Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism

One-Year Certificate Program
Accepting applications for fall 2018.

ICP's One-Year Certificate programs provide advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study to strengthen personal vision, refine skills and technique, and explore the many disciplines informing media and art today.

About the Program

The Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program focuses specifically on the investigative skills and technical knowledge necessary to advance in the complex and constantly changing world of visual journalism. With ICP’s long-standing commitment to documentary practice, this program engages faculty who are some of the foremost practitioners in the field today. Visiting photographers discuss new media, business, and methodologies, as well as political, ethical, and social concerns.

The curriculum is student-centered, focusing on class discussions and critiques in a supportive learning atmosphere. Students explore the history of photojournalism; develop new and challenging technical skills in still photography, multimedia, and video; learn strategies for publication; and intern with premier photographers, newspapers, magazines, and agencies located in New York.

Top image © Gareth Smit, PJ '15

Additional Info

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Interested in learning more about our One-Year Certificate and ICP-Bard MFA programs? Join us for an Open House or Info Session.


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2017-2018 Program Catalog pdf Admission & Tuition International Students FAQs Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism Blog

The Curriculum

The Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program provides intermediate to advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study that strengthens personal vision, teaches professional practices, and explores the many disciplines that inform media and art today. During the first term, many assignments are given to help students move out of their comfort zones and quickly acquire new skills and perspectives; in the winter term, our approach shifts to encourage more self-directed, independent work; and in the spring term, as students’ main projects are solidified and completed, internships and assistance with presentation lead up to the year-end exhibition, a day of portfolio reviews with leading professionals, and graduation.

The academic year is divided into three terms, with an optional intersession in January. Each term, students register for four to five 10-week courses and three to four weekend workshops. Students should expect to spend 18–20 hours in the classroom weekly and to allow ample extra time for shooting, production, and the completion of assignments.

Course requirements for the academic year include three terms of the Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism Seminar, three terms of technical instruction in digital workflow, and one term of photographic history. Lighting and some history of analogue printing are required and highly recommended to complete before entrance in the fall. Students select additional 10-week courses and weekend workshops each term. These creative and technical offerings allow students to shape a sequence of instruction that will strengthen their practice. The Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program also offers students the opportunity to participate in an internship with a photographer, agency, magazine, or newspaper.

Alumni Work

Camille Zurcher
Camille Zurcher, PJ '12
Jimena Mateo
Jimena Mateo, PJ '14
Yen-Yin Chen, PJ '14
Yen-Yin Chen, PJ '14
The Chair
Karen Marshall, Acting Chair of the Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism program, is a documentary photographer whose work examines the psychological lives of her subjects within the social landscape. An expert at visual story telling, she is a core faculty member in the ICP Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program and teaches numerous other workshops. Marshall has an MFA in New Media and is the recipient of several artist fellowships. Nominated for the Prix Pictet in 2011, her work is part of several collections, including the Feminist Artbase at The Brooklyn Museum.