Course Plan

Course Plan
Whether you choose to complete the certificate completely online or as a hybrid, this program will create a solid foundation on which you can continue to build your brand and reputation as a food writer or photographer.

By completing five courses worth 15 total credits, you can obtain a Food Writing and Photography Graduate Certificate from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Students may take more than 15 credits to pursue their interests, but 15 are required for the completion of the certification. Of these 15 credits, 12 are earned in required courses, and three are earned by completing an elective course of your choosing.

Required Courses

Multimedia Reporting

Learn to conceptualize and present stories for both traditional print and online platforms. Understand how visuals contribute to digital storytelling. Hands-on assignments to hone your skills. (online, 3 credits)

Digital Law and Ethics

Explore ethical and legal issues in the changing online environment. This is an especially helpful class for students who are already blogging or thinking about starting an online publication. (online, 3 credits)

Food Writing

Study the many styles of food writing from blogging to restaurant reviews, literary food writing to scientific study, and cultural commentary to memoir. This is your opportunity to sharpen your writing with the guidance of a professional food writer. (online, 3 credits)

Applied Research Project

The culmination of the certificate program will meld your storytelling creativity and technological expertise in an online project approved by a faculty member. (3 credits)

One Elective

Social Media

Understand the evolving world of social media as it pertains to today’s media landscape. Master the basic skills that will allow you to promote your brand on multiple social platforms. (3 credits)


Learn the best practices of photojournalism while creating a portfolio of food photographs through hands-on exercises. (3 credits)

Contemporary Issues in Journalism

Survey the contemporary media scene to determine the challenges that journalists face covering news in a fast-changing world. FWP candidates will study topics that affect food writers and photographers. (3 credits)

Food Photography

“Sizzling Images” is a hybrid online and face-to-face immersion course that takes place over five consecutive Saturdays or one week, Monday through Friday. On-location shoots and a focus on classic food photography and documentary shooting help hone skills for bloggers, stylists and novice and experienced photographers. Students learn about equipment, composition, lighting, propping and styling through hands-on exercises. (3 credits)

Literary Journalism

Study some of the great writers of literary journalism, also known as creative non-fiction, among them Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson. FWP candidates will further read the food writing of Ernest Hemingway, M.F.K. Fisher, Anthony Bourdain and Elizabeth David, among others. (3 credits)

Visual Communication Design and Theory

Study visual theory and how to create images in many forms to improve your online projects. (3 credits)

Entrepreneurial Journalism

Discover how to develop real-world partnerships while learning how to research and understand your audience. Study how other start-ups have monetized their online projects. (3 credits)

Web Publishing

Improve your blog or food-centered website by learning more about online publishing including code, third-party hosting and more. (3 credits)

Special Topics in Journalism

Delve into entertainment and sports journalism, magazine writing or media on film with special emphasis on how they relate to food issues. (3 credits)