Photojournalism and Documentary Studies, Minor


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This minor offers students of all disciplines an opportunity to explore varied approaches to photojournalism and documentary work across the spectrum of video/film, audio, multimedia, non-fiction writing, and print journalism. The curriculum opens student horizons to include production skills in storytelling and media analysis, in terms of the doing (creation, professional craft) and the experiencing.

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2022

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 - 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

No more than fifty percent of the units used to satisfy minor requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Fieldwork Experience/Internship may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.

Purpose Statement

The Journalism, Photojournalism and Documentary Studies Program provides students with the hands-on experience to tell compelling nonfiction stories in a variety of media platforms.
We build a strong foundation in the history, philosophy and ethics of journalism, photojournalism and documentary studies, and emphasize how these disciplines serve varied communities and facilitate the free flow of information needed in a democratic society. Students learn to take a global perspective as they critically assess journalistic and documentary work from a variety of places and historical periods. By valuing the principles of the journalistic tradition, our students obtain the critical and creative edge to innovate and be relevant in an evolving media world. 
Built upon the fundamentals of storytelling and nonfiction narrative, our curriculum ensures that students can cover breaking news as well as develop features and deeper, under-reported stories. Our students are informed and curious about their communities, and develop a critical understanding of media forms that allows them to identify audience needs and place stories within context.By honing methods of investigative research, relationship building and interviewing, our students learn to gather the materials needed to craft compelling narratives. Their creative works are refined through individual mentoring from instructors as well as through intensive student peer review.
The program’s faculty are innovative teachers and professionals who engage students in their current projects through hands-on experience and personalized mentoring. Students produce and publish journalism for real audiences through classwork and in our state-of-the-art Student Media Center, which integrates a newsroom, TV studio and radio station. Internship and independent study projects allow them to report in depth on subjects important to our community or structured around their passions.
Our goal is to train students to be savvy media consumers and producers who can succeed not only in the realm of professional journalism, but within whatever future they create.

Student Learning Outcomes
Students will develop a foundation in the history, philosophy, laws, and ethics of journalism, and will incorporate this knowledge into their practice of journalism. In particular, students will:
Students will develop a foundation in the history, philosophy, laws, and ethics of journalism, and will incorporate this knowledge into their practice of journalism. In particular, students will:

  • Identify story ideas through observing their surroundings, connecting to communities, and understanding narrative structures; including applying such elements as timeliness, proximity, impact, and other news and storytelling criteria, to know when and how to dig deeper for stories that go beyond superficial topics and engage their audience in thinking differently about everyday events.
  • Engage in the process of research, relationship building, and investigative skill development, such as, interviewing techniques and other information gathering processes, to write and publish stories, from breaking news, features, and deeper, under-reported stories (and everything in between) occurring locally and globally.o   
    • Demonstrate an ability to craft and deliver images and/or works of video journalism that meet professional standards.
    • Demonstrate an ability to use specialty and advanced photographic optics and imaging systems to craft multimedia content requiring the use of such equipment.
    • Demonstrate an ability to critically analyze and evaluate photo/video journalism and/or multimedia projects.
    • Demonstrate the ability to follow safety and ethical guidelines when photographing/filming in natural and urban environments.
    • Demonstrate an ability to edit images, audio and video using professional software.

Minor Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.