Bachelor of Arts in Journalism: Concentration in Photojournalism

Last Admit: Fall 2024

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, students must complete 43 journalism units. Only ten journalism units may be in the lower-division for print/online majors —JOUR 205 and JOUR 221, JOUR 222, and JOUR 226, or their equivalents completed elsewhere. Only 13 units may be lower-division for photojournalism majors—JOUR 205 and JOUR 221, JOUR 222, JOUR 226 and JOUR 235, or their equivalents completed elsewhere. Courses numbered 300 and above are not open to freshmen. Upon enrolling in journalism classes, students will be required to use their SF State email accounts. These email addresses will be used as the primary source of communication between students and the department.

To ensure that every journalism student's education is as rich and varied as possible, the department has established these requirements:

  • A journalism major must complete a minor in one of the areas of study approved by faculty advisors. A list of approved disciplines for this requirement is posted at Students should consult with an academic advisor in journalism to determine the minor that best meets their interests and professional goals.
  • A journalism major must have a minimum of 72 non-journalism units in the 120 minimum overall units required for graduation. Included in these 72 units must be a minor in a single subject area chosen in consultation with the advisor. The 72 unit requirement is consistent with the department's philosophy that a well-rounded education is crucial preparation for journalism and is consistent with the standards of the national accrediting agency (ACEJMC) that evaluates journalism education programs. These standards exclude classes in broadcasting (BECA), public relations (MKTG), and advertising (MKTG) from qualifying as non-journalism units. Photography and film production classes in Art, Cinema, and Design are also excluded.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. News Media Law: Apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press, in a global context.
  2. History: Demonstrate an understanding of the multicultural history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  3. Cultural Proficiency: Demonstrate culturally proficient communication that empowers those traditionally disenfranchised in society, especially as grounded in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and ability, domestically and globally, across communication and media contexts.
  4. Visual Competence: Present images and information effectively and creatively, using appropriate tools and technologies.
  5. Writing: Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
  6. Ethics: demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.
  7. Critical Thinking and Research: Apply critical thinking skills in conducting research and evaluating information by methods appropriate
    to the communications professions in which they work.
  8. Use Data and Numbers: Effectively and correctly apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  9. Critical Evaluation: Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
  10. Appropriate Use of Technology: Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.

Journalism (B.A.): Concentration in Photojournalism - 43 units

Core Requirements (22 units)

JOUR 205Social Impact of Journalism3
JOUR 221Newswriting3
JOUR 222Newswriting Lab1
JOUR 226Introduction to Multimedia Journalism3
JOUR 300GWReporting - GWAR3
JOUR 304Cultural Diversity and News Media3
JOUR 307News Media Law3
JOUR 310Journalism Ethics3

Concentration Requirements (12 units)

JOUR 235Photojournalism I: Foundations of Photojournalism3
JOUR 335Photojournalism II: Staff Photojournalism3
JOUR 435Photojournalism III: Editorial Photography and Business Practices3
Multimedia (select one)3
Online Journalism
Video Journalism

Electives (3 units)

Advanced Writing
JOUR 320Investigative Reporting3
JOUR 321Feature Writing3
JOUR 570Opinion Writing3
JOUR 575Community Media3
JOUR 580Environmental Journalism3
JOUR 595Magazine and Feature Writing3
JOUR 667Seminar: Topics in Journalism3
JOUR 895
JOUR 699Independent Study1-3
JOUR 328Anthropology and Photography3
JOUR 450Publication Design and Graphics3
JOUR 395Online Journalism3
JOUR 400Video Journalism3
JOUR 495Profiles3
JOUR 582Social Media Journalism3
Project-Based Electives
JOUR 426Data Journalism3
JOUR/BECA 427Media Entrepreneurship3
JOUR 500Contemporary Magazines3
JOUR 617Advanced Journalism Internship3
JOUR 650
JOUR 680Advanced Multimedia Journalism3
JOUR 328Anthropology and Photography3
JOUR 410Building Chinese Media Literacy3
JOUR 411Media Chinese3
JOUR 452International Media Politics4
JOUR 536Latina/o Journalism3

Practicum (3 units)

Select one:

JOUR 605Magazine Publication Lab3
JOUR 607
JOUR 609Newspaper Publication Laboratory3

Capstone (3 units)

JOUR 535Photojournalism IV: Documentary Capstone3

Non-Journalism units (including the required minor): 72 units

These 72 units must include a single subject minor chosen in consultation with an advisor. Classes in broadcasting (BECA), public relations and advertising (MKTG), film (CINE), and photography (ART) do not qualify as non-journalism units.

Note: A minimum of 30 upper-division units must be completed for the degree (including upper-division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper-division units required for graduation. In this case, additional upper-division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

Skills Courses

Skills courses offered by the Department of Journalism impart the various skills and crafts necessary to the practice of journalism. There are three levels of skills courses: foundational, advanced, and capstone. The capstone skills courses provide students a culminating opportunity to integrate skills acquired in foundational and advanced courses, working and learning collaboratively. Journalism majors and minors must earn grades of C or better in all foundational, advanced, and capstone skills courses.

Other Requirements

Students may enroll in only one laboratory course section per semester.

Journalism majors and minors must earn a minimum grade of C in all skills, concentration, advanced and capstone courses, and must attain at least an overall C average in the major and the minor.

Journalism majors and minors must take all journalism courses for letter grade only with the exception of JOUR 617 which may be taken C/NC.

Complementary Studies

Twelve units of Complementary Studies are required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Students completing the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism must complete a minor that has been approved by the department. The minor fulfills the Complementary Studies Requirement.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

Suggested path of study for students transferring in.
Photojournalism ADT Roadmap

Journalism Transfer Academic Planner

Download the Photojournalism Major Academic Planner.
Photojournalism Transfer Roadmap. This roadmap opens in a new tab.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.