Communications Photography

If you're interested in adding digital photography to your skills, Newhouse has a minor for that.

A photo of a man taking photos on a street.

The Newhouse communications photography minor is designed for students interested in gaining hands-on skills in digital photography. Students must prove some skill in photography and pass a portfolio before being admitted to this minor. As with all minors at Syracuse University, students must complete 18 credits (six classes) of which 12 credits (four classes) must be 300-level or above. Because there is a spring-only required course (PHO356/GRA 357), we advise students to apply for the communications photography minor by mid-sophomore year.

Five required courses

COM 107 Communications and Society

GRA 217/218Introduction to Graphic Design 

PHO 301/556 Introduction to Photography for Multimedia

PHO 356/GRA 357 Photography for Multimedia / Type and Image for Photography (offered in spring only)

PHO 403 Advertising and Illustration Photography I or PHO 405 Photojournalism and Multimedia

One elective

Students may select one 300 or higher PHO course for their sixth class. Choices include:

PHO 404 Advertising and Illustration Photography II  

PHO 500 and PHO 530 Selected Topics (examples include fashion and portraits, editorial photography)

Prior to applying

Students interested in the communications photography minor must first complete two Newhouse courses to create a portfolio before applying.

Those courses are:

GRA 217/218 Introduction to Graphic Design

PHO 301/556 Introduction to Photography for Multimedia

Students will need to get permission from Newhouse to enroll in these courses as non-majors during registration periods.

For more information, see the Syracuse University Course Catalog. 

Requirements for acceptance

Students must pass a portfolio review held in early December. Work from GRA 217/218 and PHO 301/556 is submitted for departmental review. Students are notified in December if they have passed the portfolio review or not. In addition to passing the portfolio review, students must have a 3.00 cumulative GPA to be admitted to the communications photography minor. The fall semester is when students should officially apply to the minor. Applications can be picked up and turned in to Newhouse Advising and Records (316 Newhouse 3). The deadline to apply is December 1.

Once admitted, communications photography students will take PHO 356/GRA 357 in the following spring semester, followed by the remaining minor courses. COM 107 can be taken at any time—prior to or after acceptance into the minor.


Admitted students will be notified the second week of January via email.

Formally declaring the minor

After acceptance, students have a meeting and fill out a declaration form, indicating specific courses to complete the minor, with the minor coordinator, Assistant Dean Karen McGee (315 Newhouse 3). Final approval of the minor plan is needed from the student’s home college.

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