonnade: Literary Studies3
Colonnade: Natural & Physical Science w/lab3Colonnade: Natural & Physical Science3
General University Elective or Foreign Language, if needed3Minor Course3
 15 15
Third Year
JOUR 301 or BCOM 3013JOUR 3023
Colonnade: Connections (Social & Cultural)3Colonnade: Writing in the Disciplines3
Minor Course3Colonnade: Connections (Local to Global)3
Minor Course3Minor Course3
General Elective3PJ 4313
 15 15
Fourth Year
PJ 4303PJ 4363
PJ Elective3PJ Elective3
Minor Course3Colonnade: Connections (Systems)3
Minor Course3General University Elective3
General Elective3General University Elective3
 15 15
Total Hours 120