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  #1  
Old 06-09-2014, 10:07 PM
NinjaPoodle NinjaPoodle is offline
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Grad J~School, GRE and a Ivy League school

I looked through the older threads but they didn't have the info I'm looking for.

So, I'm THINKING about applying to grad school and looking into options. Columbia has a J-School that looks interesting. I'm trying to find average GRE scores for them. It seems that Columbia also has the distinction of being the 1st graduate J School in the US. It also seems to be the only Ivy with a journalism school.

I'm also looking at other J~Schools: Boston U, NYU, UC Berkeley, Syracuse, U of Missouri- Columbia, San Francisco State, San Jose State, and Howard U. though the list is quickly shrinking because I'm looking for specifically Photojournalism.

While writing this, I found answers to my ??'s online and so, in the grand scheme of things, I guess I'm just trying to decide if it really matters if I go.

What where your deciding factors in deciding to attend graduate school?
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2014, 10:16 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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You know I say this with all due respect, seriously:

I normally would not advise that someone attends Journalism school. When I was in high school, actually when I did the HOBY program as a 15-year old, they had a panel of journalists who ALL said "You do not need to go to journalism school." They said to major in a liberal art or even some other subject we were interested in, become an expert, and have that be your "hook" as a journalist, say Economics or International Relations.

HOWEVER,

I think that because of your topsy-turvy path toward completing school, I think you would be well served getting advanced study in journalism, if not for the technical reasons and portfolio building, but because you truly need a strong cohort around you and strong connections in the field.

I advocate Howard so you can be close to me and because I know you would enjoy the HBCU experience again. And because I think it's about time Howard had a Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist called NinjaPoodle.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2014, 11:01 PM
tld221 tld221 is offline
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Ditto to not needing to go to journalism school - got the same advice when I was at NYU that Rashid mentioned when I was in UG.

But, I know someone who did attend Columbia's program (I think they were originally interested in medicine) and now works for CNN doing some science reporting. So maybe it can help with connections.

I don't know much about photojournalism in particular. Have you considered CUNY for their graduate program? I dont think they offer much more in you field than Columbia does but name recognition wont hurt. It seems like CUNYs coursework is very NYC-specific. Don't know if that's a plus for you.

On another note, let me shout out my alma mater, NYU Gallatin - perhaps you can create your own concentration in photojournalism (between Tisch Photography and Imaging and CAS Journalism programs)?

Also, I can connect you to a Soror who did CUNYs program, if interested.
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2014, 11:11 PM
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IndianaSigKap IndianaSigKap is offline
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If you're considering Photo Journalism, give Western Kentucky University a look. Not sure that some of the schools you listed are really known for photo.

The only time your really need more degrees in journalism is if you want to teach at the collegiate level. You don't really need it for career advancement. But if you want the degree for intrinsic reasons, then go for it.
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2014, 10:31 AM
sigmadiva sigmadiva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaPoodle View Post


What where your deciding factors in deciding to attend graduate school?
My undergrad major "required" obtaining an advanced degree, preferably all the way to the PhD and/or MD, or other career equivalent.

I was an undergrad biochemistry major. My advisor explained that for a person to have any serious career advancement in this field you must obtain an advanced terminal degree.

She basically said that as a biochem major if you stop at the BS then you spend your career washing lab dishes, and participating at a minor level in research.

If you move to the MS level, then you don't have to wash lab dishes, but you're still at a lower level in research.

So, to have a career that will allow for the maximum advancement and professional respect, then obtain an advanced terminal degree, such as a PhD, MD, or DVM.

For me personally, I obtained my PhD. Not only does this allow me to work at the collegiate level, I can also (and have) obtain research grants and get published.

Fortunately I was able to fund my graduate degrees by receiving graduate fellowships, grants and funding through my graduate advisors NIH grants.

My advice to you, NP, would be to:
1. listen to the advice already given above - it makes a lot of sense.
2. Look for any possible funding for your grad degree. Grad school tuition roughly costs about 2 - 3X that of undergrad tuition. Plus, you have to factor in living expenses, and since you are interested in photojouranlism, you will have to consider financing your own equipment. Be prepared to possibly have to get a part time job. Going to grad school is very expensive.


ETA: NP, have you considered getting a MFA (Master of Fine Arts)? This degree may give you a bit more career flexibility than just a photojournalism degree.
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Last edited by sigmadiva; 06-10-2014 at 10:59 AM. Reason: added question
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2014, 10:06 PM
ADqtPiMel ADqtPiMel is offline
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I ran the internship/entry-level hire program at my large media company for about five years, so I'm familiar with recruiting journalism grads (I've been at Columbia's J-school job fair every year, actually). I will say that I, along with every other hiring manager I know in the industry, strongly strongly prefer job experience over a J-school degree. Journalism is one of those things where practical experience really trumps education. I recruit from top J-schools (Columbia, Mizzou, Medill, etc.) and have consistently found that J-school grads are significantly less prepared to enter the industry than people who interned/worked an entry-level job instead.

I feel strongly that an advanced degree in journalism is a waste of money. The people I know and mentor who went to J-school had an equally difficult time finding jobs as people with a bachelor's degree -- often MORE difficult because employers assume they will be more expensive -- and are heavily burdened with debt that they're unable to pay off. I'm not at all one of those people who think journalism is dead, but the fact remains that jobs can be hard to find and often don't pay well, or aren't full-time.

Take with a grain of salt -- I don't know much at all about photojournalism, and I went to the best state school I could attend for free and then swore I'd never step foot in a classroom again…but I think you'd be better off with practical work experience.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2014, 01:23 PM
tld221 tld221 is offline
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It seems that (Soror) NP has worked in the field for a number of years, or least has done some related work as a hobby?
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2014, 07:04 PM
NinjaPoodle NinjaPoodle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADqtPiMel View Post
I ran the internship/entry-level hire program at my large media company for about five years, so I'm familiar with recruiting journalism grads (I've been at Columbia's J-school job fair every year, actually). I will say that I, along with every other hiring manager I know in the industry, strongly strongly prefer job experience over a J-school degree. Journalism is one of those things where practical experience really trumps education. I recruit from top J-schools (Columbia, Mizzou, Medill, etc.) and have consistently found that J-school grads are significantly less prepared to enter the industry than people who interned/worked an entry-level job instead.

I feel strongly that an advanced degree in journalism is a waste of money. The people I know and mentor who went to J-school had an equally difficult time finding jobs as people with a bachelor's degree -- often MORE difficult because employers assume they will be more expensive -- and are heavily burdened with debt that they're unable to pay off. I'm not at all one of those people who think journalism is dead, but the fact remains that jobs can be hard to find and often don't pay well, or aren't full-time.

Take with a grain of salt -- I don't know much at all about photojournalism, and I went to the best state school I could attend for free and then swore I'd never step foot in a classroom again…but I think you'd be better off with practical work experience.
That's what was sitting in the back of my head as I pondered this whole thing. It's the game that's played that irritates me. Employers post jobs that ask for a degree but WE ALL KNOW it's what's in the PORTFOLIO that matters. .


Quote:
Originally Posted by sigmadiva View Post
ETA: NP, have you considered getting a MFA (Master of Fine Arts)? This degree may give you a bit more career flexibility than just a photojournalism degree.
Soror, When I finish, my undergrad degree will be a BFA in Documentary/ Photojournalism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaSigKap View Post
If you're considering Photo Journalism, give Western Kentucky University a look. Not sure that some of the schools you listed are really known for photo.

The only time your really need more degrees in journalism is if you want to teach at the collegiate level. You don't really need it for career advancement. But if you want the degree for intrinsic reasons, then go for it.
Thanks. I was considering NYC/east coast schools because the industry is there (LA & San Francisco out here in the West).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tld221 View Post
Ditto to not needing to go to journalism school - got the same advice when I was at NYU that Rashid mentioned when I was in UG.

But, I know someone who did attend Columbia's program (I think they were originally interested in medicine) and now works for CNN doing some science reporting. So maybe it can help with connections.

I don't know much about photojournalism in particular. Have you considered CUNY for their graduate program? I dont think they offer much more in you field than Columbia does but name recognition wont hurt. It seems like CUNYs coursework is very NYC-specific. Don't know if that's a plus for you.

On another note, let me shout out my alma mater, NYU Gallatin - perhaps you can create your own concentration in photojournalism (between Tisch Photography and Imaging and CAS Journalism programs)?

Also, I can connect you to a Soror who did CUNYs program, if interested.
Thank you Soror!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sen's Revenge View Post
You know I say this with all due respect, seriously:

HOWEVER,

I think that because of your topsy-turvy path toward completing school, I think you would be well served getting advanced study in journalism, if not for the technical reasons and portfolio building, but because you truly need a strong cohort around you and strong connections in the field.

I advocate Howard so you can be close to me and because I know you would enjoy the HBCU experience again. And because I think it's about time Howard had a Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist called NinjaPoodle.

Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tld221 View Post
It seems that (Soror) NP has worked in the field for a number of years, or least has done some related work as a hobby?
Soror, not as a hobby. My work has been freelance. Last year I was hired to a local news paper but that fizzled out. I know networking is the way to go but I also wanted to see what other ways I could further my career.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2016, 01:15 AM
NinjaPoodle NinjaPoodle is offline
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Annnnnd 2 internships later... I have connections to CAL J-school that can write recs for me so, it was easy to narrow it down (I'm still trying to find a excuse to "do" Howard ).
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:51 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Awesome. The graduate degree seems like something you are interested in pursuing. You have sought advice and mindfully considered your options. You can do this!
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2016, 11:14 PM
NinjaPoodle NinjaPoodle is offline
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Awesome. The graduate degree seems like something you are interested in pursuing. You have sought advice and mindfully considered your options. You can do this!
I appreciate that FSUZeta!

You know, even though I'm still scraping by to get my BFA, I've always thought it's a good idea to have not only a back-up plan, but a back-up to the back-up and a back-up after that. It's journalism. Options must be open.

And even though I've made a decision, I still want to visit Columbia. It's the first J-school.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:27 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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And you should! Road trip to NYC!!!
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:28 PM
NinjaPoodle NinjaPoodle is offline
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And you should! Road trip to NYC!!!
Absolutely!
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:27 PM
PhotoBug PhotoBug is offline
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Originally Posted by NinjaPoodle View Post
Annnnnd 2 internships later... I have connections to CAL J-school that can write recs for me so, it was easy to narrow it down (I'm still trying to find a excuse to "do" Howard ).
You wrote this post three months ago. What have you been up to since then? Have you graduated with your BFA?

Since I was last on GC three years ago, so the forum software tells me (I've been back, just haven't logged in), I went to J-school. I attended online because I didn't want to relocate due to having my primary care doctor and all my specialists for lupus set up. It's just a huge hassle to move. Anyway, I was doing really well in my digital journalism MA program and holding a 3.5 GPA and, literally, halfway through the program I had to stop. It was Christmas and bitter cold here, and I thought my asthma was acting up and so I went to the ER to get a breathing treatment. It wasn't my asthma; I had 3 pulmonary embolisms; so of course, I did a medical withdrawal from my classes.

During my recovery, I decided not to return to the program because during that time media organizations were hemorrhaging money, and in response they were letting journalists and photojournos go left and right. Then, the Dept. of Labor put out a jobs outlook for journalism in the negative double digits! That sealed it for me. I knew journalism already didn't pay a lot of money and I was okay with that, but then the added mass layoffs, hiring freezes, and jobs outlook from the DOL were just too much.

So, when I recovered and my doctor gave me a clean bill of health, I jumped back in undergrad for 1.5 academic years to get computer science and math prerequisites and applied to grad school for my MS in Computer Science. Online, of course. I got in and that's what I'm pursuing now, except that I'm sitting out the quarter that just started because I broke my ankle and tore some ligaments in it, and pretty much had to have my ankle surgically reconstructed. I'm in a rehab facility now. Doggone prednisone probably made my bones easier to break, but hey... stuff happens.

Do you have a resume website/portfolio? I don't have the resume website, although I could do one in no time. I don't have a photojournalism portfolio either, but that wouldn't take too much time to put up, either, because I have a web hosting account with plenty of space and the skills to do it. I do, however, have a Flickr account of some of my favorite photographs. They're a mix of genres, the only criterion was that they be a favorite of mine. Do you have anything like that? Do you want to exchange links?

Have you thought about launching an online publication?
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2016, 03:10 PM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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I'm a (forcibly) retired newspaper writer and I would NEVER advise someone to get a journalism degree now. Maybe broadcast journalism, maybe combined with a FICTION degree, because getting paid to truthfully report news is a fantasy. Better you know how to spin something....which is a creative writing degree.
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