New Media Photojournalism

MA in New Media Photojournalism

Lead the next generation of photojournalists with innovative storytelling

The New Media Photojournalism program at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is the first of its kind, created to help visual journalists study and address the changing world of photojournalism.

Emphasizing strong storytelling skills and fluency in multimedia platforms, the Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism program incorporates writing, photography, audio, video and web design to prepare students to work as freelancers, visual reporters, editors and producers. The program emphasizes the individual as a visual reporter and encourages experimentation with new ways of storytelling, documentation and editing. The program also encourages its students to explore the latest digital practices taught in conjunction with the enduring fundamentals of visual reporting, editing and ethics.

Through intensive faculty mentoring in conjunction with a broad and flexible program of study and internship opportunities, students choose and develop their professional paths. In addition to The Washington Post, National Public Radio, National Geographic and Discovery Communications, countless newspapers, magazines, trade journals and major media outlets are located within a five-mile radius of the Corcoran's downtown campus.

Graduates of the Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism program are prepared to take on and excel in careers in a wide range of visual media—including photography, picture and video editing, documentary production and multimedia management—and are prepared to lead a new generation of photojournalists as the field continues to change with technology.

Admission Requirements

For detailed information regarding admissions requirements such as application deadlines and required documentation, visit the GW Program Finder.

Current Curriculum

The following curriculum is for students enrolled beginning in fall 2015.

The Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism program is a 48-credit-hour program that may be completed at a full-time pace in two years, or part-time in up to four years.

The first semester of the program is structured as a four-course immersion experience in order to establish a deep understanding of the journalism and photojournalism processes and best practices. Students are encouraged to develop their visual voices and work on subjects about which they feel passionate. Following the first semester, students take an average of two required courses and two electives each semester. This flexibility allows students to explore areas of interest and expand skill sets. At the end of the first year, students begin the proposal process for a thesis project to be completed in the second year. Students can learn more about the new program requirements, as well as general education requirements in the University Bulletin.

Required First- and Second-Year Courses (9 classes or 27 credits)

  • CPJ 6100 Research, Reporting and Writing: Contemporary Journalism Practice
  • CPJ 6110 Story and Narrative in Photojournalism
  • CPJ 6050 Advanced Multimedia Lab
  • CPJ 6010 NMPJ Seminar I: Image/Impact
  • CPJ 6020 NMPJ Seminar II: (rotating special topics)
  • CPJ 6060 Advanced Multi-Media Lab  II: Editing and Production
  • CPJ 7010 Photojournalism Graduate Seminar III: The Medium and the Message
  • CPJ 7800 NMPJ Thesis Workshop
  • CPJ 7900 Photojournalism Graduate Thesis (Directed Study)

Electives (7 classes or 21 credits)

A mix of studio and academic classes is required. Electives may be taken from offerings throughout the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences. Please refer to the University Bulletin for potential selections, and work with your program head to ensure classes you choose meet graduation requirements. The following are some examples of electives within the NMPJ program:

•  CPJ 6300 Speed of Sound: Advanced Audio
•  CPJ 7340 Project-Driven Website Design for NMPJ
•  CPJ 7350 Nuancing the Story: Advanced Post Production for NMPJ
•  CPJ 6900 NMPJ Internship for credit

Thesis

During the final year of study, students in the program undertake a thesis project that pulls together writing, photography, video, audio, and design. The thesis experience fosters creative freedom while challenging them to produce innovative work that meets professional standards. The year-long process—in combination with public exhibits and community engagement elements—gives students a deep understanding of the potential of new media and the practical skills to build a career with media organizations, or as independent visual journalists.

Legacy Curriculum

The following curriculum is for legacy students, defined as those students who began taking classes at the Corcoran prior to the fall 2015 semester. Students enrolled beginning in fall 2015, should consult the current curriculum or contact Susan Sterner.

Required Courses

  • CPJ 4170 Professional Practices for Photojournalism
  • CPJ 6100 Research, Reporting, and Writing: Contemporary Journalism Practice
  • CPJ 6110 Story and Narrative in Photojournalism
  • CPJ 6300 Speed of Sound: Advanced Audio
  • CPJ 6401 El Salvador Travel: International Experience/Transnational Identity
  • CPJ 7010 Photojournalism Graduate Seminar III: The Medium and the Message
  • CPJ 7251 Making Meaning: the Photography Book
  • CPJ 7340 Project-Driven Website Design for NMPJ
  • CPJ 7350 Nuancing the Story: Advanced Post Production for NMPJ
  • CPJ 7900 Photojournalism Graduate Thesis (Directed Study)

Thesis

During the final year of study, students in the program undertake a thesis project that pulls together writing, photography, video, audio, and design. The thesis experience fosters creative freedom while challenging them to produce innovative work that meets professional standards. The year-long process—in combination with public exhibits and community engagement elements—gives students a deep understanding of the potential of new media and the practical skills to build a career with media organizations, or as independent visual journalists.

Department Life

At the heart of the New Media Photojournalism program is a dynamic group of faculty and students who are highly motivated and engaged in their communities and professional lives.

In 2011, the inaugural class of New Media Photojournalism program students founded the Corcoran Association of Photojournalists, known as CAP. Hosting various community events and projects, CAP has become an integral part of the photo world of Washington, D.C. Some of these include educational events and exhibits at THEARC, workshops in conjunction with Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) and the Metro Collective, guest speakers, the launch of an annual 'zine, pop-up exhibits, and regular happy hours and other get-togethers.

The New Media Photojournalism program benefits from multidisciplinary collaboration, learning and problem-solving. Students are active across the school through organization and departmental curricula. New Media Photojournalism program students collaborate academically and through extra curricular activity on local, national and international projects with students from other disciplines such a Exhibition Design, Fine Art Photography, Digital Media and Graphic Design as well as a wide spectrum of the George Washington University’s academic programs and professional schools. 

Careers and Internships

Students pursuing their Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism make career connections in the manner that best fits them and their lifestyles. Many opt for internships for credit. Others do internships without academic credit. Both are viable options. Many students take on work as freelance image-makers or hold part-time media positions while in school.

Recent internships:

  • The Washington Post Online
  • Discovery Communications
  • The Baltimore Sun
  • Good Fight Media
  • Green Peace
  • Hand Print Studio
  • National Geographic Books
  • National Press Foundation
  • Metro Collective
  • The ARC
  • USA Today
  • National Public Radio - News Desk
  • National Public Radio - Tiny Desk Concerts
  • Population Services International
  • Smithsonian Institute

The New Media Photojournalism Program places importance on having working professionals in the classroom as faculty, visiting artists, mentors, and collaborators. The program also finds opportunities to involve students in the Corcoran's many community projects.

Professional Organizations

The New Media Photojournalism Program has ties to many professional organizations, through internships and fieldwork and through continuing relationships with alumni. This network of skilled media professionals is an invaluable resource for students and graduates seeking to deepen their knoweldge and advance their careers.

National Press Photographers Association 

White House News Photographers Association

Women Photojournalists of Washington

American Society of Media Photographers

Pictures of the Year International

World Press Photo

Committee to Protect Journalists

Society of Newspaper Designers


New Media Photojournalism in Action

Photo of Woman in Maid's Uniform Mopping Floor (taken by Oliver Contreras)

Oliver Contreras, New Media Photojournalism, Trabajadores/Workers

Oliver Contreras’ theis project, Trabajadores/Workers, narrates the stories of Latin American immigrants in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and highlights the service of the men and women who represent the working class in the foreign country they call home. 

View Oliver’s work
Photo of Hunter in Woods (taken by Joe Van Eeckhout)

Joe Van Eeckhout, New Media Photojournalism, Hunting Nature

Hunting Nature takes an honest look at the philosophy and ideology of a group of hunters who place values on the environment and subsistence hunting practices, amidst difficulties faced by conservationists and hunters alike. 

Go behind-the-scenes of Joe’s documentary
Photo taken by Caroline Lacey

Caroline Lacey, New Media Photojournalism, How to be after

How to be after is a multimedia project that chronicles the experiences and reflections of several El Salvadoran immigrants who escaped their homeland immersed in a violent civil war.

View the project (viewer discretion advised)

New Media Photojournalism Faculty

Susan Sterner

Susan Sterner

New Media Photojournalism Program Head, Associate Professor