Photography for the Mass Media

There is a certain amount of flexibility within the undergraduate program in that much depends upon the courses chosen within the requirement options afforded. In any event, students must have at least 124 semester hours of credit for graduation. Within the Department of Journalism, a maximum of 38 credits is generally allowed. See the Department of Journalism section of the catalog for specific limitations on the number of courses allowed within other schools, colleges and departments within the university.

Accordingly, it is advised that students considering a concentration in Photography for the Mass Media concentrate on their university level requirements during the freshman and sophomore years, leaving the junior and senior years open for most of the department and sequence requirements. Photography majors should figure on taking on average 16 credit hours each semester in order to complete the degree in four years or eight semesters. Part-time student will follow the same basic course selection strategy over a more extended time period.

Click here, for more information on the Journalism Program’s departmental and major requirements as well as information regarding the Photography for the Mass Media sequence.

Concentrators in the Photography for the Mass Media area are encouraged to sample widely the visual studies and photography courses offered in other departments and programs across Temple University ‘ s campuses. These offerings will enhance one’ s educational experience in a variety of ways. Following are three sections of material related to the Photography for the Mass Media program: Photography or photography-related courses outside the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and Advertising; University requirements for all students; JPRA outside course requirements, and suggested course of study within the department.

Other Courses within the Program:

JRN 3402 Photojournalism The practical side of working as a photographer for newspapers, magazines, and wire services as well as freelance. Picture editing and handling.

JRN 3403 Documentary Photography This course will expose students to both the history and practice of documentary photography. This course offers students the opportunity to hone their research, shooting and editing skills and refine their portfolio through documentary projects.

JRN 3404 Photo Seminar 1 First of two seminar courses in the Photography for the Mass Media sequence. Current topics in photography. Participation in a long-term project documenting and presenting the works of various photographers representing a variety of genre. Start-to-finish production of a book, CD version of same, or both.

JRN 3405 Photo Seminar II Second of two seminar courses in the Photography for the Mass Media sequence. Current topics in photography. Participation in a long-term web-based effort presenting the works of various photographers from earliest times to the present. Start-to-finish production of a book, CD version of same, or both.

JRN 3451 Photographic Portfolio Production, organization, and presentation of a photographic portfolio.

JRN 3482 Photography Special Projects Individual work in areas of special interest including, but not limited to, formal and informal portraiture, nature of photography, underwater photography, medical or scientific photography, or special research in photography.

JRN 3707 Visual Communication This course requires students to examine the many roles that photographs, both still and motion images, play in society. Through the analytic study of visual expression (mainly journalistic, advertising and documentary) students will be introduced to the tools necessary to understand all forms of visual communication.

Outside Courses:

American Studies

AMST 3011: Photography in America An overview of the history of photography in America from its beginning in the 1840s to the present, emphasizing its relation to society and the arts. The course will cover both documentary and aesthetic movements, including such figures as Brady, Muybridge, Riis, Hine, Evans, Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Duane Michals, Cindy Sherman, etc. The cultural meaning of the Civil War, of westward expansion, of the Great Depression, of the Civil Rights movement, will be studied in relation to photography. Slides and readings on photography and American culture and on how the camera affects our seeing and thinking.

AMST 2011: The Arts in America This course will examine the place of the arts in contemporary America, with an emphasis on the politics of culture. We will take a broad view of “art,” encompassing popular arts, high arts, and what’s in between. And we will look at some examples of how artists and writers have functioned within the contemporary art environment, and within a popular culture and material environment that undermines distinctions between reality and fantasy and between past and present (e.g., Disneyland). Representative figures will be examined from various art forms (literature, music, architecture, painting, photography) within an interdisciplinary context.


ANTH 2408 Fundamentals of the Anthropology of Visual Communication A survey of theoretical approaches to an anthropological understanding of visual/pictorial communication. Among the topics explored: theories of culture and communication, models of both social and visual communication, perception, cross-cultural aesthetics, non-verbal communication as well as photography, film, and mass media. Emphasis will be placed on the value of constructing ethnographies of visual/pictorial communication. This course has been designed for anthropology majors specializing in the studies of visual communication, but it is also useful for Sociology, FMA, and Mass Communication majors. Course consists of required readings, screenings, and active class participation. No exams. Students keep a journal and write several short papers.

ANTH 3439 Anthropology of Photography A critical examination of an anthropological approach to photography. Special attention will be given to a socio-cultural history of photography in the U.S. Examples from documentary, fine art, and commercial photographic genres will be shown, discussed, and compared to ethnographic studies. Field methods, models of analysis, and ethical issues will also be included. Required readings, active class participation. No exams. Students keep a journal and write several short essays. NOTE: Knowledge of camera technology and darkroom procedures is helpful but not required.

ANTH 3444 Anthropological Problems in Visual Production The introduction of visual recording techniques to a sample of problems in the anthropology of visual communication. Discussions will include ways anthropologists construct problems, develop observational strategies, select appropriate image-making technology, work in field conditions, among others. Strategies of representation connected to the integration of cultural and film theories will be explored in conjunction with a wide range of film examples. Students will be introduced to the department’s production facilities and do short exercises in image making, viewing, and interpretation. NOTE: A lab fee may be necessary depending on the extent of each semester’s assignments.


ARCH 1017 Photography and Visual Literacy Photography is explored as a visual language, complete with vocabulary, syntax, and modes of expression. This course introduces the principles of visual design that are particularly important for creating articulate and aesthetically engaging photographs. Using their own digital cameras, students develop sufficient technical competence to be able to make photographs that investigate the fundamental issues of visual design, in the context of environmental studies.


ARTU 1101 Introduction to Visual Language, Painting A foundation course in painting focusing on painting techniques, conceptual development, and the use of elements of design for creative expression.

ARTU 1201 Introduction to Visual Language, 3-D Design A foundation course in 3-D design focusing on the principles, elements, and technical processes for visual understanding and creative expression.

ARTU 1401 Introduction to Visual Language, Drawing A foundation course in drawing focusing on drawing techniques, conceptual development, and the use of elements of design for creative expression.

ARTU 1501 Introduction to Visual Language, Design A foundation course in design focusing on the principles, elements, and technical processes for visual understanding and creative expression.

ARTU 2601 Computer Imaging This course introduces students to the computer as an artist’s tool. Emphasis is on developing personal imagery and exploring the ways that the computer can serve as a vehicle for artistic expression. Students should have some previous studio art experience before taking this class.

ARTU 2602 Intermediate Computer Imaging This course serves to deepen students’ engagement with the computer as a tool for fine arts. Students explore image making in relation to contemporary practices and work with alternative methods of using the computer as a medium.

ARTU 2801 Art Photography: Darkroom The student is expected to master the basic photographic skills quickly through the use of lecture/demonstration, critiques and independent lab and field work. The course then concentrates on the use of photography as a fine art medium.

ARTU  2802 Intermediate Art Photography: Darkroom An intermediate level class on the use of photography as a fine art medium with emphasis on archival printing on fiber-based paper, sepia and selenium toning, and the development of a personal aesthetic supported by the use of sophisticated shooting and printing techniques.

ARTU 2811 Art Photography: Digital The basic principles of digital photography, including shooting with a digital camera, manipulating images within the computer, and printing to inkjet printers are taught. The course focuses on black & white photo, including duotones. Emphasis is placed on technical expertise, creative development, and an understanding of the potential of imaging software.

ARTU 2812 Intermediate Art Photography: Digital An intermediate level class in digital photography including the introduction of color photography and its relevant aesthetics, and the use of the web as a presentation medium. Emphasis is on conceptual growth and personal vision.

ARTU 3401 Color Photography
 The basic principles of color photography, including shooting and printing, are taught through lecture/demonstrations, critiques, and independent lab and field work; color photography is then used as a fine art medium to expand the student’s personal vision and create a body of evocative images.

ARTU 4148 Painting Workshop An advanced level drawing course focusing on the refinement of skills and personal expression. Individual instruction and self motivation are emphasized.

ARTU 4848 Art Photography Workshop A top-level course for the study of advanced photographic techniques and aesthetics. The student is expected to design a course of study (proposal required) that is particular to his or her own interests and that involves aspects of photography not available in the other course offerings. Work can be realized in either the darkroom or digital studio and must include unique techniques, aesthetics, and presentation.

ARTU 5801 Basic Photography in Black and White I Principles and techniques of camera use, film development, printing, and presentation. Investigation of visual criteria is stressed as an integral part of the photographic process. A simple, adjustable camera is required.

Computer and Information Sciences

CIS 3219 Computer Graphics and Image Processing  An analysis of the techniques used in computer manipulation of two- and three-dimensional images. Hardware and software for displaying images, two- and three-dimensional transformations, the hidden line problem, picture processing, character recognition, and two-dimensional filtering.

Film and Media Arts

FMA 1141 Media Arts I An introductory course in media arts which examines the history, theory and practice of image making, sound production, and new technologies. Students will explore both hands-on production processes and theoretical foundations of film, video, and audio in a range of technologies including digital video and photographic formats, studio, and computerized digital settings. Coursework will emphasize individual students’ rigorous exploration of creative, personal visions, along with mainstream applications.

FMA 1142 Media Arts II A continuation of media arts theory and practice with an increased emphasis on aesthetics, genres, writing, and project design. Assigned production projects and readings include documentary, fictional, and experimental formats. NOTE: This course is for majors only. Permission of the FMA Chair required for non-majors

FMA 1172 Introduction to Film and Video Analysis This course will provide students with a conceptual and theoretical tools to analyze film, television, and video. Screenings, lectures, and readings will emphasize critical analysis, form, and content.


PHYS 1001 Physics: Matter and Motion An introduction to the ideas and techniques used in the study of motion. Application to a wide variety of physical systems ranging from air molecules to footballs to black holes. Mostly descriptive using photographic techniques, films, and demonstrations. No laboratory.

PHYS 1002 Waves and Modern Physics An introduction to the ideas and techniques used in the study of waves. Applications to a wide variety of physical systems ranging from sound, music, light, and color to atoms, nuclei, and elementary particles. Mostly descriptive, using photography, films, and demonstrations. No laboratory.

PHYS 1005 Light, Art and Nature An introduction to the properties of light, whether interpreted as rays, waves, or photons. Discussion of the basic ideas of geometric and wave optics, with application to the analysis of photography, color, vision, and modern physics. Emphasis is on factors that permit the artist and observer to understand and more fully control the design and interpretation of images of all kinds. Demonstrations, experiments, and video and computer simulations to analyze signals received by the eyes or instruments. Course is primarily designed for students interested in the visual arts, but is open to anyone. Minimal mathematics.